Disney’s latest assault on our collective heartstrings Christopher Robin opens in theaters this weekend, reacquainting audiences around the world with A.A. Milne and his beloved Hundred Acre Woods. There, we meet characters who are enduring symbols of the power and warmth of childhood whimsy—and also, in a handful of places, criticism of an oligarchical, semi-tyrannical government.
Like, say, China, where Winnie The Pooh has been a public outlaw for more than a year now—not because of his daring raids on the country’s vast hunny vaults, but because the nation’s leader, Xi Jinping, gets annoyed when people compare him to the roly-poly little bear. As is so often the case with the more absurd elements of this batshit simulation we’re all forced to share together and pretend is actual life, John Oliver’s on hand to offer a brief primer on the relationship between the two:
(Shockingly, John Oliver has now also apparently been banned from the Chinese internet. Whodathunk.)
Now, THR reports that Christopher Robin—clearly nothing more than a thinly-veiled vehicle for pro-Pooh propaganda—won’t be screening in the country at all, as the country’s film authorities declined to allow it to be shown. People in the country can presumably still pirate it or otherwise find all that hot Ewan McGregor yarn-hugging action online, but they’d better go fast; it was recently leaked that Google has been working to bring a pre-censored version of its popular search engine online in the country, which we have to assume includes words like “Winnie” and “Pooh” are on its banned list, right alongside stuff like “Tiananmen Square” and “free speech.”