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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Dick, Apr 22, 2014.
The one I want would be The Happiest Millionaire.
The Three Caballeros is kinda live-action and coincidentally the only one I'm truly interested in buying since the DVDs have been pretty weak.
I also hope they pack in the El Grupo documentary supplement.
Make Mine Music's DVD was also pretty badly butchered in the removal on an entire animated story sequence for the mere presence of gunplay. If it is uncut, it will go a long way in making up for the patronizing DVD. Melody Time has a smaller cut removing a puff from a cigarette that should also be fixed in the new blu-ray but not nearly as bad as the former.
Sadly, that's how it is with Disney releases these days. If they don't move discs like their massive cash cow animated product, they won't touch it. They may be giving the live action features new high-def remastering efforts, which is good forward thinking, but I doubt more than a small fraction of that will be released on blu-ray in the next few years. They only released Babes in Toyland because they needed a Christmas feature release for the 2012 holiday season.
My expectation is that scene stays in since other animated product has had smokine intact, albeit with a pre-movie trailer about why smoking is bad.
Melody Time actually had cigarettes digitally erased from the Pecos Bill segment, making one scene where Bill rolls and lights a cigarette entirely with his mouth look ludicrous:
They released it in February 2013 with practically zero fanfare, typical of all those titles they released back in 2012. I still remember how rushed-out they felt. Even some of the not-the-biggest-but-bigger-than-most titles seemed like rush jobs, and many had to be postponed due to production errors. I didn't see advertising for any of these titles anywhere. The 1961 Wonderful World of Color episode "Backstage Party" that dealt with its production and its wrap party was nowhere to be found, either, though it was on a Walt Disney Treasures DVD release. Extras are no longer a high priority, and some of the legacy ones still get dropped regularly, although in hindsight how is this different from the jump from laserdisc to DVD? There are still some Alice in Wonderland Exclusive Archive laserdisc extras that haven't been seen since. Same deal with that "Operation Undersea" anthology series episode that promoted 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It was on the laserdisc, but not the DVD, and since that film's Blu-ray was tied to the now-abandoned David Fincher remake, who knows what they'll do with the film itself now, never mind the TV episode.
These movies are not ones you can just throw onto Blu-ray with little effort and expect everyone who enjoys them to keep buying and re-buying every edition out of habit. It's the ultimate Catch-22: buying a bad disc is like rewarding them for cutting corners, thereby making the consumer an enabler, but don't buy the disc and the studio will think it's the movie's fault. People who saw them when they were new are not getting any younger, and many young people have never even heard of them. In the case of Babes in Toyland, though, it's hard to say whether a disc with more extras (or any extras at all) would sell better than the ones we got, but Disney has never tried (although the marketing department went into overdrive when it was a new release). That's about the only way you can make a re-purchase of this particular title look appealing to me.
Unfortunately, I cannot disagree with the opinion that Walt's Babes in Toyland just isn't very good, and it was not a good choice to get the ball rolling on getting Walt's live-action films to Blu-ray. It is a good-looking one, though, and only now has it gotten a video presentation that does its main redeeming feature, the art direction, justice; the DVD was from a MAR 1990s transfer intended for laserdisc. Ward Kimball never should have been taken off the picture; he was the original director and lost his job under mysterious circumstances. Even so, the script, on which is the bulk of problem. Tom and Mary just aren't particularly interesting protagonists the way they are written, and some of the recitative dialogue is so cringeworthy (notice how none of the post-Snow White animated features have that kind of operetta-style recitative), not even Ray Bolger—this film is what they made instead of Rainbow Road to Oz—can sell it. And what was the deal with the talking animatronic goose? The script gives him some sarcastic one-liners to open the film with, and they fall flat, making him look kind of like a jerk. And they could have done a lot more with Mother Goose as a character. Trying to make it look like a filmed play took the audience out of the illusion, but there is one long crane shot of Tom and Mary dancing that really works.
Nevertheless, I'd watch it before I could bring myself to watch the 1986 Keanu Reeves/Drew Barrymore/Richard Mulligan version, which was a three-hour NBC broadcast that was only made available on video in a substantially cut form, again, and I can't even bring myself to watch the 1997 animated version. There will likely never be a faithful cinematic adaptation of Victor Herbert's operetta, so you might as well stick with Laurel and Hardy. It does have some minor historical distinction as the first live-action musical the studio made that wasn't a live-action/animation hybrid (technically, the two Bobby Driscoll/Luana Patten hybrids count as musicals). Elements of the film later ended up in both Mary Poppins (the gag with the mirror's reflection talking back) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (a climax with inanimate objects coming to life to attack the bad guys, while the unused Rainbow Road to Oz design for the Cowardly Lion looks like a prototype of King Leonidas of Naboombu; coincidentally, Ward Kimball was the animation director on this one), and the toy machine reminded me of the Everlasting Gobstopper machine in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which wasn't even a Disney film! Annette had some nice things to say about it in her autobiography (maybe it should have come out after her death), and Tommy Kirk said it was not nearly as bad as some of the films he made for AIP.
