A Few Words About A few words about...™ Fantasia -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Oh, come off it. No one has said they preferred the image on the laserdisc, only that the laserdisc was preferable overall because of the Blu-ray's audio. Argue about relative pros and cons of each version if you like, but can't we do that without putting words into people's mouths?
     
  2. robbbb1138

    robbbb1138 Second Unit

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    Isn't it Corey Burton? Given how he's been used over the years in other voice-over work, I think Disney and some others think he sounds like everyone.
     
  3. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    duplicate
     
  4. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Corey Burton is a talented performer, most of whose work I respect and appreciate on its own merits. But listen to his work in Fantasia compared to Deems Taylor's original (a clip was posted in the other Fantasia thread)--they simply don't sound anything alike.


    To answer your question, Cees, I don't have a problem in principle with Disney's having re-dubbed the entire movie--I understand that there are lots of little bits & pieces missing throughout, and I appreciate how difficult it would be to seamlessly fit in the dubbed portions. I just think that whatever approach they took, they should have tried a bit harder to make it closer to the original.


    I think the Blu-ray is a pretty good presentation, but surely it's overstating things a bit to claim that "nothing necessary to make this perfect has been spared" (to say nothing of the "black centaur" issue).
     
  5. RoyWilbury

    RoyWilbury Stunt Coordinator

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    Let me preface all of this by saying that I have the BD and it is wonderful, and the audio issue does not keep me from enjoying or purchasing this title.


    It would be interesting to know precisely which Deems Taylor audio is missing, or if it is missing or just of extremely poor quality. It appears that it may be as simple as the re-inserted roadshow bits being unsalvageable. It would appear they could have done one of several things:


    1. Provide the previously-available edited version with Taylor’s voice via seamless branching.
    2. Provide an alternate soundtrack with Taylor’s voice, with either subtitles or the replacement voice filling in the missing gaps. The jump between original and dubbed voices may indeed be too jarring, but I think an *alternate* track of this sort could have worked.
    3. Provide the Taylor segments with original voice as bonus features.

    Given that they felt the need either budget wise or disc space-wise to leave off most bonus features on these discs, it isn’t surprising they didn’t try for any of these alternative solutions.


    I have to say as someone who didn’t have much familiarity with the film, even if I hadn’t known before viewing the film that the voice was dubbed, it would have been clear. The voice is clearly dubbed based on comparing the image to the sound. The dubbed audio also doesn’t necessarily have the ambience or sound quality of a 1940 recording. It sounds like an in-studio dub.


    I’ve only been able to hear some YouTube side-by-side comparisons of the original and dubbed voice. I’m not sure what to make of it. It isn’t anywhere near the worst dub/impersonation I’ve ever heard. It sounds reasonably similar. It’s not like they traded a deep husky voice for a high-pitched voice or something. I’m not really convinced getting a “better” impersonator would have solved anything, both because the outrage seems to be partly that it was dubbed at all, and I’m also not convinced a different impersonator would have sounded much more like Taylor.


    It really is a case of a trade-off. I suppose we shouldn’t have to choose, but given the choice, I’d take an HD transfer on BD with a dubbed voice to an SD transfer with original voice.
     
  6. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    Deems Taylor was a significant figure in the history of American music in the 20th Century and, specifically relevant to his part in Fantasia, a significant media presence. His voice was familiar to millions of radio listeners as that of the person who could communicate ideas and concepts about classical music with intelligence and humor, in a way that was comprehensible, entertaining, but never condescending. He wasn't just some anonymous, interchangeable voice-over guy reading from a script. If this couldn't be done properly, it shouldn't have been done at all.
     
  7. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    I suspect the majority of people buying Fantasia on blu-ray wouldn't know or care if it was or wasn't Deems Taylor's voice on the disc. If you're saying it's better that Fantasia was never released on Blu-ray at all than have his voice dubbed, I disagree. I'm already looking forward to watching the movie again this weekend, definitely in my top 10 Blu-rays of the year. Yes it would have been nice to have Deems track on there somewhere, but I'm just happy at how fantastic this 70 year old film looks (and sounds). :)
     
  8. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    I'm saying that the segments for which original audio no longer existed shouldn't have been put back in. In other words, just release the post-roadshow version with Taylor's own voice intact.
     
  9. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    It's weird that some seem to be writing of this Bluray when Disney seemed to make the best compromise: recreate the road show experience in the best way possible with the elements that survived. Not all of Deems vocals survived, so they did the best they could with a re-record. Could it have been done better? Possibly. The alternative and easier (and cheaper) route for Disney to have taken is to just cut all those bits out and release a music/cartoon only version that was seen in some cinemas in Fantasia's choppy release history.
     
