I’ve made a Chrome browser extension called No Scary Parts. It automatically skips the scary scenes in family movies on Disney+, for the sake of your sensitive kids from age 1 to 100. Install it or learn more by clicking the button below.
With the COVID-19 quarantine in effect and two little ones at home, Disney+ has provided some much-needed entertainment. But despite being aimed at kids, most Disney movies inevitably include a scene or two that ramp up the creepiness. I mean, who wasn’t scarred by the pink elephants in Dumbo or “Night on Bald Mountain” in Fantasia as a youngin? Storytelling and character-building aside, at their age, my kids just want to enjoy the familiar characters and fun music. Other parents have relayed these sentiments to me too.
I could sit by, remote at the ready, fast forwarding scary scenes long burned into my memory. Maybe you already do that. But fortunately, having already written an extension with similar functionality, it didn’t take much code to do that work for me.
Controlling video in Disney+ isn’t too different from Netflix, so much of the code outlined in the post about Slow Down x Terrace House could be reused.
A new facet of this project however was highlighting upcoming scary scenes in the progress bar. As a React app, Disney+’s progress bar is added and removed from the DOM as the user hovers and unhovers the video. To detect each time the progress bar is added and then add our own highlights, MutationObserver could be used.
Instead, I opted for CSS. A style rule is created that applies a linear gradient to the progress bar, with hard stops alternating between the highlight color and transparent to indicate skipped scenes.
As a side note, I quickly ran into Chrome bug 892711, where if you have more than eight intervals (or basically three highlights) in your linear gradient, hard stops are rendered with blurry boundaries. It wasn’t a dealbreaker, but hopefully will get fixed.
No Scary Parts currently supports Frozen, Moana, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Fantasia. If there’s interest, more can be added. Leave your requests in the comments below.
Other streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime could be supported in the future, but I suspect my hands will be plenty full with creepy Disney scenes.
Everyone differs in their sensitivity, so setting your own level of filters, or time-stamping your own scenes, would be nice to add.