Mixed feelings on "Christopher Robin"

I Felt Guilty Watching 'Christopher Robin'

Remember, this is coming from the girl who would wake up early for preschool just to watch "Winnie-the-Pooh."

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What started as a father writing a book based on his son and his favorite toys has turned into the most beloved and recognizable bear in the world. However, what comes across as a loving father's gift to his son isn't that simple.

"Winnie-the-Pooh" has been a household name since he first appeared in the poem "Teddy Bear" in 1924 and the full-length book, "Winnie-the-Pooh", in 1926, both by A.A. Milne. The Hundred Acre Wood has been on everyone's mind this summer with the release of the highly anticipated "Christopher Robin" at the beginning of August. But what most moviegoers don't realize, this is, in fact, the second movie based on the real-life "Christopher Robin" released in the last 10 months.


A.A. Milne; Christopher Robin Milne and Pooh Bear National Portrait Gallery, London

Last October audiences had the chance to enter the world of the Milnes when "Goodbye Christopher Robin" was released. The movie tells the real-life story of Alan and Daphne Milne along with their son Christopher. The movie does an exquisite job of displaying Alan's struggle to resume his career as a writer after his return from WWI. Although it went by another name, it was obvious (to the audience, at least) he struggled with PTSD.

Alan never really got back into the swing of writing until he moved his family out to the countryside in Sussex right by a 500-acre wood (the inspiration behind the Hundred Acre Wood). It was here that he was finally able to bond with his son. Christopher's parents are the ones who really inspired the "Winnie-the-Pooh" stories since they bought the toys and helped bring them to life when Christopher was younger.

In "Goodbye Christopher Robin" once the book was published, it shows Mr. and Mrs. Milne as some of the first stage parents. They paraded Christopher around to different interviews and appearances, while it was only his nanny, Nou, who noticed the strain it put on Christopher. Although Nou was a real and huge part of the first 10 years of Christopher's life, his mother wasn't as horrible as the movie made her seem. She also had a crucial part in creating the "Winnie-the-Pooh" stories as well.

However, his parents were most definitely not parents of the year. (I mean they did make their son take a picture next to the real bear "Winnie-the-Pooh" got his name from). Christopher later recalled how Alan was always off working and never truly present, while his mom always held a grudge since she desperately wanted a daughter.

This issue never really resolved itself since Christopher started at boarding school at the age of nine. As he got older Christopher was able to bond some with his father over school work and serving his country in WWII. This is why Christopher continued to visit his father up until Alan's death in 1956 but then never saw his mother again.


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Due to their strained relationship, Christopher never really enjoyed being tied to his namesake "Christopher Robin." Once he was old enough to go to school, he quickly learned that it wasn't cool to be the little boy in a children's story. He was able to come to terms with the fact he was "Christopher Robin", but he chose not to associate with that part of his life.

Once Christopher was married and had a life of his own, he opened his own bookstore. (Don't lie, I can't be the only one wondering if he sold the "Winnie-the-Pooh" books.) He relied on his own business since he never took a penny (or a pence) of the "Winnie-the-Pooh" money.

He didn't want the money, he donated the toys and gave away the rights as soon as he could. Since Christopher's only daughter, Clare, was born with severe cerebral palsy, once she received the "Winnie-the-Pooh" royalties the "Clare Milne Trust" was founded (with the help of her mother).

Personally, I find it sad that due to the popularity of "Winnie-the-Pooh" a young boy lost a bond not just with his parents, but also his favorite toys. I could never imagine giving up my Dolly so she could be put in a glass case. I would like to believe the memories made while writing the books were genuine and not just for his father's career, but now it's almost hard to tell.

Now knowing the pain it caused Christopher and how sometimes he wished it could all go away, it makes the huge commercial success of the franchise seem wrong. This boy's games, stories, toys, and memories are now something much bigger.

Unfortunately, no matter what Christopher wanted, "Winnie-the-Pooh" is forever going to be a household name. A.A. Milne never intended for this impact and for those reasons, I won't regret watching or reading these stories, but I don't know if I'll be able to look at good old Pooh bear the same way.

Hopefully, Disney continues to honor "Winnie-the-Pooh" the same way they've always done for more generations to love. And all in all both movies were quite enjoyable and well done, but very different. I highly suggest watching "Goodbye Christopher Robin" first in order to understand more about the Milnes before viewing the Disney's what-if scenario in "Christopher Robin."

*The name Christopher Robin appears in quotes when talking about the movie and the character in order to highlight the difference between the real-life boy (who was never referred to as "Christopher Robin" prior to the books).

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The 9 Eras Of Disney Animation

The evolution of Disney animation over the years
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As a kid I always loved movies, and no movies did it quite for me like Disney movies did. Whether they were old or new, there was something about Disney movies that just spoke to me. The music the characters, the stories-- they all helped to shape some of my fondest childhood memories and are responsible for many of my interests and beliefs today. But what I always found most interesting is the history behind these films, how the time they came out influenced their themes and meanings. So today I’ll be exploring just that-- the nine eras of Disney animations.

