“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.”
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 currently at 34 movies per year.
It is also believed that the denial of screening is related to the clampdown of Winnie the Pooh photos circulating on social media. The A.A. Milne character has become a symbol of political dissent in China after President Xi Jinping was compared to Pooh, according to BBC.
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.
— Financial Times (@FT) July 16, 2017
A 2014 picture of Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also been compared to Pooh and Eeyore.
— Josh Chin (@joshchin) November 10, 2014
Chinese authorities immediately censored the meme after it became viral on social media.
The ban reportedly will not hurt the “Christopher Robin” film at the box office as the live-action adaptation, which stars Ewan McGregor as the title character, is expected to earn between $20-30 million when it premieres in the U.S.
Featured Image via YouTube / Disney Movie Trailers