Last night I watched the movie, “Goodbye Christopher Robin”. I thought I’d watch it first and see if it was appropriate to show my grandchildren, to whom I have recently introduced the poems and stories of A.A. Milne.
This is NOT a children’s movie. Instead, it is a touching and heart-wrenching story of a man haunted by the ravages of war and suffering from PTSD. A man trying to find happiness again while running from the bombs he still hears in his head long after the First World War ends.
Alan Alexander Milne was a fellow who stumbled on precious moments here and there when he was able to escape real life and delve into remarkable adventures with his young son, Christopher. Together they discovered a magical place bringing stuffed animals to life and filled with wonderous imagery that can only be conjured up by the innocence of a child. This movie tells a gut-wrenching story revealing much more than I ever knew about the author whose books I have cherished and read to countless children over the years.
My copies of Milne’s poems and Winnie the Pooh stories are from my own childhood collection. (Reprinted from the 1926 originals and were given to me in the mid 1950’s.) Yes, my own well-loved books graced my shelves for decades and then sat in my classroom for 36 years so my students could enjoy and delight in their magic. And they currently are back where they belong… with me, on my shelves once again, to love and cherish for as long I am able to delight in them.
My grandchildren read them to me when they visit. They too have fallen under the spell of Christopher Robin and Winnie just like I did.( And like children all around the world after WWI.)
If you want to see an excellent film I highly recommend this one. I shed a lot of tears, but then it may have touched me in particular because of my connection to children’s literature and the incredible world of Winnie the Pooh. Such wonderful stories that got me through the 1950’s, and enchanted my own children, and now my grandchildren.
In the mid 1970’s I remember sketching out figures of all the characters from the Hundred Acre Woods and painting them around the bottom of my son’s bedroom wall when he was little. I even used colored contact paper for their clothing. That way, each day when he awoke, he could see Winnie and his friends there to greet him.
I personally found this film extremely touching and also quite sad. It reminded me just how damaging war is to those young people who are in the middle of battle, and how society just goes on and simply ignores the inner turmoil our veterans are feeling when they return home. A poignant statement.
If you get a chance. Check it out.