Christopher Robin

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Christopher Robin Movie Poster Image
Sweet but slow tale about the power of family, imagination.
  • PG
  • 2018
  • 104 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 40 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 18 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Younger viewers will learn more about Winnie the Pooh characters and a fictionalized depiction of the years in which the characters lived. Older kids and teens will understand that paid vacations/time off weren't always granted to middle- and working-class employees, and that only the rich traveled for leisure.

Positive Messages

Sweet, positive messages about the value of play, relaxation ("doing nothing"), and connecting with family. Being present for life and finding work-life balance are major themes of the story, as is the power of childlike imagination. Christopher Robin remembers to be grateful for everything he has in his life. There's also a clear message at the end of the movie about why everyone, not just the rich, deserves time off to enjoy the countryside, nature, or just time with their families.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Christopher is overworked/stressed but eventually remembers how to spend more time with his family and friends and be grateful for all parts of his life. Pooh, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo, Tigger, and even Eeyore all love one another and Christopher Robin, too, no matter how old/serious he gets. Evelyn and Madeline just want more time with their husband/father. They're supportive, encouraging, and kind. Notable diversity among supporting characters (especially for post-WWII England).

Violence & Scariness

Early in the movie, young Christopher Robin's father dies (not shown, but there's sadness/a funeral). Brief World War II-era scenes show soldiers at war (guns, an explosion, non-graphic wounds) and Evelyn listening to a radio broadcast about war, projected casualties. Lots of physical comedy: falling/slipping/tripping, things bonking characters on the head. Eeyore says "My bum hurts." Some yelling/arguing. Christopher Robin falls, is knocked out; he has a scary dream of being underwater and seeing a monster. Pooh, other animals are incredibly frightened by idea of monsters (heffalumps, woozles, etc.); in a few scenes, their fear is underlined by tense music/cinematography that could frighten younger/more sensitive kids. Christopher Robin acts out a big fight with the "monsters." It's sad when Pooh can't find his friends and the animals say goodbye to and then miss Christopher Robin. A taxi has a minor crash; animals fly through the air and hit a car windshield (they're unharmed).

Sexy Stuff

A couple embraces, dances, and shares a kiss.

Language

Pooh calls himself a "bear of very little brain," and, in anger, adult Christopher Robin says he is one. Christopher Robin also calls Winslow a "woozle." Other words/phrases/exclamations include "good heavens," "what the devil," "codswallop," "cracked," "cripes," and "lost his marbles."

Consumerism

Nothing on camera, but there's plenty of Winnie the Pooh merchandise available.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Christopher Robin stars Ewan McGregor as an overworked, grown-up version of the main character from A.A. Milne's classic books. He's all but forgotten his animal pals, until one day Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings) ends up in London, and a new adventure begins. This heartwarming, family-friendly story serves as a sequel to the beloved Winnie the Pooh tales that have entertained generations. It's about as clean and sweet as movies get these days, but there are brief, early scenes of Christopher Robin mourning his father's death and fighting in WWII (guns and an explosion are seen, and wounds are implied). He also has a scary dream while knocked out after a fall, and there are a few tense sequences related to the animals' fear of heffalumps and woozles. Expect lots of physical comedy involving the animals tripping and falling and wreaking minor havoc. There's a strong theme of being grateful for your life/those you love, as well as the importance of compassion, teamwork, play, friendship, imagination, and parent-child relationships.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bylawmumma August 2, 2018

A Perfect, Happy, Joyful Movie

This movie is perfection. Not loud, not too fast. It relishes quiet, simplicity, and the joys of childhood. It has many laugh out loud moments for kids and adul... Continue reading
Parent of a 15 year old Written byprincesssnowfla... August 4, 2018

A beautiful and wise movie is aimed at grown ups

Cristopher Robin is a beautiful sensitive wise and family friendly movie that is so rare nowadays. It's definitely charming and is worth seeing for...paren... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byEnoch August 3, 2018

Astounding and nostalgic!

This film was brilliant! I grew up with the characters and "spoilers" when pooh was talking about hephalumps, i started to cry especially when he said... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old August 5, 2018

fun!

You should watch this movie. There are animals that talk. The characters are active (Tigger is bouncy ), understanding (Winnie asks lots of questions ), and fr... Continue reading

What's the story?

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN is a live-action sequel to A.A. Milne's classic Winnie the Pooh stories, following a grown-up Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) who hasn't thought about his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood in decades. But then Winnie (voiced by Jim Cummings) mysteriously shows up asking for help finding Tigger (Cummings), Kanga (Sophie Okonedo), Roo (Sara Sheen), Owl (Toby Jones), Piglet (Nick Mohammed), Rabbit (Peter Capaldi), and Eeyore (Brad Garrett) -- all of whom seem to have disappeared from the wood. Christopher, it's clear, hasn't been very playful in ages. He's too busy trying to save the luggage company he manages to spend time with his wife, Evelyn (Hayley Atwell), and their young daughter, Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). But when Pooh turns up, Christopher Robin realizes that he must return him to the Hundred Acre Wood and somehow make it back to London in time for an important meeting. The reunion between adult Christopher Robin and his childhood pals is life-changing, as well as humorously chaotic.

Is it any good?

Like Pooh himself, this family dramedy is cozy, cuddly, and sweet, if not particularly nuanced or brisk. Entertaining voice performances bolster the live-action cast's take on the grown-up Christopher Robin, who's too tightly wound in his adult responsibilities to see that his wife and daughter are desperate for his laughter and presence. The plot takes a while to kick into gear, but once it does, audiences will surely enjoy the parts featuring Pooh and the rest of the gang, who are all each as we remember them from the books/movies. Earnest and kind, Pooh might call himself "a bear of very little brain," but viewers know that what counts isn't his smarts but his tremendous heart, which is full of love, joy, curiosity, and compassion. And director Marc Forster emphasizes the idea that not a lot has to happen for you to feel something, deeply, in a character-driven movie. The movie is fairly simple, and that seems to be the point (though you'll be forgiven if you catch yourself wondering exactly when the story is going to really kick in).

There's a lesson for all overworked moviegoers as Christopher returns to his childhood play space and rediscovers his close friends, who've missed him for decades. (Though if it takes a fuzzy bear to make you realize that stressing about work without a break will negatively impact your personal/family life, you really need some paid time off.) For a movie set in England shortly after World War II, Christopher Robin is notably diverse, without comment; it's gratifying -- and important -- to see supporting characters played by people of color, even if at that time it's unlikely there would have been such an integrated work force. Cummings, Okonedo, Capaldi, and the rest of the voice actors are all in sync with their characters; Garrett is particularly well cast as the grumpy Eeyore. But ultimately the movie belongs to McGregor and Cummings, who, as Christopher Robin and Pooh, form the bonded duo of boy and bear that fans will be eager to see back together again.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the character strengths on display in Christopher Robin. Who exemplifies the importance of teamwork, compassion, and gratitude?

  • What are the movie's messages about professional vs. personal life? Do you agree? What does "balance" mean to you/your family?

  • Winnie the Pooh fans: Did you like the depiction of an older Christopher Robin and his animal friends? Were the characters true to their personalities from the classic books?

  • Why is imaginative play important? How does the movie portray the need to step away from work, whether you're an adult or a student?

Movie details

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