'Christopher Robin' Denied Release in China
Walt Disney Pictures

No reason has been given for the decision, but people speculate it's because many believe the bear character resembles the nation's leader Xi Jinping.

AceShowbiz - Chinese film bosses have denied Ewan McGregor's new Winnie the Pooh movie a release.

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 bizarre symbol of political dissent in China among citizens who believe the character resembles the nation's leader Xi Jinping.

Comparisons began in 2013 when a photo of the President of the People's Republic of China walking with then-U.S. leader President Barack Obama, was posted alongside a picture of Pooh walking next to another beloved Milne's character from Hundred Acre Wood,Tigger.

Both appear in McGregor's new movie, "Christopher Robin", which was released in North America on Friday, August 03.

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

Global Risk Insights bosses suggest the censorship of Pooh in China may be taking place because the comparisons with the President are seen by Beijing as "a serious effort to undermine the dignity of the presidential office and Xi himself".

But the country also has an annual foreign film quota set at 34 movies.

Disney's "A Wrinkle in Time" was also denied a release in China earlier this year, while the studio's new action film "Mission Impossible: Fallout" and "Ant-Man and The Wasp" were are among the Disney films which have opened there this year.

"Christopher Robin" imagines what happens to A.A. Milne's child character when he grows up and becomes a no-fun businessman with little imagination.

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