Fleisher's "Gulliver's Travels"

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jack Cleveland, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Jack Cleveland

    Jack Cleveland Second Unit

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    Looking at the new release of Popeye has made me think of "Gulliver's Travels". Has Paramount released a version of this movie? If not, which version currently availlable on DVD would you recommend?
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I've heard that the Winstar release is the "best" since it supposedly has a really good transfer and the original mono track.
     
  3. Jack Cleveland

    Jack Cleveland Second Unit

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    Thanks- I'll check the Winstar release out!-

    And my apologies to animation aficionados for leaving the "c" out of Fleischer's name!!

    Now: Next question: What other DVD's are out there worth buying from the Fleischer Studios body of work?
     
  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Popeye is obvious and the Superman cartoons are absolutely beautiful in the ultimate Superman collector's tin. The Fleischer cartoons are on the 4th disc of the Superman I 4-disc SE, the Famous Studios ones on the 2-disc SE for Superman II if you're going for just those releases. I haven't found anything really worth it for the Betty Boop cartoons or the rest. Although, I think Inkwell Images has some discs of Koko cartoons that are competently handled.
     
  5. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    As much as I love GULLIVER, I wish somebody would release a decent DVD of Fleischer's forgotten feature, MR. BUG GOES TO TOWN. [​IMG]
     
  6. bob kaplan

    bob kaplan Supporting Actor

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    A very long time ago "Mr. Bug..." was availble on LaserDisc as "Mr. Hoppity Goes to Town." i really enjoy it and also wish it were available on DVD. The laser transfer was not all that bad...but i am sure DVD could improve on that.
     
  7. Jack Cleveland

    Jack Cleveland Second Unit

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    I ordered the Superman cartoons from The Christopher Reeve Superman Box. I'm sure they are the same as the Ultimate Superman Box. I only paid 21.00 for it as I had a 25.00 gift certificate. It sounded like a good deal. So waiting for those...

    I too would like to see a DVD of "Mr. Hoppity Goes to Town". I remember it from when I was a kid. But I definitely want a nice print.

    I saw a DVD called "Max Fleischer's Color Classics: Somewhere in Dreamland", but again, I think the quality varies widely. Any thoughts?
     
  8. Rob W

    Rob W Supporting Actor

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    The reissue title is simply 'Hoppity Goes To Town' - there is no Mr. in the title.
     
  9. WadeM

    WadeM Supporting Actor

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    Yes, I agree that Winstar (Wellspring) has the best version of Gulliver's Travels (60th Anniversary Fully Restored Limited Edition).

    I think there's only one version of Hoppity Goes to Town on DVD. It's not great, but I doubt it'll get any better any time soon.

    If you get the Somewhere in Dreamland DVD, then make sure it's Revision A. Some collectors came forth with better prints after it was initially released, so they reissued it using the better prints. I haven't watched it yet to see how the quality is, but it certainly won't be Popeye quality! The only way I know of to make sure you're getting the revised version is to order from VCI directly here (it's listed as Special Edition here) : http://www.vcientertainment.com/fami...tem=2311&alp=S
     
  10. WadeM

    WadeM Supporting Actor

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    I watched disc one of Somewhere in Dreamland, and the picture quality does vary between shorts, but the content contains quite a few gems. It reminds me of the Silly Symphonies from Disney. While I'm still holding out for an official "Betty Boop" collection, I doubt these Fleischer Color Classics will ever be released in any better quality... (which is very frustrating! They use a lot of the stereo-optical processes used in the Popeye 2 reelers, which I would love to see restored!)

    Edit: Jerry Beck helped produce this DVD, and he provides some good commentaries on the cartoons, too.

    I would get Somewhere in Dreamland before Hoppity Goes to Town, personally. As I said before, there's a lot of gems in this set...regardless of picture quality
     
  11. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    Why can't WB get the rights to the rest of the Fleischer stuff? If they can do to Betty Boop et al what they did to Popeye... man...
     
