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Fantasia Anthology Blu Ray Release

Robert Meyer Burnett

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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 FoxyMulder

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Posted September 01 2010 - 03:31 AM

I understand you worked on the original DVD editions and since there is a blu ray release penned in for December 2010 i was wondering if you could give a little more information with regards the uncut edition of Fantasia.

 

For years it seems snips have taken place and scenes with black characters removed, it seems Disney is ashamed of their heritage and is censoring anything it deems "politically incorrect" even if the scenes themselves are not particularly offensive.

 

I don't agree with any of this and feel films should be preserved in their original filmed state, to that end i am wondering if we will get the original version of Fantasia or whether it will be the same edition as the last release.

 

I wish Disney would stop this practice, they did it with a song on Aladdin and various other releases and it just is wrong, too much degraining of their original films is wrong and results in a slightly blurrier animation but thats an argument for another day.

 

Any information you have is appreciated.


     :Fun Movie Quotes:

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#2 of 14 RMBurnett

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Posted September 02 2010 - 02:49 PM

Foxy,

 

     The orginal DVD for THE FANTASIA ANTHOLOGY was the very first DVD I ever worked on while employed by Kurtti/Pellerin, once the premiere company for creating DVD Special Features.  That was a glorious time and I felt incredibly privlidged to be given such an opportunity.

 

     That said, I am in complete agreement with you.  Unfortunately, in our ridiculous, politically correct times, the Corporate decision makers at Disney really have no choice but to try and head off at the pass any kind of publicity nightmare that might blow up in their faces.

 

     Today on thedigitalbits.com, Bill Hunt had this to say and I completely agree with him:

 

"As some of you may know, the original theatrical version of the film featured a 'black centaurette' character in The Pastoral Symphony sequence. For the previous DVD release, this character was removed via a digital zoom. Our sources tell us that this change is still part of the new Blu-ray, but that with improved digital tools the edit is more seamless. Like some of you, I have mixed feelings about this. I'd love to see some kind of branching viewing option that allows you to see the uncensored version, with some kind of BD-Java option or featurette that addresses the issue head-on. Even a BD-Live option to view the uncensored version or scenes online. In today's PC climate though, I can understand why Disney wouldn't include it. Essentially, the controversy itself would be all ANYONE in the media talked about. Same with Song of the South - in an ideal world, Disney would release it uncensored as a special edition that directly addressed the subject racism in classic Hollywood films head-on. An unvarnished look at the issue and how far we've come (or not) since then, WITH members of the black community involved - historians, etc. And they could donate all the profits to a charity devoted to ending racism. But in today's media climate, some groups would decide to use the release as an opportunity to generate controversy and stir up PR, and even those people who honestly believe the film should never be seen again would campaign on Larry King, and it would be a circus. My take is, you should never sanitize your own history, but rather deal with it head on. But that requires the ability to look at things in context, in more than the time that it takes to write or read a Twitter feed, and our society doesn't seem to have that ability anymore - at least at the moment. So yes, it's unfortunate, and but I guess I do understand Disney's decision. And while it's important to keep all this in mind, it's not going to prevent me from enjoying what should be an otherwise excellent release, much like the previous DVD set."
 

     I believe as a nation, when it comes to such issues, we've become incredibly immature and I think unable to understand the historical context in which these beautiful works were created.  At one point, we tried to get SONG OF THE SOUTH released, with the idea of getting black celebs, such as Oprah, Quincy Jones, Morgan Freeman etc. to introduce the film and set up the historical content in which it was made.  If you've ever seen SONG in a theater with a predominantly black audience, you can see they don't need it, because they love the film...but those guilty white folks, THEY'RE the ones who will be pissed.  For myself, I remember seeing SONG OF THE SOUTH as a little kid and absolutely loving it.  I've had the Japanese laserdisc for YEARS and I still love it.  I plan on showing it to my kids (If I ever have any).

