Some movie tropes translate to awesome in any language. Big explosions, superheroes kicking ass and star-crossed love stories have universal appeal, and are served up to cinemagoers from the US to Japan unchanged.
But when it comes to the finer details of film, what goes down at home won’t necessarily be a smash hit aboard, so studios are often forced to make subtle alterations to the cut they’re distributing with specific territories in mind.
Cultural boundaries make certain scenes too controversial for consumption in some countries, and subtle all-American in-jokes are likely to fly over heads in China. This kind of content is usually edited out or drastically altered for other markets.
This is a frequent occurrence in animated movies such as Disney and Pixar’s output since changes are more straightforward to implement than with live-action films. Rather than fork out for expensive reshoots, the studio need only order tweaks from the art department and add fresh dialogue, often from a region-specific voice actor.
That said, it isn’t unheard of in live-action. In fact, one of the biggest movie franchises around includes films which differ depending on where you’re watching them…