1923-1928: The Silent Era and the Origins of Disney

The history of Disney begins with the Silent Era. In 1923, Walt Disney, working for Laugh-O-Gram studios out of Kansas City, Missouri, created a short film called Alice’s Wonderland, which would serve as the first of the Alice Comedies. After the company declared bankruptcy, Walt moved to Hollywood, where he and his brother Roy formed Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. They worked out a deal with Winkler Productions to produce the Alice Comedies and eventually, in 1926, moved their company to Hyperion Street, where it was renamed Walt Disney Studios. After the decline of the Alice Comedies, Walt created his first ever original character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and produced 26 short comedies starring the character before a falling out with Charles Mintz, who had by 1928 taken over Winkler Productions. Legally, Oswald belonged to Mintz and his company, so he took the character and four of Disney’s animators and started a new animation company, Snappy Comedies.

1928-1937: Pre-Golden Age and Mickey Mouse

The Pre-Golden Age saw Walt recovering from the loss of Oswald and also set the stage for Disney as we know it today. In 1928, Walt, in collaboration with Ub Iwerks, created a new character that he originally named Mortimer Mouse. However, his wife didn’t like the name, so he renamed him Mickey (I think we can all agree this name is much better). Mickey made his first appearance in 1928 in a test screening of the short film called Plane Crazy. However, the film failed to pick up a distributor, so Walt went back to the drawing board and created Steamboat Willie, which was released in 1928. The film was an immediate success due to the fact that it was the first cartoon to feature synchronized sound and established Mickey as the mascot of Disney. After this, a series of Mickey Mouse cartoons were released. This series also saw the introduction of many Disney staple characters, such as Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy. Donald Duck, another iconic Disney character, first appeared in Disney’s Silly Symphonies, a series of animated short films that were popular for their innovative use of Technicolor. With this, Walt had successfully bounced back from the hardships of the Silent Era and set the stage for the Golden Age of Disney.

1937-1942: The Golden Age

The Golden Age of Disney began in 1937 with the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The film was the first full-length feature film to use traditional animation and was an immediate commercial success, establishing Disney as one of the leaders of animated filmmaking. Other films that were released during this time include Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi. Although all of these films would go on to become considered classics, at the time of their release only Snow White and Dumbo were commercially successful. What made this time considered the Golden Age wasn’t the commercial success of these films though, but rather the trends they created in terms of Disney filmmaking. Snow White was the first of the fairytale-based movies that Disney is known for and established the “Disney Princesses,” Pinocchio started the concept of taking well-known literature and turning it into a child-friendly film and Bambi explored the possibilities of making a movie through the eyes of a non-human character. Other Disney staples such as exaggerated villains, the use of music and prominent, comedic sidekicks were first introduced during this time as well. Another key characteristic of the films of this time was the inclusion of many dark scenes, which were usually sandwiched between upbeat and light scenes in order to create a mood shift. A similar, toned down version of this techniques would also be used in later films.

1943-1949: The Wartime Era

With the U.S.’s entry into World War II, Disney Studios faced lower budgets and a smaller team of animators as it entered the Wartime Era. Also known as the Package Era, the films of this time included Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time, and The Adventures of Icabod and Mr. Toad. What made these films distinct from the Golden Age films is that instead of telling a single, continuous story, these films consisted of multiple short films within each. These films are largely ignored and widely unpopular, with fans criticizing them due to their lack of consistency and tone in each short. The Wartime Era also Disney Studios producing wartime propaganda, which included anti-Nazi commercials and flyers encouraging Americans to support the war.

1950-1967: The Silver Age and the Death of Walt Disney

Disney’s Silver Age, also known as the Restoration Age saw the return of many of the trends set forth by the Golden Age of Disney. Films released during this time include Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, and The Jungle Book. What made these films distinct from its predecessors was the use of more ornate backgrounds and softer colors. Furthermore, the Silver Age also saw the use of lighter themes balanced with more complex characters, creating many of the well-known characters that are still considered fan-favorites today. The Jungle Book was the last film that Walt himself worked on before his death in 1966, and the movie’s release marked the end of the Silver Age

1970-1988: The Dark Age and the Decline of Disney

Hope you guys have a flashlight ‘cos we’re about to enter a dark place, or rather a dark age (see what I did there?). The Dark Age of Disney, also known as the Bronze Age, saw Disney Studios struggle to find their footing without Walt there to hold the reins. This was a time of trial-and-error in which the animators shied away from traditional storytelling tropes seen in the Golden and Silver Ages and instead shifted toward darker and more secular stories. Films released during this time include The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, and Oliver and Company. With the exception of The Great Mouse Detective, which was both critically and commercially successful, most of these films only received little success, with The Black Cauldron being a box office flop. These films lacked Walt’s imagination and were criticized for only being intended to bring in money. The greatest criticism of these films was their departure from traditional animation and their use xerography. This saved both time and money, allowing animators to directly print their drawings onto cells. However, this process did have its limits and initially only black lines were possible using this method. As a result, films during this era are known as “Scratchy Films” because of the heavy black lines in their animation. While these films weren’t initially successful upon release, many have gone on to become cult classics. Also, the Disney Dark Age helped set the foundation for the pinnacle of Disney animation

