The international animated blockbuster Despicable Me 2 will finally play in Chinese movie theatres. A state media report says that the Universal Studio’s box office success is scheduled for release on Jan 10, 2014 in Mainland China.
The first Despicable Me was released in 2010, but was banned by the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT), and did not show in China. This sequel has currently surpassed $918 million in box office sales globally.
The film features numerous lovable little characters called minions, who are helpers in the many schemes of the main character, Gru. Minions are yellow and shaped like pills with short legs. They have their own dialect that includes a combination of many human languages.
The SARFT denied allegations of obstructing Despicable Me 2 from being released in China, and claimed it never received a review request from producers.
But it’s rumored that the real reason the film was not allowed is because the minion characters were deemed too similar to former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin. The mannerisms and appearance of the minions resemble Jiang Zemin. And the minions’ eye goggles resemble Jiang Zemin’s characteristic thick-framed glasses.
But Jiang’s political faction has been crumbling recently. Bo Xilai was put in prison for life, and Zhou Yongkang is now under arrest. Could this hint at why the film is finally getting a release in Mainland China?
Here are some comments on the issue from Chinese netizens:
“Look at the glasses with the huge lenses, and the high waistbands…”
“This could be the real reason that it can’t be released in the mainland”
“Chest-high pants, wearing toad glasses, not only similar in appearance, but the title Despicable Me is cheeky too!”
Curiously, the title Despicable Me 2 is getting changed to Daddy Thief 2 for the Mainland China release.
Xing Tianxing, an independent commentator, said: “It is not only the characters that remind people of Jiang Zemin. It is also the title Despicable Me. That title is actually crucial, and it is not allowed for sensitive reasons. The release of the film at least suggests Jiang Zemin’s faction is becoming non-existent at all levels of the CCP. That’s the main point. Meanwhile, the State Adminisration of Radio, Film, and Television finally allowing the film to be released might be related to Zhou Yongkang’s arrest. Does that mean Jiang Zemin is the next target?”
Recent news of Zhou Yongkang’s arrest circulated widely. Zhou is a former member of the China Politburo Standing Committee, and the Central Political and Legislative Committee.
According to Hong Kong media reports, Zhou’s scandal involves the intention to appoint Bo Xilai CCP Secretary, so he can rule as ‘overlord’, as well as numerous other accusations of corruption.
In any case, the Chinese authorities suddenly releasing Despicable Me 2 has made observers curious.
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