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

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Walt Disney's Peter Pan, which was released in 1953, was the second Disney animated film that I was able to see in its original release. I've loved it ever since. When Technicolor made new prints around 1967, the print that I saw at a screening was magnificent. With its every seven years re-release schedule, the Disney animated features have generally been around for what seems like forever. Home video changed that a bit, with titles escaping from, and then being returned to the vault. For what it's worth, and I'm certain that if I'm incorrect someone will come to the fore, with the exception of the 1946 Song of the South (animated and live action), Peter Pan should complete the run of classic animated features which began in 1937. The Disney organization has been very good about bringing their product to Blu-ray. The preparation of the original elements is both expensive and time consuming, and while there were raised voices about the first releases not looking like film, I believe the concept of a new edition has now been accepted. Colors may be tweaked a bit, grain may be non-existant, but the story still comes to the fore. To me, Peter Pan has always been one of the best, and alongside Bambi, I've always held it in a special place. Disney's new Blu-ray of Peter Pan, which arrives on February 5th, for under $30, is a gorgeous new edition, which should once again, delight every age of viewer. To be clear, the concept of a "digital restoration," as advised in the packaging, may not be precisely correct. For as this is not an intent toward a total reproduction of the original look and textures, the term "restoration" doesn't fit the bill. Digital clean-up, re-visualization, re-visitation... But that aside, this is an easy one. One of the finest animated features ever created, finally on Blu-ray-- looking and sounding spectacular. Image - 5 Audio - 5 Peter Pan should be a part of every serious Blu-ray library of classic productions. Two final points. First, for those who don't have a copy of the Christopher Finch Disney book, it can still be found at abebooks and other used book sites. It's a great link between the Disney animated films and their history. And second, Peter Pan should be in theaters. What a thrill kids would have to be able to see this film on the big screen. Very Highly Recommended. RAH
     
  2. moviepas

    moviepas Second Unit

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    You didn't say whether the colors are the original ones or the changed ones on the last DVD set. If you leave out Song of the South in Blu Ray, the three compilations done in the 1940s have not been done? They do have live action, deletions from the originals & removal of cigarettes etc in the DVD versions. Fun & Fancy Free; Melody Time; Make Mine Music. It would be nice if they did these in a set and as originally released. Bet they won't though.
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I do not have reference handy, and am unable to answer the tonality question. Generally, in the past there has been no real intent to follow the original schemes. I'm certain that Mr. Worth will chime in, as he has the information at hand, and knows this information far better than I.
    RAH
     
  4. Guest

    The animated features from the 1960s have yet to be released.
     
  5. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    They've released everything on dvd (except for Song of the South), and on blu, they haven't released any of the 1940s package films (except for Fantasia). The 1960s animated features have also not been on blu as of yet.
     
  6. Guest

    They should do double-features of the package features: 1. The Reluctant Dragon/Victory Through Air Power 2. Saludos Amigos/The Three Caballeros 3. Melody Time/Make Mine Music 4. Fun and Fancy Free/The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
     
  7. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Fantastic idea!
     
  8. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    Wonderful review! Thank you. Peter Pan has always been a favourite of mine, too. "Peter Pan should be a part of every serious Blu-ray library of classic productions." Mr Harris, would you ever consider compiling a list of what should be part of a serious collection of classic film currently available on Blu-ray?
     
  9. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    When we visited Disney during the HTF meet, they showed us some side by side comparisons. They showed us what they did with the colors, sound and animation lines Peter Pan will be worth upgrading to bluray. Disney did an excellent job restoring the film.
     
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Problem would be keeping it down to 500 films or so.
     
  11. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    You start with LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, then to BEN-HUR and on to THE WIZARD OF OZ. A least that starts my list.
     
  12. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    Maybe by you. It still annoys me that I cannot get these films on Blu-ray with the original colour and look. I could say more how I feel about MouseCorp's handling of these films, but it just makes me bitter.
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Hate to put it this way, but my attitude is to get over it. They're creating new software for new generations. These are no longer the films that they were. They're cleaner, smoother and fit to be digested by the youth of the world, who probably can't figure out why they look better than saturday morning TV animation. It's all the same, isn't it?
    Not the way that I would have handled it, but senior management comes and goes, and things change.
    I've grown to accept these for what they are, along with the knowledge that the actual film elements are being scanned at proper resolution, and fully archived as they were originally produced.
    As long as the studios don't mess with the major live action films, or for that matter that Disney doesn't mess with the original look of their own live action films...
    RAH
     
  14. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    That is just it. They are not looking better than Saturday morning cartoons. They are starting to look just like them. Not that I totally diss modern Saturday morning animation. The production values have vastly improved over the years, but nowhere to the level of the old films. And that last sentiment is what really annoys me. It's okay for them to mess with the original values of animated films just don't do the same for live action. To which I say, why not? The new generation is growing up with grain free media, so why shouldn't studios remove grain and otherwise manipulate the image to "improve" their old films for that generation? My sentiment is that they shouldn't be messing with the original values of any classic film, animated or live action.
     
  15. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Their out is that they're working to re-create the look and textures of the original cells. Let's not go with color, as the color would photograph in different ways in SE.
    I'm afraid you're just going to be annoyed. But at least everything is being properly archived.
    RAH
     
  16. Guest

    I love the look of them.
     
  17. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    I understand that that is their justification. I just think it isn't right. They have no way of knowing that it was ever Disney or the production crew's intent for the film to look exactly like the cel. Like you pointed out colour can photograph differently. The colours on the cels could have been adjusted to attain the look that they wanted on film. Regardless, collectors who want the original film are SOL and Disney can get away with the changes because they know any fan of animation is going to want this in their collection. The upside is that everything is being properly archived, since Disney releases have generally been in the top tier for quality. I cannot fault them for that. Prices, yes. Quality, no. As far as quality goes I can give Disney that, unlike Universal. It is just too bad that I can't get the film that I remember seeing.
     
  18. Kevin Martinez

    Kevin Martinez Second Unit

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    I want to see screencaps of the new set, to see if we still have crimson Captain Hook and a defoliated Never Land. Many of the animation people who criticized the previous knew the Nine Old Men. Some even worked with or for them and their contemporaries. So, the criticism wasn't just uninformed nitpicking. Should we also be expected to get over Olive Films' (alleged) bad treatment of High Noon and The Quiet Man?
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The difference is that Disney acknowledges that changes are being made, and that the original work is being modified. Olive, WB, Universal, whomever, are attempting to meet the HD / BD standards of the look and feel of the cinema. Sometimes with succes. RAH
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Which Disney films are you talking about?
    Crawdaddy
     

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