When Disney animated classic Lilo & Stitch (2002) made its appearance on the Mouse’s new streaming service Disney+ in 2020 fans immediately noticed something amiss around the 20-minute mark. The scene with Lilo hiding from her older sister in a commode with a curiously placed pizza box for cover seemed distinctly off, so what was going on here?
This wasn’t the first time Disney+ viewers had noticed strange changes to their favourite films, unconvincing CGI hair extensions covering Darry Hannah’s highly offensive butt crack in Splash (1984) and Greedo’s pronouncement of the apparent epithet “maclunkey” courtesy of eternal tinkerer George Lucas in Star Wars (1977) are obvious examples, but this change seemed somehow different.
The least most obvious explanation is to attribute the apparent impossibility that the fans could be misremembering the scene down to interference from alternate realities à la the Mandela effect. As with any good explanation the contradictory claims from fans this side of the Pond, who failed to notice any change, are clearly just further evidence in support of the hypothesis.
The curious combination of a young girl and a pizza box, however, pointed to something far more nefarious at work, at least for those conspiracy theorists ever keen to connect the dots. So, the apparent edit quickly went viral with hashtags #pizzagate and #savethechildren linking it to the core tenet of QAnon that there is a global cabal torturing and sexually abusing children in Satanic rituals.
The fairly easy to uncover truth is, however, that the edit had originally been made way back upon the film’s UK release to appease British censors afraid that the scene could encourage dangerous copycat behaviour of hiding in dryers by young viewers. The BBFC examiner who requested that change now being revealed as none-other-than this week’s SITP Online guest Jim Cliff.