The story behind the great literary creation
DVD: Goodbye Christopher Robin
Runtime: 103 minutes
Age restriction: PG
Special Features: Commentary by Simon Curtis and Frank Cottrell-Boyce; A walk in the woods; Healing a nation; A.A. Milne; Hello Billy Moon; Daphne Milne; The story; Christopher Robin and his nanny Olive; Gallery; Theatrical trailer.
Reviewed by: Gareth Drawbridge
Review made possible by: Times New Media
A majority of children and adults across the world are familiar with Winnie-the-Pooh, the loveable albeit dim-witted bear with a heart of gold. Since he first came to life in 1926, Pooh Bear and his friends, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo, have delighted readers of all ages. However, behind the innocence and the laughter echoing around the Hundred Acre Wood was a man haunted by his past.
The life of Winnie-the-Pooh’s creator, A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson), and his relationship with his son, Christopher Robin (Will Tilston), is explored in the biographical drama Goodbye Christopher Robin.
After returning home from ‘the war to end all wars’, Alan Alexander Milne finds himself suffering from shell shock. Unable to adjust, he is restless and feels unable to connect with his wife, Daphne (Margot Robbie). Milne also battles to resume writing the plays he is well-known for.
After the birth of their son, Christopher Robin, Milne decides to uproot the family and move to the country in the hope that it will inspire him.
Despite Daphne’s reservations, they relocate, along with Christopher’s nanny, Olive (Kelly Macdonald) and the scene is set for what will become one of the greatest literary works ever created.
While still struggling to write his book opposing war, Milne reluctantly takes a walk in the wooded acreage by their house with his son. These walks soon become a regular occurrence and during this time, Milne starts making up stories about Christopher Robin and his stuffed animals.
Working closely with illustrator Ernest H Shepard (Stephen Campbell Moore), Milne soon puts the finishing touches to the Winnie-the-Pooh books.
Upon publication the books are an international success, but the characters’ growing popularity throws young Christopher Robin into the unmerciful public spotlight.
While Daphne embraces their celebrity status, the fame, the constant public appearances and the unrelenting public adoration soon begin taking a toll on her son.
In an effort to help Christopher Robin, Olive appeals to his parents and Milne agrees to stop writing the books. Unfortunately the damage is done and Christopher Robin is left dealing with his own form of shell shock as a result of the books’ phenomenal success.
Over the years Milne and his son soon grow apart but the outbreak of the Second World War forces them to confront their pasts.
Inspired by a true story, Goodbye Christopher Robin is a touching film about the creation of Winnie-the-Pooh and the darkness behind the rays of light shining through the trees of the Hundred Acre Wood. Directed by Simon Curtis, this is a moving film and highly recommended for fans of Winnie-the-Pooh who are interested in discovering the story behind Pooh-Bear’s adventures.
Goodbye Christopher Robin is now available on DVD.