Parents' Guide to

Christopher Robin

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Sweet but slow tale about the power of family, imagination.

Movie PG 2018 104 minutes
Christopher Robin Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 56 parent reviews

age 6+

Cute movie, and a GOOD plotline and message

Ewan and Hayley did so well in making this movie come alive. There were some brief war scenes, but besides that it was very kid-appropriate; the WHOLE family should watch this!
age 13+

BEWARE the Heffa-flop!

We took our two children (5 and 8) to the movie theatre to see Christopher Robin. We, in no way, felt this was a family or children’s movie because of the strictly adult themes such as: remember your childhood, remember how to play, choose family over work, etc. No child can relate to Christopher Robin. The storyline starts out depressing as Pooh and his friends are throwing a goodbye party for Christopher Robin as he “leaves his childhood” and you’re hit smack with the narrator stating, “There comes a time when everyone leaves their childhood.” How depressing for a child to hear…. Christopher Robin is then sent away from his family (upset my 8-year-old) to go to a boarding school, is in trouble for drawing pictures of his friends, and you watch his happiness disintegrate over his lifetime as he grows up. (spoiler alert) His dad passes away, though you don’t see how, thankfully. He is then sent to war and misses the first three years of his daughter’s life, so you see his lonely wife and daughter while he’s at war. There are some fight scenes that feel intense. The cinematography focuses on muted, sad colors for 99% of the film as you can see in the preview. It doesn’t get light or cheerful looking, so go with your gut instinct on the preview. Even Robin’s daughter is depressed throughout the entire movie as she learns from her dad that “nothing comes from nothing” and sets her mind that work is best, not play. He neglects his family throughout the entire movie except for literally the last ten minutes, perhaps. Once his wife has enough, you can tell she’s considering divorce and then encourages her daughter to go play. Who doesn’t love a family movie based on a crumbling family dynamic?! You barely spend time with any of the characters beyond Pooh and Eeyore. The rest are in some scenes, but no plot building or character bonding. Pooh has beady, lifeless eyes and Tigger has drab, sun-bleached fur. The main characters spend the majority of their time bickering, scared, confused, sad, angry or lost. Even the scenes with Pooh are not cheerful as Christopher is constantly correcting, admonishing and irritated by him. It was quite sad to watch Christopher shoving Pooh away to go back into his Hundred Acre Wood world all alone again.…. He wasn’t even delighted to see Pooh. He never was cheerful or said, “I’m so happy to see you!” He just thought he was crazy and was angry that Pooh was there interrupting his horrible world. Christopher Robin is VERY stressed throughout the entire film except for maybe the last ten minutes, but I’m not sure because we left at the last 15 minutes. My eldest kept saying that she was waiting and waiting and waiting for the action to start. It never did and never does. It’s just his miserable life and, I gather, he only discovers his happiness in the last 10 minutes. Not worth an entire movie of depressing for less than ten minutes of happy…. And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s a lovely scene where Pooh asks, “Did you let me go?” because Robin had said it’s too painful to make friends in case he has to let them go. And Robin says, “Yes, I suppose I did.” And Pooh disappears. That says “Family Movie” right??? Just because there’s Pooh in the movie, no cussing, some violence (war scenes), and a crumbling family dynamic does not mean that a family or even children will enjoy this movie. My children had no interest in this movie very quickly, and I’m so thankful that we were able to get a refund. My children were quite depressed after the movie. And honestly, my husband and I felt the same way. – BIG WARNING – The previews BEFORE the movie are of children’s horror with R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps….. So, first your kids will be terrified, then when Christopher Robin comes on they’ll be depressed.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (56 ):
Kids say (60 ):

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.

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