SINGAPORE – 14 JUN 2022
Disney’s animated feature film “Lightyear” has undergone film classification and been rated NC16 [Some Mature Content]. Given the mature content, IMDA had requested the Distributor (Disney) consider the option of releasing the film in two versions, under our Simultaneous Rating Release (SRS) mechanism. This allows for consumer choice. The Distributor (Disney) has turned down this option.
A spin-off from the children’s film franchise “Toy Story”, “Lightyear” contains some depictions of a female lead character and her partner starting a family and going through different milestones of their lives, and they are also seen sharing a kiss. ‘Lightyear’ is the first commercial children’s animation to feature overt homosexual depictions.
As this warrants a higher rating, IMDA requested that the Distributor consider a dual rating release under our film classification Simultaneous Rating Release mechanism. This is a mechanism available today, where a lower-rated version is also released at the same time. The aim is to provide consumers with choices, in terms of which version they want to watch, and open “Lightyear” to a younger audience. The Distributor has turned down this option. More information on the simultaneous rating system works is available in the annex.
In arriving at the film classification rating for “Lightyear”, IMDA was guided by the Film Classification Guidelines (“the Guidelines”). One of the key guiding principles is that the Guidelines should be sensitive to social norms and values that are generally acceptable to members of the public. In addition, IMDA also sought the views of its advisory committees, including the views of parents with younger children.
Taking into consideration the views of the committees, the film is classified NC16 in view of the treatment of the content. The Chairperson of IMDA’s Films Consultative Panel (FCP) Ms Cheryl Ng said “NC16 rating would be an appropriate rating for the film “Lightyear”. While it is an excellent animated film set in the US context, Singapore is a diverse society where we have multiple sensibilities and viewpoints. This being a children’s cartoon, a significant number of FCP members felt that the overt depiction of same-gender marriage would warrant a higher rating. Even among members who were willing to consider a lower rating, some were uncomfortable that this would mean it can be shown unedited, to a broad-based audience on Free-to-Air TV1. It would have been good if Disney had released dual versions of the film. Then younger audiences would be able to catch the film in the cinemas.”