A few words about…™ Peter Pan — in Blu-ray

Upgrade from last Blu-ray - Can't imagine why 4 Stars

I’m not certain how far back in the home video chain we must travel to attain a copy of Disney’s Peter Pan, that looks even remotely like film, as opposed to a very pretty flip book.

While I’m certain that many people will disagree with my perspective, I’ve seen enough of these Disney animated classics in their newest form, that I’ve begun to hate them.

Take Peter Pan, for example. It was originally an animated motion picture, with images bound together with a beautiful sheen of moving film grain, as captured by the black & white SE negative.

Now, the film begins with the original RKO logo, or at least a still frame representation of it, and then moves through still frame representations of what once was the main title sequence.

The total lack of grain structure continues throughout, and again, at least to me, I’m no longer seeing a digital representation of film, which strangely was was Blu-ray was all about.

I’m seeing some sort of odd picture book, with images that look like cheap animation.

Color nice, but must presume that it isn’t the original color.

The magic is gone.

Audio is lovely.

Can no longer abide these creatures.

Image – 2

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 7.1)

Pass / Fail – Fail

Upgrade from last Blu-ray – Can’t imagine why

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

93 Comments

  1. Robert Harris

    Absolutely. The more I see it, the more I abhor it.

    I was on this train long ago. Welcome aboard.

    As far as going back in the video chain, I'm tempted to go back and get the original CAV laserdisc. I had the 45th anniversary one and the DVD and still have the old Blu-ray, which I think I will keep just to see what the old videos had that the new ones don't.

    At least when they try to make Mary Martin's Peter Pan look less like film, it's for a darn good reason: it's a kinescope. Walt's Peter Pan is 35mm successive exposure Technicolor and could look spectacular had Disney not chosen such a heavy-handed approach to it.

  2. I accept these discs for what they are, and get a certain amount of enjoyment from them, but I also recognize that they're not what I would want them to be if I was the one in charge of these decisions.

    I'm disappointed, in general, that Disney's home video department doesn't really cater to the enthusiast or the history buff these days. There was a period where we were getting wonderful releases that weren't so much about trying to target a modern audience but were about paying tribute to a past time. Things like the Walt Disney Treasures line. Walt Disney himself was always big on nostalgia, and I think there are very valid nostalgia-related reasons for why presentations of these films as they originally appeared are worthwhile.

    On the other hand, I recognize that Disney is also, in a sense, trying to free these works from time and to make them seamlessly timeless, in a way that allows them to endure among younger audiences that would be instantly dismissive of something that appeared "old". On the one had, I see no reason why film grain and a different visual style has to be seen as a bad thing. On the other hand, kids are gonna watch what they want to watch.

    I wish Disney still had something like their previous Treasures line, or any sort of release strategy that would allow those of us that enjoy the original presentations to see the films in that way. Maybe as a bonus disc in a "super deluxe" edition that's priced a few bucks higher, maybe as small-batch printings like Warner Archive, maybe as exclusive Disney Movie Club releases. I realize that home video and physical assets are no longer their priority, probably even more so when they launch their streaming service in 2019, so I know this has less than zero chance of happening, but it's nonetheless disappointing. There are so many studios, Disney included, that do many things right but then have weird blind spots in home video where they'd rather have 100% of nothing than a smaller percentage of something. A deluxe version of Peter Pan, that was a two disc set including their new digitally scrubbed version as the main feature, and a second bonus disc with a version preserving the original look of the film, might not set any sales records, but I'm reasonably confident that they could recover their costs.

  3. Josh Steinberg

    I accept these discs for what they are, and get a certain amount of enjoyment from them, but I also recognize that they're not what I would want them to be if I was the one in charge of these decisions.

    I'm disappointed, in general, that Disney's home video department doesn't really cater to the enthusiast or the history buff these days. There was a period where we were getting wonderful releases that weren't so much about trying to target a modern audience but were about paying tribute to a past time. Things like the Walt Disney Treasures line. Walt Disney himself was always big on nostalgia, and I think there are very valid nostalgia-related reasons for why presentations of these films as they originally appeared are worthwhile.

    On the other hand, I recognize that Disney is also, in a sense, trying to free these works from time and to make them seamlessly timeless, in a way that allows them to endure among younger audiences that would be instantly dismissive of something that appeared "old". On the one had, I see no reason why film grain and a different visual style has to be seen as a bad thing. On the other hand, kids are gonna watch what they want to watch.

    I wish Disney still had something like their previous Treasures line, or any sort of release strategy that would allow those of us that enjoy the original presentations to see the films in that way. Maybe as a bonus disc in a "super deluxe" edition that's priced a few bucks higher, maybe as small-batch printings like Warner Archive, maybe as exclusive Disney Movie Club releases. I realize that home video and physical assets are no longer their priority, probably even more so when they launch their streaming service in 2019, so I know this has less than zero chance of happening, but it's nonetheless disappointing. There are so many studios, Disney included, that do many things right but then have weird blind spots in home video where they'd rather have 100% of nothing than a smaller percentage of something. A deluxe version of Peter Pan, that was a two disc set including their new digitally scrubbed version as the main feature, and a second bonus disc with a version preserving the original look of the film, might not set any sales records, but I'm reasonably confident that they could recover their costs.

    Your point about freeing from time is apt and well taken. The general MO seems to have been “2018 release,” with no copyright notice.

  4. notmicro

    Does anyone know if Disney goes back to digital scans of the original SE camera negatives for these titles (thus making them equivalent to a 3-strip Technicolor OCN restoration)?

    They certainly did a decade ago.

  5. MatthewA

    At least when they try to make Mary Martin's Peter Pan look less like film, it's for a darn good reason: it's a kinescope.

    Well, actually they have two kinescopes (1955, 1956 live versions) and a color videotape from 1960 which was what they rebroadcasted several times during my childhood.

  6. At last!!
    I thought you approved of this type of "restoration" in disney animation classics in the past.
    But now, I'm totally with you in this!
    The lack of grain is not good at all and it creates a look of a lifeless cheap animation!

    It's enough for someone to watch eg. Land before time or Watership Down blurays, and see how much better and filmic they are since they don't use the Disney method!
    I have given up at this time of seeing blurays of these films in their original form.
    The next best thing are scans of 35mm prints.

