Minions: The Rise of Gru is now playing in theaters in China, but Chinese audiences aren't exactly seeing the same film as the rest of the world. Censors in the country have altered the ending of the animated film for release there, giving viewers a weirdly different "version" of how the story ends, particularly concerning the fate of one of the film's main characters.
On Chinese social media site Weibo (via The Guardian), various posts and screenshots of the version of the film being played in Chinese theaters reveal an addendum that says Wild Knuckles ends up captured by police and goes to jail for 20 years while Gru "returned to his family" with "his biggest accomplishment is being the father to his three girls."
This is wildly different from how the film actually ends. The genuine ending sees Wild Knuckles having once again faked his own death to avoid being captured by the authorities only for him and Gru to later drive off together with the Minions. On top of the ending being very different, viewers are stating the edited ending looks bad, and a film review publisher on Weibo, DuSir, noted that the Chinese version of things ends up being one minute longer than the international version of the film, commenting that "It's only us who need special guidance and care for fear that a cartoon will 'corrupt' us."
These changes to the ending of Minions: The Rise of Gru are far from the first time that China has censored a film for release there. Earlier this year, the censorship practice drew international headlines when it was discovered that Chinese streamer Tencent Video had had entirely removed the explosive final scene of David Fincher's 1999 film Fight Club, putting up a caption instead that was more in line with Chinese censorship rules that state all criminals shown on-screen must always be punished for their crimes: "The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding. After the trial, Tyler was sent to a lunatic asylum receiving psychological treatment." Tencent went on to replace that ending with one that showed the collapse and destruction of buildings as well as added a cue card indicating that Tyler Durden had been sent to a mental hospital, but then ultimately restored the film to its full, uncut state. Other films and even television have also been censored by China, including Fantastic Beasts 3 and Friends, both over LGBTQ+ storylines.
In Minions: The Rise of Gru, long before he becomes the master of evil, Gru (Carell) is just a 12-year-old boy in 1970s suburbia, plotting to take over the world from his basement. It's not going particularly well. When Gru crosses paths with the Minions, including Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and Otto — a new Minion sporting braces and a desperate need to please — this unexpected family joins forces. Together, they build their first lair, design their first weapons, and strive to execute their first missions.
What do you think about Minions: The Rise of Gru being censored in China? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!