This is a weird to thing to say, but the new Winnie-the-Pooh movie is a bit subversive, at least as far as Disney-produced children’s movies go.

It’s anti-capitalist and pro-worker and preoccupied with social justice. The villain is a boss who wants to lay off his staff to better his profits. The hero (an adult Christopher Robin played by Ewan McGregor) is an uptight middle manager at a luggage company. The film’s climax involves Robin obtaining more vacation time for himself and his overworked staff.

And you know? I can’t think of another family film in which union negotiations might break out at any moment. But that’s “Christopher Robin,” a warm, lovely and darned peculiar film that calls for less work and more play. And more honey, too.

This live-action update of the “Winnie-the-Pooh” stories by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard takes place in post-war London, where an all-grown-up Robin tries to balance the demands of his job with the needs of his family. Things come to a head when his boss (Mark Gatiss) tells him he needs to cut 20 percent of his staff. Oh, and also, he’ll need to work this weekend, even though he has plans to take his wife, Evelyn (Hayley Atwell), and daughter (Bronte Carmichael) to the country.

At this point in his life, Robin has all but forgotten his childhood adventures with Pooh and the gang back in the Hundred Acre Wood. In fact, a heartrending opening credits sequence shows Robin forgetting. The demands of life (school, work, fighting in wars) have blotted out the carefree joys of fartin’ around in the woods, doin’ nothin’ much at all.

Now a middle-aged workaholic, Robin has begun to push away his family, not unlike how he gradually abandoned his not-so-imaginary friends all those years ago. His middle-class striving has curdled into something wretched. Capitalism has alienated him from everyone he loves. Life has lost its meaning. Oh, bother.  

Fortunately, a certain silly old bear knows that his friend is in trouble. Pooh slips into the real world to put Robin back on the right path.

“Christopher Robin” is mostly a success: It’s a sweet and tastefully made family film based on some evergreen intellectual property. Director Marc Forster is well-tuned to the material without leaning too heavily on whatever nostalgia remains for this series. The computer-generated characters have a scuffed, earthy tangibility to them. And the score, co-composed by Jon Brion, gives the movie an unexpectedly indie vibe.

Not everything works. The middle stretch sags heavily, with Robin and Pooh wandering through the fog of the Hundred Acre Wood, hunting for honey, evading the threat of Woozles and Heffalumps.

Eventually, the whole cast (human and animated) winds up in London, where Robin’s work, family and fantasy lives intersect for a frantic finale.

I’m not really sure how children will respond to the odd tone and deliberate pacing of “Christopher Robin.” In fact, I’m not really sure who this movie is for. The talking animals will delight the little ones. But the film’s melancholy streak and gently subversive leanings will appeal to aging and depressive rabble-rousers like me.

That “Robin” goes in so many different directions makes sense, as it shares five writers. One of them was Alex Ross Perry, the indie filmmaker behind such wryly misanthropic movies as “Listen Up Philip” and “Queen of Earth.” After him, the movie got a rewrite from Oscar-winning “Spotlight” director Tom McCarthy. Then it got another rewrite from Oscar-nominated “Hidden Figures” screenwriter Allison Schroeder.

The result of so many cooks is not a mess, exactly, but certainly an uneven movie, ingenious in spots, lumpy in others. The overall narrative could have used some tightening.

But however slack things get, there’s usually something unusual right ’round the corner. A surprising line. An amusing detour. Pooh being adorable and profound.

Pooh’s always been a bit of a vagabond philosopher, but the screenwriters put some really curious dialogue in his mouth this time out. As Robin sifts through the work papers in his briefcase, Pooh asks a question that is essentially the theme of the movie:

“Is a briefcase more important than a balloon?”

The movie also holds out the tantalizing possibility that everything we’re seeing is just a hallucination, Christopher Robin finally cracking from the strain of overwork, regressing to a state of childhood and taking refuge in the comforts of his old imaginary friends. I’m not saying that’s what’s happening. But I do think one could make the case.

Either way, the movie’s message stands: Work too hard, and the talking animals will come for you.