    There are early DVDS of DIsney animation classics which are still "films with grain" pre-restoration, but unfortunately there isn't one for Peter Pan I think.
    But I enjoy The Jungle Book, Robin Hood, 101 Dalmatians, Dumbo and others on DVD.

  7. I wonder when Disney will take heed with the handling of their own heritage.
    Such alterations are not a sign of advancement.
    For my money, these Disney decisions are a reflection of the Peter Pan philosophy that states:
    "I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up".
    Maybe 2025 will be better. Until then, No Sale…"Not me".

  8. PMF

    I wonder when Disney will take heed with the handling of their own heritage.
    Such alterations are not a sign of advancement.
    For my money, these Disney decisions are a reflection of the Peter Pan philosophy that states:
    "I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up".
    Maybe 2025 will be better. Until then, No Sale…"Not me".

    Thousands of people buy the Disney Blurays.
    If we had the original grainy films released I suspect Disney would receive thousands of emails from angry consumers that the classic animation film doesn't look like a brand new Pixar film.

  9. Konstantinos

    Thousands of people buy the Disney Blurays.
    If we had the original grainy films released I suspect Disney would receive thousands of emails from angry consumers that the classic animation film doesn't look like a brand new Pixar film.

    A plausible point, Konstantinos. But why's it got to be "Peter Pixar" or nothing at all?

  10. The de-graining doesn't make it look like a Pixar film. It makes it look like an el cheapo public domain release of a 1950s film. It's time to stop making excuses for them.

    No one would have complained if they still looked like film. No one. They'd be falling over themselves to praise Disney for their high technical standards. They'd be winning awards from every organization that gives out awards for high-quality home media presentation.

  11. These "de-grained" versions generally worked beautifully on DVD because of the low resolution, but I've been irked by how dead the image tends to look on Blu-ray. Especially Fantasia, which made as much sense to noise reduce as a Stan Brakhage film.

  12. Patrick McCart

    These "de-grained" versions generally worked beautifully on DVD because of the low resolution, but I've been irked by how dead the image tends to look on Blu-ray. Especially Fantasia, which made as much sense to noise reduce as a Stan Brakhage film.

    That comparison made me guffaw! Stan Brakhage doesn't often get referenced on this site!

  13. MatthewA

    No one would have complained if they still looked like film. No one.

    I guess you haven't read posts at bluray forums about grain in animation or amazon buyers' posts?
    I was one at bluray.com that had to face all the people that were all over me when I said about grain in animation!

  14. Disney's process is so reckless it results in line-work practically disappearing on many occasions.

    I can *sort* of understand why they go about it the way they do; if any of you have seen the Secret of NIMH Blu-Ray* you can see that there is a LOT of dirt, fuzz, hair, debris within the frames… some of it staying put for the duration of the shot, some moving, some being present for just a frame. Of course NIMH was made on a shoe-string budget in a garage, but I imagine Disney might have had similar issues with the cell layers attracting dust and the like when they were photographing. Additionally, there is the flicker of the hand painted cells which is hard to correct for (though, IMO, it's part of the texture of hand done animation and shouldn't be corrected).

    That being said, the presence of those difficulties isn't an excuse for a company with the financial resources to do it the proper way; pay a team sit down at some machines with Phoenix Finish and dust bust.

    *IIRC the IP they scanned for NIMH only got 3 to five days of "restoration" work, which is why it's in such poor shape.

  15. Without knowing what the thing labeled "35mm" actually is, I'm not sure that I can accept that as the final word on accuracy for the film. That's not to say that the Blu-ray is accurate either, but there's no information there about whether the thing labeled "35mm" is from a stolen print (Disney does not sell 35mm prints), or from a previous tape transfer. There's no information about whether that thing labeled "35mm" is from a brand new print approved by the filmmakers, or whether it's from a faded element. There's no information about whether it's from a standard definition telecine made years earlier and subject to the limitations of either NTSC or PAL video. It won't take much to convince me that the Blu-ray isn't 100% accurate given Disney's history in this area, but I'm wary of accepting the clip labeled as "35mm" as being 100% accurate either.

  16. My point in linking to that video wasn't to make observations concerning color, but to show how Disney's process can degrade or erase the line work.

    [​IMG]

    The clip is from a scan of a 35mm IB-TECH print that was lent by its "owner" for a fee. IIRC the scan was done on an upgraded IMAGICA Imager 5000 scanner. I don't believe those clips are color accurate.

  17. Synnove

    My point in linking to that video wasn't to make observations concerning color, but to show how Disney's process can degrade or erase the line work.

    [​IMG]

    The clip is from a scan of a 35mm IB-TECH print that was lent by its "owner" for a fee. IIRC the scan was done on an upgraded IMAGICA Imager 5000 scanner. I don't believe those clips are color accurate.

    Don’t understand. What is the purpose of the scan? Why would anyone pay a fee?

    For what?

  18. Given the mucking about that Disney does with their pre CAPS animated features, the goal was to scan a relatively fade free element, like a Technicolor print, to make a high quality preservation of what the film looked like theatrically/before Disney's revisionism. This was done by a fan/hobbyist community.

    A fee was payed to the "owner" of the print so that it could be borrowed for scanning.

  19. Synnove

    Given the mucking about that Disney does with their pre CAPS animated features, the goal was to scan a relatively fade free element, like a Technicolor print, to make a high quality preservation of what the film looked like theatrically/before Disney's revisionism. This was done by a fan/hobbyist community.

    A fee was payed to the "owner" of the print so that it could be borrowed for scanning.

    The point being, to what? Run it on YouTube.

  20. That print reveals a lot of what has changed over the years, but not everything. What's missing from this equation is the difference between that print (there are some 16mm examples on that same account), the Blu-ray, and the 1980s and 1990s video releases.

    Also, wouldn't carbon arc projection have affected the color perception as it was actually being projected? My generation was the last to get regular theatrical Disney reissues, but by the time I was born, they'd switched everything to Eastmancolor, Xenon lamps, and cropping to 1.85.1.

    EDIT: I found the credits to the original home video release:

  21. Robert Harris

    The point being, to what? Run it on YouTube.

    No.

    It's basically the same reason that there are several scans of Star Wars floating around (one of which being 4K and sourced from two IB TECH prints); when a studio revises a work and doesn't let the public see the original version in keeping with contemporary standards of quality, certain enthusiasts will seek out that original version. Since the studio seemingly has no interest in the original version, the enthusiasts do it themselves, for themselves (to the extent that their abilities and resources allow).

