Sony’s Clean Version initiative provides family-friendly edits of popular films

Anyone who has watched one of their favorite movies on cable is familiar with the sanitized versions of PG-13 and R-rated films that make the rounds on broadcast television. While some adults might bemoan the fact that their favorite scenes are often edited and omitted in these cuts, the idea is to shield the kiddies from inappropriate content.

Interestingly enough — unlike edited CDs and digital albums — there has historically been no officially sanctioned option for modified films. According to Yahoo, however, Sony is now rolling out its Clean Version initiative, which involves scrubbing certain popular films of mature content so they can be enjoyed by a “wider audience.”

There are currently 24 Clean Version titles available, with more on the way and the participating retailers include iTunes, Vudu, and FandangoNow — so it does not appear that the Clean Version is available with physical copies of DVDs. You can check out the full list of films here, but highlights include: Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, Step Brothers, and Captain Phillips.

Clean versions of these films are provided at no extra charge and are either bundled in with the original title or included in the “extras” section. Omitted material includes violence, explicit language, and sexually suggestive content.

Sony is hyping the inclusive initiative with the tagline: “You’re going to need a bigger couch,” as well as a promo video (embedded above) and a list of FAQs at cleanversionmovies.com.

While third-party companies have long been in the business of editing popular films for family-friendly viewing, technical snafus and legal challenges have complicated such efforts from the start. That said, this is good news for consumers. Parents get to introduce the kids to some of their favorite films and those without little ones can go ahead and watch them the way they were meant to be seen. Although, we would love to see what adjective replaces the expletive used to describe the Catalina Wine Mixer during in Step Brothers.