As I was driving Bella to practice the other day, the subject of movies came up. Specifically Winnie the Pooh movies. She said that there is a new one and I told her I had already seen it and didn’t like it at all. On my flight to Salt Lake City a couple weeks ago, I was able to watch Goodbye Christopher Robin. Very traumatizing and so sad. I grew up with Pooh but it was the Disney version, not the original. I had a couple of the books by AA Milne but don’t really remember reading them. I did not know the story behind the books at all. Now I do. As always, I am interested in the behind the scenes secrets but in this case it was not a happy discovery.
For me, Pooh embodies all that is happy and good.
If you haven’t seen the movie, here is a short clip that tells a bit about the story.
Goodbye Christopher Robin Featurette (watch on Amazon)
Is it really true?
I needed to know. Is this really a true story? I dug around online and found that as with most Hollywood projects based on a true story, the answer is complicated. Some parts of the story were exaggerated for effect and other parts left out. The good news is it’s not as bad as you think based on the movie. The bad news is it’s not nearly as good as you would expect based on the stories AA Milne wrote about Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, and the rest of the Hundred Acre Wood. Christopher Robin Milne wrote his own autobiography entitled The Enchanted Places which tells his side of the story.
Updated to add that I recently found a podcast episode that explores the movie in depth and tells which parts of the story are true and which are not. You can read more at the Based On A True Story podcast website or you can just listen to the podcast!
What about the other new Winnie the Pooh movie?
I figured out Goodbye Christopher Robin is not the movie she was talking about. There’s a new one coming out this year and Bella is sure I’ll like it. I looked online to find a trailer and she’s right. I’ll probably like it. The voice actor for Pooh in this movie is Jim Cummings, the second voice of Pooh. The original voice of Pooh was Sterling Holloway who passed away in 1992. The fact that this is a Disney movie and it has one of the original voices cast for Pooh are both good signs. It is not a true story. However, it is a Disney story about my main bear so I’m all in! I found a trailer for the new Christopher Robin movie. Check it out.
Ahh… that looks like a much better story about Christopher Robin and Pooh!
And in case you, like me, can never have enough Winnie the Pooh in your life, here’s an extended sneak peek to tide you over until you get a chance to see the whole movie.
Where it all started for me
Pooh has been with me almost my entire life. He was handmade by my Godmother and given to me when I was 2 years old. As you can see in the pictures he is well-loved and most likely real (just like the Velveteen Rabbit!). He has been laundered, stitched, re-clothed (I remember sewing a new red shirt for him many years ago with my kid-size sewing machine), and had his face repainted endless times. When I was in high school, Pooh fell out of bed one night and my new puppy chewed him up while I slept. I was heartbroken when I woke up and saw Pooh shredded across the floor. I thought maybe it was a sign I was old enough and should give him up but I just couldn’t do it. I spent the entire morning alternating between death glares at the dog, tears, and stitches until finally I had him pieced back together. One leg is shorter than the other now but his shirt covers most of the damage. Honestly, I’m not sure if there are even any original stitches left at this point after more than 40 years together! We are part of each other and will be together always.
More truth about where Winnie came from
I recently discovered the story about the bear behind the bear. Click over to read about Winnipeg, the Canadian bear that inspired A.A. Milne to create his Winnie the Pooh stories.
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Websites visited while writing this story:
History vs Hollywood – more in-depth research into how much of the Goodbye CR movie is true
Wikipedia page about Christopher Robin Milne
Also, there are lots of good research links at the Based On a True Story podcast page.