    MatthewA

    Also, wouldn't carbon arc projection have affected the color perception as it was actually being projected?

    Biases potentially introduced by the light source can be corrected for.

  22. Synnove

    No.

    It's basically the same reason that there are several scans of Star Wars floating around (one of which being 4K and sourced from two IB TECH prints); when a studio revises a work and doesn't let the public see the original version in keeping with contemporary standards of quality, certain enthusiasts will seek out that original version. Since the studio seemingly has no interest in the original version, the enthusiasts do it themselves, for themselves (to the extent that their abilities and resources allow).

    Biases potentially introduced by the light source can be corrected for.

    If that’s the intent, they’d want to scan nitrate, as acetate affects overall color balance. Unless they’re only comparing photographic details.

  23. You have to largely go back to Laserdisc and even for a good number of them the earlier pre-special edition Laserdiscs to attain a home video release that even begins to look like the original feature. The process of revisionism with Disney titles largely began in 1994 with the new version of Snow White.
    I started collecting these a few years ago even though I'm not a Disney fan at all-but found it infuriating how this process continues to this day with little to no public knowledge. With the most current releases they don't even look like themselves any longer. I wanted to cry when seeing what Pinocchio looked like on Blu-ray-particularly with those awful colored pattern masking bars applied.
    And if you get some of these there are nice otherwise unavailable oddities such as the rare Academy ratio version of Lady and the Tramp. (The later 1.33 transfer is a fullscreen rendering of the Scope version and not the separate 1.33 version.)
    For Peter Pan it seems you have three choices: The early 90's CAV Laserdisc which has a nice warm color appearance and good detail, the later 90's remastered CAV Laserdisc which has a colder appearance but is a stronger transfer technically and the 1999 Gold Collection DVD which is a port of that last Laserdisc master. All are in stereo. From the 2002 DVD onward the film has been subjected to several new transfers that have varying degrees of accuracy.
    I made a video about the Disney discs I have after some people on another group asked me to do so. If you're curious about a better Peter Pan on video, I suggest the 1991 CAV release as it has color different to the other releases and has a nice natural feel to it. (EDIT: the embed didn't work so the timestamp is wrong. Skip to 14:09 for the two Peter Pan releases.)

  24. It is heartbreaking that we can’t see these jewels as they were. I agree, the laserdiscs were the last true representation of the films. Why can’t they do like Warner Bros does with their old Looney Tunes and just give us a beautiful restoration of the original negative with dirt and debris included. They look spectacular.

  25. It's hard to explain to the public the committee process that is restoration in Hollywood, and more importantly film restoration at Disney. I always go back to a 35mm positive that Pete Comandini privately screened for me at YCM. This was a pure strike from a negative Pete worked on, and it was the most honest version of the film I've ever seen. The colors reflected those you might see in a watercolor children's book illustration, complete with gray local colors and light sensitive touches. Remember the generation that would have crafted Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was fed on books printed in the early 1900s, and this film reflected that.

    What it wasn't? It wasn't full of bright highly saturated colors that fell apart from each other and stuck out to grab attention.

    I've heard stories on how Peter Schneider had the earth tones in the sound bar in Fantasia (1940) recolored in bright flamboyant tones – because he said so and not because that was what was in the negative. At the time, I was told they felt their audience preferred a Little Mermaid (1989) color palette. There is a savage "Off with their head!" chorus for those who defy the committee so the films come to the public without a deep understanding of how colors might reproduce on a particular film stock in a particular era. Nor do the people in the committee necessarily have a visual understanding of what the original visual intent of the film should be. It's more that they need to make money and sell a product to Walmart or Amazon audience where the films are meant as babysitting material and not accurate or passionate reproductions of the filmmaker's original intent.

    One sidebar to my viewing of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), there were 3 shots in the version Comandini screened for me that were timed differently than how the rest of the film would have looked. My guess is the filmmakers decided to pull them down for dramatic effect, and I say this having handled art from nearly every single scene in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

    Anyway, regarding this version of Peter Pan, it's so hard to keep up, and the executives don't want what I'd call an honest criticism. They want one that helps them keep their jobs. So I factor that in, along with the audience they're trying to reach, and say – they're not trying to reach me, nor do they have the visual awareness I do, so 'the event' that these releases are are not intended for me. The truth is – they never were.

  26. Ron Barbagallo

    It's hard to explain to the public the committee process that is restoration in Hollywood, and more importantly film restoration at Disney. I always go back to a 35mm positive that Pete Comandini privately screened for me at YCM. This was a pure strike from a negative Pete worked on, and it was the most honest version of the film I've ever seen. The colors reflected those you might see in a watercolor children's book illustration, complete with gray local colors and light sensitive touches. Remember the generation that would have crafted Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was fed on books printed in the early 1900s, and this film reflected that.

    What it wasn't? It wasn't full of bright highly saturated colors that fell apart from each other and stuck out to grab attention.

    I've heard stories on how Peter Schneider had the earth tones in the sound bar in Fantasia (1940) recolored in bright flamboyant tones – because he said so and not because that was what was in the negative. At the time, I was told they felt their audience preferred a Little Mermaid (1989) color palette. There is a savage "Off with their head!" chorus for those who defy the committee so the films come to the public without a deep understanding of how colors might reproduce on a particular film stock in a particular era. Nor do the people in the committee necessarily have a visual understanding of what the original visual intent of the film should be. It's more that they need to make money and sell a product to Walmart or Amazon audience where the films are meant as babysitting material and not accurate or passionate reproductions of the filmmaker's original intent.

    One sidebar to my viewing of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), there were 3 shots in the version Comandini screened for me that were timed differently than how the rest of the film would have looked. My guess is the filmmakers decided to pull them down for dramatic effect, and I say this having handled art from nearly every single scene in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

    Anyway, regarding this version of Peter Pan, it's so hard to keep up, and the executives don't want what I'd call an honest criticism. They want one that helps them keep their jobs. So I factor that in, along with the audience they're trying to reach, and say – they're not trying to reach me, nor do they have the visual awareness I do, so 'the event' that these releases are are not intended for me. The truth is – they never were.

    Very interesting information, Ron. And your description of the Snow White print seems to line up with accounts of the film having a more muted color palette than one would expect. Just for curiosity, which shots were timed differently from the rest of the print?

  27. Ron Barbagallo

    It's hard to explain to the public the committee process that is restoration in Hollywood, and more importantly film restoration at Disney. I always go back to a 35mm positive that Pete Comandini privately screened for me at YCM. This was a pure strike from a negative Pete worked on, and it was the most honest version of the film I've ever seen. The colors reflected those you might see in a watercolor children's book illustration, complete with gray local colors and light sensitive touches. Remember the generation that would have crafted Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was fed on books printed in the early 1900s, and this film reflected that.

    What it wasn't? It wasn't full of bright highly saturated colors that fell apart from each other and stuck out to grab attention.

    I've heard stories on how Peter Schneider had the earth tones in the sound bar in Fantasia (1940) recolored in bright flamboyant tones – because he said so and not because that was what was in the negative. At the time, I was told they felt their audience preferred a Little Mermaid (1989) color palette. There is a savage "Off with their head!" chorus for those who defy the committee so the films come to the public without a deep understanding of how colors might reproduce on a particular film stock in a particular era. Nor do the people in the committee necessarily have a visual understanding of what the original visual intent of the film should be. It's more that they need to make money and sell a product to Walmart or Amazon audience where the films are meant as babysitting material and not accurate or passionate reproductions of the filmmaker's original intent.

    One sidebar to my viewing of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), there were 3 shots in the version Comandini screened for me that were timed differently than how the rest of the film would have looked. My guess is the filmmakers decided to pull them down for dramatic effect, and I say this having handled art from nearly every single scene in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

    Anyway, regarding this version of Peter Pan, it's so hard to keep up, and the executives don't want what I'd call an honest criticism. They want one that helps them keep their jobs. So I factor that in, along with the audience they're trying to reach, and say – they're not trying to reach me, nor do they have the visual awareness I do, so 'the event' that these releases are are not intended for me. The truth is – they never were.

    Very interesting information, Ron. And your description of the Snow White print seems to line up with accounts of the film having a more muted color palette than one would expect. Just for curiosity, which shots were timed differently from the rest of the print?

  28. Ron Barbagallo

    I always go back to a 35mm positive that Pete Comandini privately screened for me at YCM. This was a pure strike from a negative Pete worked on, and it was the most honest version of the film I've ever seen. The colors reflected those you might see in a watercolor children's book illustration, complete with gray local colors and light sensitive touches. Remember the generation that would have crafted Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was fed on books printed in the early 1900s, and this film reflected that.

    More like this? This is the original cell and watercolor background that sold for $48,000 in 2015.
    View attachment 46647

  29. Ron Barbagallo

    I always go back to a 35mm positive that Pete Comandini privately screened for me at YCM. This was a pure strike from a negative Pete worked on, and it was the most honest version of the film I've ever seen. The colors reflected those you might see in a watercolor children's book illustration, complete with gray local colors and light sensitive touches. Remember the generation that would have crafted Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was fed on books printed in the early 1900s, and this film reflected that.

    More like this? This is the original cell and watercolor background that sold for $48,000 in 2015.
    View attachment 46647

  30. For those who may be unaware, Mr. Barbagallo is a preeminent, world-reknowned archivist, and restorer of the highest order.

    When collectors need restoration of five and six figure original animation art, they don’t call ghostbusters.

  31. Spencer Draper

    You have to largely go back to Laserdisc and even for a good number of them the earlier pre-special edition Laserdiscs to attain a home video release that even begins to look like the original feature. The process of revisionism with Disney titles largely began in 1994 with the new version of Snow White.
    I started collecting these a few years ago even though I'm not a Disney fan at all-but found it infuriating how this process continues to this day with little to no public knowledge. With the most current releases they don't even look like themselves any longer. I wanted to cry when seeing what Pinocchio looked like on Blu-ray-particularly with those awful colored pattern masking bars applied.
    And if you get some of these there are nice otherwise unavailable oddities such as the rare Academy ratio version of Lady and the Tramp. (The later 1.33 transfer is a fullscreen rendering of the Scope version and not the separate 1.33 version.)
    For Peter Pan it seems you have three choices: The early 90's CAV Laserdisc which has a nice warm color appearance and good detail, the later 90's remastered CAV Laserdisc which has a colder appearance but is a stronger transfer technically and the 1999 Gold Collection DVD which is a port of that last Laserdisc master. All are in stereo. From the 2002 DVD onward the film has been subjected to several new transfers that have varying degrees of accuracy.
    I made a video about the Disney discs I have after some people on another group asked me to do so. If you're curious about a better Peter Pan on video, I suggest the 1991 CAV release as it has color different to the other releases and has a nice natural feel to it. (EDIT: the embed didn't work so the timestamp is wrong. Skip to 14:09 for the two Peter Pan releases.)

    Aside from the Laserdisc release of Peter Pan which DVD and/or blu ray would you, or anybody, recommend, based on faithfulness to original, intended, color palette?

  32. In deference to the folks at Disney, the concept of re-imagining their classic animated features, comes down to the old concept of art vs commerce.

    Their film elements are fully protected, and referenced in original form.

    The new versions cater toward the youth market, and not those seeking the appearance of original cinema.

    I see no problem with that, as they need to make three year-olds happy, presumably as opposed to educating them about the look and textures of ancient cinema.

    What might be nice, would be an “archival” collection, for those who would like to revel in original dye transfer print grain structure, as well as original color and details.

    One might think of it as an additional skew, and possibly a higher price point.

  33. Robert Harris

    In deference to the folks at Disney, the concept of re-imagining their classic animated features, comes down to the old concept of art vs commerce.

    Their film elements are fully protected, and referenced in original form.

    The new versions cater toward the youth market, and not those seeking the appearance of original cinema.

    I see no problem with that, as they need to make three year-olds happy, presumably as opposed to educating them about the look and textures of ancient cinema.

    What might be nice, would be an “archival” collection, for those who would like to revel in original dye transfer print grain structure, as well as original color and details.

    One might think of it as an additional skew, and possibly a higher price point.

    Do you mean to suggest that Disney use the "Walt Disney Signature Collection" sobriquet to actually MEAN something, much like the DVD Treasures tins did?

    Shocking, I say; SHOCKING!
    😉

  34. Stephen_J_H

    Do you mean to suggest that Disney use the "Walt Disney Signature Collection" sobriquet to actually MEAN something, much like the DVD Treasures tins did?

