On the streaming service Disney+, you can watch a space-terrorist get his head chopped off in Avengers: Endgame. You can watch watch a space-terrorist get his body cleaved in half in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And you can watch someone’s mother horrifically gunned down in the traumatizing opening moments of Bambi. Are these moments “family friendly”? I guess so, as they’re all presented on Disney+ unabridged. Unfortunately for Splash, the Ron Howard-directed romcom starring Tom Hanks in love with Daryl Hannah as a mermaid, it couldn’t make the cut without making a cut.
In one scene of the — here we go, everyone — fish out of water (we did it!) film, Hannah smooches Hanks on the beach, then turns and runs back into the ocean. And when she does, we can see that she’s nude, and we can, like, kind of sort of see her butt, though her hair mostly covers it. But apparently, not good enough. For in the Disney+ version of the PG-rated film, her bottom is now completely covered with some of the worst CGI hair I’ve ever seen, from a studio typically known for having good CGI. It’s like if Cousin Itt spontaneously sprouted and decided to live on Hannah’s back for two seconds.
This Disney decision, in addition to being tremendously silly, speaks to a lot dangers of the era of “mass culture owned by one company” we find ourselves in, from prurient censorship to the idea that human body parts are more offensive than acts of violence to the idea that anything we love can be changed out of our control. It’s something that Disney has been doing a bunch more lately, and something that I wish and hope they stop. As they, y’know, own everything, and I don’t wanna live in a mediascape where they can eliminate growing, conversation-starting moments from formative pieces of culture at the drop of a terribly rendered CG hat.
Check out the egregiously edited clip below, courtesy of pop culture host Allison Pregler. For more things Disney+, here’s the latest benchmark they’ve leapt over. Plus, when it comes to editing their content, will they ever give us The Simpsons correctly?
Disney+ didn't want butts on their platform so they edited Splash with digital fur technology pic.twitter.com/df8XE0G9om
— Allison Pregler 📼 (@AllisonPregler) April 13, 2020