DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Bambi - Absolutely Recommended!!!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by DaViD Boulet, Feb 27, 2005.

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  1. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    Any supplemental materials in the THX LD that are missing from the DVD?

    Any reason to hold on to the LD?
     
  2. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Isoated music and f/x track, Pete.
     
  3. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    Thanks Ernest.[​IMG]

    Anyone want to buy a mint LD?[​IMG]
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    David,

    Once again, a review that goes above
    and beyond.

    Thank You for your efforts.
     
  5. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I should update my review to address this particular issue...you're right...that was the debate when the LD was produced...but what's more important (that I didn't make clear in the review when first posted) is that the DVD also has this "frozen background" effect...however...don't be too quick judge just yet.

    At the time of the last laserdisc most reviewers attributed the "frozen" backgrounds on the LD to the theory that the restoration team had selected various still-frames that were in good shape and substitued them in place of the former "moving" image. It was all conjecture...and now looking at the DVD I see what was really happening...the removal of "in motion" film-grain overlayed on the image produces backgrounds that "stop" and stand motionless when the image becomes motionless...like staring at a painting (that previously had a layer of dancing noise between you and it).

    It can be somewhat distracting...what I meant by findging yourself fixating on the detail in the painted backgrounds...but it can also be revealing...because painted backgrounds is exactly what they are.

    Ernest and his example of the mother deer stepping out into the "frozen" field is a good example.

    Personally, I can see this working both ways...depending on which aspect of the image you value more. As a "work of visual art" I find the cleaned image exhilarating...I love seeing all that hand-detail in the background images. As a "movie" I can understand how the veil of film-grain would help give the illusion of a photograph in perpetual motion or at least in "movement through time" even if a background was held stationary...the changing film-grain pattern suggests movement through time.

    Film-grain is a visual tool we've been trained over the years to interpret this way through the film medium. While I would always support the preservation of the "film" medium grain and all, in this case I find myself appreciative of what the grain-removal reveals...subtle hand-drawn/painted images that now communicate their craft much more clearly.

    Is that what Walt wanted? Is that what you want? "Frozen" backgrounds are a part of this new process...becaue paintings don't move. Let the discussion continue...
     
  6. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    p.s. I'll be very curious about all of your impressions about the soundtracks (5.1 and original mono) as well as the "grain" thing once you have a chance to do some critical evaluation...

    dave [​IMG]
     
  7. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

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    Wow, that was a lot to read! Even without the review I was looking forward to picking this up, now I absolutely cannot wait! [​IMG]

    I dont remember the theatrical release schedule for the original Disney animated classics, but Bambi was the first animated film I ever remember seeing in the theater as a kid. I know I saw most of them, but I had to had been only 4-5 years old when Bambi was in theaters.

    Edit: I checked imdb.com and assuming they're correct, this film was released theatrically in June 1982, which would have put me right around my 4th birthday! So, it looks like my memory was correct! [​IMG]
     
  8. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

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    Outstanding review David! I too often take your reviews (and HTF reviews in general) for granted so many thanks!

    Chris S.
     
  9. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    It was also rereleased summer of 1988, right after Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Talk about a great summer for a young animation fan with a driver's license. I can't count how many times I saw both in the theater that summer.
     
  10. Reagan

    Reagan Supporting Actor

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    Nice work, David. Another sterling effort.

    -Reagan
     
  11. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    David's a treasure to the HTF. They should give him some major perks.

    David - you have an agent?

    What effect better serves the movie? What effect better serves the intent of the original artists? What effect do you prefer?

    You know what, David? I think I prefer the grain. On the 55th Anniversary laserdisc, Bambi's mother looked like a brown log with moving sticks for legs in the meadow sequence, because all the motion of the film grain had been removed. I can look at background art on the still-frame galleries or in the exquisite book, Bambi: The Story and the Film by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. I want the movie to be a movie. That's where I'm starting to come down in this debate.
     
