Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

China bans Winnie-the-Pooh movie after comparisons to President Xi

China bans Winnie-the-Pooh movie after comparisons to President Xi China bans Winnie-the-Pooh movie after comparisons to President Xi
Stacy Diaz | 10 August, 2018, 14:57

An insider told The Hollywood Reporter that the reason for the ban could have something to do with the foreign film quota in China, which is now at 34 movies per year.

However, the decision has revived online discussion as censors have in the past targeted the film's main character, originally conceptualised by English author A.A. Milne, due to memes that compare the bumbling bear to President Xi Jinping.

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.

Chinese also has a quota of foreign films that are allowed to be released in the country every year, which could also be part of the reason for the ban.

Netizens have in the past likened Pooh's appearance - namely his portly stature - to President Xi.

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.

Comparisons between Xi and Pooh first emerged in 2013, after Chinese social media users began circulating a pair of pictures that placed an image of Pooh and his slender tiger friend "Tigger" beside a photograph of Xi walking with then-US president Barack Obama.

Last summer, government censors blocked all images of Winnie from the site.

The new film tells the story of a now middle-aged Christopher Robin, whose mundane life takes a turn when he is unexpectedly reunited with the Hundred Acre Wood's Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and other animals from his childhood.

The film will be released in Germany on August 16.

The government has not completely banned photos of Pooh from the internet, but it has restricted them.