    Shocking, I say; SHOCKING!
    😉

    I’d pay $50 per film, with no extras.

  35. Thanks a lot. Now you've inspired me to buy an external upconverter so I can actually watch laserdiscs on my 1080p Epson projector without having everything squashed to 16×9.

    Robert Harris

    I’d pay $50 per film, with no extras.

    Those stately, extra-laden, "restored and remastered" CAV laserdisc box sets of Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and the double feature of Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros were about $99.99 new. And for the most coveted titles, the lack of copy protection meant a year's lag between VHS and laserdisc.

    The extra-less CLV equivalents were about $39.99 new, while a a two-disc CLV release was $49.99. And their prices were still less than Fox's. That is, if you were lucky enough to live where they sold and rented them.

    Will the inevitable 4k releases be plagued with the same smear-storation and oversaturation mentality? I hope not. Hopefully they will get right what the current wave of releases got wrong, and hopefully it won't be limited only to the most popular titles, the 1% of the Disney catalog.

    If you want to talk about a wide variance of colors on the same film, compare the opening of the 1980s Bambi video to the THX-approved 1990s one. By that time it's painfully obvious that they've started freeze-framing the titles, and why the RKO logo has never been restored to this particular film, nor even a Buena Vista from the 1950s/1960s, is beyond me.

  36. Robert Harris

    In deference to the folks at Disney, the concept of re-imagining their classic animated features, comes down to the old concept of art vs commerce.

    Their film elements are fully protected, and referenced in original form.

    The new versions cater toward the youth market, and not those seeking the appearance of original cinema.

    I see no problem with that, as they need to make three year-olds happy, presumably as opposed to educating them about the look and textures of ancient cinema.

    What might be nice, would be an “archival” collection, for those who would like to revel in original dye transfer print grain structure, as well as original color and details.

    One might think of it as an additional skew, and possibly a higher price point.

    I agree and respect your ideas!! I resent the term "ancient cinema". I don't deny it; but, I do resent it. Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty were my first Disney theater experiences as a boy, so "ancient" is hard to swallow. Especially, with my tongue planted firmly in cheek.

    Slightly more seriously: I do lament history losing again to the "younger generation". The explicit and implicit reduction of history's value is a pet peeve of mine. I would definitely pay, again, for transfers that respect/replicate the original look.

  37. Robert Harris

    What might be nice, would be an “archival” collection, for those who would like to revel in original dye transfer print grain structure, as well as original color and details.

    One might think of it as an additional skew, and possibly a higher price point.

    That's a terrific idea…….Walt Disney Archive for the Adult Collector. Straight from the original negatives…..only the dirt, scratches and age-related issues have been addressed and removed…..ALL the original crisp line-work, subtle cel coloring, soft gradations of the gouache or watercolor backgrounds AND the classic film grain have been preserved! A once in a lifetime viewing experience……because these treasured films are now available for the first time in 4K UHD (with a newly remastered blu-ray included)!

  38. richardburton84

    The RKO logo for Bambi was present on the 1997 laserdisc (why it wasn’t on the concurrent VHS, I have no idea) and I’m pretty sure the logo was reinserted into the film for last year’s Signature Edition.

    It wasn't on the DVD or the original Blu-ray.

  39. Trancas

    That's a terrific idea…….Walt Disney Archive for the Adult Collector. Straight from the original negatives…..only the dirt, scratches and age-related issues have been addressed and removed…..ALL the original crisp line-work, subtle cel coloring, soft gradations of the gouache or watercolor backgrounds AND the classic film grain have been preserved! A once in a lifetime viewing experience……because these treasured films are now available for the first time in 4K UHD (with a newly remastered blu-ray included)!

    I'm sold and who could resist?

  40. I broke down and bought the original CAV laserdisc and did an A/B comparison, which is not easy to do on my receiver (Sony STR-DH820) because of the lag time of switching between sources. I watched the first few minutes of the film. Even in Squeeze-O-Vision, the laserdisc wins on color even though the Blu-ray is sharper, and I'm projecting these onto a 136" constant image height screen, so every flaw, digital or analog, will show up. The LD doesn't have the same "airless" feeling, for lack of a better word, as the Blu-ray, since it hasn't been de-grained like almost every little piece of animation coming out of the studio since around 1994/1995 or so.

    As I recall them, the very first wave of Disney home video transfers (1978-1982, which includes the MCA Discovision deal) were way too yellow. The original transfer of Bedknobs and Broomsticks was all that was on laserdisc before the 25th anniversary restoration, and the transfer was so bad (and time-compressed from 117 to 112 minutes, and though the VHS of that same initial transfer had the Buena Vista logo, the laserdisc didn't) that I honestly preferred to watch it on later VHS releases or The Disney Channel which used later, clearer, more colorful remasters. Prior to 1984's release of 1973's Robin Hood, the only animated features from "The Canon" that got released during this period stateside were Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and a VHS-only Fun and Fancy Free that still made a lie to the claim that the 50th anniversary reissue was "for the first time ever." Even though both the whole and the sum parts had been made available, and the two components were separately on laserdisc before that. Actual short cartoons, as opposed to the sum parts of 1940s package features, were another matter. Those got plenty of laserdisc exposure in the 1980s, yet after that Mickey Mouse box set in the 1990s, not much until Walt Disney Treasures filled in the gap on DVD while Warner Bros. and MGM cartoons got plenty of pre-DVD LD releases. The less said about The Spirit of Mickey, the better.

    After having gotten to see the "unrestored" 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm at the Castro in San Francisco, I think it's time the Disney classics got that kind of treatment. I would love to see a comprehensive 4k UHD series of the entire animated canon, even the flops, released the way Trancas suggested. Uncut, unmolested, with only the artifacts of age removed, and with non-fluff extras. What the Blu-rays should have been all along. Younger fans who grew up with the artificially sweetened over-digitized versions will likely be in for a shock, but they'll come around. Older ones who know the difference won't be disappointed. Hopefully the cinematic rescue aid society that keeps these films from being lost to time will listen.

  41. I believe before 2004 or thereabouts, video masters were derived from dupes. Since that period, the original SEs have been accessed.

    What we’re currently seeing, shorn of originsl color, and unwanted detail, should all be from original. Disney is beginning the process correctly.

