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Fantasia


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21 replies to this topic

#1 of 22 OFFLINE   ScottR

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Posted August 10 2006 - 10:30 AM

Is there any hope that a complete soundtrack for the Roadshow version of Fantasia will be found undamaged? If not, for the next release, I would like to have 2 versions of the film presented (both uncensored): The 1940 Roadshow version and the 1990 restored version with Deems Taylor's original voice recordings. Also, I read that the original version of Fantasia ran 125 mins., but the dvd only runs 124. Is it missing a minute? And I thought that RKO didn't distribute the film until 1941. If that is the case, then the Intermission card shouldn't have RKO on it. I love this film so much, and still hope that an original, uncut version will be released in the future.

#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted August 10 2006 - 11:24 AM

I agree that this would be nice, but given the Song of the South debacle, I don't have my hopes up high, particularly since the censored sections of Fantasia have many of the same issues attached. I'd say we're more likely to see a fully restored Make Mine Music, inclusive of The Martins and the Coys, before we see either an uncensored Fantasia or SOTS.
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#3 of 22 OFFLINE   BrettV

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Posted August 10 2006 - 12:41 PM

hhahaha interesting. I thought this was about the up-and-coming life story of 'Fantasia - the american idol.'

That's weird that I didn't even think about the Diz-nee film.

#4 of 22 OFFLINE   Lars Vermundsberget

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Posted August 10 2006 - 01:21 PM

An "even more original" Fantasia would be a holy grail for a lot of Disney fans, even though the DVD version did quite well in recreating parts of what went missing in the past.

The apperance of an "even more original" soundtrack would be amazing - and quite unlikely, I guess...

As for the running time: What if it were more like 124 and a half?

Some images are known to be missing from the Beethoven segment, but I've never been quite able to figure out if all of them were erased or zoomed out, or if there are also seconds of running time missing.

#5 of 22 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted August 10 2006 - 01:29 PM

I am less annoyed by the "censored" part than I am with the Deems Taylor dubbing thing. It's not like I'm a big Deems Taylor fan, but it just seems....wrong. Seems a shame to restore more Deems Taylor footage, only to have to dub Deems because the sound was lost. Couldn't they have confined the dubbing to the new stuff, rather like Anthony Hopkins' work for the restored snails and oysters scene from Spartacus?

Glad I hung onto the Fantasia laserdisc. I'd rather have less Deems rather than more dubbed Deems (hell, I'd just rather have less Deems).

#6 of 22 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted August 10 2006 - 01:35 PM

Technically, nothing was cut out of the pastoral segment... they just hid "Sunflower" with a series of amateurish optical zooms. One shot has a carpet rolling itself up a staircase since Disney digitally erased the two zebrataurs carrying it up. Yet they didn't touch them in the previous shots.

I tried drumming up support with a petition a few years ago. I sent in the petition and never heard anything back. Some have claimed Walt wanted it changed, but it's a little suspicious that every release until the first after his death was left alone. I know he wouldn't have allowed the physical cutting of the shots (which is how it was censored before the 1990 restoration), nor the laughably bad quality optical zooms. Either they leave it alone or at least just do some re-coloring to "de-stereotype" Sunflower.

I'm hoping Disney will make a new sound mix for a future version that blends all of the existing Deems Taylor dialogue with only missing parts filled in by a double. Corey Burton did an alright job, but there's no excuse for totally throwing out his voice. Come on, Lawrence of Arabia and Spartacus used voice doubles and it was seamless (Jack Hawkins and Laurence Oliver respectively).

#7 of 22 OFFLINE   Lynda-Marie

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Posted August 10 2006 - 08:32 PM

Which character was Sunflower? Wasn't she one of Bacchus's attendants during the grape stomping scene?

I know one that was edited out of the Pastorale scene was known as the "Pickaninny" amongst the animators - she was polishing the hooves of the pink centaurette. Rather than cutting the scene from the film altogether, they cropped the image, so only the pink centaurette's upper body is shown, while she is polishing her fingernails with the cattail. I saw a still of the full shot, and the Pickaninny would really cause trouble.

The racial caricatures were certainly offensive - but how in the hell do we learn from the past if we sanitize it? The same with Song of the South.

Leonard Maltin hosted the Walt Disney Treasures - at least he did on my Mickey Mouse in Black and White, and he DID talk about the offensive stereotypes in the cartoons, and how they should be judged in the context of the day. Perhaps the movie should be restored with ALL of the scenes, offensive or not, and have a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie?

Just out of curiosity, how do any of our African American forum members think or feel about such things? Would the images offend if it were explained that such things were very commonplace in the timeframe?
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#8 of 22 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted August 11 2006 - 02:16 AM

Sunflower is the Pickaninny centaur.

It's actually sort of amusing since you're seeing a stereotype in the middle of a Greek setting. Sunflower only appears for about 30 seconds and she mainly shines the other centaur's hooves.

Here's the uncut clips:





The last clip looks the worst in censored form. It turns into an extreme closeup of the larger centaur's face for a few seconds, showing off moon-sized grain.

