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Christopher Robin: Winnie the Pooh film denied release in China

10 August 2018

The government in Beijing has censored online images of Winnie the Pooh after some opponents likened the bear's appearance to President Xi Jinping and have used Pooh as a symbol of resistance.

One popular comparison is a photo of Xi and former United States President Barack Obama walking together side-by-side in 2013, and a picture of Pooh strolling along with his friend Tigger.

No reason has been given for the film's denial, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, it is because of China's censorship of Winnie the Pooh images that started past year.

In June, Chinese authorities blocked American TV provider HBO after Last Week Tonight host John Oliver ridiculed Xi's sensitivity over being compared to Winnie-the-Pooh.

Jinping was compared to the fictional character again in 2014 while pictured meeting Japan's Shinzo Abe with the latter taking the form of Eryore.

Chinese authorities immediately censored the meme after it became viral on social media. Another comparison between Xi and Winnie during a military parade in 2015 became that year's most censored image, according to Global Risk Insights.

China has an annual foreign film quota, this year set at 34, that limits the number of movies to be shown in the country.

Cathleen Taff, head of distribution for Disney, confirmed the film has been denied a release the Associated Press reported The move locks the release out from the world's second largest film market. Disney will open "Ant-Man and The Wasp" in China on August 24.

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

Disney's live-animated Christopher Robin placed second, at US$25 million.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

Christopher Robin: Winnie the Pooh film denied release in China