China denies entry to Disney's Winnie the Pooh film

Lawrence Kim
August 8, 2018

"Christopher Robin", a live-action adaptation of the Disney series "Winnie the Pooh", has been banned from being screened in theaters in China, making it the second film this year to be denied a release in the country after "A Wrinkle in Time".

No reason has been given for the decision, but Government censors had blocked images comparing Pooh and Xi Jinping after bloggers used the bear to parody the Chinese President. Thus, the honey-loving bear immediately became the symbol of the Chinese resistance against the ruling Communist Party, and this has prompted Chinese authorities to heavily censor the character, blocking images, GIFs and mentions of the bear across social media.

The film will be released in Germany on August 16.

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 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.

According to political analysis company Global Risk Insights, the comparison between Jinping and Winnie the Pooh are viewed by Beijing as "a serious effort to undermine the dignity of the presidential office and Xi himself".

According to the Hollywood Reporter, which first reported on China's refusal to distribute the film, a source blamed the Pooh crackdown in China for the move.

Christopher Robin imagines what happens to A.A. Milne's child character when he grows up and becomes a no-fun businessman with little imagination.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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