Like I said, even if it's unrealistic to expect Disney to show it uncut, they can at least digitally re-do Sunflower to de-stereotype her with re-animating her head and recoloring. Better than the zooms, at least.


#9 of 22 OFFLINE   seanOhara

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Posted August 11 2006 - 05:17 AM

Quote:
Also, I read that the original version of Fantasia ran 125 mins., but the dvd only runs 124. Is it missing a minute?

A one minute discrepancy in running time is no big deal. If the running time is 2:04:01, some people will round to the nearest minute, some will say it's two hours, five minutes. Or maybe the DVD plays the Disney logo as a separate title so it's not counted toward the running time, or else the logo has been changed since its theatrical release. Or maybe the person who timed the film was a bit slow with the stop watch. Or a dozen other reasons.
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#10 of 22 OFFLINE   ScottR

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Posted August 11 2006 - 05:24 AM

I was just wondering if the Deems Taylor narrations from the 1940 release were lost or if they were damaged...and either way, would there be a small chance that another copy exists somewhere in that infamous Disney Vault.

#11 of 22 OFFLINE   Jay Pennington

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Posted August 11 2006 - 07:14 AM

The Deems Taylor audio exists for everything but the restored roadshow footage. One would think that if it still existed they would've found it by now, but who knows, maybe it'll pop up one day. But it isn't considered likely.
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#12 of 22 OFFLINE   Tarkin The Ewok

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Posted August 11 2006 - 09:17 AM

In the Fantasia Anthology supplements, they said that some of the Deems Taylor audio tracks were damaged beyond repair, and dubbing just that footage would make the performance into something like a patchwork quilt.

I think the DVD producers did the best they could with what they had in that department.

#13 of 22 OFFLINE   ScottR

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Posted August 11 2006 - 09:49 AM

If that is the case, then I wish the next release would include the 1940 Roadshow version (dubbed) and the 1990 restored (1946 version) with Deems Taylor's original voice tracks.

#14 of 22 OFFLINE   Lars Vermundsberget

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Posted August 11 2006 - 11:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McCart
Technically, nothing was cut out of the pastoral segment... they just hid "Sunflower" with a series of amateurish optical zooms. One shot has a carpet rolling itself up a staircase since Disney digitally erased the two zebrataurs carrying it up. Yet they didn't touch them in the previous shots.

At times it looks pretty bad, but I sort of appreciate it if it's certain that no running time was cut...

As for the "Deems Taylor" narration - they could have used alternate audio tracks on the DVD - one with the new voice only and one with the "patchwork".

As for "pickaninny" - time for a "Fantasia Treasure" with Leonard Maltin explaining "how far we've come since then".

#15 of 22 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted August 11 2006 - 06:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars Vermundsberget
At times it looks pretty bad, but I sort of appreciate it if it's certain that no running time was cut...

As for the "Deems Taylor" narration - they could have used alternate audio tracks on the DVD - one with the new voice only and one with the "patchwork".

As for "pickaninny" - time for a "Fantasia Treasure" with Leonard Maltin explaining "how far we've come since then".

Disney is still a big user of seamless branching. It's just a matter of having alternate angles for the deleted Deems stuff and that short 30 sec of the Pastoral. Watch Snow White with the French 5.1 track and you'll see how good they are at blending stuff.

Another important item is the roadshow booklet. While they kept the roadshow format completely, there's not one shred of credits for the film! Either they should let you see the 1990 crawl or put in a nifty Warner-styled programme.

#16 of 22 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted August 12 2006 - 05:58 AM

Personally I'd just like to see a decent transfer of Fantasia. The current disc is rife with noise pumping.

#17 of 22 OFFLINE   Travis Brashear

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Posted August 12 2006 - 06:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Henderson
Personally I'd just like to see a decent transfer of Fantasia. The current disc is rife with noise pumping.

I've been collecting DVDs since mid-1998 and read HTF and DVDTalk nearly every day, but somehow not a month goes by that I don't read somebody coin a new tech term; last month it was "anamorphic moulding", now we get "noise pumping". What the hell is "noise pumping"?
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#18 of 22 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted August 12 2006 - 07:27 AM

^Refers to erratic levels of artificial grain. At least that's how I've heard it used in this context. The phrase seems to have different meanings to different fields.

#19 of 22 OFFLINE   ScottR

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Posted August 12 2006 - 07:32 AM

I think the only real problem with the current transfer is the color fringing in Dance of the Hours. An Ultra-Resolution type remastering would fix this up. However, I wouldn't want the film too clean because of the subtle brushstrokes.

#20 of 22 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted August 12 2006 - 08:26 AM

I think most of the film looks fantastic. The Pastoral segment didn't have a lot of dirt/scratch removal. I agree that the color fringing issues with the Dance of the Hours look bad. However, the other segments are virtually perfect in visual quality. Cinesite digitally restored the nutcracker, bald mountain, and sorceror's apprentice segments (I guess in preparation for Fantasia 2000). I did spot some compression blocking in the part with the "fairy dust" falling in the transition to the chinese dance in the nutcracker segment, though. I'm just happy with the 5.1 mixes since the stereo surround 2-CD set has way too much noise reduction in parts.


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