Mr. Christopher Robin and his Teddy Bear

1/1 · Por HBO

A family comedy starring Ewan McGregor and directed by Marc Foster; inspired by the classic stories of Winnie the Pooh.            

            Christopher Robin is the name of the boy who owns the teddy bear we all know as Winnie The Pooh or Winnie Pooh, and also of stuffed animals like Piglet (a tiny pig), Tigger (a tiny tiger), Igor (an old donkey), and Kanga (a kangaroo), among others. We have seen this character in Disney films, yet he is also a literary character created (as well as the bear and the whole gang) by AA Milne, or Alan Alexander Milne, the British writer of children's stories that in 1926 published the bear’s first adventure. Furthermore, Christopher is not only a literary character, but a real boy as well. His last name was Milne and is believed to be the writer's son. In fact, the stuffed animal existed in real life: Winnie was a bear manufactured by the company of John Kirby Farnell, the first company to make British stuffed animals in 1906. The teddy bear that inspired the story, manufactured as an “Alpha Farnell” bear, which was the one Christopher, owned, was named Winnie. And furthermore, the name of that bear came from an actual plantigrade. The story goes back to 1914, when a veterinary soldier named Harry Colebourn bought a bear cub from a trapper in the city of Winnipeg. He was a Canadian born veterinarian of British origin and returned to England at some point in his life. Absent for many years during his military service in France, Colebourn left Winnie in the care of the London Zoo. Upon his return three years later, the bear became a sensation and the children loved to visit him; so the veterinary soldier ended up leaving him there. One of the many children who went to visit that famous bear turned out to be none other than, Christopher, the writer’s son.

            The real Christopher Robin, as a child, suffered at school because his father had written these stories using his name and the name of his stuffed animal. The children bullied him, and it is said that he even had to learn how to box in order to stop the jokes. As a result of that, the real-life Christopher grew up resentful of his father and those stories. However, not to be defeated, he remained attached to writing and literature: opened a bookstore and wrote his own biography, which told stories of his childhood difficulties. He could never totally disown the character that bore his name or the bear.

            Christopher Robin takes the child from the cartoon world and leads him to be characterized by Scottish actor Ewan McGregor. The history of the film, however, does not have origins from the real world. Although the film provides the viewer with the real-life Christopher Robin, we are still dealing with the character of the AA Milne stories, but this time as an adult far removed from the Hundred Acre Wood, and no contact with his old talking stuffed friends.

Christopher is a family man, more of a saying than an actual practice, because he’s a workaholic to an extent that he is about to send his daughter to a boarding school so that it will not interfere with his work. His work has reached a level that his company begins to demand that he perform abject, ruthless actions; such as firing good staff members. It’s when things are looking bleak for Christopher that Winnie appears and invites him back to an adventure to the famous Hundred Acre Wood. The story goes back and forth, with Christopher and his friends in the woods in London; in a series of fun entanglements and filled with tenderness.

            Behind the camera is Marc Foster, a young and capable director who has a very diverse film portfolio. He is known since 2001, for Monster’s Ball, a raw drama that earned Academy Award nominations and the Oscar for Best Actress to Halle Berry. He has also directed pure action films such as Quantum of Solace (2008), from the James Bond series, with Daniel Craig leading the cast, or World War Z (2013), with Brad Pitt in the lead role. He even directed a comedy with a certain philosophical twist, but made to make viewers laugh titled Stranger than Fiction (2006), a wonderful piece starring Will Ferrell. Yet what truly led him to direct Christopher Robin was his successful tenure as director of Finding Neverland, back in 2004. This film earned him nominations for the Oscar and Golden Globe Awards, including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director; a film that recreates the life of Sir James Matthew Barrie, the author of the novel, Peter Pan. Between fantasy and reality, the film recreates the relationship that the writer had with the children of the Davies family and how they inspired him to write his famous classic. So, from that distant and successful 2004, Foster brings his experience to make this film that undoubtedly has a lot to do with his work. The result, Christopher Robin is a beautiful film, humanistic and enjoyable at the same time, with excellent performances and solid animations that give life to the classic stuffed animals which for decades have been in the hearts and memories of all of his fans.

            Christopher Robin, not to be missed on HBO and HBO GO

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