China bans 'Winnie the Pooh' film over comparisons to President Xi Jinping

China bans 'Winnie the Pooh' film over comparisons to President Xi Jinping

The Hollywood Reporter names two reasons the film may have been denied release in China.

Popular memes compare images of Xi and former U.S. President Barack Obama walking side-by-side to similar cartoon scenes including Pooh and his taller, leaner friend Tigger, a hyperactive tiger.

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.

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. But in China, the famous honey-hunting bear has become a symbol of resistance.

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

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 vehicle was deemed China's most censored photo by political analysis company Global Risk Insights.

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China has an annual foreign film quota, this year set at 34, that limits the number of movies to be shown in the country.

As a result, Xi has censored Winnie the Pooh on social media in China and now he is targeting the live action film, which stars Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin.

In 2015, the political analysis portal Global Risk Insights called a picture of Xi standing up through the roof of a parade vehicle paired with an image of a Winnie the Pooh toy auto "China's most censored photo" of the year.

Ever since, the memes have taken a life of their own so much that the Chinese authorities have been banning the images of the Disney character on social media since a year ago.

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time, which debuted around the world in March, has not been released in China.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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