China denies entry to Disney's Winnie the Pooh film

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One image shows Xi Jinping standing next to Barack Obama, with a drawing of Pooh next to Tigger next to it (comparing Jinping to the bear and Obama to the tall, slender tiger).

China's Culture Ministry declined to comment and referred questions to the State Administration of Radio and Television, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While the Chinese censor board has not furnished a reason for the film's denial, reports suggest that comparison between President Jinping and the amicable cartoon character, who has become a symbol of political dissent, might be the reason behind it.

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

China does limit the number of foreign films released there, however.

Netizens have in the past likened Pooh's appearance - namely his portly stature - to President Xi.

Disney's live-animated Christopher Robin placed second, at US$25 million.

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 amusing side. As comparisons grew, censors began erasing the images which mocked Xi.

While China's film regulator does not give direct feedback on specific movies, it has released regulations in the past that say it bars subversive themes, homosexual content and excessive violence.

The new film tells the story of a now middle-aged Christopher Robin, whose mundane life takes a turn when he is unexpectedly reunited with the Hundred Acre Wood's Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and other animals from his childhood.

The government has not completely banned photos of Pooh from the internet, but it has restricted them.

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