It is an understatement to say Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, and all the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood are fiercely loved by both young and old. I was OBSESSED with Winnie the Pooh as a toddler; my grandmother used to tell me tales about how I would get up at the buttcrack of dawn, creep into her room and shove my battered Winnie the Pooh VCR tapes in her face and crow “TIME TO WATCH POOH BEAR!”
Winnie the Pooh (1926) author A.A. Milne drew inspiration from his son Christopher Robin Milne (called Billy by his parents) and his beloved stuffed animals for his books, but there is a dark side to being used as the basis for a beloved character. Christopher despised being the inspiration for the fictional Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh books, and became estranged from his father as an adult.
Goodbye Christopher Robin, directed by Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn, Woman in Gold) and starring Domhnall Gleeson (Brooklyn), Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wall Street) and Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire) delves into the early relationship between the Milne father and son against the backdrop of a scarred and still healing post-World War I Britain. It’s a good trailer, albeit very British twee, sepia-toned and calibrated to pluck at one’s heartstrings, but is still genuinely affecting, especially for Pooh bear fans. The film’s poster further twists the knife in this troubled father/son relationship. It echoes the iconic Winnie the Pooh and Piglet illustration, with A.A. Milne as Pooh and his son as Piglet - ouch.
The biopic is being released October 13, 2017, wearing its awards intentions on its sleeve. Interestingly, there is another Winnie the Pooh/Christopher Robin adjacent film also in development. Disney is making Christopher Robin, where Christopher Robin, played by Ewan McGregor is revisited by his Hundred Acre Woods pals as an adult to revitalize his sense of imagination. Both films would make for a truly fascinating double feature.