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Walt Disney Treasures Wave 5: Problems with Poor Mastering


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#1 of 113 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted December 08 2005 - 01:13 PM

The original thread appears to be lost via the forum upgrade debacle, so I'm reposting the info here.

The original insight to the problem came via ultimatedisney.com's review of the set, which read:

"A handful of the films, however, were created in the Cinemascope widescreen format. These are the Humphrey shorts Hooked Bear and In the Bag plus Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom, all from the early-to-mid '50s (when Disney began experimenting with wider framing for live action subjects and Lady and the Tramp).

Unfortunately, this trio has not been enhanced for widescreen televisions the way the few widescreen shorts on past Treasures DVDs (the three post-Walt Mickey shorts on Living Color, Volume Two are all that come to mind) have been. Accordingly, none of these three look as good as they should, since anywhere from 20 - 42% of the possible DVD resolution has gone to black bars that should have been player-generated. A close look reveals a few oddities; the Humphrey shorts actually measure between 1.95:1 and 2.05:1, while Toot, Whistle... comes in at 2.25:1. While framing seemed consistently good, what I know about Cinemascope tells me the Humphrey shorts should be quite a bit wider. The sometimes-helpful Internet Movie Database lists the aspect ratios for all three as 2.35:1. Meanwhile, incomplete headlines in Anyburg, U.S.A. suggest that this 1957 short may be cropped to some degree as well. None of this amounts to anything worth getting really riled up about, but I'd hope that efforts have been taken here to present these shorts as accurately as possible. Such has been the case in the past, but let's not hope those producing these discs have gotten sloppy in the mastering process. "


This was confirmed by other forum members in the previous thread, and someone even was kind enough to send an email off to Leonard Maltin to possibly get a statement from him on the matter.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#2 of 113 OFFLINE   CameronMcC

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Posted December 08 2005 - 02:23 PM

declining quality in packaging aside... this is uncalled for. Why can't we get a batch that are next to perfect across the board

#3 of 113 OFFLINE   AndrewR

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Posted December 08 2005 - 02:32 PM

So any word from Leonard Maltin on this issue? I received my order today but they remain unopened for now. Will probably breakdown and open them up this weekend but I still would like to know what the heck happened with this release.
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#4 of 113 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted December 08 2005 - 04:35 PM

what is WDT in the topic header. i clicked into the thread because i didint understand what the header was reference to. always better to write full words in header and abbreviate in post.
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#5 of 113 OFFLINE   Adam_S

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Posted December 08 2005 - 07:25 PM

WDT=Walt Disney Treasures
 

#6 of 113 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted December 09 2005 - 05:27 AM

this is a relatively important topic. maybe get more reaction if the title was written out instead of shortened.
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#7 of 113 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted December 10 2005 - 02:57 AM

If an administrator wants to make the thread title more clear I don't mind in the least. Sorry for any confusion - I thought the acronym was common enough.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#8 of 113 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted December 10 2005 - 09:08 AM

Brandon: the acronym is common enough, but... I have missed almost all the WDT posts because it doesn't stick out, catch my eye, even though I'm interested in the subject. In WDT season I'm more tuned for it, but "out of season" I think "Walt Disney Treasures" is more eye-catching. Also may help some people when doing searches in the future. Just my thoughts, not a criticism...

#9 of 113 OFFLINE   Lars Vermundsberget

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Posted December 10 2005 - 10:05 AM

I suppose most people actually interested in the Walt Disney Treasures understand what WDT means - at least I can tell that I do. The mentioned OAR issues alone don't seem that bad to me. But I get an overall impression from a few comments here and there that Disney has cut corners quality-wise in Wave 5. We need to see some serious reviews, but if this impression is confirmed, that is certainly a sad thing...

#10 of 113 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted December 10 2005 - 10:17 AM

i'm very interested in walt disney treasures. thats why i have them all. as craig said, doing a search will be tough when the topic is called WDT. so what can be done to get this problem with the treasures fixed. does maltin respond to emails?
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#11 of 113 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted December 10 2005 - 11:10 AM

