This story contains spoilers for the movie ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’.
Chinese censors changed the ending of the fifth film in the Despicable Me series to make sure the good guys win.
“Minions: The Rise of Gru,” made by Universal Pictures, was released in China earlier this month, with many moviegoers noting a brief end-of-the-film addition that was not seen in other parts of the world, Reuters reports.
While the original version ends with the villain Wild Knuckles escaping the police and protagonist Gru returning to a life of crime, the Chinese version ensures lessons are learned. Added to the end of the film is a slideshow of images stating that Wild Knuckles was eventually apprehended by the police and set up a drama group in the prison.
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In addition, the slideshow assures viewers that the evil mastermind Gru “eventually became one of the good” by raising his three adopted daughters, according to Reuters.
The change in Gru’s ending raises issues with the continuity of the films, as Gru is portrayed as a supervillain well into his adulthood with his three daughters in tow.
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The spin-off of the popular Despicable Me series was delayed by two years due to the pandemic. The sequel to the 2015 movie “Minions” was originally slated for July 2020. While many other animated family movies opted for streaming or hybrid releases, like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Minions” stayed on track and waited for an ideal. time to launch only in cinemas.
The voice cast includes Steve Carell, who reprises his role as Gru, Alan Arkin, Michelle Yeoh and Julie Andrews as Gru’s mother. Critics were mixed to positive (it currently has a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences were more enthusiastic, earning the Gru origin story an ‘A’ on CinemaScore.
The franchise has been a resounding success in China and other East Asian countries, where the titular ‘minions’ – tiny, yellow and talkative humanoids in overalls – have become household icons. The animated characters have appeared everywhere from restaurant collaborations to fashion collections.
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This is just the last in a string of successes for Universal’s family releases, including “Sing 2,” which has grossed more than $406 million since opening in December, and “The Bad Guys,” which has grossed more than $243 million. “Minions: The Rise of Gru” serves as further proof that the family audience is willing to go back to the cinema.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.