There’s a moment in the classic Red Dwarf episode ‘Better Than Life’ where the plot finds the boys from the Dwarf living out their ultimate fantasies in a prophetic and immersive video game. For The Cat, who longs to romance the ladies and doesn’t get really much of a chance to do so in deep space, it’s a golden opportunity. As the lads catch up with him, he tells them he’s having a great time. “I’m dating Marilyn Monroe and also I have another girlfriend who’s a mermaid. She’s half woman, half fish,” he explains.
We then get a chance to see the girlfriend in question as she ascends from the water’s edge. Miranda, she’s called, and she’s not quite what you’d expect a mermaid to look like. “Somehow I’d imagined she’d be a woman on top and a fish on the bottom,” says Holly, to which The Cat replies “No, that’s the stupid way round!”
We can only imagine this was the kind of blue sky thinking that bods behind the scenes at Disney+ were running with when they decided that our blushing eyes just could not handle the brief sight of Daryl Hannah’s arse in Ron Howard’s 1984 fantasy romance film, Splash, and replaced it with a giant patch of fur. Yes, they’ve covered it up, ladies, gents and others, and how.
The scene in question plays out between Tom Hanks‘s love-struck fruit-and-veg man Allen Bauer when he’s reunited with mermaid Madison, played by Hannah. After some brief conversation between the pair, the starkers Madison gives Allen a sweet peck on the lips before running into the sea. It used to be pretty cute.
Now, it looks like this:
Incredible scenes of woeful CG, there, which may well be giving some of us the impression that beautiful sea women have hair that just won’t quit. This pixelated blonde Splash rug is surely an eyesore, but you can still see a drug deal go wrong in Three Men and a Baby elsewhere on the streaming platform. “Mummy, what’s hewowin?” my youngest asked me. I’d have fewer problems explaining a mermaid’s bare butt cheeks for sure, but whatever.
Disney+ warns Splash viewers from the outset that ‘this film has been modified from its original version. It has been edited for content’ and it certainly wasn’t lying. Others have pointed out that Hannah’s posterior has been airbrushed out in a later scene where she’s frolicking nude at the Statue of Liberty, too.
Disney+ has made several other, arguably more understandable, changes to films in its streaming library so far. Dumbo‘s ‘Jim Crow’ scene is long gone, for example, as is the ‘casting couch’ gag in Toy Story 2.