Continuing their quest to control the imaginations of children the world over, Disney has turned to Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland) to essentially remake Hook but this time with the inhabitants of the Hundred-Acre Wood instead of the Lost Boys and an overly made-up Dustin Hoffman.
Yes, that’s right: Christopher Robin is here to wipe the taste of that A.A. Milne biopic (you know, the one that starred Domhnall Gleeson as the author) out of your mouth and replace it with pure sucrose. Ewan McGregor plays the titular character, as he’s sunk into an imagination-free salaryman land, whose boring life is changed when he receives a visit from his long-lost animal friends. We’re not totally jazzed, but what the hell, it can’t be worse than Spielberg’s take on Peter Pan.
Forster, whose career has never really lived up to expectations, is at his best when working with the stories of children and those connected to them. Finding Neverland, though tainted a bit by its choice of lead, is perfectly solid middlebrow entertainment, and decently moving at that. Hell, even The Kite Runner manages to be perfectly cromulent when its telling the stories of the Afghani children (though that third act collapse is frankly on par with the 2011 Red Sox). So this can be seen as a decent course correction for the director, away from the kind of action epics that he’s tried and failed to bring to life in the same way. Just take a look at the massive jump in quality from his Bond entry, Quantum of Solace, to Sam Mendes’ efforts with Skyfall.
So we’re not totally sold, but whatever. It’ll have that Disney shine, and it’ll probably make people cry and not neglect their kids at work or something. At least the Pooh Bear doll looks adorable and is voiced by longtime Pooh voice actor Jim Cummings, and we’re excited to see how they’ve realized the other critters from Milne’s works, especially Eeyore, the patron saint of film critics everywhere.