    It’s all in implementation.

    They should not have to go back and rescan.

  42. I think Disney would sell tons if they would give us a choice and offer the original negative version. As we can all see from the original background and cell featured above, every frame was a masterpiece and the women who were working on the lot gave the animators some of their rouge to put on Snow White's cheeks. A computer can't replicate that.

  43. MatthewA

    And they need to stop using the alleged ignorance of children (more like ignorant or careless adults projecting those qualities onto a straw figure of their own creation) as an excuse to cut every corner.

    *The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad was another matter; there, they already broke them up from the get-go into two separate releases paired from other cartoons, the full version with Bing Crosby and Basil Rathbone's wraparounds remaining unreleased until an early 1990s laserdisc release.

    That's what I'm talking about!!! Well said!!!

  44. MatthewA

    I broke down and bought the original CAV laserdisc from eBay and did an A/B comparison, which is not easy to do on my receiver (Sony STR-DH820) because of the lag time of switching between sources.

    Now that's what I call dedication!

  45. warnerbro

    I think Disney would sell tons

    I would take that wager on the negative side.

    Now a given I'd be in line for the purchase, but I see no real mass audience (or profit) for this kind of project if it's done as a normal retail sale. Some sort of High Dollar direct from Disney special edition and expect to sell Twilight Time numbers.

  46. If they still have the raw 4k negative scans, they can start from those to do a less intrusive restoration with more accurate color/contrast. Dirt, dust, and scratches don't need to be retained. Subtle details like sparkles, reflections, and paint strokes do. Film grain does. The goal is to recreate the original theatrical aesthetic as much as possible with modern digital technology.

  47. Konstantinos

    Thousands of people buy the Disney Blurays.
    If we had the original grainy films released I suspect Disney would receive thousands of emails from angry consumers that the classic animation film doesn't look like a brand new Pixar film.

    Wah-h-h! Damn, I'm tired of this dumbing-down of everything because a faction of this country moans and cries when they can't have something just the way they want it. What about the rest of us? Disney now caters exclusively the former while ignoring the latter, although it has been largely we who made them into the megabillion-dollar company it now is.

  48. Dick

    Wah-h-h! Damn, I'm tired of this dumbing-down of everything because a faction of this country moans and cries when they can't have something just the way they want it. What about the rest of us? Disney now caters exclusively the former while ignoring the latter, although it has been largely we who made them into the megabillion-dollar company it now is.

    Falling on deaf ears; preaching to the choir; but, I love it!! The future is in the past!

  49. Twice, actually. His first resignation was from the board in 1984 to avoid a conflict of interest in the series of events that led to Ron Miller's ouster and the ascent of Eisner, Katzenberg, and Wells to the top positions. The second was to stop the monster he helped create in the process.

  50. PMF

    I wonder when Disney will take heed with the handling of their own heritage.
    Such alterations are not a sign of advancement.
    For my money, these Disney decisions are a reflection of the Peter Pan philosophy that states:
    "I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up".
    Maybe 2025 will be better. Until then, No Sale…"Not me".

    The alterations are unique versions of the films from which they are bastardized. The original, grain-intact, unfucked-with materials are still safely in their vaults, I'm sure, and so aren't technically lost, except to fans who collect these ageless films on video. I suppose there is a modicum of comfort in that. A very small modicum…:thumbsdown:

  51. I

    Dick

    The alterations are unique versions of the films from which they are bastardized. The original, grain-intact, unfucked-with materials are still safely in their vaults, I'm sure, and so aren't technically lost, except to fans who collect these ageless films on video. I suppose there is a modicum of comfort in that. A very small modicum…:thumbsdown:

    "It's a small modicum, after all".

  52. An archive label of sorts would be a dream. They already do the Movie Club exclusives and have started doing more new BD releases so it is feasible. Admittedly the first thing I would want wouldn't be a feature at all but would be the Zorro series.

    telzall

    Aside from the Laserdisc release of Peter Pan which DVD and/or blu ray would you, or anybody, recommend, based on faithfulness to original, intended, color palette?

    Well usually the earlier the transfer is the less changed it is. Many have gotten all of the original Gold Collection DVDs to have less altered versions on DVD but those were largely reissues of the last Laserdisc master.

    MatthewA

    Thanks a lot. Now you've inspired me to buy an external upconverter so I can actually watch laserdiscs on my 1080p Epson projector without having everything squashed to 16×9. At least it's better than the cropping we were subjected to in the 1980s theatrical reissues.

    Those stately, extra-laden, "restored and remastered" CAV laserdisc box sets of Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and the double feature of Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros were about $99.99 new. And for the most coveted titles, the lack of copy protection meant a year's lag between VHS and laserdisc.

    The extra-less CLV equivalents were about $39.99 new, while a a two-disc CLV release was $49.99. And their prices were still less than Fox's. That is, if you were lucky enough to live where they sold and rented them.

    Will the inevitable 4k releases be plagued with the same smear-storation and oversaturation mentality? I hope not. Hopefully they will get right what the current wave of releases got wrong, and hopefully it won't be limited only to the most popular titles, the 1% of the Disney catalog.

    If you want to talk about a wide variance of colors on the same film, compare the opening of the 1980s Bambi video to the THX-approved 1990s one. By that time it's painfully obvious that they've started freeze-framing the titles, and why the RKO logo has never been restored to this particular film, nor even a Buena Vista from the 1950s/1960s, is beyond me.

    MatthewA

    I broke down and bought the original CAV laserdisc from eBay and did an A/B comparison, which is not easy to do on my receiver (Sony STR-DH820) because of the lag time of switching between sources. I watched the first few minutes of the film. Even in Squeeze-O-Vision, the laserdisc wins on color even though the Blu-ray is sharper, and I'm projecting these onto a 136" constant image height screen, so every flaw, digital or analog, will show up. The LD doesn't have the same "airless" feeling, for lack of a better word, as the Blu-ray, since it hasn't been de-grained like almost every little piece of animation coming out of the studio since around 1994/1995 or so.