 

     So, until America (and the Islamic World...where people are killed for drawing cartoons) grows out of its continuing regressive maturity, I don't think there's much of a chance we'll be seeing these films in their original form.

 

     Which is a damn shame.



#3 of 14 FoxyMulder

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Posted September 03 2010 - 09:34 AM

Well that is a shame although i will still buy it as i love the animation set to music, the sequel was very good too, i always wished they had filmed a Ride Of The Valkyrie's segment but i guess i'll have to content myself with Apocalypse Now for that one.

 

Here in the UK we get Song Of The South shown on television occasionally, i never considered it a racist film and indeed it has some charm to it, the black characters are in my opinion shown in good light and have intelligence, the film is set at a time when slavery was in America though and that's likely the reason why Disney will not release it. The Digital Bits are correct in saying they should place these films in the context of when they were made and with regards to the period of history they are showing, i wouldn't want Spike Lee commentating on them though and trying to say they are blatantly racist but a little foreword would be a good idea.

 

Thanks for your reply though, i appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.


     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

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#4 of 14 bigshot

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Posted September 06 2010 - 06:17 PM

There's more than just a digital zoom to eliminate the pickininny shining hooves in the centaurettes sequence. There are scenes cut out too. No matter how seamless the cuts are visually, there will still be that abrupt edit in the music to eliminate the first section of the Bacchus sequence where the zebra centaurettes have been clipped out. Covering that seam musically was a big reason Disney did the Kostal rerecord, a decision that pleased absolutely nobody.

#5 of 14 EdKBecker

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Posted September 10 2010 - 06:54 AM

Don't forget that crappy impersonation of Deems Taylor in the DVD release.  That needs to be taken out and maybe used as an extra. The voice actor doesn't even sound like him at all.



#6 of 14 Brian Borst

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Posted September 11 2010 - 05:01 AM



Originally Posted by bigshot 

There's more than just a digital zoom to eliminate the pickininny shining hooves in the centaurettes sequence. There are scenes cut out too. No matter how seamless the cuts are visually, there will still be that abrupt edit in the music to eliminate the first section of the Bacchus sequence where the zebra centaurettes have been clipped out. Covering that seam musically was a big reason Disney did the Kostal rerecord, a decision that pleased absolutely nobody.


I believe that the music hasn't been cut since the big restoration from 1990. Whether the music has been cut doesn't really alter the fact that the movie itself is still censored, obviously.
 

Originally Posted by EdKBecker 

Don't forget that crappy impersonation of Deems Taylor in the DVD release.  That needs to be taken out and maybe used as an extra. The voice actor doesn't even sound like him at all.


That's another problem I have with this version. The least they could do was to have the remaining pieces of surviving audio included in the movie. Now, everything of Taylor's voice is replaced by Corey Burton. I honestly can't believe that finding a person who can impersonate Taylor's voice, and using that to bridge the original dialog pieces, would be less jarring than having Burton's slightly generic '40's voice over guy' throughout the movie.


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#7 of 14 bigshot

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Posted September 11 2010 - 12:46 PM

The music is cut. They just added some reverb and cross fade to cover it. If you're familiar with the Pastoral symphony there is a transition that is messed up. It's right at the point where Bacchus is at the top of the stairs of the temple, before he falls down.

#8 of 14 Richard--W

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Posted December 13 2010 - 03:57 AM

Deems Taylor was a conceptual and creative force behind Fantasia, collaborating with Walt Disney every step of the way. He participated in the writing and the music selections and the origination of the film. He is as much a part of the creative process and as responsible for the final result as the animators and Disney himself.


Damnit, where is Deem Taylor's voice on this Blu-ray? To cut his voice is a creative violation, disrespectful to the film, tantamount to taking Disney's name off the film. I've listened to, and watched, the previous release in which 98% of his voice is intact. Further, his voice is part of the overall sound design and character of the film. It is not arbitrary. It is not disposable. Disney Home Video has no justification for eliminating his voice altogether. It could have been easily included as an option on the menu with the revoice or whomever kicking in where the two or three sections of the original voice are lost.


