By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Goodbye Christopher Robin reveals the reality behind the imaginary world
It is always interesting to learn the real stories behind the imaginary stories we loved as children. "Goodbye Christopher Robin" illustrates the real-life world of the boy behind the beloved drawings. - photo by David Clyde
THE HONEY HOLE When I mention the name Winnie the Pooh what is the first thing first thing that comes to mind? For me, it is the wonderful pen and ink drawings by Ernest Shepard illustrating A. A. Milnes story of a little boy, yellow bear and their imaginary world.

The second thing to pop in my mind is teasing my mom for having Pooh on her pajamas every time she wore her Winnie the Pooh nightgown. What most likely does not come to mind is the personal toll the success of the stories of Winnie the Pooh took upon the author A. A. Milne and his family, particularly his son Christopher Robin Milne.

This week we see the release of the film Goodbye Christopher Robin starring Domhnall Gleeson as A. A. Milne and his wife Daphne Milne played by Margot Robbie. Goodbye Christopher Robin is a behind-the-scenes look into the real life of the father/son relationship that inspired the Winnie the Pooh stories we all love today.

The young human Christopher Robin experienced near rockstar fame as the cartoon Christopher Robin became popular throughout the world during the 1920s and '30s. Of course, great fame often comes at a price. This is the story of a child who had to navigate the real-world consequences of an imaginary world he conjured as a way to help his father heal from the emotional wounds of war.

Here is the list of things that I enjoyed and some that I did not in the film Goodbye Christopher Robin:


Human perspective

We are all familiar with the imaginary world of Winnie the Pooh, but few know the story of the humans behind the drawings. In Goodbye Christopher Robin we get to see the true story and often conflicted personal dynamics of the Milne family as author A. A. Milne struggles to find his place in society after World War I, along with the adjustment of becoming a new father. The story is touching as Milne and his sons relationship unfold throughout the film, evolving into what it ultimately becomes to not only them but the world.

A beautifully told story

This movie depicts post World War I England with a rich cinematography and set design that captures the era. Director Simon Curtis has a great way of creating a particular feeling for this film and some unique ways of putting images to complex emotional situations. One scene that stands out is watching snow in a field fall upward as A. A. Milne mentally navigates his way out of a war-related PTSD flashback that was triggered while playing in an imaginary world with his son.


In Goodbye Christopher Robin, it is easy to see aspects of our own day-to-day relationships with families and loved ones and how our decisions shape the worlds of others for good or bad. The emotional story behind Christopher Robin and his family is complex, a bit dysfunctional, and at times frustrating, but it is also fulfilling and redemptive.

What could have been better:

Parts Felt Rushed

Though the film had a nice pacing, there were areas where the story felt rushed. Particularly as Christopher Robin grew from a child to a young man we are not given a chance to connect with him and his personal choices that lead to the purpose of the film. Since this movie is about Christopher Robin, not just the small boy we know from the books, greater care could have been taken to tell the story of the man he became.

Could have used a little more magic

As I mentioned before, there were some beautifully shot scenes and illustrated concepts but there could have been more. This film is meant to contrast the real- world human drama behind the imaginary world of Winnie the Pooh, but it would have been nice to see those worlds overlap a little more.


Im not sure if the fact that I now find stories about the people behind "great things" more entertaining than the actual "great thing" they created is a sign of maturity or if I am just kind of boring, but the truth is I liked Goodbye Christopher Robin and think a lot of people will too. Kids will like this film as long as they go in knowing this is not a movie about Winnie the Pooh and the cartoon Christopher Robin but about the people and things they are based on.

As always there is so much more to the stories we often love even the simple ones, and Winnie the Pooh is no exception.
Sign up for our e-newsletters