China denies entry to Disney film featuring Winnie the Pooh

Christopher Robin meets his childhood friend the silly old Winnie-the-Pooh

While no official reason has been given by the Chinese government for banning the film, the Hollywood Reporter reports that it is because of a crack down on Winnie the Pooh by censors in the country.

The joke began in 2013, Vox reports, when a photo of the rotund Xi walking alongside a comparatively lanky Barack Obama was circulated on Chinese social media giant Weibo alongside an image of Winnie and Tigger walking hand in hand. They have apparently taken offence at the character's comparison to President Xi Jinping.

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

No reason has been given for the decision, but it's believed to be part of a nationwide clampdown on references to author A.A. Milne's fictional bear, who has become a weird symbol of political dissent in China among citizens who believe the character resembles the nation's leader Xi Jinping.

Censors barred the release of Christopher Robin, a live action reboot of the tale.

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Highest new entry of the week is Disneys Christopher Robin which makes its chart debut at 2, the Ewan McGregor movie opens with $25 million.

The only other Disney film this year to receive a no-go from China was sci-fi film "A Wrinkle in Time". The segment also focused on China's dismal human rights record.Another comparison between Xi and Winnie during a military parade in 2015 became that year's most censored image, according to Global Risk Insights.

The first is the country's foreign film quota.

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

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