China censors change ending of latest 'Minions' film

The editing is yet another example of authorities editing a popular Hollywood film to make it more politically correct

Reuters August 23, 2022


In China, an animated antihero could not be allowed to get away with his dastardly deeds — or so censors want moviegoers to believe. They have altered the ending of the Despicable Me franchise animated film Minions: The Rise of Gru, which social media users across the country noticed over the weekend.

The editing is yet another example of Chinese authorities editing a popular Hollywood film to make it more politically correct, leading some viewers to lament the changes.

According to posts and screenshots from the movie shared on Weibo, a platform similar to Twitter, censors tacked on an addendum in which Wild Knuckles, a main character in the heist film, was caught by police and served 20 years in jail.

Gru, a co-conspirator of Wild Knuckles "returned to his family" and "his biggest accomplishment is being the father to his three girls", screenshots of the film showed. He then puts his con artist skills to positive use in prison, where he follows his "love of acting" and sets up a theatrical troupe. As for Gru, he "eventually became one of the good guys," devoted to raising his family, the Chinese ending says.

In the international version, the film ends with Gru and Wild Knuckles, the story's two thief anti-heroes, riding off together after Wild Knuckles faked his own death to evade capture from authorities. Numerous online commentators mocked the addendum, saying it resembled a power-point presentation.

"It's only us who need special guidance and care, for fear that a cartoon will 'corrupt' us," DuSir, an online movie review publisher with 14.4 million followers on social media platform Weibo, wrote on Saturday. He noted that the Chinese version of the film runs one minute longer than the international version. Other online commentators mocked the addendum, saying it resembled a PowerPoint presentation.

Last year, viewers of Fight Club had a very different ending when it appeared on a popular Chinese streaming platform. Viewers were told police foiled a plan by the protagonist and his alter ego, played by Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, to detonate a set of skyscrapers.

In China, Pitt's character, Tyler Durden, was also not just a figment of Norton's character's imagination but was sent to an asylum and later discharged.

LGBTQ plotlines from hit US sitcom Friends were removed before it was streamed earlier this year. Disney's latest animated film, Lightyear, was not even released in China as the company refused to remove a scene showing two female characters kissing.

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