Leave a Comment
As far as animated franchises go, there are few quite as popular as Toy Story. The original movie hit theaters back in 1995, premiering cutting edge technology. Since then, the property has never been far from theaters, with Andy's toys popping back up every decade or so to break our hearts again. The Toy Story movies have always changed with the times, and now it looks like Disney has deleted a controversial scene from Toy Story 2.
The scene in question occurs at the tail end of the first Toy Story sequel. Toy Story came with a "gag reel", which had extra scenes for audiences to enjoy as the credits. One of these vignettes shows Kelsey Grammer's villainous Stinky Pete speaking with a pair of Barbies. He's flirty and happy about their identical appearance, before telling them he can probably get them a role in the inevitable Toy Story 3.
The scene in question hasn't aged particularly well, especially with the #MeToo movement shining a light on sexual harassment in the workplace. And it looks like the House of Mouse had concerns over the sequence, with Deadline reporting the studio pulled it from all future home release version of Toy Story 2. While it still lives on in the internet and DVD/VHS copies, Disney has made it feelings known by editing out Stinky Pete's triggering moment from the first sequel.
As a reminder, you can check out the scene in question from Toy Story 2 below. Because while it won't be made available for new purchases, the scene in question lives on thanks to the internet.
Yeah, that scene does not age well at all. It transforms Toy Story 2's villain into one off camera, who is presumably praying on the vulnerability of two unknown Barbies. And given how much conversation has revolved around the #MeToo movement and workplace harassment, it's understandably not a message that Disney wants to associate with.
Toy Story 2 was released back in 1999, just a few years after the original animated blockbuster hit theaters. This was a decade and change before allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey broke open the dam regarding harassment and assault.
The world has changed quite a bit in the last few years, especially in the entertainment industry. As such, certain types of jokes and bits are simply no longer appropriate. This includes Toy Story 2's scene in question, which should be less available during future sales... even if YouTube has immortalized it.
This isn't the first time The House of Mouse has put material back in the Disney vault. The studio has notably attempted to make the 1964 movie Songs of the South difficult to come by. The live-action/animated hybrid flick is arguably the most controversial movie to come from Disney, particularly regarding its portrayal of African-Americans. And while the Splash Mountain theme park ride is still based off Songs of the South, the movie itself has not been made available for home purchase in the United States.
As for Toy Story 2, it never seemed to really get a bad wrap over the Stinky Pete scene. Instead, the studio got ahead of the story, and pulled the sequence themselves. Disney has been known to make decisions like this rather quickly, which can be seen in the way James Gunn was promptly fired from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise when he was at the heart of his own controversy.
The beloved animated franchise is currently back in theaters with Toy Story 4, seemingly ending Tim Allen's run as protagonist Woody in the process. The movie has been mostly spared of controversies, although the third sequel might not be as profitable as one would have assumed.
The only other blemish on Toy Story 4 ahead of its release was the use of Bo Peep's signature crook, which PETA took umbrage with. The advocacy organization requested that Annie Potts' character lose her typical accessory, although the movie's animation must have been largely finished by the time the request was made. Ultimately Bo Peep remained with her crook, which she used as her primary weapon and accessory as a lost toy.
Bo Peep has a major presence in Toy Story 4, regardless of her somewhat controversial accessory. After being unceremoniously written off ahead of Toy Story 3, the character's backstory and departure were directly addressed in the new movie. Bo is one of the biggest characters in Toy Story 4, with arguably more screen time and dialogue than franchise favorites like Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, and Rex. And it seems PETA's outrage over the character died down quite a bit ahead of its release.
It should be interesting to see if/when Disney makes a comment regarding the now controversial Toy Story 2 scene with Stinky Pete. It's almost surprising that no quote has been given, despite the scene in question being pulled from new purchases of the movie. Actor Kelsey Grammer hasn't made any statement either, as the voice actor behind the brief clip.
We'll just have to wait and see if/when Disney addresses the situation with Toy Story 2. The sequel is considered one of the strongest additions to the film series, adding in beloved characters like Jessie and Bullseye. Stinky Pete is the movie's surprise villain-- arguably the most fleshed out antagonist of the entire franchise. Considering how much press was done ahead of Toy Story 4's release, it should be easy for the powers that be to respond back to an outlet, and officially confirm the reason for cutting out that brief scene in the sequel's "blooper reel."
If and when that happens, CinemaBlend will be sure to update you regarding the ongoing Toy Story 2 situation. Considering the fourth movie is still in theaters now, smart money says the deleted scene is addressed sooner rather than later.
Toy Story 4 is in theaters now, and heading into a competitive holiday weekend at the box office. In the meantime, be sure to check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.