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Meddling with Minions
News Bytes 08/26/2022 21 Comments

When Minions: The Rise of Gru arrived in Chinese theaters on August 19, some viewers noticed something a bit . . . different.

Kids (and grownups!) have loved Minions ever since their introduction in 2010’s Despicable Me. These clumsy yellow henchmen assist the lovable supervillain Gru in his schemes.

The Minions have plenty of fans in China. But Chinese fans received a somewhat altered version of this year’s Minions movie. Their version includes a series of post-scripts, revising the endings for several characters.

Minions: The Rise of Gru features a villainous mentor named Wild Knuckles (no relation to the fictional red echidna of a similar name). In the original film—spoiler alert!—Wild Knuckles drives off into the sunset. In Chinese theaters, a mid-credits line tells another story: Wild Knuckles attempted another crime and went to prison for 20 years.

The title character, Gru, also gets an edited ending. The Chinese credits say he gives up villainy, joins the good guys, and even has three daughters. Fans of Despicable Me will know this isn’t quite the case.

Some viewers think these new endings teach kids correct values. After all, shouldn’t villains reform or face punishment? Others find the changes unnecessary. They don’t see the need for an ending with “positive energy.”

“Positive energy” is a catchphrase in China’s Communist Party. The Party pushes for uplifting messages in movies and other media.

China doesn’t have a film rating system. You won’t see “G” or “PG” on Chinese movie posters. Instead, Chinese officials ask movie producers to edit whatever their government deems inappropriate.

Often, Hollywood happily obliges. China brings a huge box office return. If a studio can’t release its summer blockbuster in China, it loses millions of dollars.

A government can mandate “positive energy” on the silver screen. But what about the world outside the theater? China’s Communist regime has caused much suffering. By enforcing happiness in art, officials might distract the public for a time. But how long can that last?

Wild Knuckles faces fictional justice in Chinese theaters. But the real-world villains remain at large.

There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing. Ecclesiastes 7:15

(Moviegoers walk past an ad for Minions: The Rise of Gru in Beijing. AP/Ng Han Guan)

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Most recent comments

1st comment!!!!

It is controlling when the government takes something and changes it so you don't know the difference, but, like they showed in the article there's two ways to look at it, controlling, or keeping a positive message.

this is the stupidest thing I

this is the stupidest thing I've ever heard, lol. Ok, maybe not THE most stupid thing, but it's up there on the list. Stuff like this is why the Chinese government sucks

Hmmmm interesting although I

Hmmmm interesting although I've never watched Minions
@Riley, can you reply if you see this please? :)

Hmmmm interesting although I

Hmmmm interesting although I've never watched Minions
@Riley, can you reply if you see this please? :)

CHINA!!!!!!!!!!!!

CHINA, YOU RUIN EVERYTHING

This is Ridiculous

Classic China. Usually the edits they make to a movie are pretty decent (like removing homosexual activity) but this is pure foolishness. They eliminated the proper arc of the series just to make one movie have a more "positive" message.

7th Comment

What?! China is cracking down on the minions too now?

@Mirela

Hey!

@Riley

I just heard from my friend that she never received my letter that I sent back in Mrch. Have you received mine?

I sent it in June.

I sent it in June.

NO

YOU ARE RUINING MOVIES

@Mirela

I got the one that you wrote on June 2nd. I just put my reply letter in the mail yesterday!

@Mirela

Sorry I took a long time in responding, but we had a lot going on in July and August that I wanted to tell you about, so I waited until they were over to tell you about them!

This is Mylee

I'm not a fan of china but they kinda have a point. Our kid's movies here in the u.s. are junk. Minions has a lot of potty talk and naked butts. I loved Despicable Me 1 and 2 but the minions movie was blah. I haven't watched this one but my cousin told me their is hypotizing,and zodiac stuff in it...

@Riley

No, no that's fine! I've taken way longer, I'm sure, before! I'm just glad to hear you got the letter - I was worried it never got delivered to you! I look forward to reading yours when it arrives! :D

Spoiler Alert for Minions (#1)

If none of you have ever seen minions, It just shows the minions horrible taste in bosses.

I do have a question for everyone...

Is this the strangest thing chinas done?

@ Caden W

In my opinion, probably :/

@ Caden W

I dunno.. China's done some pretty strange things..

@Mylee

It is horrible what is being put in kids movies these days just so that kids think it is okay to do those things and grow up thinking that. Horrible.

gimme a break

china emphasizing a "positive message"? that's new

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