China bans 'Winnie the Pooh' film over comparisons to President Xi Jinping

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

The live-action family film, an adaptation of AA Milne's classic story, has been banned by Chinese censors, according to various media reports. It typically favors action-heavy blockbusters such as "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Black Panther", two of four Disney films that have played in China so far this year.

The Guardian reports it all started when Xi visited the United States in 2013, and an image of Xi and then president Barack Obama walking together spurred comparisons to Winnie - a portly Xi - walking with Tigger, a lanky Obama.

While no official reason has been given, Chinese President Xi Jinping's appearance was previously unfavourably compared to Winnie the Pooh's, prompting a large-scale crackdown on the honey-loving cartoon bear.

In June, the country started censoring mentions of HBO comedian John Oliver and HBO's website after his show, "Last Week Tonight", ran a segment criticising China and Xi, specifically, for the increasingly authoritarian policies of the Chinese Communist Party, which he leads.

The comparisons reportedly began in 2013 when an image of Mr Xi walking with President Barak Obama was posted alongside a picture of Pooh walking next to Tigger.

Government censors has been erasing the images that mocked Xi on social media.

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The first is the country's foreign film quota.

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time, which debuted around the world in March, has not been released in China.

Another photo in 2015, showed Xi in a motorcade next to an image of a Winnie-the-Pooh in a toy auto, in what was labelled "China's most censored photo" by political analysis company Global Risk Insights, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Disney will open "Ant-Man and The Wasp" in China on August 24.

Ever since, the memes have taken a life of their own so much that the Chinese authorities have been banning the images of the Disney character on social media since a year ago.

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

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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