On June 16, “Lightyear”, the latest Pixar film, will be released in German cinemas. Unfortunately, the “Toy Story” spin-off will not be shown in some countries. And because of a scene!
In the past few months, films in several countries have repeatedly been banned from being released in cinemas. In November 2021, the Marvel film Eternals was banned in some Middle Eastern states. In early 2022, it was announced that the video game adaptation “Uncharted” would not be shown in Vietnam. Most recently, the cinema ban hit “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Top Gun: Maverick”: The Marvel blockbuster was not allowed to be shown in five countries and the action film sequel with Tom Cruise still has no start date in China. In Germany and the rest of the world, the sequel to “Top Gun” has been in cinemas for weeks. The reasons for the bans range from depictions of homosexuality to maps that governments say are flawed.
And now another film has joined the black list – and it’s from Disney again: In Germany, “Lightyear” will start in cinemas on June 16 and in many other countries in the days that follow. But the “Toy Story” spin-off is banned in nine states, as reported by the US website Deadline, among others.
For example, “Lightyear” cannot be shown in cinemas in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman. The same applies to Malaysia and Indonesia. And in China, the “Toy Story” spin-off also has no theatrical release date, but it is not officially banned yet. The reason for the ban is likely to be the kiss between the character Alisha and another woman, as Deadline writes. In the countries mentioned above, homosexuality is at least frowned upon, if not illegal. Some of them even impose the death penalty on homosexual acts.
The scene had previously caused a sensation, as reported by Variety, among others: Disney actually had it cut out of the finished film. Only when employees of the animation studio Pixar protested and expressed their displeasure in an open letter to the mouse company was the scene included again in “Lightyear”.
Until recently, it was also common in the states mentioned for films showing homosexual acts to be censored. But in the recent past, production companies like Disney have increasingly stopped allowing this to happen. As a reaction, the films are often simply banned. The United Arab Emirates, on the other hand, announced about six months ago that they would no longer censor international films in the future. Instead, an age restriction of 21 and over should be introduced for certain films. The regulation initially applied to “Lightyear” – until social media denounced that the “Toy Story” spin-off would insult Islam and Muslims. As a result, the animated film was finally banned.
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The original of this post “Because of just one scene: Disney film “Lightyear” banned in nine countries” comes from TV Spielfilm.