A charming classic has hit the big screen and is making its way directly back into our hearts. From the unforgettable tales of A.A. Milne about a little boy and his stuffed bear, Walt Disney Pictures now tells the story of a grown up Christopher Robin. Unlike the playful little boy with quite the imagination, however, Christopher is now a man who has long since let go of his childhood ~ something to which so many of us can relate all too well. However, while this seems to be the primary story-line for the film, I actually found something else that stood out to me just as much, if not a little bit more.
Disclaimer #1: I received an invite to a complimentary media screening of Christopher Robin in exchange for my honest review of the film. All opinions below are 100% mine and mine alone.
It was a happy day when I received an invite to attend a complimentary media screening for Disney’s CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. The tales of Winnie-the-Pooh have been a part of our nuclear family for decades. From my husband having his own “Winnie” when he was young (that’s how his mother referred to his stuffed buddy) to all three of our boys enjoying a classic Winnie-the-Pooh ABC themed nursery, we have held this “silly old bear” in our hearts and as part of our family. In fact, each of the boys received their own little personal “Pooh” bear to welcome them into the world. The funny thing is that I can even remember my mother referring to my baby sister as “Pooh” and lovingly singing the Winnie-the-Pooh theme song to her all – the – time when we were all young. There is just something about that silly old bear that captivates us all!
The Film Itself
The live-action film starts with Christopher Robin as a child playing with his lovable friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. However, over the course of a short bit, it takes us into the future where Christopher Robin is now married and has a child of his own. Over the years, through various circumstances that naturally occur in life, Christopher’s focus has been reshaped and he no longer pays mind to his childhood memories. He almost appears lost, rarely wearing a smile due to the rigors of his job.
Pooh, back in the Hundred Acre Wood, finds himself in a predicament, as well, and in need of help from his dear friend, Christopher Robin. In a moment of wondering, “What to do, what to do?,” he takes a leap of faith to go in search of him, only to find that Christopher Robin has let go of his childhood and his desire to “play” with any of his cuddly, adorable friends.
The movie is charming, endearing and whimsical, to say the least. There are quite a few nods to the classic stories strung throughout the film. It pulls at heart strings and the audience will find it extremely easy to relate to the struggles at hand. I know I found it that way, but I also found something within the film that penetrated my heart just a little bit more. This particular thought came to me during the course of the movie and has simply stuck to me like “hunny” does to Pooh’s nose since that day.
I couldn’t break away from the thought. I had to talk about friendship….
The Portrait of Authentic Friendship
Okay, so what do I mean by that? It’s actually quite simple. This movie is the perfect demonstration of the unconditional friendship ~ one that lasts, stands the test of time, can weather any storm, defy all the odds and….transcend personality.
Too often in life, we are quick to find the personality flaws in someone that automatically disqualify them from our friend list. Someone is too hyperactive, too pushy, too micromanaging or has an annoying laugh. We instantly judge that characteristic of their personality as grounds to make them “an acquaintance versus a friend,” never really giving them a chance. We don’t realize that, by shunning them for one thing, we could be robbing ourselves of the opportunity to be positively affected by other parts of their personality.
If you take a closer look, there are a variety of personality traits in the Hundred Acre Wood. There is someone who is anxious (Piglet) and another who is hyperactive and boisterous (Tigger). There is someone who is critical and judgemental (Rabbit) and another who is depressed (Eeyore). Still, we find yet another who is naive and simple (our dear friend, Pooh). In spite of these differences that tend to ward people off in the real world, they all find a way to love each other unconditionally and would do literally anything to ensure the other’s happiness.
There is no dismissal. There is no demand to change who they are. They are accepted. Period.
True, unadulterated, unconditional friendship. I mean, #friendshipgoals – am I right?
I willingly admit that I, myself, can be a little like Piglet at times and Tigger at others. My kids would say I can be a lot like Rabbit. My husband likely fears the times I act like Eeyore (I live in a house full of men ~ they just don’t get it). I’ll be honest, though. I actually wish that I could be more like Pooh ~ naive (in a good way), friendly, thoughtful and loyal. I personally strive to be the kind of friend others can trust, rely upon, feel comfortable around and know they are in my heart. At the same time, I desire to surround myself with friends who can accept that my mood changes, that I need time to vent, time to be crazy and sometimes I just need time to back off and be by myself in order to decompress.
Oh, if only we could all strive to be a little more accepting, a little more helpful and a little more supportive.
Christopher Robin found the kind of friendship in his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood that was rooted in authenticity. Even though he went through a period when fighting Heffalumps was not a priority, they remained loyal and loving. They let him be him and “come back” when he was ready. They were still dedicated to being there when he was in trouble and willing to sacrifice their own comfort to ensure his happiness ~ even if he wasn’t.
“Some people care too much. I think that’s called love.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Do I recommend the movie?
Indeed I do! As I said earlier in the piece, it’s endearing, whimsical and heartwarming. There are a few sad scenes. They occur primarily as we watch Christopher Robin growing up. However, there is nothing, in my opinion, that should sound warning sirens or keep people from seeing it. It will bring you back your own childhood. It will leave you with a pitter-patter in your heart. I think it will reignite a love for these nostalgic characters we have loved for decades.
Looking for some fun activities for the kiddos? Check out this post with some adorable Christopher Robin printable coloring pages and activity pages!
- Like CHRISTOPHER ROBIN on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyChristopherRobin/
- Follow Walt Disney Studios on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneystudios
- Follow Walt Disney Studios on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneystudios/
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN is now playing in theatres everywhere!
**all photos and video clips courtesy of Walt Disney Studios
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