Back in February, China added “Disney” to the growing list of censored words on their social media platforms. This comes along with a previous ban of Winnie the Pooh related mentions and materials due to Chinese residents comparing the bear to their President. Now the country is refusing to release Walt Disney Studios’ newest film, Christopher Robin.

What’s happening:

  • According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney’s Christopher Robin will not be released in ChinaEarlier this year, the country also banned the release of A Wrinkle in Time, however they are not refusing premieres of all Disney properties. In fact, China’s box office earnings helped to push Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War’s global total to nearly $2 billion.
  • While no reasons have been given for denying the release, some sources are suggesting it’s the result of China’s crackdown on images of the Winnie the Pooh character who is a main part of Christopher Robin.
  • Last year, the Chinese government blocked A.A. Milne’s classic character (and Disney property), Winnie the Pooh after the bear was turned into a meme of president Xi Jinping and his government.
  • Christopher Robin was in development in 2015 before Winnie the Pooh controversy began. The film started production in summer 2017, about the same time the Chinese Winnie the Pooh crackdown began.
  • THR comments, “But an insider counters that the decision likely has to do with the size and scope of the film given the foreign film quota and the fact that there are several new Hollywood tentpoles in the Chinese market right now.”

Christopher Robin open in theaters nationwide today, August 3rd. The film stars Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin, Haley Atwell as his wife, Evelyn, and features the voice talents of Jim Cummings.