  12. Ray Pointer

    Ray Pointer Auditioning

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    Yes, it is indeed frustrating not seeing BETTY BOOP out on DVD. And now with yet another format change on the horizon, perhaps it was wise to wait until the digital dust settles from the format war. On the one hand, Warners has so much material already, it is unlikely that they would be interested in buying another old cartoon library. The ironic thing is that after selling their pre-1950 cartoon library to television distributors, Paramount has regained ownership of their old cartoons. The policy at Paramount is odd in that they have retained the theatrical rights while licensing the video rights to other companies. Presently, the entire Viacom cartoon library including Fleischer cartoons including SCREEN SONGS, TALKARTOONS, BETTY BOOP, COLOR CLASSICS, ANIMATED ANTICS, STONE AGE, and GABBY cartoons, plus the Famous LITTLE LULU, NOVELTOONS, and SCREEN SONGS, and all Terrytoons
    are licensed to Lion's Gate, who does not seem to have any plans to release them. One can only wonder why they licensed the cartoons only to let them sit dormant on the shelves. Paramount's motivation was for some quick cash to recoup some losses incurred by other management misjudements.

    As long as the companies in possession of the original film sources continue to ignore the public's intereet, the proliferation of bootlegs continues with copies of varying uncontrolled quality. While there is a consensu that claims that these cartoons are in the Public Domain, the detail that defines this is
    the music contained on the soundtracks. Since BETTY BOOP is essentially a musical novlety character, songs make up a large portion of the content. Most of these songs were either licensed from other publishers, or are largely part of the Famous Music catalog, which are still covered under copyright.
    And while Paramount sold Famous Music to Sony, they have retained the
    "master recording rights" to the music contained on the soundtracks.
    These are details that all of the independents putting out unofficial releases have not researched. And while it is up to Paramount to prosecute, they have been selective in their lawsuits based on what was to be recoverd.
    In the cases where they did sue, it was largely on these grounds.

    There was a suit with MGM for its use of "It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day" from GULLIVER'S TRAVELS for inclusion in their LION HEARTS children's Sing-Along
    videos in 1997. Paramount sue over the music, international, and literary rights and won. Back in the 1980s, Disney was distributing a collection of
    the Fleischer Color Classics under the loose title, THE FABULOUS FLIESCHER FOLIO, which also mixed in some Famous Screen Songs. This colelction oritinalting from Kit Parker Films was also licensed to the Disney Channel and ran for several years. Paramount eventually sued the parties involved including Disney and the partners involved with the series, which explains why the cartoons left The Disney Channel and the VHS and Laser Discs disappeared from circulation.

    In all, it is indeed curious as to WHY Paramount is so protective of these cartoons, yet does nothing on their part to market them properly. For the good or bad of it, it has taken outsiders to recognize what the public wants.
    It's too bad that Paramount does not recognize those indivituals who have the vision and understanding of how to present these treasures in a way that
    would benefit them. That would address the entire issue of the bootlegs and
    poorer quality that has been circulating for decades, and bring a proper and accuarate representation of these important entries in animation history.
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Koch is releasing SD & HD versions of Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels (1939) on 3-10-09...but it appears they have screwed with the aspect ratio. [​IMG]

    According to amazon.com (and many or the reviewers there) the film is being presented in 16:9 on both DVD and blu-ray versions. Incidentally, amazon is advertising both the DVD and Blu-ray versions right now at $13.49 apiece.

    How you can take a 1939 academy film and make it 16:9 is beyond me...
     
  14. John Morgan

    John Morgan Supporting Actor

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    I think Gulliver's Travels is coming to bluray on the same day as Pinocchio.

    Whoops..Mike beat me!
     
  15. John Morgan

    John Morgan Supporting Actor

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    Now I read that the film is formatted for 16x9. The guy who says he has seen the disc claims there is no distortion or cropping. Well, I was never good in math, but how does one go from 4x3 to 16x9?
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Although I've got no clue if it is true, another amazon reviewer says that guy is a Koch stooge.

    No matter how you slice it, it smells fishy.
     
  17. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    Mine's the main review at Amazon that says this issue is a huge POS!!!

    Inspector(UFSO)
     
  18. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Avoid the BR Gulliver at all costs... it's a travesty and the new pan & scan of the HD era.
     
  19. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    You've seen it, Marco?

    Is it a combo of cropping and stretching? Just a stretch? A cropping with a static focal point? Or a crop with a pan-and-scan, since that's the term you used?
     
  20. John Morgan

    John Morgan Supporting Actor

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    Well, if they spent money to restore it, I would assume they restored it first and then formatted it to 16x9. How much more expensive would it have been to include the original 4x3 version on a dual layer disc? The film isn't that long.
     

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