Goodbye Christopher Robin
Not recommended under 12, parental guidance recommended 12 to 15 due to disturbing scenes and themes.
This topic contains:
- overall comments and recommendations
- details of classification and consumer advice lines for Goodbye Christopher Robin
- a review of Goodbye Christopher Robin completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 November 2017.
Overall comments and recommendations
|Children under 12||Not recommended due to disturbing scenes and themes|
|Children aged 12 to 15||Parental guidance recommended due to disturbing scenes and themes|
|Viewers 15 and over||OK for this age group|
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:||Goodbye Christopher Robin|
|Consumer advice lines:||Mild themes|
This review of the movie contains the following information:
- a synopsis of the story
- use of violence
- material that may scare or disturb children
- product placement
- sexual references
- nudity and sexual activity
- use of substances
- coarse language
- the movie’s message
Goodbye Christopher Robin is an historical drama, set just after WW1, which tells how the much loved Winnie the Pooh books by AA. Milne were created. Alan Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) returns from the battlefields of WWI, traumatised and suffering from shell shock. He attempts to return to his career as a playwright in London but has difficulty adapting. He takes his wife Daphne (Margot Robbie) and their new baby son, Christopher Robin, to the country for peace and quiet. Daphne is portrayed as an ambitious socialite who loves partying and who delegates the bringing up of her son to a nanny called Olive (Kelly MacDonald) or Nou as Christopher Robin calls her. Daphne, at one point, leaves Alan and Christopher Robin (Will Tilston), who is called Billy Moon by his parents, to return to London.
Christopher Robin is an inquisitive and imaginative child who loves playing with his animal toys. He is distraught when Nou has to leave to attend her dying mother. Alan and Billy are left alone and it is during this period that the two actually bond. Alan takes Billy into his woods and the two play games, which inspire the writing of the Winnie the Pooh books.
Unfortunately Christopher Robin is the boy in the stories, and he is thrown into the public eye much against Nou’s advice. Daphne, however, is quite pleased with the media attention and Christopher Robin has to attend many public receptions and meet many fans. Christopher Robin grows up to resent this attention and the theft of his childhood, and when he reaches the age of 17, he goes off to fight in WWII.
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.
War and the effects of war; childhood; the loss of childhood
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:
- A brief scene of a battlefield with bombs exploding and dead soldiers lying in the trenches.
- On a few occasions, Alan reacts badly to loud sounds and bright flashing lights. One time he yells at Christopher Robin and Nou to get away from him. Another time when Christopher Robin playfully jumps on his back, Alan responds by nearly strangling the child.
- Alan tells Christopher Robin not to hold his knife and fork pointing up in case someone falls from above, is impaled, and ‘bleeds out all over his breakfast’.
- Christopher Robin is bullied at school and pushed down the stairs several times – the boys chant ‘Nobody cares, nobody cares when Christopher Robin got thrown down the stairs’.
Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.
Children in this age group are likely to be scared by the violent scenes described above
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:
- Christopher Robin is distraught when Nou has to leave for a while. He throws his toys and cries and yells at her.
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.
In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:
- Daphne is heard screaming and obviously in much pain during childbirth. At first she rejects the baby and is seen crying. She mentions several times that giving birth to Christopher Robin almost killed her.
- Nou meets a man whom she later marries and Christopher Robin is jealous of him. He thinks no one loves him.
- Nou resigns from her post, which really upsets Christopher Robin.
- Christopher Robin is sent off to boarding school shortly after this and feels abandoned.
- Nou is terribly upset when Alan visits her with the news that Christopher Robin is probably dead.
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.
Younger children in this age group could be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes
Nothing of concern
Alan and Daphne kiss on a couple of occasions, once in bed.
There is some use of substances in this movie, including:
- Quite a bit of drinking and smoking at social events, at home and at parties.
There is some mild coarse language in this movie, including:
- "for God’s sake"; "damn"
Goodbye Christopher Robin is a beautifully filmed, nostalgic historical drama. Set in the glorious English countryside, it is visually attractive. The movie however, deals with some intense subjects such as post-traumatic stress disorder, father – son relationships, neglect and sadness. It is therefore, not a children’s movie but more targeted to an adult audience. The film is not recommended for children under 12 and parental guidance is recommended for the 12 to 15 age group.
The main message from this movie is that the most important thing for children is their parents’ love and time spent with them.
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of communicating how you feel. Why was it so hard for Christopher Robin’s parents to show any affection? They obviously loved him but were unable to hug or cuddle him at all. The only hugs came from Nou.
Tip: Leave out the first A, An or The
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