Make Mine Music and Melody Time were released on Japanese laserdiscs, uncensored.
PAL Mode haters should get those.
I don't think the goose in "Babes in Toyland" was ever animatronic - just an old-fashioned hand puppet controlled by Mary McCarty. The film itself I've always enjoyed - perhaps mainly because of Annette Funicello (rest her soul), and the costumes and sets are appropriately stage-y and hyper-theatrical. It paved the way for "Mary Poppins" and the flashier musicals that followed.
A new restoration of "Third Man on the Mountain", one of the nicest and most underrated of the live-action Disney features would be amazing if properly done.
The animated shorts would be nice too, but after seeing the shitshow they've done for the HD Netflix streaming releases, I'll stick with the SD DVDs, thanks.
I'd love to have all six package films, but there's no way I'm pre-ordering these after Disney's handling of The Sword in the Stone and Mickey's Christmas Carol. For all I know, they're upscaling all six from old masters, edits and all.
I will be optimistic and hope that they won't use such poor handling again... but given they still haven't offered replacements for the two films in question, I'm not going to hold my breath. If they can't competently master one of their mainline features, nor an Oscar-nominated short, I don't have much hope for six films that tend to be overlooked even as part of the Disney filmography.
I'm easy, all I really really want is Johnny Tremain, 20k Leagues Under the Sea and Treasure Island.
Third Man on the Mountain has an HD master available for streaming. I'm surprised it's not better-known, considering Disneyland's Matterhorn was a tie-in to this movie. That was one of the ones that didn't get a new transfer in time for its DVD release.
Where can you stream it? Netflix? (I cancelled my account there months ago.) Thanks, excited to know this!
Amazon Instant Video has a bunch of the Disney live-action films in HD. I haven't ever rented or bought and digital downloads from them but I use the Prime streaming on occasion. The quality is comparable to other streaming services. Sadly, looks like the classic Disney stuff isn't available for free with Prime. May have something to do with their Netflix deal. Don't know.
I'd like to see "The Happiest Millionaire" Roadshow version.
Anchor Bay released both the shorter general release and the longer roadshow versions on DVD several years ago and the picture quality was better than the later Disney release. I still don't understand how that could be, but the Anchor Bay discs looked decisively better.
The disappointing Disney DVD Better looking Anchor Bay general release edition Anchor Bay's fabulous Roadshow edition
Another Disney musical that would look great on Blu-ray would be "The One and Only Genuine, Original Family Band"
It features another great Sherman Brothers score with early appearances by a singing-dancing Kurt Russell and a young giggling Goldie Hawn.
Plus the multi talented and gorgeous Lesley Ann Warren.
This Family Band is quite entertaining, but did little business, possibly because of the film's somewhat cumbersome title.
I was hoping when Disney took back the video rights to "Happiest Millionaire" that their own edition would be 16:9. Sadly it wasn't to be. However the Disney edition seems to use slightly different cues for the Entr'acte or Exit Music - can't remember exactly - as I haven't played either disc in a while.
Netflix has the "perpetually available" animated films that have already reached Blu-ray, and a very small helping of live-action titles (the oldest is Escape to Witch Mountain). Most of the transfers I've seen I've been impressed with. The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band was a revelation compared to the MAR, undersaturated, fairly dusty-looking DVD (which at least got extras). The Happiest Millionaire (oh, welcome back Mike Frezon ), which I purchased off VUDU, looked pretty good, too, though some shots had dust, and Cordelia's lyric in "Detroit" looked slightly faded. It's the long version, but it does not have the overture, intermission, entr'acte, or exit music. Disney's DVD still has those, but it puts the Buena Vista logo first instead of between the overture and opening credits.
I'd really like Treasure Island, Darby. O'Gill and the Little People, Swiss Family Robinson, and Pollyanna restored and reissued on blu ray.
If only Disney would wake up to reality and realise that there are literally THOUSANDS of fans out there who are pleading for
"SONG OF THE SOUTH"
This is 2014 for God's sake.
Politically incorrect?? What's becoming of us?
It's a certain moneymaker, so where are the Disney Dollar men? Obviously not doing the right thing by the shareholders.
Grow up Disney, get into the real World and release by far the most requested title in your catalogue.
Pollyanna please, and both versions of The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday...