Hilarious reason new Winnie the Pooh film is banned in China

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

Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and the rest of the Hundred Acre Wood gang are starring in the new Christopher Robin film, which will be released next Friday - August 17.

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.

The comparison once again made rounds in 2014, when an image of Jinping shaking hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was posted on Twitter juxtapositioned to a picture of Pooh and Eeyore. Winnie the Pooh became a symbol of the Chinese resistance against the ruling Communist Party, prompting authorities to heavily censor the character, the BBC reported. 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. Last month, the website of U.S. television station HBO was blocked in the wake of comedian John Oliver repeatedly making fun of Jinping by comparing him to Pooh.

And despite being released around the world, fans of Winnie the Pooh living in China will not be able to enjoy watching the film.

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Though the reason may seem plausible, another source told the Hollywood Reporter that the film's denied release in China doesn't have to do with Xi's hatred of Winnie the Pooh.

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.

Disney has not reacted to the snub of the live-action/CGI film, which stars Ewan McGregor as a middle-aged British businessman and carries a PG rating.

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