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‘Christopher Robin’: What parents need to know

The family films of summer 2019 have been wacky (“Hotel Transylvania 3”), wild (“Incredibles 2”), winking (“Teen Titans Go! To the Movies”) and wicked (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”). Now comes warmth, as a gentle breeze blows Disney’s “Christopher Robin” into cinemas.

While not overly memorable, this tale of a grown-up Christopher and his childhood friends Winnie-the-Pooh and company is sweet, good-natured, and certainly pleasing for its core audience.

What’s the story? Many years after his childhood days visiting Hundred Acre Wood, Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is now a stressed, working adult with a wife and daughter. The reappearance of his beloved friend Winnie-the-Pooh helps him rediscover the joys of life.

What’s the rating? “Christopher Robin” is rated PG for “some action,” and that refers to a few mild scenes of World War II battle and some later imagined encounters with scary heffalumps. But this is legit PG – it's a film with no problematic language, nonthreatening adults, understated drama and straightforward storytelling.  

What’s the ideal viewing age? Despite the occasional moments of marital discord and office upset, “Christopher Robin” is fine for viewers ages 4 and older. If your child can handle the experience of seeing a movie in the cinemas, he or she can handle “Robin.”

Will my little one sit through it? Children and parents should find it an enjoyable, involving film that affectionately explores characters with truly cross-generational appeal. The CGI effects are extraordinary – never have Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore and the rest seemed so lifelike. And a running time of 104 minutes is just right. “Christopher Robin” won’t go down as a kiddie classic, but it is a fine, gorgeous-looking film anchored by solid performances. My 8-year-old left the theater quoting Pooh and looking forward to another viewing.

Is there anything else parents need to consider? Interestingly, “Christopher Robin” arrives a little less than a year after “Goodbye, Christopher Robin,” a somber drama about the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne, and his son, the real Christopher Robin. However, “Goodbye” is a moving and rather dreary tale, and certainly unfit for little ones. Still, tweens and teens might find it a fascinating follow-up to “Christopher Robin.”

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