  12. LorenzoL

    LorenzoL Second Unit

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    Thanks David for the excellent review and to Ernest for all of the insights of this Disney classic.

    I have a special fondness for Bambi being that it was the very first movie I went to the theatre to watch (it was during the rerelease in 1982).

    Can't wait to get it tomorrow.
     
  13. PeterTHX

    PeterTHX Cinematographer

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    Sorry Ernest, gotta disagree with you on this one.

    Film grain, while it may seem like it makes the image "come alive" to you, is something the animators never intended. Much like any CGI or CAPS or HD shot feature. You want the film grain of the prints? Or what the artisans saw in the studio (pristine negative, computer digital master, etc).

    If they struck a brand new print from the original pristine negative, would it have the grain you recall? Probably not.

    I remember seeing "Episode II" for the first time with a grainy print, and you know it in no way was what Lucas intended it to look like.
     
  14. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Although I know what you mean, film has some grain to it no matter what.
     
  15. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    The film grain that was removed was inherent to the original 3-strip Technicolor negatives (not a subsequent print)...because that was the "film source" they used to do the digital capture (like Singing in the Rain).

    All great comments!
     
  16. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    Of course, Lucas shot Episode II with the knowledge that some venues could show it in DLP, with its intended video look. The animators of Bambi, on the other hand, surely thought that their work would only be seen via film, and they knew what that did to an animated image. To say that the animators intended that their work be seen without film grain may be a bit of a stretch; as far as the animators knew, that's the only way in which their work could be seen. If the animators of Bambi never intended that their work be seen via film and its inherent grain, they were in the wrong business. Much more realistically, it is not inconceivable that they crafted their animation with film grain in mind.

    And, yes, even a "pristine negative" has grain. Otherwise, it wouldn't be film.

    DJ
     
  17. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    Film grain, while it may seem like it makes the image "come alive" to you, is something the animators never intended.

    A bold statement, Peter. [​IMG] I have never once come across a statement by someone who crewed or contributed to the Disney films who mentioned film grain in the classic Disney films one way or the other. Cel dust and cel scrawl and snowstorms and the rest -- yes. Film grain? No.

    Perhaps we're talking around each other -- I'm not referring to the excessive grain from 3rd or 4th generation dupes, I'm talking about the film grain inherent to the negative itself.
     
  18. AlexBC

    AlexBC Second Unit

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    Superb! Thanks for the review David, you're the best in the game [​IMG]

    As for the grain matter, I'm with you on this one. Though Ernest brings some interesting points like the animators were couting on film grain. But still, I also see the source material as the original animation cels, so no problem for me being faithful to that. I can't wait to hear the new 5.1 mix as well.

    Just don't get me wrong here, I'm into high-end gear and I consider myself a purist. So, I seek for the original version always, but I can also deeply appreciate some new effort to enhance picture and sound a little a bit. Of course I'm not talking about some simple appliance of filters for DNR, thin overprocessed surrounds, out-of-line new foley effects, crazy booming non-sense lfe, in short, the kind of mess we see in Mary Poppins. I'm talking about some serious quality work like what is usually made by LDI for video presentation and by Paramount and Warner like the 5.1 audio tracks on OUATITW, Star Trek SEs, My Fair Lady, GWTW and others.
     
  19. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    Thanks for yet another thorough and helpful review, David!



    From Bambi? Do you really mean "matte" paintings (used for optical effects) or simply background paintings?


    I said they were minor. [​IMG]
     
  20. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the review David, I read it with great interest.

    I'm so glad to hear that the new audio mix is not a repeat of the Mary Poppins disaster!

    I also enjoyed your thoughts regarding painted cels and the film grain issue.

    I can appreciate both sides of the discussion. I guess some of it gets down to some core beliefs. Putting aside the issue of cel art as an art form by itself ... is the art the animation (of painted cels) or is the art the released animated film? Or both?

    I really don't know what a film purist is vis-a-vis home video. To me film is film and to suggest some purity remains when the films is transferred to video ... is illogical from the get-go.
     

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