There will be no China release for Disney’s Christopher Robin
The Hollywood Reporter has brought word that Christopher Robin, Walt Disney Pictures‘ latest installment in the long-running fan-favorite Winnie the Pooh franchise, was not approved by China’s film authorities for release. This will be the second Disney film this year to get no China release after A Wrinkle in Time, and the studio is still scheduled to release Ant-Man and The Wasp in China on August 24.
No explanation has currently been given as to why the family fantasy drama will not be shown in China, but THR sources indicate it’s likely one of two reasons. The first reason is simply that there are too many major Hollywood tentpoles already in the Chinese film market. The second has to do with the country’s censorship of Winnie the Pooh character imagery due to comparisons made between him and the leader of China’s Communist Party, Xi Jinping. Detractors of Jinping began posting photos of the leader and Pooh, highlighting their similarly pudgy bodies, with authorities coming down hard on these posts last summer and censoring every image of the anthropomorphic bear, as well as HBO’s Last Week Tonight after host John Oliver joked about Xi’s distaste for the comparison.
In the heartwarming live-action adventure Disney’s Christopher Robin, the young boy who loved embarking on adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with a band of spirited and lovable stuff animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.
Ewan McGregor (Beauty and the Beast, T2 Trainspotting) stars in the movie as the adult Christopher Robin. He’s joined by Hayley Atwell (Marvel’s Agent Carter, Captain America: The First Avenger) as his wife Evelyn, Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madelin, and Mark Gatiss as Keith Winslow, Robin’s boss. Voicing the characters from the hundred acre wood include Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh, Brad Garrett as Eeyore, Toby Jones as Owl, Nick Mohammed as Piglet, Peter Capaldi as Rabbit, and Sophie Okonedo as Kanga.
Disney’s Christopher Robin is directed by Marc Forster from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder and a story by Perry based on characters created by A.A. Milne. The producers are Brigham Taylor and Kristin Burr with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers.