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Sleeping Beauty: 2003 Special Edition vs. 2008 Platinum Edition

Discussion in 'DVD' started by PaulP, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    You are correct. This is something I noticed on the previous LD/Widescreen VHS release as well.

    EDIT: Actually, it was the MPAA logo that was cropped off on the bottom on previous releases.
     
  2. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    Really? Well, in the pamphlet included in the new SLEEPING BEAUTY DVD is this note:

    "For the first time ever, see Disney's masterpiece SLEEPING BEAUTY the way Walt envisioned it with a never-before-seen expanded version of the film, which reveals more picture than ever before. This expansive version unveils images that no one has ever seen in theaters or home entertainment!"

    In other words, this DVD does NOT represent the aspect ratio the film was EVER exhibited in at ANY theater. To claim that it represents "the way Walt envisioned it" is more than just a bit of a stretch, especially considering he isn't here to state that, and considering how he definitely was strict in having his wishes carried through (anyone remember the original roadshow of FANTASIA and the Fanasound equipment?).

    This "expanded version" is actually a marketing tool. The before and after images on the TV spots are even lies as the before is an altered image of its companion, NOT an image from a prior video release! When the commercial states "for the last time EVER on DVD and Blu-Ray" it is referring to this "expanded version" - and mark my words when the next reissue comes around (give it 8-10 years) we'll get a release with the proper aspect ratio as "the original theatrical format, for the first time ever on Blu-Ray!"

    Oh, boy.... The film has been released on video 4 times over the course of 22 years (1986-2008), three times billed as "digitally restored". To state that this new 2.55:1 version is the best just because of that aspect ratio is crazy to me as it is the same as claiming an open-matte release of a film is now revealing "more picture than ever seen before"!
     
  3. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    Here are some comparison pics from the 4 video releases of SLEEPING BEAUTY I took using VLC with the same brightness/contrast/color settings on each source. Though first released on VHS in the fall of 1986, the Laserdisc release followed in early 1987.

    Is it just me, or does the new DVD colors match the 1987 release the most? And that release was before any "restoration"....

    I got as close as VLC would let me to exact frames. The still/step function doesn't work so it is a lot of trail and error to get a close or the exact frame. Make of these captures what you will.

    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
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    2003 DVD
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    2008 DVD
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    1987 CAV Laserdisc
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    1997 CAV Laserdisc
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    2003 DVD
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    2008 DVD
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    1987 CAV Laserdisc
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    1997 CAV Laserdisc
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    2003 DVD
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    2008 DVD
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    1987 CAV Laserdisc
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    1997 CAV Laserdisc
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    2003 DVD
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    2008 DVD
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    1987 CAV Laserdisc
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    1997 CAV Laserdisc
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    2003 DVD
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    2008 DVD
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    1987 CAV Laserdisc
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    1997 CAV Laserdisc
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    2003 DVD
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    2008 DVD
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    1987 CAV Laserdisc
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    1997 CAV Laserdisc
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    2003 DVD
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    2008 DVD
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    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
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    2003 DVD
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    2008 DVD
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    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    2003 DVD
    [​IMG]
    2008 DVD
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  4. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    2003 DVD
    [​IMG]
    2008 DVD
    [​IMG]

    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    2003 DVD
    [​IMG]
    2008 DVD
    [​IMG]

    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    2003 DVD
    [​IMG]
    2008 DVD
    [​IMG]

    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    2003 DVD
    [​IMG]
    2008 DVD
    [​IMG]

    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    2003 DVD
    [​IMG]
    2008 DVD
    [​IMG]

    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    2003 DVD
    [​IMG]
    2008 DVD
    [​IMG]

    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    2003 DVD
    [​IMG]
    2008 DVD
    [​IMG]

    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    2003 DVD
    [​IMG]
    2008 DVD
    [​IMG]

    1987 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    1997 CAV Laserdisc
    [​IMG]
    2003 DVD
    [​IMG]
    2008 DVD
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    It's not just because of the aspect ratio. This is the first time that Disney has gone back to the original successive exposure camera elements, revealing more detail than ever before, and not just in the wideness of the frame.

    What becomes clear from the screencaps posted (yours included) is that Disney wanted the animators to compose their shots with a 2.55:1 frame in mind. Why 2.55, when 2.25 or 2.21:1 would have been the standard Technirama frame? Because Disney knew the majority of people who saw the film would see it on standard run, non-roadshow CinemaScope engagements, which, at the time the film went into production, would be showing an AR of (wait for it....) 2.55:1. Between the time Sleeping Beauty went into production and its release, Fox standardized CinemaScope to 2.35:1, so when CinemaScope release prints were made, that was the format to which they were printed.

    That is really all we can suppose @ this time, short of conducting seances to contact Walt and get his answer. Not an area of research I'm willing to enter into.
     
  6. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    I know early Cinemascope was 2.55:1. And remember, just because SB was in production for years doesn't mean it was shot to be framed for 2.55:1. It was shot PROTECTED for that wide of a ratio, but it was never seen that way anywhere. It is not the OAR. It is not the intended OAR.

    If Walt wanted it 2.55:1 it would've been shown that way. That's it. Optically it could've been slightly letterboxed on the 'Scope prints. He didn't want it that way. This film was framed with different ratios in mind. Revealing more picture info than was EVER seen at the theaters in the past 50 years is not correct or accurate, two things I look for in a DVD release.

    There is one capture that strikes me as poorly framed on ALL the releases - the one with the three fairies during Prince Philip's fight at the end. In the 2.55:1 we can finally see Merryweather, but even still not much of her. That's a shot that was poorly framed all around. The rest of the film works just fine at 2.35:1, so calling this new DVD "revelatory" for showing some extra static info on the sides is nothing to get excited about.

    If one is to praise this new release it would be on its technical quality or lack thereof. I haven't made any comments about that yet. I made the comparison pics, but I'm waiting for my Blu-Ray copy to arrive to really watch the film. I must say that the color timing from a quick glance through the new DVD looks good, and oddly matches a lot of the color from the oldest video release. How odd....
     
  7. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed that Maleficent changes colors from a light cyan to a very light green depending on the scene. I always thought she was green...

    Still, this is NO CINDERELLA or PETER PAN.
     
  8. ScottHM

    ScottHM Well-Known Member

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    And yet it's neither 'incorrect' nor 'inaccurate'.

    ---------------
     
  9. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    Actually, yes, yes it is incorrect and inaccurate. Just like an unmatted soft-matte film.
     
  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Well-Known Member

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    Wow, the old DVD looks even worse in comparison.

    I don't see why 2.55:1 would be incorrect. Sleeping Beauty was in production for a long time and they probably started filming with the expectation 35mm prints would be 2.55:1.

    This is just like the issues with films like Ben-Hur and Mutiny on the Bounty. It's not really necessary to go wider than 2.35:1 on these films, but it's not outright "wrong" to open up the sides a bit. It's the same sort of nitpicking that leads to ten page threads debating whether or not 1.78:1 DVDs of 1.85:1 films are pan & scan or not.

    Still, I think comparing the videos proves absolutely nothing except differences between them. This goes for pretty much everything. Now, it would be another thing if we were comparing an original 35mm dye-transfer print with the BluRay. All I see are two unwatchable laserdiscs, one overfiltered DVD, and the spiffy-looking new edition.
     
  11. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    Wider-screen or not, it still doesn't help the fact that the film still stinks, in my opinion-- vastly overshadowed by other great films the company made, and a financial flop in its day.

    As for the new DVD, it looks pretty enough, but I don't see what any of the extra information on the sides adds com positionally. I wonder when actual ANIMATION work began on this film. THIS ISLAND EARTH was advertised as "2 1/2 years in the making," but was actually shot within a month. That would answer many questions.

    Also, what is up with these commercials for the new DVD? One of them has a comparison showing a 1.37 image expanding into 2.55, and then another has a 1.85ish image expanding into 2.55, with the commentary saying something like "for the first time ever in wide-screen!" I can't believe that a) the ad department can't even get their facts straight and b) Disney is pushing this utter nonsense!
     
  12. PaulP

    PaulP Well-Known Member

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    Chuck, firstly, thanks for your hard work with those screenshots. Now, in my humble opinion, most if not all of the shots of the 2008 version are composed the best. The framing feels right. The color is better and the picture is brighter, with more visible detail. I am keeping my 2003 version for the alternate transfer, as well as some extras not carried over (commentary), but this is the version to watch, I believe.
     
  13. PaulP

    PaulP Well-Known Member

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    This would be true if not for the fact that the 2008 transfer reveals more information on all four sides, it looks like.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Well-Known Member

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    I can. We are talking about people who slap the word "classic" on farted-out DVDs of mediocre 1960s and 1970s live action movies no one remembers with substandard early 1990s basic cable MAR transfers. They also used the word on the original 1989 theatrical trailer of The Little Mermaid, which deserves such a designation more than The Million Dollar Duck, but this was before it had been released or anyone had judged it. There needs to be a permanent embargo on superlatives like that on all Disney releases, whether they earned it or not. Not to mention their abuse of the word "magic".

    They've been fudging the facts in their advertising for years.

    So far I see nothing wrong with the release, and my fears that they would crop on all 4 sides to fake a 2.55:1 aspect ratio are unfounded. But there's no need for them to gild the lilly in their ads.
     
  15. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Well-Known Member

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    This movie was bound to be disappointing, because Disney promoted it in 1959 as his ultimate achievement. And it wasn't, obviously.

    However, comparing it not to Disney's masterpieces, but to the average cartoon, it certainly doesn't "stink." I can tell you I liked it fine when I saw it when it was new -- in 70 mm, by the way.

    As for it being a financial failure -- that's only because it was so expensive to produce. It did very well at the box office -- in fact, it racked up some pretty impressive figures in its first weeks in February of '59. In my city, it ran 13 weeks at one theater -- they'd hardly have kept it there that long if no one was going to see it.

    Its final boxoffice figures weren't far behind "Cinderella," "Peter Pan" or "Lady and the Tramp," and no one calls them failures. Of course, they were more profitable because they didn't cost as much to produce.
     
  16. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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  17. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

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    I have to say that I can't get upset about not preserving the original theatrical aspect ratio for an animated film where the new version shows us more of the fine details that the animator filled his frame with. This is entirely different than filming live action where the frame is composed by the camera/director. In the case of animation, to me the most desirable frame to view is that of the animation itself.

    For what it's worth I think the 2008 version by far looks the best. I have the 2003 DVD, but would like to get the Blu-ray some day, although I haven't yet gone Blu. I won't spend any more money on another DVD version.
     
  18. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    That's still not much justification. CLEOPATRA cost Fox $44M and almost bankrupted them, but they still made a profit on it.

    Truth be told, and I know I'm not the only one that shares this opinion, despite the overblown production costs, there's no reason why the film couldn't have been made at half the cost... it's a CARTOON. Animated pictures shouldn't cost $6M!
     
  19. john a hunter

    john a hunter Well-Known Member

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  20. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

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    My point is that if CLEOPATRA could put Fox in the red and turn a profit, why couldn't such a supposedly great classic animated film?
     

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