    As I recall them, the very first wave of Disney home video transfers (1978-1982, which includes the MCA Discovision deal) were way too yellow and full of motion blur artifacts (film-to-video transfer machines with 3:2 pulldown to eliminate ghosting frames didn't come out until around 1982 or thereabout, IIRC). The overall transfer quality improved dramatically in the later part of the decade. The original c. 1980 film-to-video transfer of Bedknobs and Broomsticks was all that was on laserdisc before the 25th anniversary restoration/reconstruction of the original cut, and the transfer was so bad (and time-compressed from 117 to 112 minutes, and though the VHS of that same initial transfer had the Buena Vista logo, the laserdisc didn't) that I honestly preferred to watch it on later VHS releases or The Disney Channel cablecasts which used later, clearer, more colorful remasters. Prior to 1984's release of 1973's Robin Hood (even that deserved a better Blu-ray than it got), the only animated features from "The Canon" that got released during this period stateside were Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and a VHS-only Fun and Fancy Free that still made a lie to the Eisner-sans-Katzenberg-and-Wells-era claim that the 50th anniversary reissue was "for the first time ever." Even though both the whole and the sum parts had been made available on tape, and the two components were separately on laserdisc before that*. Actual short cartoons, as opposed to the sum parts of 1940s package features, were another matter. Those got plenty of laserdisc exposure in the 1980s, yet after that Mickey Mouse box set in the 1990s, not much until Walt Disney Treasures filled in the gap on DVD while Warner Bros. and MGM cartoons got plenty of pre-DVD LD releases. The less said about The Spirit of Mickey, the better.

    After having gotten to see the "unrestored" 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm at the Castro in San Francisco, I think it's time the Disney classics got that kind of treatment. I would love to see a comprehensive 4k UHD series of the entire animated canon, even the flops, released the way Trancas suggested. Uncut, unmolested, with only the artifacts of age removed, and with non-fluff extras; i.e., what the Blu-rays should have been all along. Younger fans who grew up with the artificially sweetened over-digitized versions will likely be in for a shock, but they'll come around. Older ones who know the difference won't be disappointed. Whenever I watch that Cinderella comparison, my eyes always snap back to the Technicolor print scan where the colors seem more naturalistic, nuanced, and lifelike and less Crayola-ish. Even the darkness of the scene makes sense since it's night time and it shouldn't be anywhere near as bright as the Blu-ray makes it look; where's the light coming from? Hopefully the cinematic rescue aid society that keeps these films from being lost to time will listen and finally come through.

    And they need to stop using the alleged ignorance of children (more like ignorant or careless adults projecting those qualities onto a straw figure of their own creation) as an excuse to cut every corner.

    *The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad was another matter; there, they already broke them up from the get-go into two separate releases paired from other cartoons, the full version with Bing Crosby and Basil Rathbone's wraparounds remaining unreleased until an early 1990s laserdisc release.

    No problem! Glad to see someone else getting bitten by the bug-although it might be a bad thing since I got bitten rather badly. With a really good player it is remarkable what can be done with upscaling this format in 2018. If you look on the Laserdisc Forever page on facebook there are numerous examples of people doing so with high quality equipment and ex-broadcast professional gear-even some who dabble with MUSE on the LDDB forum. Many HT receivers now have 4K upscalers that have exceptional results with SD materials. As long as there's a good comb filter somewhere in your setup and your player has a quality video output then the results can be quite good. I run my Panasonic LX-900 directly into my XBR960 HDCRT and on good transfers they look remarkably DVD like.
    I've found a few of the super fancy Disney boxsets and hope to get the rest of them even though this was in the period where they had already begun making changes. The boxes themselves are works of art and some of the best packaging ever to come out on the format.
    As said by some others the RKO logo is reinstated on the 1997 "restored" Bambi for some reason.

    I also can agree that Disney took some time to get transfers that were halfway decent. Even then you could have oddities: I remember putting on the Archive Laserdisc of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and wondering just why it looked so poor-and for some reason the curtains in the opening tiles are a completely different color.

    And don't feel bad; I've done toggling between sources on my own setup innumerable times to look at differences only to then realize I've spent far too long huddled over the monitor babbling like an absent minded professor.

  53. Even some of the LD misfires from that era have good things about them, including the two you mentioned. The 55th anniversary Bambi looks awful but, as you said, is the only source of the RKO logo and has a music-and-effects track. Meanwhile, the exclusive archive 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is the only source for Operation: Undersea, the Disneyland TV episode. The DVD is a superior representation of the film, and it is chock full of extras, but that's not one of them. There was a late 1990s box set of early Disneyland TV shows, too, and some are only available on that set. The virtual disappearance of all but the most ubiquitous examples of old-school Disney from TV since 2002* hasn't helped matters, as it's made it hard for newer fans to even know these things exist.

    With the Exclusive Archive Collection and Walt Disney Treasures (and to a lesser extent, the Signature series that consisted of True Life Adventures DVDs; one wonders whether they'll ever re-release the People and Places series, which produced several Oscar winners and nominees and was mostly in CinemaScope, or delve into the studio's history with educational films outside of the excellently put together war propaganda and space travel collections), they have precedent and experience for what to do and what not to do. They keep much, much more than they throw out, and the live-action films are not nearly as heavy handed in their restorations, although sometimes they reveal a little too much with process work. They are capable of greatness and they've proven so time and time again. So I haven't lost all hope that more rational thinking will prevail, and perhaps someday, the dreams that we wish will come true…

    Meanwhile, the music department never fails to amaze me with improvements in audio quality and coming up with comprehensive, remastered soundtracks for both popular and lesser-known movies (both the in-house Legacy Collection and Intrada's release of live action deep cuts and fan favorites).

    *Now enough time has passed I hear the more recent shows that pushed them out referred to as "old school." Uh uh. Maybe in 20 or 30 years when they're talking about "the good old days" of Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph.

  54. MatthewA

    Even some of the LD misfires from that era have good things about them, including the two you mentioned. The 55th anniversary Bambi looks awful but, as you said, is the only source of the RKO logo and has a music-and-effects track. .

    Maybe I misunderstand, but the new Signature Bluray of Bambi also has the RKO logo opening

  55. Then that would be a change from the older Diamond Edition Blu-ray, the one I own, which didn't.

    As for whether the actual transfer different in any other way, the only screenshots I could find didn't suggest much of a radical change. Except one of the features that didn't make the jump was the one talking about the restoration of the film.

  56. MatthewA

    Then that would be a change from the older Diamond Edition Blu-ray, the one I own, which didn't.

    As for whether the actual transfer different in any other way, the only screenshots I could find didn't suggest much of a radical change. Except one of the features that didn't make the jump was the one talking about the restoration of the film.

