This year, Disney released all three Toy Story films in 4K. Although the movies are generally the same, Disney did cut out one controversial joke from the second installment of the franchise.
In Toy Story 2‘s end credits, animated outtake gags are seen involving a number of the film’s characters. One of those outtakes shows the Prospector flirting with two female Barbie dolls and offering them a role in Toy Story 3, until he notices that he is being filmed. That scene has been completely removed in the new release of the film and won’t be found on the new 4K Blu-ray as well as official digital downloads.
Given the #MeToo era and multiple scandals involving Hollywood kingmakers offering women roles in exchange for sexual favors, one can see why Disney decided to remove the scene. The director of Toy Story 2, John Lasseter, has himself been accused of sexual misconduct, some of which he apologized for before he stepped down from Disney.
Now to be completely fair, these outtakes were not on every version of Toy Story 2 to begin with. They were added in to new prints that were shown in theaters a month after the original release. Some DVD releases have the outtakes during the credits while some as special features. However, the original Blu-ray release has always had them during the credits.
It’s clear that this edit was done on purpose, as it leaves all the other outtakes running while skipping over the one involving the Prospector. The runtime however is not affected, as the outtakes simply end earlier. Below is a video which compares the two versions.
The edit was noticed by users on online forums such as ResetEra, Blu-ray.com and reddit. “I checked the included Blu-ray and it was removed from both the actual credits version and the bonus features version,” wrote rexcrk, a Blu-ray forum user.
One ResetEra user pointed out that another studio had previously dealt with controversial scenes by adding a disclaimer before the film, rather than censoring the moment out. An example given was Whoopie Goldberg introducing a DVD volume of Looney Tunes episodes.
In the disclaimer Goldberg mentions that the episodes were “a product of their time” which included jokes that reflected racial prejudices.
“These jokes were wrong then and they are wrong today, but removing these inexcusable images and jokes from this collection would be the same as saying they never existed. So they are presented here to accurately reflect a part of our history that cannot and should not be ignored,” said Goldberg in the disclaimer.
Perhaps it would have been too much for Disney to add a disclaimer for a small end credit gag. But to censor it out, without any warning, might not have been the best move neither. Especially since the option of simply presenting the outtakes as special features and using the original theatrical scroll was available.
“They could use these opportunities to make a point, to showcase how culture changed for the better, how humor is (or at least should be) less offensive towards people. Instead they choose to delete everything that would seem inappropriate now,” wrote user FairlyEmpire.
Others disagreed and pointed out that the gag wasn’t crucial to the movie. “I’m failing to see why this is an issue. Its 2019 and that’s clearly not going to be considered appropriate anymore. It adds nothing to the film and is a throwaway post credits gag. So throwaway in fact, that they decided to throw it away,” wrote Dyno, another ResetEra user.
Disney didn’t immediately respond to comments for this article.
Whether one agrees or disagrees with Disney’s decision, the scene does show how attitudes toward sexual misconduct in Hollywood have changed since 1999. Such a joke would be virtually unimaginable in today’s Pixar films. And, perhaps underscoring the issue, one of the Barbies did indeed get a role in Toy Story 3.
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