For its domestic distribution in China, censors altered the conclusion of the popular animated film “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” as Chinese social media users observed over the weekend.
The ‘Minions’ alterations are yet another instance of Chinese officials modifying a popular Hollywood picture to make it more politically correct, causing some spectators to bemoan the alterations.
According to messages and screenshots from the film uploaded on Weibo, a platform similar to Twitter, censors slapped on an addendum in which the main character of the heist film, Wild Knuckles, was apprehended by police and sentenced to twenty years in prison.
Screenshots of the film revealed that Gru, a co-conspirator of Wild Knuckles, “returned to his family” and that “his greatest achievement is being the father to his three daughters.”
In the international version of the film, the two robber anti-heroes of the story, Gru, and Wild Knuckles, ride out together after Wild Knuckles fakes his death to avoid detection by police.
Numerous internet commentators ridiculed the amendment because it resembled a PowerPoint presentation.
DuSir, an online movie review publication with 14.4 million Weibo followers, observed that the Chinese version of the film is one minute longer than the international version and questioned whether the additional minute was necessary.
“We’re the only ones who require particular care and instruction out of fear that a cartoon would ‘corrupt’ us,” DuSir said in a Saturday article.
The U.S. distributor of the film, Universal Pictures, did not respond to a request for comment made outside of regular business hours.
China’s distributors of the picture, Huaxia Film Distribution Co and China Film Co, did not respond to a request for comment.
China maintains restrictions on the number of foreign films exhibited in domestic cinemas. Numerous Hollywood films released in the United States delete or change specific sequences.
Some viewers have observed that alternate film endings frequently differ significantly from the original.
Last year, Chinese viewers of the 1999 classic film “Fight Club” noted that the original finale, in which the protagonist and his alter ego blow up a series of skyscrapers, was missing from the version presented on the domestic streaming service Tencent Video.
Instead, the on-screen screenplay stated that the police “quickly worked out the entire plot and apprehended all culprits, preventing the bomb from detonating.”
The alterations were criticized by Chinese fans of the original film and even prompted replies from the film’s director and the author of the novel on which it was based. Later, Tencent reinstated the original ending.