'Splash' on Disney Plus: Did Disney Censor Nudity From the Tom Hanks Movie?

In the catalogue of Disney+, you can see Brendan Fraser's behind in George of the Jungle, bare demon breasts in Fantasia, and even Bart Simpson's penis in The Simpsons Movie. You cannot, however, see Daryl Hannah's butt, which has been censored from the streaming service's version of the mermaid movie Splash.

This censorship was first brought to many people's attention on Twitter when Allison Pregler posted a 20-second clip from the Tom Hanks film, writing: "Disney+ didn't want butts on their platform so they edited Splash with digital fur technology."

In the clip, we see Hannah entering the sea naked from behind. While in the original movie viewers could see her backside in the scene, in the Disney+ version the actor's hair has been digitally extended to cover her nudity.

According to Vanity Fair, in other scenes nudity is artfully cropped or blurred out. However, a sex scene remains in the movie.

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Tom Hanks in 'Splash' Touchstone Pictures

With nudity allowed to remain intact in other movies, viewers pointed out what they deemed a double standard. The reason Disney has censored some nudity, but not others, comes down to a strange quirk of the American ratings system.

In a Ringer investigation trying to find the "dirtiest thing on Disney+," a spokesperson said that no content on the streamer is over a PG-13, and that, "I'm pretty sure the PG-13 rating dictates no nudity in sexual context."

This suggests that nudity in a comedy context (such as in The Simpsons Movie) is treated differently to that in a sexual context, or the romantic context that sees Tom Hanks watching Daryl Hannah dive naked into the sea in Splash.

Hannah's butt is not the only piece of "nudity in sexual context" that has been removed from a Disney+ movie. The 1977 version of cartoon The Rescuers, for example, infamously featured a picture of a nude Playboy model that was placed briefly in the background of one scene as an animator's prank. This raunchy Easter egg has been removed from the Disney+ version of the animated film.

A number of shows originally meant to appear on Disney+ are thought to have moved to fellow streamer Hulu as a result of their sexual content. The gender-swapped series reboot of High Fidelity has already moved, and the Love, Simon spin-off Love, Victor is set to join it on Hulu. It has also been said that the Lizzie McGuire reboot has stalled on Disney over a creative disagreement over how much of grown-up Lizzie's romantic life can be shown.

Splash is streaming now on Disney+.