Chinese cinemagoers hoping to feed their inner child this summer by watching Disneys Christopher Robin will be disappointed to learn that the family movie has reportedly been denied a cinema release in the country.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the live-action film didnt get the green light from the countrys film authorities as the countrys war against Winnie the Pooh, a pivotal character in the movie, continues.
Although no official reason has been given, a source claims it was all part of the governments crackdown of the image of the honey-loving bear after activists compared Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pooh in a now viral meme.
The infamous meme showed an offhand picture of Xi Jinping walking side by side with President Obama next to a picture of pudgy Pooh walking with Tigger. The image was widely circulated by bloggers last summer and quickly became a symbol of the resistance in China with foes of the ruling Communist Party.
As a result, the countrys censors went into overdrive and authorities began blocking pictures of Winnie the Pooh on social media.
The new film, inspired by the A. A. Milne books, stars Ewan McGregor as a middle-aged Christopher Robin, whose mundane life is interrupted when he is unexpectedly reunited with Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and the other talking animals of the Hundred Acre Wood.
News of the PG films non-release comes days after Chinese authorities blocked HBO after John Oliver mocked Xis sensitivity over being compared to Winnie the Pooh.
However, insiders insist that the decision was not political but likely has to do with the size and scope of the film given the foreign film quota. China represents an ever growing share of the global box office.
Other live-action releases from Disney netted tidy sums from China audiences. 2014s Maleficent made $48 million (£37m) and 2015s Cinderella took home $72 million (£55m).
Christopher Robin opens in the UK on 17 August.