The audience is key. One has to know their audience in order to perform or sell something, and the same holds true for Hollywood and movies. And speaking of Hollywood, the film business is a pretty well-oiled machine, and it goes without saying – the people running it are masters at knowing their audience.
This sometimes involves changing the movie depending on the country it’s intended for. Luckily, often these are just small, fairly unimportant details. (Or are they?). Other times, changes are more substantial and even risk affecting the plots and storylines. So, the same movie will be slightly different in China than in the US, and then it will be different in, for example, Germany. And so on.
So let’s see for ourselves. Thanks to Diply, we have assembled twelve movies and the changes between their American, international, and other versions.
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Remember that moment in the movie when Steve Rogers jots down a to-do list? Well, each movie version had different pop-culture references. For example, Steve Jobs was replaced by The Beatles in the UK version.
2. Toy Story 2
You know that awesome moment when Buzz Lightyear gave his brave speech? Well, you may remember it differently than me. In the American version, the American flag rose behind him, but in other versions – it was a spinning globe accompanied by fireworks.
Did you know that the international version of Zootopia had different news anchors? Well, now you do. Cute!
Twitter | @ryshatscorner
4. Monsters University
In one scene, Randall Boggs serves a batch of cupcakes that make up the words “Be My Pal.”
But not everyone speaks English, so for international audiences, Pixar decided to put a smiley face instead.
5. Die Hard
Ah, the old times. Back when Die Hard was released, the world was very different. For example, Germany had trouble with terrorist groups like the militant leftist Red Army Faction, so it didn’t like the idea of Hans Gruber and his German terrorists.
Hollywood’s solution? Every bad guy got an Irish name and they associated with the IRA. The Irish… Didn’t mind. That much.
6. Men in Black 3
The Chinese censors never miss a thing. At least two scenes in the movie were found to be “offensive” and eventually cut. One scene was when Agent J wipes the memories of some Chinese tourists, while the other involved a fight in a Chinese restaurant.
7. Iron Man 3
The Chinese version of this Marvel spectacle actually had more scenes than the US version. But the scenes just gave Dr. Wu more backstory and even introduced his nurse, played by the famous Chinese actress Fan Bingbing.
8. The Wolf of Wall Street
Although it’s often perceived as super-vulgar even in the West, this controversial Scorsese-directed biography got outright banned in Nepal and Malaysia. In Dubai, however, they were more lax – they just cut 45 minutes from it.
Letterboxd| Twitter | @Padzelli
9. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
The Chinese struck again – this time, Sao Feng, a character in the movie, got his screen time cut to just 10 minutes. He was… vilifying the Chinese culture.
Tumblr | kisen95
10. Inside Out
Remember when baby Riley meets broccoli for the first time and finds it disgusting? Well, in Japan, they switched the broccoli with green peppers.
Twitter | @davidmlally
Not everyone is familiar with American history. Heck, even Americans aren’t! But anyways, this reflected in Lincoln the movie. For the international version, the director included extra scenes to better explain the film’s historical events, while in Japan there was even a whole separate “historical intro” by Steven Spielberg himself.
12. And of course, Titanic
And of course, again the Chinese. Is it just me or is there a pattern here? Apparently, this time Rose was too naked, so that famous scene – that iconic scene – got cut. That scene is basically the entire point of the movie, but whatever you say, China!