Editor’s Note: As Content King, it’s important to keep my subjects updated on where their favorite childhood movie characters have ended up. A few months back, we covered Air Bud and his fall from grace. This is our second installment in our new series – “Where Are They Now”
Troubling news today out of London as the search for missing national icon Christopher Robin drags into its 3rd day, with anxious family, fans, and government officials beginning to fear the worst. Mr. Robin, the now grown-up, former childhood star of the Winnie the Pooh series, was last seen Monday morning boarding a train to his important business job in the big city with the other grown-ups. His wife Evelyn remarked that the esteemed author, actor, and civil rights advocate had seemed troubled all weekend and expressed concerned that he may have returned to the Hundred Acre Forest to recapture his childhood sense of wonder, joy, and schizophrenic imagination.
Mr. Robin is generally regarded as one of the greatest rags to riches stories of our time. Born and raised in the Hundred Acre Forest, he spent his entire childhood playing with talking stuffed animals, which is obviously pretty weird and not healthy for any impressionable kid. After several run-ins with the law and one near death experience involving a bee hive, 8 pounds of honey, and a stuffed bear who really should’ve known better, he fled the forest in search of a better life, hitch-hiking his way to the prestigious Westminster Boarding School. His time at Westminster is detailed in his memoir Escape: How I Made it Out of the Hundred Acre Forest, Came to Terms with My Demons and Decided That Being an Adult Was Really Cool, which won a Nobel Prize for literature and capitulated Mr. Robin to the top of the literary world.
In the first half of his memoir, Mr. Robins details his arrival at school and outlines the struggles and successes of a young man trying to escape his troubled past. Shielded from the temptations of the forest, Mr. Robin finally kicks a honey addiction that had plagued his entire life, shedding 20 pounds and blossoming into a football, cricket and track star. He learns to cope with his depression through art, channelling his demons into painting and sculpture rather than the self-mutilation he’d resorted to in the past, a habit he’d learned watching his manic depressive friend Eeoyore nail fake tails into his back (commonly referred to as “nail-tailing.”) Though he struggles at times to relate to his privileged classrooms who grew up talking to people and not stuffed animals, the discipline and structure turns his life around, and he eventually gains acceptance into Oxford to begin college in the fall.
However, as any addict knows, demons lurk around every corner. The latter half of his memoir courageously explores Mr. Robins’ relapse and descent into madness. After learning of the death of his dear friend Piglet in a tragic Heffalump hunting accident, Christopher returns to the Hundred Acre Forest to pay his respects, only to find a neighborhood changed for the worse. His old friend Tigger, once a fountain of bravado and vigor, had faded after years of chasing adrenaline, loose women and as much cocaine as one stuffed tiger could possibly consume. Owl, the former valedictorian, had abandoned the family business of delivering messages to Hogwarts students and flown to Hollywood to pursue his dream of acting in Toosie Pop commercials. But, most tragic was his rendezvous with old friend Winnie the Pooh, a failed poet and raging honeyaholic.
Years of resenting Christopher Robin’s success in a world that had no place for a giant bear who refused to wear pants had left Pooh sad and bitter, his only delight the failure of others around him. Following Piglet’s funeral, Pooh convinces a vulnerable Christopher Robin to join him at their old dive honeycomb and reminisce about their fallen friend. Emotionally distressed and his resolve weakened, Christopher quickly relapses. One jar became two. Two became ten. And before you know it, he was meeting up with Eeyore to nail-tail and snorting sliced carrots with Rabbit. A ten day bender ends with Christopher breaking into the home of Kanga and brutally assaulting her in a desperate armed robbery. Mr. Robin was expelled from Westminter, his scholarship from Oxford revoked, and he was sentenced to 6 months in timeout.
While serving his sentence, Mr. Robin began writing Escape, which was published during his captivity. Following his release and the book’s explosive success, Escape was soon optioned into a feature film, with Christopher playing himself in the leading role. Mr. Robin used his newfound fame and fortune to create programs for at-risk youth in disadvantaged magical kingdoms. The program taught them an important lesson that he had been forced to learn the hard way – being a kid is dumb but growing up is very cool. Goldilocks, Sleeping Beauty, and Mr. Tumnus from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe are among the countless alumni to have walked through his doors and credit him with their success.
In recent years however, Christopher Robin’s programs and their insistence that children grow up and get normal jobs at like banks and stuff have come under criticism from prominent figures, most notably Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. Even more jarring has been the shocking success of Pooh, whose books of poetry and zen wisdom have swept the nation and reminded us all to stay kids at heart. The criticism shook Mr. Robins to his core and caused him to re-evaluate his life. Even before his disappearance, family and colleagues reported that Mr. Robin had appeared to be in the midst of a mid-life crisis, buying expensive sports cars and watching the Disney channel ad nauseum to remain “hip with the kids.” Those who care for him fear that Christopher has returned to the Hundred Acre Forest, and this time, may not have the strength to return.
Christopher if you’re reading this, please come home. Your family loves you. It’s not too late. It’s never too late.