Christopher Robin ‘banned in China over Winnie the Pooh meme’

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

One anonymous source told The Hollywood Reporter that the movie's ban was directly linked to China's crackdown on images of Winnie the Pooh however, another source said the decision likely has to do with the fact that there are now several new Hollywood tentpoles in the Chinese market.

The Winnie-the-Pooh and Xi memes are thought to have started from a 2013 photo of Xi and then-US President Barack Obama, which emerged alongside a picture of Pooh and the tall, slim, fun-loving tiger character Tigger.

But the country also has an annual foreign film quota set at 34 movies.

The only other Disney film this year to receive a no-go from China was sci-fi film "A Wrinkle in Time".

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

So, the Chinese government is petrified of Winnie the Pooh, a cartoon caricature? As comparisons grew, censors began erasing the images which mocked Xi.

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Taiwan's foreign ministry posted a message on its official Twitter account on Wednesday in response to the news that the movie would not be shown in China.

The live-action/CGI tale stars Ewan McGregor as the human protagonist of A. A. Milne's series of children's tales, who returns to Hundred Acre Wood as an adult and reconnects with familiar characters such as Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore.

"It is believed that the recent step towards banning Winnie The Pooh" film is a fallout of its 2015 experience.

While China's film regulator does not give direct feedback on specific movies, it has released regulations in the past that say it bars subversive themes, homosexual content and excessive violence.

"It doesn't really matter what they do", said one anonymous Weibo user, "It's the internet, I can just pirate it anyway".

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