China bans Winnie-the-Pooh movie after comparisons to President Xi

The movie Christopher Robin, the latest adaptation of A A Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh, has been banned in China, the world's second largest film market.

While China provides no reason for the films it doesn't select for its theatres, government sensors have recently been blocking images of Winnie-the-Pooh after bloggers began using the bear to parody Chinese president Xi Jinping.

The Winnie the Pooh character has become a lighthearted way for people across China to mock their president, but it seems the government doesn’t see the funny side.

The Guardian reports it all started when Xi visited the US in 2013, and an image of Xi and then president Barack Obama walking together spurred comparisons to Winnie - a portly Xi - walking with Tigger, a lanky Obama.

Xi was again compared to the fictional bear in 2014 during a meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, who took on the part of the pessimistic, gloomy donkey, Eeyore.

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp reported several other films have been banned in China over the years.

Marty McFly's pesty time-travelling antics in Back to the Future were seen as a "dangerous fictional element".  Apparently Marty's foolish behaviour in the film was seen as extremely inappropriate by Chinese authorities.

Ghostbusters, the 2016 reboot, was given the boot before it even made it to Chinese cinemas. Censorship prohibits any media that promotes cults or superstitions. The country is also not a fan of ghosts, goblins and other supernatural phenomenon.

A Marvel favourite, Deadpool, didn't quite make it to China. Instead of restricting the audience age, the country opted to ban the film altogether because of nudity, violence and graphic language.

And the Chinese Government feared that the people would take inspiration from Avatar and revolt like the uprising of the Na'vi population.

Memes involving the President and the famous bear haven’t gone down well, it seems. Source: Seven Sharp



Feuding Aussie and NZ ministers brought together in Lombok earthquake

After trading barbs over Australia's deportation regime, Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and New Zealand's Justice Minister Andrew Little have been brought together during the deadly earthquake that's struck Indonesia's island of Lombok.

Mr Dutton and Mr Little were evacuated together after the 6.9 magnitude quake that killed at least 98 people on the island on Sunday, sitting two seats apart as they were taken to an airport.

The pair had been in Lombok for a conference and Mr Little today told reporters of their shared experience.

"After the earthquake, gathering in front of the hotel, we saw each other and checked that each other was okay, checked that our respective delegations were okay," he said.

"I think the Anzac spirit is strong."

Mr Little said the pair and officials had earlier had a robust discussion about Australia's deportation of New Zealanders, and that while he accepted the law wouldn't be changing, the air had been cleared.

"One of the things we both agreed on was that some of the language and expression that has been public on the issue probably hasn't been helpful in trying to move the thing forward.

"As a result of a one-on-one meeting we had, as well as the meeting with officials, as well as the events that followed, the Anzac spirit is well and truly in play," he said.

Mr Little said Mr Dutton had offered him a lift out of the country but they returned on separate planes.

The two have both described themselves as lucky to be safe after being caught in the upper floors of a swaying hotel, with people being thrown to the ground.

Last month, Mr Little criticised the deportation of hundreds of New Zealanders from Australia on character grounds and said the regime lacked "humanitarian ideals".

Mr Dutton replied that New Zealand didn't "contribute really anything to the defence effort" and that Australia was doing a lot for its neighbour in terms of regional security.

The Justice Minister experienced this morning's 7.0 magnitude quake in Lombok - where he is for a conference. Source: Breakfast

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Watch: Parris Goebel puts Ciara through her paces in behind the scenes video

US pop star Ciara has posted a video online that showcases her time in Auckland learning a routine for a music video with our very own choreographer Parris Goebel.

The music video dance routine for Ciara's Level Up song was created by Parris and spawned a viral online dance challenge.

In the behind the scenes video, posted to YouTube today, Ciara documents her visit to New Zealand and the work that went into creating the Level Up video.

You can watch Parris put Ciara through her paces in the full video below.

Parris Goebel and Ciara in Auckland. Source: YouTube