'Goodbye Christopher Robin' Is Sweet Story for Kids Who Grew up with Pooh

I just love finding out the story behind the storybook – whether it’s the Beatrix Potter biopic Mrs. Potter or the documentary on the creators of Curious George – it’s always interesting to find out where writers find their inspiration. While Goodbye Christopher Robin is no exception, the subject matter and Masterpiece Theater-style presentation may be too stodgy for younger viewers. (And by younger viewers, I mean me.)

Goodbye Christopher Robin gives a glimpse into the relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his 8-year-old son Christopher Robin (Will Tilston), whose toys inspired the magical and everlasting world of Winnie the Pooh. Along with his mother Daphne (Margot Robbie), and his nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald), Christopher is swept up in the international success of his father’s books. While the enchanting tales bring hope and comfort to England after the First World War, the sudden fame thrust upon the fragile family could ruin everything.

Goodbye Christopher Robin

2017, PG

The Milne family is hanging by a thread. Dad is distant and shell-shocked, while Mom is frivolous and self-absorbed. Young Christopher is left to wonder how to deal with it all and not lose himself entirely to The Hundred Acre Wood, while his doting nanny tries to be the one constant in the boy’s privileged yet lonely upbringing. But it’s made clear that his parents do love him in their own way – and the sentiment is brought home with the quotable Pooh quote: “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

It’s all pretty heavy, especially for youngsters who may love Winnie-the-Pooh but aren't so interested in where he came from. The movie is rated PG (there’s some bullying, brief language, and images of war) and it feels like a movie from a bygone era. It takes a while to get to the meat of the tale, with the backstory on what daddy did in the war taking up a lot of the film. But once we get to the creation of Pooh and his pals, the movie begins to find its footing. 

So, should you and your family check out Goodbye Christopher Robin? Oh… bother. (But only when it comes to home video or VOD.)

Will you watch Goodbye Christopher Robin with the family? What are some of your favorite films based on books? Share with us!

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