Hilarious reason new Winnie the Pooh film is banned in China

Tom Cruise is seen here at the Washington premiere of ‘Mission Impossible — Fallout

Chinese authorities do not provide reasons to Hollywood studios when they reject their movies, the source said. It started when Xi visited the USA in 2013 and an image of him and his former American counterpart Barack Obama walking together spurred comparisons to Winnie, a portly Xi, walking with Tigger, a lanky Obama.

Rumours tend to suggest that the real motive behind blocking images of Winnie the Pooh is avoid comparisons between Winnie the Pooh and the Chinese 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.

The government in Beijing has censored online images of Winnie the Pooh after some opponents likened the bear's appearance to President Xi Jinping and have used Pooh as a symbol of resistance.

Although no official reason has been given for Christopher Robin's banishment from China, which operates a strict quota on foreign film, the ban comes on the heels of "several Pooh crackdowns", says Sky News.

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One image shows Xi Jinping standing next to Barack Obama, with a drawing of Pooh next to Tigger next to it (comparing Jinping to the bear and Obama to the tall, slender tiger).

A 2014 picture of Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also been compared to Pooh and Eeyore.

A picture showing Mr Xi in a motorcade alongside Pooh in a toy vehicle was named "China's most censored photo of 2015" by political analysis firm Global Risk Insights. Disney will open "Ant-Man and The Wasp" in China on August 24.

Most of "Christopher Robin", a new Winnie-the-Pooh movie starring Ewan McGregor, is the story of a midlife crisis.

Disney's live-animated Christopher Robin placed second, at US$25 million.

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