melancholy

What Is the Grimmest Moment in the New Christopher Robin?

Disney’s Christopher Robin is a kids’ movie built around a crater of despair, like a small tourist town that has grown up around the impact of a meteor. In her review, Vulture’s Emily Yoshida described it as “one of the more sadistic family films I have ever seen,” as it depicts Pooh and his ragged compatriots wasting away in exile as Christopher Robin grows up, goes to war, and tries to forget about them and focus on his job as an efficiency expert.

Of course, Pooh eventually creeps back into Christopher’s life and gets him to enjoy it and reconnect with his daughter — but not before Christopher Robin forces its audiences to face the realities of aging and capitalism, and also the fantastic terrors posed by Heffalumps. Up until everything resolves itself, there are 100 acres of grim, dark feelings to trudge through in Marc Forster’s movie, which is really like Paddington for people who think about death too much. What is the saddest thing about Christopher Robin? There are so many options to choose from, we had to break them down.

The part where young Christopher Robin leaves the 100 Acre Wood.
Rating: 3 Eeyores out of 5.
Just to punch you in the gut real quick, the movie begins with an elaborate tea party for Christopher Robin’s departure from the 100 Acre Wood, since he has to go grow up and act like an adult British man and repress all his emotions. The teacakes and honey look very tasty but everything else is… bittersweet.

The montage where Christopher Robin grows up.
Rating: 4 Eeyores out of 5.
Once Christopher Robin leaves, almost immediately he gets sent to a boarding school (terrible, of course), his dad dies (even worse), he falls in love with underutilized screen talent Hayley Atwell (that’s nice), gets sent to World War II (bad, obviously), and ends up stuck in an office job (also bad, but in a different way).

The part where Christopher Robin hates his life.
Rating: 2 Eeyores out of 5.
Our hero works for a fancy luggage company that’s trying to make cuts, because people simply do not buy enough fancy luggage. He works too hard and ignores his very sweet daughter and wife, which is understandable, but rude. This is all sad, but so is all adult life, so we can’t say it’s heartbreaking or anything (plus, like we said, not everyone gets to have a super-sweet British daughter who somehow isn’t creepy at all).

The part where Christopher Robin goes back to the 100 Acre Wood and it’s terrible.
Rating: 4 Eeyores out of 5.
While his family’s off on vacation without him (already sad!), Christopher Robin runs into Pooh, who makes him come back to the 100 Acre Wood because everything has gone wrong there. When they get to the fantasy land (by going through a tree, of course), it’s misty, and empty, and creepy. Imagine your own childhood dreamscape turned to desolation — it’s enough to make you have nightmares about letting your parents get rid of your stuffed animals.

The part where Pooh disappears.
Rating: 5 Eeyores out of 5.
Christopher Robin, a serious businessman, gets fed up with Pooh’s ramblings and yells at him and tells him he wishes Pooh had never come back, and then, as if the fact Christopher remembered Pooh was all that was holding him together, the bear suddenly disappears. This equates forgetting your childhood imaginary friend to homicide. Just something to think about.

The Heffalumps.
Rating: Not sad, just scary.
I don’t care if they’re not real, I heard the creepy howling and shivered in my seat.

Everything involving Eeyore.
Rating: I have to give him all the Eeyores, obviously, but it’s not as sad as Pooh disappearing.
Eeyore speaks in the depressive language familiar to anyone on the internet, where sadness is also a kind of humor, and predicting that everything will end badly is also funny. Whenever he says something, you will think, “same,” and then wonder if you have gotten too comfortable with the commodification of sadness. Anyway, same.

The part where Pooh’s plan to save Christopher Robin fails.
Rating: 2 Eeyores out of 5.
Instead of helping Christopher Robin, Pooh’s attempt to return his very important work documents to him in London goes spectacularly wrong when they end up being scattered to the wind! This is sad, but you understand that it is a plot point that will be resolved soon, so it’s not too sad. Plus, Pooh gets to meet Christopher’s daughter and wife who adjust to the whole talking stuffed animal thing really fast, so that’s happy.

The part where Christopher Robin wins but then you realize his whole argument is predicated on playing into the system and maybe so is this movie and maybe there is no escape.
Rating: 3 Eeyores out of 5.
Spoiler alert: Christopher Robin’s plan to save his job ends up being that his very rich boss should give everyone at his company paid vacation, because then he can also sell them luggage. On the one hand, this is a big win for their general happiness and a takedown of the man. On the other, it’s still pitched in terms of making money for the wealthy guy in a movie from a big corporation that wants you to imagine things, but primarily to imagine things in terms of merchandise you can buy from them, and that, in some way, is also sad.

What Is the Grimmest Moment in the New Christopher Robin?