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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    You asked, "where did I say my opinion was more valid or special?" You did so in saying thigs like:


    I don't know what your "it's not about YOU" comment is even supposed to mean. I said before that I recognize that some compromise had to be made and that there was no ideal solution. I said that the Blu-ray was pretty good and that re-dubbing the voice was acceptable. I didn't claim that there is only one valid way of presenting Fantasia, or describe others' preferred way as "butchery."
     
  2. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Apples and oranges. The original audio is gone. It doesn't exist. The censored sequence survives and is presumably still in the negatives but Disney has a low opinion of our ability to judge historical context and keeps it off.
     
  3. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Why don't you find other posts I've made on the forum from before you confronted me so you can quote them out of context to the conversation too? Would that be more convenient for your bizarre finger pointing dispute with me that YOU started? Would you like me to declare you "King Of Film Fans"? Would that settle your ego? Do you really need me to do that?

    I posted an opinion, and I quoted Paul Penna because I found it surprising for reasons already explained. Your problem with me is something else entirely. Feel free to PM me, but your personal beef that has risen in other threads shouldn't distract this thread.



    Quote: Paul Penna


    Agreed. I think this is the best result. For those of us not as bothered by the voice replacement, we can experiance "Fantasia" (mostly) as intended. For those that dislike the voice replacement, they can skip it. Both way more acceptable IN MY OPINION to cutting scenes out wholesale. (which is what prompted my head shaking.)
     
  4. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I think I commented on that fact...
     
  5. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    And in that, they're absolutely correct. Very few people these days have any notion at all of the historical context of anything whatever. They'd have everything to lose and nothing to gain, financially and public-relations-wise. It's unfortunate that that's the case, but under those circumstances, the decision is perfectly logical.
     
  6. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    I have no idea what you're talking about. I have no problem with you personally ("It's not about YOU"). I just found one particular thing you said (that you were "shaking your head" at those who disagreed with your opinion about the best way to present Fantasia) a bit condescending. Why would you "find it surprising" that someone--and on the HTF, of all places--would value Fantasia's original narration? Yes, retaining that narration would entail some compromise. We all recognize that there is no perfect solution to presenting Fantasia on Blu-ray. I simply don't think that justifies "shaking your head" at those who prefer a different compromise than you do. I apologize if I misunderstood your point, but I don't think I did, because you continue to defend one particular alteration as acceptable, while reviling those who prefer a different alteration. It would be one thing if Fantasia could be presented in its original roadshow version with no alteration whatsoever. Unfortunately, that's not possible. So why can't people have different opinions about the best way of presenting it without you shaking your head at their opinions?
     
  7. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I don't know. A simple warning of "This film is a product of it's time blah blah blah" at the start and most people probably wouldn't bat too much of an eye. I'm basing this on the prevalence of Manga in North American culture where blacks are typically depicted like this:





    and it's not really considered much of a deal. Granted, it's not a sambo depiction or anything like what went on in the minstrel show days, but the big red lips aren't all that far removed from the older depictions. If a generation of viewers are used to the above, is the original:





    ... really so horrible? Well, it is since it's certainly based on negative stereotypes that were barely considered acceptable in those days, but still, aside from the usual suspects I doubt there would be too much of a brohahah over it and many wouldn't notice it.


    OR is that also a problem? that on top of those who would be upset over it, there would be other ambivalent to it?
     
  8. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Because to chop bits of film out to reduce it from it's original running time in my opinion not only goes against what I understand film restoration and it's goals, but also sets an incredibly dangerous precedent. On a forum that ballyhoos OAR and all that, to willingly cut sections of a movie that don't need to be when there is a working compromise is something to shake my head at. People are more than welcome to that opinion, and more power to you, but don't expect me to give you or anyone a pat on the back for something that I don't think is right for film or film fandom.


    Check out the history of films like "Metropolis" where people dedicated years out of their lives in an attempt to restore it. To willingly chose to kill footage just because it's a bit wonky from what it should be seems like a real slap in the face to the restorers trying to reclaim lost films.


    Criticize the efforts? Please do. Tell them to do a better job, make it less obvious, tell them you don't like this dub (which I believe you yourself have been doing), but please don't tell them to cut out or reduce the films from the original intent.

    So yeah, when I read:


    "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."


    I shook my head since I've never encountered a suggestion such as this that I can recall on the boards. I also rolled my eyes while doing it. I frankly find it a dumb and dangerous suggestion. So deal with it.
     
  9. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Three words: Walt Disney Treasures.


    Four more words: Lady and the Tramp


    Two more words: The Aristocats
     
  10. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Fantasia is one of my favourite Disney films. I consider it to be a work of art. I got the Anthology box for Christmas when it came out and was utterly impressed with the breadth of special features it possessed. For that reason alone I am hanging onto it. I bought the current BD last week and have yet to watch it, but imagine I will be utterly enthralled by the presentation. With all the bitching and moaning on the forum about Deems' Taylor's original audio track and the censored segments, it appears that Disney missed the boat on how best to incorporate these into the set. What should have happened (and can still happen, thanks to BD-Live), is that Taylor's original narration could be made a BD-Live bonus feature, as could the censored segments, although I don't think they can be incorporated into the film, and perhaps for the time being, they shouldn't be. The original special features could have been included as a fifth disc, but as I still have the Anthology box, NBD for me.
     
  11. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    That's funny, since Paul has been arguing pretty much the same thing. Why willingly cut out the entirety of Deems Taylor's narration when it doesn't need to be?
    I am perfectly capable of dealing with it. I just don't understand why you were taken aback at the suggestion that you though your opinion "was more valid or special," when you've admitted that you thought Paul's opinions was "dumb and dangerous."
     
