Winnie the Pooh awoke after a long hibernation and waddled into the real world for the first trailer for Christopher Robin, Disney’s live-action spin on A. A. Milne’s beloved stories about the Hundred Acre Wood. It’s supposed to be cute, but by my estimate, it’s also about 15 percent too spooky and I’m not completely convinced this isn’t going to be a horror movie. Please hear me out.
The trailer, which Disney uploaded on Tuesday, certainly begins in a grim place. An older Christopher Robin, played here by Ewan McGregor, is told he needs to fire 20 percent of his staff because capitalism is the scariest monster of all. Everything looks very gray as he sits on a bench, having been forced to skip a vacation with his family and fail as a father. The aesthetic is that of a period piece by way of David Fincher.
That’s when Winnie the Pooh appears, because this movie is basically Hook but with Pooh instead of Peter Pan. From what little we see of the forgetful bear, he’s here to help, but he looks somewhat uncanny, a CGI construct caught in the valley between the living and the stuffed. The way everything’s depicted makes it seems as though we might be in store for a thriller about Christopher’s probable psychotic break, or a Chuckystyle tale about a toy come to life with unclear motivations.
The tagline for the movie, “sooner or later, you past catches up to you,” is describing the plot of I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Christopher Robin will probably end up being sweet, charming, and very British when it opens on August 3. All I’m saying is that, based on this trailer, it seems like it could go in a darker direction.