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China Won't Release Disney's 'Christopher Robin' Movie

08 August 2018

While the whole world is waiting for the new Winnie the Pooh movie, "Christopher Robin" to be released in cinemas, China however has banned the movie due to the bear's resemblance to China's president.

China, the world's second-largest film market, also limits the number of foreign-made films allowed into the country at 34 a year. The second is because one of the movie's stars, Winnie the Pooh, has apparently become a symbol of the resistance against China's ruling Communist Party.

While the Chinese censor board has not furnished a reason for the film's denial, reports suggest that comparison between President Jinping and the amicable cartoon character, who has become a symbol of political dissent, might be the reason behind it. The comparisons began in 2013 when an image of Xi walking with President Barack Obama was posted alongside a picture of Pooh walking next to Tigger.

The film, starring Ewan McGregor and a CGI Winnie the Pooh, aspires to tell the tale of recapturing childhood innocence.

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time was also denied a release in China earlier this year, while the studio's new action film Mission Impossible: Fallout and Ant-Man and The Wasp were are among the Disney films which have opened there this year.

In June, HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver noted the Xi-Pooh connection and created a mock propaganda video that tweaked Xi's apparent sensitivity to the comparison.

In Christopher Robin, the eponymous hero, now an adult, reunites with boyhood friend Winnie the Pooh and others including Eeyore the donkey and Piglet.

The film will be released in Germany on August 16.

China Won't Release Disney's 'Christopher Robin' Movie