  12. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    Because nowhere did I declare that my opinions are any more special, valid, dumb or dangerous then anyone else. You didn't just specifically offer a critique or comment on my opinion/statement, questioned me personally on why I think I'm "special" in a confrontational and negative manner. I find the assumption that I think that way, like some crazed ego maniac, when I don't, to be a personal comment of my character (which is a violation of the HTF) and not of my opinions.


    Feel free to think and state that my opinions are stupid, I draw the line at being called stupid though. If you hadn't spent most of a "World At War" thread distorting and miss-representing my posts and my image maybe I wouldn't have been so quick to call you out on it.


    I think Paul has good intentions, and his bases for his idea is a more then valid one. That said, his idea of cutting Fantasia further is dangerous one. If you can't see the difference in what I'm saying, then perhaps you should be more careful in how you post.
     
  13. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    So the paying a royalty for work done in 1940 would cost more than re-recording the complete narration in 2010. And then with the Guild Contracts today, that cost would be a continuing expense for any future releases. Sorry I just don't buy that thought.
     
  14. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    As much as we might like to think that movies are art, they aren’t. They are, in fact, commerce. Movies have to make money or they don’t exist.

    So Disney says to itself, we have this classic red widget that people might like to have. Then they discover that there is one drawback. The red enamel paint is no longer available because its been banned by the EPA. So they look around and discover that they have a red acrylic paint, that while its red, doesn’t really look like the original. But, says a bean counter, 99% of the consumers are too young to have ever seen this in person, and they won’t know the difference, nor will they care. So they release it with the anachronistic, incorrect red paint. It sells like hot cakes.

    The point being, that this release is NOT for the obsessive Fantasia fan who has seen the movie 40 times. (this is not a knock of obsessive fans, I too am obsessive about things) Nor is it for the Deems Taylor fan. The people they are selling this too just don’t care about this stuff.

    I saw this film in the late 70’s in the theater with an approximation of the original Fantasound soundtrack. It was a revelation for me at the age of about 12. I distinctly remember the warm but slightly nasally sound of Taylor’s voice. Decidedly un-announcer like, and as he would say, it was all to the good.

    I too wish they could have found a way to include Taylor’s voice in the film. However if Disney knows one thing, they know their audience. And knowing them they decided this was the best way to present the film. After all when you run a business you have to keep the lights on, and you don’t do that by not knowing your customer.

    Doug
     
  15. urbo73

    urbo73 Stunt Coordinator

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    I disagree with this statement, for the simple fact that you can then say that music, literature, paintings, etc. are also not art. EVERYTHING that is art is commerce one way or another. And that does not make it any less. It's just how it is. Having said that, I agree with you completely otherwise. I find people get sometimes too fanatical about the smallest of minutia and maybe in return waste time and miss out on the bigger picture (no pun intended). While we are all here because in a way we ARE fanatic about movies and their presentation in the home, I do think one has to find some balance. The thread about Sound of Music is insane! I have to sometimes ask myself if people truly enjoy things anymore or are too spoiled...
     
  16. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    In Disney's eyes it is more the commerce. They are too afraid of offending people and will change something at the drop of a hat if they think people will complain such as Pecos Bill smoking and the censored parts in Fantasia. If it is truly art in their mind they would not make the changes in what was originally drawn and stand up for what was common at the time, be it right or wrong.


    However, being the Gemini that I am, I give credit to Disney for the releasing the Black and White Mickey Mouse and the WWII Cartoons without censorship. They treated those as art. but knew there was a limited demand and the people that wanted them, knew what they were getting and wanted no other way.

    I do agree with you that sometimes we go off on tangents over these releases and get concerned with the snap of an apron. I am also truly surprised that there was not more discussion on the continued censorship of Fantasia since the scenes do survive, but the discussion as been on audio narration that does not survive.
     
  17. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The Disney organization's decision to do a field enlargement (nothing was cut) on the impish, little large-lipped kinky-haired creatures, is IMHO a proper move. One can add opening title cards to explain, place these films in proper perspective all that one wishes, attempt to educate, mollify, persuade, etc... and there will still be members of the public that will take it wrong, make more of it than is necessary, be offended by it, or torture young classmates with imitative faces based upon the images. It simply isn't worth it when people can be offended.


    There is nothing to be gained, and a great deal to be lost. The original footage is available for study, but really has no place in what Disney is creating on these Blu-rays, which is modern entertainment.


    Want to discuss Song of the South? Another matter entirely. As someone who loves the film, I've never seen any problem with it, unless one wants to consider the white parents and how they ignore the children, who find solace and love with a black storyteller.
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I basically agree with you but I don't think that anyone young would even recognize it as something offensive or use it to mock other people. 20 or 25 years ago, I used to watch Tom And Jerry and the black face 'jokes' didn't make any sense to me and today, there's probably even fewer people that recognize its intent.
     
  19. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I didn't say that films don't sometime rise (or lower depending on your opinion of so called art) to the level of art. But for the most part they aren't made for arts sake. They are made to make money.


    Doug
     
  20. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    I didn't say that films don't sometime rise (or lower depending on your opinion of so called art) to the level of art. But for the most part they aren't made for arts sake. They are made to make money.


    Doug


    What isn't?

    even Paintings, and sculptures are made to be sold aren't they?

    As with a movie or a song they are the creators expressions put on film or canvass or whatever, ut they still usually want to sell them and make cash, make a living.
     

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