Winnie-the-Pooh tackles midlife angst.
The new live-action Winnie-the-Pooh movie is no breezy matinee, said Emily Yoshida in NYMag.com. Instead, “it is one of the more sadistic family films I have ever seen”—a movie that aggressively shames its title character for the sin of growing up while condemning his abandoned childhood friends to dwell in the pain of that betrayal. That Pooh and the grown-up Christopher Robin will reunite, and a child within will be rediscovered, is inevitable. But the scripted reawakening sure doesn’t feel healthy. Granted, “Pooh is adorable,” said Adam Graham in The Detroit News. But after he pops up in London on a weekend when his old chum is buried in a grim work project, he wears out his welcome with us quickly. “He’s that childhood friend who can’t move on from when you were besties in second grade, always looking back, never looking forward.” Yet the movie’s wistfulness also packs a real punch, said Kevin Fallon in TheDailyBeast.com. Pooh and his fellow forgotten toys—Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore—aren’t merely proselytizers for emotional regression. They’re reminders that old friends are often the truest friends, and together “they prove that feelings are still movies’ most valuable special effect.”