Chinese social media users have called attention to a change in the ending of the Hollywood cartoon movie: Minions: The Rise of Gru for release within the country.
The change is the most recent example of Chinese censors changing major Hollywood films to make them more acceptable to the government.
Users of China’s Weibo website posted photos of the movie screen with the changes. The movie about a robbery has a new ending for the main character, Wild Knuckles. He spends 20 years in jail after being caught by police. The movie then shows Gru, Wild Knuckles’ partner, returning to his family and having his greatest success as the father to his three daughters.
In the international version, the film ends with the two characters riding off together after Wild Knuckles avoids capture by pretending that he is dead.
Chinese social media users laughed at the extra minute in the movie. They said it looked like a PowerPoint presentation, commonly used in schools and businesses.
DuSir is an internet movie critic with 14.4 million followers on Weibo. He questioned why the changes were needed. In a story published last week, DuSir said, “It's only us who need special guidance and care, for fear that a cartoon will 'corrupt' us.”
The distributors of the film, Universal Pictures in the U.S. as well as Huaxia Film Distribution and China Film Company did not answer a request from Reuters for comment.
China limits the number of international movies that could be shown in the country. Many Hollywood movies shown in Chinese theaters have scenes that are changed or cut in some way. Some viewers say that they have completely different endings to the films shown in the rest of the world.
Viewers of the Tencent Video site in China saw a different ending to the popular 1999 movie, Fight Club.
In the United States version, the main character and his partner set bombs off to destroy several tall buildings. In China, Tencent Video showed a written message on the screen saying police “rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding.”
Chinese fans made fun of the changes. The film’s director and the writer of the book, on which the movie was based, also commented on the differences. Tencent Video later put back the film’s untouched ending.
I’m Faith Pirlo.
Josh Horwitz wrote this article for Reuters. Faith Pirlo adapted it for Learning English.
Words in This Story
censor – v. to remove the parts of a book or film that are considered to be offensive or a political threat; n. a person who examines media and removes things that are considered to be offensive, immoral, or harmful to society
cartoon – n. a film or television show made by photographing a series of drawings : an animated film or television show
character – n. a person who appears in a movie, book, film...
distributor – n. a person or company that supplies stores or businesses with goods
scene – n. part of a play in which a particular action takes place
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