Of course I saw Christopher Robin. Right when it came out last weekend. With one of my closest girlfriends whom I lovingly call “Eeyore” and my ManFriend, whom I also call “Eeyore.” Oh, yeah. My kids were there, too.
My sons are almost 10 and almost 13 and truth be told, I don’t know if they’ve ever seen any of the beloved Winnie the Pooh specials or movies I grew up watching. They don’t know the voices of Piglet, Tigger, and Pooh like I do. That being said, they know Pooh exists and they happily joined three fairly giddy adults as we embarked upon this movie. No spoilers here; it’s exactly what the previews show. Christopher Robin has grown up, and he has left behind the things of childhood that movies like Inside Out and songs like “Puff the Magic Dragon” have immortalized for so many of us: fantasy, imagination, creativity, and the stuff dreams are made of, things we are forced to leave behind when we grow up. Many of us don’t want to grow up. Many of us have to. And in between all of that is Winnie the Pooh and his friends.
Besides the movie being delightful, very funny and well written, it is expertly acted and crafted with such care taken in all aspects—from the costumes to the effects to the casting.
Here are the grown up lessons I took from the movie; lessons long forgotten from the elegance and beauty of the A. A. Milne classics (which I never realized were based on the dolls and stories Milne’s own son, Christopher Robin, revolved around as a boy).
Different emotions are OK. All emotions are OK.
Maybe you know this already, but I had never realized how each of the Pooh characters embody aspects of ourselves. Pooh is ever optimistic, positive, faithful, and he’s all about eating and sleeping. Pleasure principle. Piglet (my kindred spirit) is anxious, fretful and tends to think catastrophically. Tigger is exuberant, daring, and reckless. Eeyore is melancholy, negative, and hopelessly blue. Kanga, Roo, Owl, and Rabbit have less distinct roles, but they embody motherly love, a child’s innocence, wisdom, and methodical planning. These are the parts of all of us we seek to integrate into a whole in our lives. Even the human friends of Christopher Robin show hints of these characters; you see, we humans are all of these things.
We can’t be all one thing all of the time; balance is essential for humans and for adults in particular. Pooh and his friends and the world they inhabit show us extremes of individual personalities so that we can gather them into a composite that is the adult experience.
It takes all of the Pooh friends to make things happen. Be it a party, an adventure, a challenge, or a loss, the different aspects of personality are necessary to achieve success and joy. To accomplish things, we need to work together. It’s so simple. So elegant. But so often forgotten in our busy adult lives.
Find your inner child.
Do you remember the part of you that believed in magic as a child? That loved your dolls as if they were living beings? That found joy in a simple balloon? Do you remember who you were before you started worrying about schedules and productivity and profit and mortgages? This movie speaks to that small child inside of you—yes, your inner child—who still wants to believe and run and jump and play. Tapping into it means tapping into parts of yourself that can elicit happiness in ways you may not even remember. It’s time to remember.
Go see Christopher Robin. Go with a child. Or go alone. Bring a tissue. It’s a journey into yourself. Truly.
And thank you, Christopher Robin. I’m following you and that balloon you hold through the Hundred Acre Wood for a tea party.
Purchase tickets to Christopher Robin on Fandango.