I have all the tins except one (MMILCV1) too. That's not the point. The point is general consideration for everybody now and in the future who may be looking for the info. I don't know what it is about "WDT", but for some reason it's the worst for escaping my sight. I've even done some goofy thread-starts asking about WDT and the thread's already there but no Disney or Treasures in the title. Well, at least there's 2 of us... It should be a rule: no acronyms for "film" titles in a thread title. In a thread is fine, when everybody knows what we're talking about. Also *no* spelling mistakes in a film title in a thread title...this really screws up searches. I see this all the time...can make a thread essentially lost to "posterity". Anyway, re the aspect ratios, I would be extremely surprised if this would be "fixed" by a "corrected" release. This isn't Disney's style: you get what they give you, and you'll get something else when they feel like it. Unlike what some have inferred, my experience with Disney and its affiliate brands is they have the best customer service out there. They go well beyond what is reasonable, and beyond what I've asked for. IME. But changing something about a released title: forget it! And, there are just far too many arguments about what the correct AR is for some titles, you'll get people swearing they saw this and that in such and such an AR in some place. And that it was intended to be shown in this AR, drawn for that AR, framed this way for that type of theater, etc. How is a typical person supposed to know? I also think this is the lamest Wave so far, at least as far as subject matter. There are some obvious things missing from "Rarities". The Swamp Fox... package is incredibly chintzy re content (6 episodes total). Spin & Marty is not exactly a high profile title that we were "demanding". I'll keep my comments about Donald Duck to myself, but the buying public seems to agree so far... Like several titles in the last couple of Waves, these'll be hanging around for a while I bet. I hope the next wave goes a lot more into what I view as "significance". I can't help getting the impression this Wave was thrown together, it seems to not have the care that we used to see. I wonder if management direction changes or something like that caused a "we'll use what we have that's ready to go" attitude, rather than preparing better stuff, just to fulfill the Christmas WDT "tradition". There's sure no shortage of material, but IMO this is like a "lost" year.

#12 of 113 OFFLINE   ZackR

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Posted December 10 2005 - 12:12 PM

I have all the treasures set (huge Disney/animation fan) and I am a disappointed by this. I too hope the next Wave is very "significant." Personally, I am hoping "Song of the South" see the light of day for its 60th anniversary next year (2006) as a Treasures release. Posted Image
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#13 of 113 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted December 10 2005 - 01:27 PM

What is wrong with the Donald Duck set? I was thinking of buying the set. In fact, I almost bought the set today, but for some reason I put it back on the shelf. The metal case seemed flimsier than the cases in earlier releases. Did anyone else get that impression?
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#14 of 113 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted December 10 2005 - 01:56 PM

There is no big obvious diff to me between the Wave 1 tins and the current ones, besides the S/N thing, except: the embossed lettering on the newer tins is much better defined/clearer. Subtle, but I think you'll notice side-by-side. Tin "strength" and metal thickness seems the same to me...want me to get the micrometer out? (I really will if you want...!) There is nothing "wrong", per se, with the DD set. At least that a non-documentarian like me would know. I am speaking of DD himself. He is a very polarising character...love him or hate him it seems. I suspect it's the voice... Ask the females you know (to find out why ~50% of the pop is on the nay side), then ask the guys (more evenly split, especially if they've had a few pops). Then check the marketplace, though admittedly the DD tins are more recent, the demand (price) is probably the lowest, even compared to tins that IMO have much lower-quality content.

#15 of 113 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted December 10 2005 - 02:32 PM



Nah, that won't be necessary...unless...hmmmm....maybe I should think about it..............Thought about it.....Nope! No micrometer needed. I'll take your word on it. Posted Image


As for DD, I guess it boils down to character perceptions. He has always been my favorite Disney character. I will probably pick up the set sometime in the future. Thanks.
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#16 of 113 OFFLINE   CraigF

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Posted December 10 2005 - 04:02 PM

Are you absolutely positively sure? This is my opportunity to take anality to another level...you're missing out! I can't do it alone, I need backup for this. There is always the possibility that the embossing looks better because the metal is thinner... And I have a newish ***digital*** micrometer, so it's especially suitable for digital media things, I think...you won't get a better offer.

#17 of 113 OFFLINE   Steve Y

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Posted December 11 2005 - 12:06 PM

The tins also no longer place "disc contents" on the tins themselves; that information is now included in a slipcard within the plastic case. I believe this started with the last wave or so. Even apart from the OAR/quality issues of the set, I'm disappointed that a number of the Donald shorts (and one of the rarities) on the first disc were already included on the "On The Front Lines" set. Anyway, I still value my "Silly Symphonies" tin above all sets released so far, and for its content, not just because it's harder to find. To chime in on acronyms: it's a good idea not to use them in thread titles -- only in message text. Why take the chance that even one potential contributor will breeze past it? There are too many potential word combinations out there for me to play a game of jumble every time I want to scan for a topic. Though (to use a current favorite), YMMV...

#18 of 113 OFFLINE   DaViD Boulet

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Posted December 11 2005 - 01:47 PM

just reviewed the Rarities set:

http://www.hometheat....hreadid=247272


Sorry to be so late to the party. I got my 'screeners' on Friday...3 days after these discs had streeted!

dave

p.s. be sure to pick up conversation in the review thread as well...it gets studio attention there and the review threads get archived.
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#19 of 113 OFFLINE   Mark Zimmer

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Posted December 12 2005 - 10:04 AM

Oh, use the micrometer. I need to know, and I don't have one.Posted Image

#20 of 113 OFFLINE   Steven Wesley

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Posted December 12 2005 - 10:28 AM

Well, I've never measured the tins, but just by feel, the tins from Wave 1 and 2 seems to be a tad bit stiffer than 3 and up. It's sad to see how these have gotten worse regarding "specialness" over time. Though I'm glad Disney dropped the white DVD cases from Wave 4 and went back to black for Wave 5... granted, with a different style of case.
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