1989-199: The Disney Renaissance and Birth of the Millennials

If you’re a millennial like me, then most of your favorite Disney moments and films likely come from the Disney Renaissance. The Disney Renaissance saw a return to the musical fairy-tale storytelling seen in the Golden and Silver Age while at the same time expanding on many of the themes and techniques introduced in the Bronze Age. Films released during this time include The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan. These films were also the first films that Howard Ashman and Alan Menken worked on, both of whom are key elements to Disney’s musical success. The films during this time also had many important themes that would influence the current views of millennials; Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame taught us not to judge people by their appearances; Mulan and Hercules taught us the importance of making sacrifices; and Aladdin taught us that there’s nothing wrong with being ourselves and that the circumstances of our birth don’t have to dictate who we grow up to be.

2000-2009: Post-Renaissance Era

Also known as the Second Dark Age, the Post-Renaissance Era was unique in that whereas previous eras were marked with having a common theme about them, this era was defined as a time in which Disney tried their hands at new methods in storytelling, similar to the Bronze Age. Films from this time include Fantasia 2000, Dinosaur, The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, and Bolt. These films explored new storytelling elements marketed towards kids and more mature themes marketed towards the kids that had grown up during the Disney Renaissance that were now teenagers and young adults. While Lilo and Stitch was a commercial success, spawning several sequels and a T.V. show, most of the other films released during this time only received moderate success. This was in part due to the fact that they also had to contend with huge movie franchises like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Despite not doing as well as their predecessors, the films released during the Second Dark Age are well known for their innovation. Dinosaur was the first Disney film that used CGI animation, which would become a popular element of this era’s successor.

2010-present: Marvel, Star Wars, and the Second Disney Renaissance

Just as a Renaissance followed the first Disney Dark Age, a Second Disney Renaissance followed this Second Dark Age. Also known as the Revival Era, this era marked a return to the fairy-tale storytelling seen in the Gold and Silver Ages as well as the first Disney Renaissance. During this time, Disney bought the rights to Marvel and Lucasfilm, meaning they no longer had to worry about trying to market their films toward older audiences since the MCU and Star Wars did that for them. Films released during this time include Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero 6. Like the first Disney Renaissance, the Second Disney Renaissance built off several things introduced by its predecessor. Tangled, for example, used the CGI techniques first used by Dinosaur. Most of the films of this era have been met with great popularity, with Frozen being the highest grossing animated film of all time and Big Hero 6 being the highest audience-rated film of this time period.

And there you have it, the nine eras of Disney animations. I hope you guys enjoyed reading about the history of Disney and its growth through the years. I personally loved writing this article and look forward to writing more like this one.

Cover Image Credit: Travel and Leisure

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'Avengers: Endgame' Has Marvel Fans In All The Feels

This film was an emotional roller coaster that no one was fully prepared for.

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As the third most expensive film to be made, it should be no surprise that the film, Avengers: Endgame, is doing so well and broke two-billion dollars in the box office the first weekend. A film this anticipated and highly regarded with such a full cast of lovable stars and characters, we knew it was going to be a masterpiece. But we knew we couldn't get away without a few heartbreaks.

For those of you who have not yet seen the film, I highly recommend coming back to this article after you've seen it. Unless you're okay with spoilers, I would see the movie first. Even if you're unsure about seeing it while it's still in theaters, I highly recommend it. Just for the experience. Although, it is three hours, so prep yourself in order to make it through the whole thing without bathroom breaks -- you don't want to miss a thing! Oh...and maybe bring some tissues.

If you are unaware of the plot, basically throughout the entire film, the Avengers are trying to reverse the damage Thanos has done and bring back everyone he made disappear with the snap of his fingers at the end of the last film.

This film was filled with so many highs and so many lows -- and many moments of comic relief which was highly appreciated! Because there was a multitude of moments that had everyone in all the feels, it always makes us feel better to realize that others were struggling during that roller coaster too! So here are some highlights from the film that made all the feels even more intense!

**Below contains spoilers**

Hawkeye looking for his family.

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The first time we hear "I love you 3000."

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Realizing Bruce and the Hulk have become one.

The "America's Ass" Comments.

Seeing Thor for the first time in the film.

Nat sacrificing herself for the soul stone.

Thor going back to "past" Asgard.

When everything seemed fine...and then everything blew up.

The grand entrance of everyone coming back for the final fight.

When the "past" Gamora hits Quill.

When Spiderman starts to cry...

Iron Man's light goes out.

Noticing "proof that Tony Stark has a heart" on the flowers.

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Seeing everyone during the funeral scene.

When we hear "I love you 3000" for the last time.

Captain America's happy ending.

When the credits start rolling.

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