Disclosure: I attended a complimentary screening of “Goodbye Christopher Robin” for purposes of review. All opinions are my own.
I don’t think there’s a person out there in America that hasn’t heard of Winnie the Pooh. I’ve loved the books and cartoon since I was a child in the 80’s, and it was my daughter’s nursery theme back in 2005. I’ve also had a sense of kinship to Winnie the Pooh, as my last name is Appoo, pronounced Ah-pooh. In addition to Pooh, who doesn’t love Eeyore, Tigger, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo, and of course, little Piglet. Winnie the Pooh is still as loved and as popular today as he was when he was introduced by A.A. Milne in the 1920’s.
Although you’ve heard of Winnie and his friends, I bet you’ve never heard the story of the real Christopher Robin, known as Billy. Christopher Robin and his family were swept up in the international success of the books. But along with that success and fame, came a price to pay. Christopher Robin actually loses much of his childhood, the very thing that was supposed to be cherished and celebrated by the Winnie the Pooh tales, as he is thrust into the limelight.
The movie touched me personally as a blogger. Although I try to keep my daughter out of the limelight, with the exception of photos, I can see how her childhood has been affected. Granted, we’ve had the opportunity to travel, see and do things specifically because of blogging, it has been a surreal experience at times.
Whenever we go to amazing places, readers, family and friends all comment how lucky we are. What they don’t see is my daughter not being a carefree tween. Sometimes she’s grumpy because I’ve taken a dozen photos of her in front of the same tourist attraction. Sometimes I’m on my phone editing photos, writing captions, and sharing across multiple media channels and not paying attention to her. I missed things she’s tried to tell me or show me because I’m engrossed in “working” while on “vacation”. So her childhood isn’t a typical childhood.
Then of course, there are those bloggers who get personal about their kids. I recently started blogging, so I didn’t blog about potty training and other topics that may seem embarrassing to kids later on. As a tween, I’ve got stories I could share that are definitely embarrassing – but I have to tow that line. What’s more important, respecting my child’s wishes or trying to get as many likes as I can on a post?
Goodbye Christopher Robin is a timely movie, as we live in a digital age where Snapchat and Instagram prevail, sometimes at the cost of our children’s privacy. Being a blogger, or just a regular parent in this age of social media, we have to be careful what we share about our kids. Not just for their safety but to give them the respect we would want. Their stories aren’t always ours to share. It’s theirs if they choose to. And we have to really think is that post worth it.
We will forever be grateful for the Winnie the Pooh stories, but now we know that it wasn’t a “sweet as honey” story. It’s actually very bittersweet.
“GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN gives a rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin (Will Tilston), whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh. Along with his mother Daphne (Margot Robbie), and his nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald), Christopher Robin and his family are swept up in the international success of the books; the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War. But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family?”