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‘Splash’ Goes Viral After 36 Years for Bizarre VFX Used to Hide Nudity on Disney+

Not since "Cats" have any visual effects been so unbelievably head-scratching.

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Touchstone/Kobal/Shutterstock (5881856m)Tom Hanks, Daryl HannahSplash - 1984Director: Ron (Ronny) HowardTouchstoneUSAScene Still

“Splash”

Touchstone/Kobal/Shutterstock

Only in the age of streaming could Ron Howard’s 1984 fantasy romance “Splash” find itself going viral. A rather bizarre edit of the movie on Disney+ is making the rounds on social media due to the fuzzy visual effects that have been added to the movie in order to hide the nudity on display. It appears VFX was used to extend Daryl Hannah’s hair to cover her butt in the Disney+ version of “Splash.” Hannah’s hair now extends down to her thighs, but the visual comes off looking not too dissimilar from the digital fur in “Cats.” Another scene in the film, in which a side shot of Hannah’s butt appears, has been blurred entirely. Disney+ does state at the beginning of its “Splash” stream that “this film has been modified from its original version. It has been edited for content.” A video of the VFX edit on Twitter has earned over 1 million views in 24 hours.

Why a film like “Splash” that has nudity is streaming on Disney+ to begin with remains to be seen. The company has touted the service as a family-friendly streaming destination, while Disney-owned Hulu is used for the studio’s more adult-oriented content. Disney recently made headlines for moving over its “Love, Simon” television adaptation from Disney+ to Hulu, citing more adult themes that would be a better fit on the latter streaming platform. Hillary Duff’s “Lizzie McGuire” reboot is being creatively overhauled for Disney+ after the original production was allegedly deemed not family-friendly enough for Disney+.

“Splash” was released by Disney through Buena Vista Distribution in March 1984 and became a box office hit with nearly $70 million on a $11 million production budget. Hannah plays a mermaid who washes ashore and falls in love with an earnest New York City fruit and vegetable seller, played by Tom Hanks. The film’s script, credited to Bruce Jay Friedman, Lowell Ganz, Brian Grazer, and Babaloo Mandel, was nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Plans have been circulating for well over a year now that “Splash” is getting a gender-swapped remake starring Channing Tatum as the mermaid and Jillian Bell as the human love interest. Bell told IndieWire in 2019, “It’s being written currently, so we hope we get to make it within the next couple years. I think it’s happening. I’m really excited about it.” No developments on the project have been announced since then.

IndieWire has reached out to Disney+ for comment on the recent “Splash” edits for streaming.

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