In China, even an animated antihero could not be allowed to get away with his dastardly deeds — or so censors want moviegoers to believe.
They have altered the ending of the "Despicable Me" franchise animated film "Minions: The Rise of Gru," which social media users across the country noticed over the weekend.
In the international version, the film ends with Gru and his mentor, Wild Knuckles, riding off into the sunset after the latter faked his own death to evade capture.
But not in mainland China, where a series of subtitled still images inserted into the credits sequence informed cinemagoers that Wild Knuckles was caught and locked up for 20 years.
He then puts his con artist skills to positive use in prison, where he follows his "love of acting" and sets up a theatrical troupe.
As for Gru, he "eventually became one of the good guys," devoted to raising his family, the Chinese ending says.
"It's only us who need special guidance and care, for fear that a cartoon will 'corrupt' us," DuSir, an online movie review publisher with 14.4 million followers on social media platform Weibo, wrote on Saturday.
He noted that the Chinese version of the film runs one minute longer than the international version.
Other online commentators mocked the addendum, saying it resembled a PowerPoint presentation.
Chinese censors love change
Western films often have certain scenes omitted or altered in China.
Last year, viewers of "Fight Club" had a very different ending when it appeared on a popular Chinese streaming platform.
Viewers were told police foiled a plan by the protagonist and his alter ego, played by Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, to detonate a set of skyscrapers.
In China, Pitt's character, Tyler Durden, was also not just a figment of Norton's character's imagination but was sent to an asylum and later discharged.
LGBTQ plotlines from hit US sitcom "Friends" were removed before it was streamed earlier this year.
Disney's latest animated film, "Lightyear," was not even released in China as the company refused to remove a scene showing two female characters kissing.