I loved The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh growing up. It was one of my favourite videos out of my Disney collection, and I'd play it over and over again. The concept of following Christopher Robin through his adventures with his friends in the 100 Acre Wood is timeless. I think this world of Christopher's reveals a lot about him and his childhood.
At the very beginning, we are in Christopher Robin's bedroom. It looks like a pleasant room, filled with toys and everything looks brand new and neat. There is nothing to suggest that Christopher is troubled, neglected, or suffering in any way. Accept for one clue.
"His best friend is a bear called Winnie the Pooh" says the narrator. This could suggest that Christopher Robin is a very small boy, but as the film progresses we know he is not. Christopher is old enough to go to school, and have friends of his own - yet Winnie the Pooh is his best friend. I think Christopher Robin has no friends, and maybe that's why his lovely room is cluttered - he spends a lot of time alone in "a wonderful land of make-believe" with his toys.
One of the first things you'll spot when watching this movie, is the spelling. There a lot of misspelled words, such as "HOWSE", "FRENDS", "RNIG" and letters are written backwards. This is odd, because Christopher is old enough to be able to spell these basic words. I don't think he's dyslexic, or thick, but Christopher Robin is a boy who doesn't concentrate in school. I think he is an introverted boy (which would explain his lack of "real" friends) who often daydreams. This would explain his poor spelling. I noticed that his bad spelling inconsistent; sometimes he spells house correctly - therefore I believe that Christopher Robin simply has a vivid imagination and often spends time thinking instead of concentrating on school. He is possibly very detached from the outside world and would rather spend time alone in his bedroom.
Winnie the Pooh's quest for honey
Almost ten minutes into the film and we see that Pooh Bear will do anything for honey. Honey is his favourite thing in the world. He's also brave and reckless, he climbs and falls down from a very tall tree just for some honey - it's no big deal to him. He also ends up in an unpleasant situation with several bees. Winnie the Pooh's character is what Christopher is looking for in a friend. He wants someone who is brave and wants an adventure. Pooh Bear will do a lot just to receive something good - is this a reflection on Christopher Robin? Does he seek happiness and pleasure and has to overcome obstacles to obtain it?
What's interesting is Pooh Bear's answer to the narrator when the latter says "And the first person he thought of was..."
"Winnie the Pooh?" says Pooh Bear with a smile.
"No!" the narrator laughs. "Christopher Robin."
Remember, we are in Christopher Robin's fantasy world inside his head. Pooh Bear mentions himself before Christopher Robin. This could be a snippet of Christopher's experience with people. Is he used to being last? And having people put themselves before him?
Christopher Robin's traits
The first we see of Christopher Robin is when he is putting Eeyore's tail back on, then he helps Winnie the Pooh obtain honey. It's a shame Christopher Robin has no friends - he would make a great friend! He's very imaginative and helpful. We can see from early on that he is a good and kind boy.
Without hesitation he helps Pooh Bear when the bees come. He holds his brolly up and tries to make it look like it's raining on Pooh Bear's request. I don't think Christopher ever questions others in the real world and just does as is asked. He's an obedient boy.
Rabbit and Kanga
Rabbit disapproves of Winnie the Pooh - for example he pretends that he's not in when Pooh Bear arrives at his home in search of honey. We can see that Pooh Bear comes across as greedy and selfish, helping himself to Rabbit's honey. There's even a voice in Christopher Robin's head that disapproves of the type of friend Pooh Bear is, yet he is Christopher's best friend. Maybe Christopher tends to be drawn in by reckless people who put themselves first, whether intentional or not.
Pooh Bear is not a bad character (I love him - he's my favourite) but he doesn't think. Yet Christopher does think - a lot - as we can tell from his imaginary world, and I think he has a hard time making friends in the real world because he clashes with the people he is drawn to. He wants a friend like Pooh Bear, but because of the way Christopher is, this is difficult. Maybe he's picky in his choice of friends, and his ideas of an ideal friend have been put into his toys because he has given up his search.
Rabbit is quite a neurotic character. Is Christopher Robin neurotic? Or does he know someone who is? I've often found people questioning Rabbit's gender on the internet - I believe most of the characters in Christopher's head are male like him, but Rabbit and Piglet are very feminine. Could Rabbit be based on Christopher's mother? Maybe she has disapproved of some of Christopher's choices in friends before? Christopher's mother could be a neurotic perfectionist that makes Christopher Robin quite isolated, and maybe some of her specific ideas on the world around her have rubbed off on her son, hence his difficulty in finding friendship. Rabbit is definitely a perfectionist, or wants control; he does not like chaos. For example he tries to make Pooh Bear's bum look neat when he is stuck in Rabbit's doorway. Another example of this is when he is trying to stop Pooh Bear from eating honey.
I think Rabbit may resemble something in Christopher Robin though. What makes me think this is Kanga. She is the only female in the story and she is a mother. Christopher Robin is a privileged boy - he has a nice room and lots of toys. I think Kanga is far more likely to represent Christopher's mother. I find it easier to imagine Christopher's mom as someone who is a very motherly person that encourages Christopher Robin to be himself. She just wants him to be happy.
All of the characters from The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh could be put under the microscope for clues, but I'm most interested in Eeyore. Why is he so miserable and pessimistic? I think he could represent Christopher's sadness, and further supports my theory that he has no friends. But I admire Christopher Robin. He is always optimistic and kind to Eeyore, and never agrees with him but encourages him to be happy. I think this shows another aspect of Christopher's personality - he is an optimistic person that doesn't like to be blue. I think this is a really sweet trait to have, especially for a child.
Who is Christopher Robin?
Christopher Robin is a kind, sensitive, obedient, selfless and optimistic boy - but may be slightly neurotic under stress, and without his toys he would be a sad boy who has no friends. I think he sometimes feels sad about school and his lack of friends, but most of the time he is a happy boy who likes to daydream, and his imagination runs wild even at school when he should be concentrating. Well guess what Christopher Robin, this won't last forever - it gets better! If you were real, I'd tell you that you are only young and there is plenty of opportunity to make lots of friends - and keep dreaming. That imagination of yours is a gift, and I'd love to have friends like the adorable, brave, and generous Pooh Bear or Piglet, but most of all, I think anyone would be very lucky to have a friend like you!
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