Who at Disney Home Video and Buena Vista is responsible for this rape?

What's his or her name?


Why isn't Deem Taylor's voice on his film?



#9 of 14 Stephen_J_H

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Posted December 14 2010 - 07:40 AM

Richard, this posting of the same comments regarding the replacement of Deems Taylor's voice on the Fantasia BD on every Fantasia thread you can find is getting ridiculous. Your question has already been answered.


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#10 of 14 Richard--W

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Posted December 21 2010 - 01:42 AM

My question had not been answered yet when I made this post, but if it had been, what I say and where I post it is not your business. This is not Canada, and you are not the Crown Prosecutor here.

Originally Posted by Brian Borst 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdKBecker 

Don't forget that crappy impersonation of Deems Taylor in the DVD release.  That needs to be taken out and maybe used as an extra. The voice actor doesn't even sound like him at all.


That's another problem I have with this version. The least they could do was to have the remaining pieces of surviving audio included in the movie. Now, everything of Taylor's voice is replaced by Corey Burton. I honestly can't believe that finding a person who can impersonate Taylor's voice, and using that to bridge the original dialog pieces, would be less jarring than having Burton's slightly generic '40's voice over guy' throughout the movie.


All the audio with Deems Taylor's voice survives and the underlying music survives. The elements in Disney's vaults are not the only elements that a preservationist can work from. Sound quality may not be the best, but that is hardly the point. Editing the original voice and underlying music back together is routine. Consumers understand about injured elements and cobbling together bits and pieces from less than perfect sources. The "loss" and "damage" has been grossly exaggerated in any case. From what I have ascertained in the past week there are only two or three segments where Deems Taylor's voice is problematic and replacing those segments with another source for the voice is not difficult. It's a question of attitude. There is no justification for remastering Fantasia for blu-ray and leaving Deems Taylor's voice out of it. Not when it can be included as an option. Even in damaged or incomplete condition, it should be included as an option, with a proviso on the menu to inform customers so that they can choose the default audio if they want to.


If the original voice had been included as an option, it is probably the only soundtrack the fans would be listening to.



#11 of 14 bigshot

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Posted December 21 2010 - 06:26 AM

I don't think you understand what they did... They added Deems Taylor footage, but the additional footage didn't have any sound with it. To avoid inconsistency in the voice, they redubbed all of the Deems Taylor footage, both the added scenes and the ones that were already there. The problem is, the last thing anyone wants more of in Fantasia is Deems Taylor's introductions. They should have just left it as it was and not added anything..

#12 of 14 Richard--W

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Posted December 21 2010 - 12:04 PM

Oh, I understand what they did. But I don't buy the explanation. They reinserted footage that had been removed and didn't have the sound to go with it, but instead of taking the sound off secondary sources, they revoiced.


I don't object to the revoicing, I object to not including the original voice as an option. If they're too lazy or too cheap to fix it -- because it can be fixed -- they can include it as a damaged or incomplete track and simply identify it as such. Or they could patch in a similar revoice. There are several alternatives, and they are all easy.


I'm surprised to hear you say no one wants more of Deems Taylor's introductions. Personally I've always liked his introductions. I thought everyone did.



#13 of 14 bigshot

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Posted December 21 2010 - 01:31 PM

There weren't any secondary sources. These scenes were cut after the first roadshow release way back in 1940. The sound to the added footage doesn't exist. To me, the deleted scenes were deleted for a good reason, and reinserting them and redubbing did more damage than was gained by restoring them. They should have just left it alone. Fantasia is a very long film. In the added footage Taylor describes what we're about to see. Better to just show us than waste time telling us.

#14 of 14 EdKBecker

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Posted December 22 2010 - 05:54 AM

I agree with most of what you say.  But IMHO a lot of the charm was Deems Taylor's narrative.  The additional footage is a "novelty" and should be included as an extra.







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