Australian Council on Children and the Media

Christopher Robin

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Not recommended under 5, parental guidance recommended to 7 due to a brief war scene and some other scary scenes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Christopher Robin
  • a review of Christopher Robin completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 September 2018.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to scary scenes
Children aged 5 to 7 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes
Children 7 and over OK for this group, although it may lack interest for older viewers who are not familiar with the characters.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Christopher Robin
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes
Length 104 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Christopher Robin (Orton O’Brien) sadly says goodbye to his Hundred Acre Wood friends when he is sent to boarding school.

As an adult, Christopher (Ewan McGregor) meets and marries Evelyn (Hayley Atwell). He  has to leave, however, to fight in the war and doesn’t get to meet his daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael) till some years later. When he returns home, he starts to work for the Winslow Luggage Company. The economy is very poor after the war and Winslows are looking at any ways to save money. Christopher Robin is overcome by the pressures of work and finds little time to spend with his family. While pondering the ways of cutting costs, Christopher unexpectedly meets his old friend Winnie the Pooh (voice of Jim Cummings) in a London park.

Christopher Robin can’t understand how Winnie the Pooh found his way to London but realises he must take him back to the Hundred Acre Wood. There he finds the woods rather desolate and all of his old friends are nowhere to be seen. He eventually finds them hiding from the heffalumps. Christopher Robin has to save them from their fears and at the same time saves himself from the dull person he has become.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Childhood and adulthood; play and fun; war

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • At boarding school, a teacher slams a cane down on Christopher Robin’s desk.
  • There is a brief war scene where an explosion blows up some buildings setting them on fire and soldiers are seen hurt by the explosion, falling to the ground.
  • Christopher Robin gets angry with Winnie the Pooh and yells at him.
  • Christopher Robin has a fight with imaginary heffalumps, attacking them with his umbrella and spearing them with a broken weather vane.
  • Madeline gets upset and knocks everything off her desk.
  • A taxi driver crashes his cab into a shop front.
  • The animals are all in a suitcase on the back of a truck where they get bounced around. The suitcase falls off the truck and is dragged along behind it with the animals inside. They crash into objects along the way. The truck crashes into a pole and the animals all fly out of the suitcase and land on the windscreen of the car being driven by Evelyn and Christopher Robin.

More slapstick and comical violence includes:

  • Winnie the Pooh falls down the stairs
  • A phonogram speaker falls on Winnie the Pooh’s head and Christopher Robin has to shake him out of it.
  • Winnie the Pooh creates a huge mess in the kitchen and causes the shelves to crash down, breaking everything on them.
  • Winnie the Pooh accidentally knocks a man down.
  • Eeyore gets catapulted off a roof and lands with his head in a bucket.
  • Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger all fall down an embankment.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Winnie the Pooh is alone in the woods and can’t find any of his friends. He looks scared and lonely. The woods are foggy and scary looking.
  • Winnie the Pooh enters a cottage on his own. It’s dark inside and he’s afraid.
  • Winnie the Pooh gets lost in a London station. He doesn’t like the noise and the crowds.
  • Christopher Robin gets stuck inside a small door.
  • Christopher Robin tells Winnie the Pooh that a ‘woozel’ will eat him for breakfast.
  • The animals are scared by the sound of what they think are heffalumps. It turns out to be a broken weather vane.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Soldiers returning from the war are shown with bandages on their heads. Christopher Robin has his arm in a sling.
  • Christopher Robin falls into a trap – a large hole in the ground. Thunder and rain start and Christopher tries to climb out but falls down, knocking himself out. He dreams he’s underwater with Winnie the Pooh and sees something scary. He screams and wakes himself up finding himself lying in the hole full of water.
  • Eeyore is floating on his back down a river. He says he’s headed for the waterfall and that no-one will care anyway. Eeyore is a rather depressive character and this sounds rather grim. On another occasion he says that he’s already at the bottom.
  • Madeline catches a train to London by herself with the animals. She finds her way around London on her own.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Sexual references

Nothing of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • A company manager says ‘we’re stuffed’.
  • blast; shit; What the devil; bum

In a nutshell

Christopher Robin is a Disney family movie but with some brief scary scenes. The mixture of real life and animated animals is quite realistic and children will love to see their favourite book animals come to life. Older children who are not familiar with the animal characters may not be interested, but many adults may enjoy it for its nostalgia value. Winnie the Pooh is the hero in this movie who, having been looked after and rescued many times by Christopher Robin when he was young, now comes to rescue Christopher Robin. It is quite a gentle film but there are some scenes which make it unsuitable for the very young.

The main messages from this movie are that it’s important to make time for those you love and that although work is necessary, it shouldn’t take a priority over family.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • team work
  • the importance of friendship
  • the importance of play
  • loyalty
  • care and compassion

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Why is Eeyore always so gloomy? What can be done to help him?

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