  10. Russell G

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    Huh, never mind my previous post. It seems people would prefer a butchered for content version on this one. *walks away shaking his head*
     
  11. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Over the past couple of months I have had a lot to say about the Deems Taylor narration. But the one thing that is clear, and has been said talked about before is that Disney did not release this as a historical piece. They released it as DVD to be purchased by families. They keep it censored as they have since the late 60's. To entice more sales and make is seem different from the previous release they released it as the roadshow version, but with different narrations since some does not exist in any usable form. The funny thing is that the only real difference in this Roadshow version versus the previous release is the additional narration. Now ask around and do the math. It does not make sense.

    I have the Blu-ray and it is quite spectacular and I'm amazed at the how the original sound is. This is an enjoyable film even without Mr. Taylor's narration. I would love to watch and hear the film complete with all his narration, but also I would love to watch Orson Wells's complete film, The Magnificent Ambersons, and that just is not going to happen.
     
  12. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Can't forget this post. In my opinion you are correct. This film has had a choppy release history and most Disney people yesterday and today really do not understand what they have or had. I mean really don't they just want to make money on each project. Disney has a great reputation for saving everything they can, the loss of portions of Mr. Taylor's narration has got to be a huge blow to them or did it happen because they had not faith in the life of the film after the road show.
     
  13. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    Please. You and I have different ideas of what constitutes "butchery" in this case.
     
  14. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    The original version doesn't exist anymore. No matter what Disney does, some element of the movie is going to be missing. Why shake your head at anyone who prefers Taylor's original narration over the extended roadshow segments? What makes your opinion on the matter so special? Why is it "butchery" to remove one element of the movie, but not another?
     
  15. Adam_S

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    This is what leadsd to my personal belief is that the material was not lost, it's just that Deems Taylor's contract was clever enough that it can be interpreted as Disney owing him or his estate money when released on any format. Paying a royalty would definitely cause Disney to rerecord his voice over so they wouldn't have to pay.

     
  16. Paul Penna

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    But that wasn't the case in the 1990s, when Fantasia was first released on video. And the contract covered only his voice, not his image. And the matter just happened to come up when they wanted to release the original roadshow version, or was that just a ruse to cover up their devious plot to gyp Taylor's estate? My personal belief is that at the last minute, they found they were unable to re-animate Taylor's cryogenically-preserved corpse, so he wasn't able to dub the audio himself.
     
  17. Russell G

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    Excuse me? Where did I say my opinion was more valid or special? Care to explain why you're so defensive over a difference of opinion? I'm shaking my head at this:


    Disney tried to recreate the original road show version. Parts of the audio was lost. To compensate, they re-recorded the audio in an attempt to return "Fantasia" to it's original form in a non-distracting way. I find it odd that people are refusing the release for this fact. Yes, Taylors voice would of been preferred. I have no doubt that if they could of blended the remaining Taylor stems with a re-record for the missing audio in a seamless way, they would of. They chose this compromise, re-record the dialog so that it would be less distracting and truer to the original intent while keeping the viewer "in" the movie. It is my understanding that the information passed in the re-record is the same as the information that Taylor presented. It's not jazzed up, it's not re-interpreted, it's the same. Just a different voice because the original wasn't available. This is the audio equivalent to the video compromises seen in many silent releases where still photos are used in place of missing scenes. That practice is typically lauded, but this audio replacement for missing dialog gets the shit smear by the HTF membership? Yes dear sir, I shake my head in wonderment!


    Especially when the deal breaker should be the continued censorship! Why aren't you passionate film purists also crying out for that sequence to be removed since PC Disney wont release it uncensored as originally intended? Maybe they should just say "fuck it" and throw Fantasias ass in the vault to stay restored and unseen as "Song Of The South" is rumoured (elements restored, with no release in sight) to have been?

    Sorry, I'd rather be able to enjoy a compromised,restored release of a masterpiece rather not have it at all.
     
  18. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    When you described one way of altering Fantasia as "butchery" and shook your head at those who preferred that particular alteration. The Blu-ray version is altered, too! No matter what, some compromise has to be made. Why is only one of them "butchery"?
     
  19. Russell G

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    Intent. Typically restoration is geared to replicate the closest that is possible to the original release, which aside from the horrendous, idiotic self censorship, this bluray achieves.

    To ask for scenes to be cut that have been re-instated due to an audio issue? Yes, I shake my head at it and consider it butchery over compromise since it is unnecessary on the whole. It may be necessary for YOU, but Disney didn't make this for YOU and it's not about YOU. There are many more people out there that would prefer the original length Fantasia over an edited one. The Bluray allows you to skip over the Deems Taylor parts your so offended by, so get over your self and skip past them (or continue to not buy it) instead of supporting that video companies release edited versions over restored versions.
     
  20. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    See, that's where the difference of opinion lies. You think it's not as important as I do. And for the record, I did buy the Blu-Ray. I'm just not going to watch or listen to any of the Taylor segments as they're presented in it.
     

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