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The Disney brand has always been about family-friendly entertainment, and that has most definitely extended to the content that is featured on the Disney+ streaming service. While the TV shows and movies can most certainly be enjoyed by adults, the hook is that all of the material can also be watched by younger audiences. Unfortunately, a side effect of this is that some of films are censored for their more mature content, with a scene from Ron Howard's 1984 comedy Splash recently being highlighted by the internet.
YouTuber Allison Pregler has posted a clip from the Tom Hanks-Daryl Hannah film on her personal Twitter page, having recorded a scene from the version on Disney+ to demonstrate the censorship. In the original version, mermaid-turned-human Madison kisses her human beau Allen Bauer on the beach before jumping into the ocean – her bare butt exposed while she does so. In the streaming cut, however, the edit is pretty blatant:
Clearly uncomfortable with the minimal nudity and seemingly unable to crop the footage or cut away to something else, the Disney+ edit of Splash opts to insert some really bad CGI instead, suggesting for a brief moment that Daryl Hannah's hair extends in the back all the way down to her thighs. It's super quick, but it definitely doesn't look good.
While it's not mentioned in the Tweet, it should be noted that this is censorship about which Disney+ is at least somewhat upfront. When starting to stream Splash on the streaming service, the first thing that is shown is a title card that reads "This film has been modified from its original version. It has been edited for content." It's also still clearly marked as a movie that has been rated PG-13 for nudity, sexual content, and some brief language, adding that it also "contains tobacco depictions" – which was not something that the MPAA was taking into consideration back in the mid-1980s.
This actually isn't the first time we've heard about censorship in Disney+ films. While it's not available in the United States just yet, Adventures In Babysitting is available in other regions, and people who have watched it via the streaming service have reported that one of the most popular lines has been changed. Rather than having Elisabeth Shue's Chris say, "Don't fuck with the babysitter!" the delivery is changed to "Don't fool with the babysitter!" – a la an airplane or network TV cut.
With Disney+ still being less than a year old, it will be interesting to see how common censorship practices become as more content is added. It's a particularly weird situation because the streaming service isn't the only one owned by the Walt Disney Company, as they also have full control of Hulu. One would think that any film or television show they own that would be considered too risque for Disney+ would simply go to the alternate subscription platform instead of getting edited, but with Splash and Adventures In Babysitting it seems that's not the case. It's odd.
For those who want to check out the edited version of Splash, you can do so by logging into Disney+ now – though Adventures In Babysitting won't be up on the site until June 1, 2021. If you don't have a subscription already, you can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.