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'Christopher Robin' film won't play in China; Pooh too notorious?

10 August 2018, 02:58 | Elsie Buchanan

'Christopher Robin' film won't play in China; Pooh too notorious?

'Christopher Robin' film won't play in China; Pooh too notorious?

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. Since last summer, Chinese authorities began blocking images of Winnie the Pooh on social media because of a purported resemblance between the bear and Chinese president Xi.

In 2014, a photographed handshake between Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was matched with an image of Pooh gripping the hoof of his gloomy donkey friend Eeyore.

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

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Disney's live-animated hybrid "Christopher Robin" - which tells the story of Winnie the Pooh's now grown-up and stressed-out friend and how he reunites with his old stuffed friend - debuted in second place at $24.6 million.

Although "Christopher Robin" won't be shown to the country of 1.3 billion people, it made a solid debut in the USA last Friday, grossing US$24.6 million (£19 million) in ticket sales.

According to Global Risks Insights, The Chinese government views the comparisons and mockery as "a serious effort to undermine the dignity of the presidential office and Xi himself".

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Other memes of Xi Jinping as Pooh have also appeared online - and one of the leader on a motorcade alongside an image of a Winnie the Pooh in a toy auto was deemed China's most censored photo by political analysis company Global Risk Insights.

Although no official reason has been given for Christopher Robin's banishment from China, which operates a strict quota on foreign film, the ban comes on the heels of "several Pooh crackdowns", says Sky News.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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