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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