    It is different than the Diamond. Otherwise the transfers are pretty much identical.

    I've never paid any attention to Logos in general, but apparently it's a bone of contention for many so it was discussed in some forums far more than would seem reasonable. To me it's like the missing/censored Centaur in Fantasia — it's there, but it doesn't really change anything for me

  57. The problem is that, though folks who care enough about film to post on a message board are still such a small number of people when compared to the total movie-purchasing public, that there's not much chance of Disney recouping the costs of a separate transfer and disc run. On top of that, the purchase of physical media is consistently declining. Now that studios have found that people are willing to pay $10-$25 for access to digital versions, they aren't putting as much effort into the disc versions in a lot of cases. Heck, on a whim I bought a used DVD copy of the recent Batman: Gotham by Gaslight animated feature and the MPEG encoding was so bad that it often looked like a VCD, there was so much macroblocking. It was the worst studio-released DVD (that wasn't part of a cheap multipack) that I've probably ever seen. If I had paid full price for it, I'd have raised holy heck.

    It all comes down to the fact that Disney (and a lot of other studios) doesn't care what we think. They are going to continue to sell transfers of their animated output with boosted colors and a complete absence of film grain, even when it often erases lines and brush strokes that remind you that each of these masterpieces were all the more wonderful because every second consisted of 24 detailed paintings, all done by hand. Why? They sure look bright and colorful on the TV that Middle America bought down at the Walmart and left with the settings all blown out.

    Sadly, there's nothing we can do.

  58. The problem is that, though folks who care enough about film to post on a message board are still such a small number of people when compared to the total movie-purchasing public, that there's not much chance of Disney recouping the costs of a separate transfer and disc run. On top of that, the purchase of physical media is consistently declining. Now that studios have found that people are willing to pay $10-$25 for access to digital versions, they aren't putting as much effort into the disc versions in a lot of cases. Heck, on a whim I bought a used DVD copy of the recent Batman: Gotham by Gaslight animated feature and the MPEG encoding was so bad that it often looked like a VCD, there was so much macroblocking. It was the worst studio-released DVD (that wasn't part of a cheap multipack) that I've probably ever seen. If I had paid full price for it, I'd have raised holy heck.

    It all comes down to the fact that Disney (and a lot of other studios) doesn't care what we think. They are going to continue to sell transfers of their animated output with boosted colors and a complete absence of film grain, even when it often erases lines and brush strokes that remind you that each of these masterpieces were all the more wonderful because every second consisted of 24 detailed paintings, all done by hand. Why? They sure look bright and colorful on the TV that Middle America bought down at the Walmart and left with the settings all blown out.

    Sadly, there's nothing we can do.

  59. MatthewA

    Yes there is. Cut them off financially, like I did. Stop subsidizing shoddy work.

    Not sure that I categorize as shoddy work.

    More oriented toward a different customer base, while concurrently being disrespectful of the studios’s original ethos.

  60. MatthewA

    Meanwhile, the exclusive archive 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is the only source for Operation: Undersea, the Disneyland TV episode. The DVD is a superior representation of the film, and it is chock full of extras, but that's not one of them. .

    The complete episode is available for purchase (in HD too!) from iTunes or Vudu, but at the ridiculous price of $14.99. I can’t imagine why Disney thinks a single episode of their classic tv show is worth the same amount as a feature film.

  61. Robert Harris

    Not sure that I categorize as shoddy work.

    More oriented toward a different customer base, while concurrently being disrespectful of the studios’s original ethos.

    Perhaps disrespectful is a better word for a disc with an image rating of 2 and a failing grade, and not just because it starts with the same three letters as "Disney." Name recognition like that is one of those things you just can't buy. You have to earn it. Film restoration technology has improved leaps and bounds since the 1980s when these films first started coming to video, but in their quest for perfection, they sometimes get carried away and do too much cleanup work. And the ones that look bad on big screens look bad on small screens, too. You can adjust color and contrast to your liking, but you can't put back scrubbed-out details. And sales analyses don't seem to take into account consumers who didn't buy a film they liked because they disliked its presentation.

    I also wonder whether the actual film reissues varied as much in color as the videos did, even during the years when dye-transfer printing still existed.

  62. Thank you Robert Harris for a honest review of Peter Pan on blu-ray. I very much wanted to add this classic to my library but know knowing the truth I will not buy this release! I am a big 4K supporter but for this title I feel a HD blu-ray would have been more than good enough if it would have been a properly done transfer. It would have been nice to have a film like transfer with proper amounts of detail and correct color. But I see no reason to spend my limited resources on a title done the way it was done and will redirect those funds to a different title! This shows how important this forum is and what a wealth of information it is so that we can stay away from releases like this once we know the truth. It is like Disney was more concerned with using digital tools to give it more of a modern animation feel so that more of the average consumers would go buy it. Guess what Disney your not getting my cash for this release!

  63. MatthewA

    Perhaps disrespectful is a better word for a disc with an image rating of 2 and a failing grade, and not just because it starts with the same three letters as "Disney." Name recognition like that is one of those things you just can't buy. You have to earn it. Film restoration technology has improved leaps and bounds since the 1980s when these films first started coming to video, but in their quest for perfection, they sometimes get carried away and do too much cleanup work. And the ones that look bad on big screens look bad on small screens, too. You can adjust color and contrast to your liking, but you can't put back scrubbed-out details. And sales analyses don't seem to take into account consumers who didn't buy a film they liked because they disliked its presentation.

    I also wonder whether the actual film reissues varied as much in color as the videos did, even during the years when dye-transfer printing still existed.

    Color changed over the decades, as the technology of dye transfer printed advanced.

  64. Robert Harris

    Color changed over the decades, as the technology of dye transfer printed advanced.

    I suspected as much. But if you could restore one Disney animated film yourself, which would it be?

  65. Robert Harris

    Don’t understand. What is the purpose of the scan? Why would anyone pay a fee?

    For what?

    I'm confused about the undercurrent of contempt towards this kind of project, Robert.

    Even if some people might interpret it that way, this video doesn't advertise itself as "here's the original vs. what Disney has now done to it." I take it as "here are two different examples of ways this film could be experienced today,"

    Perhaps from the archivist's perspective, the standard of judgment is always "how close is this to a properly-timed print from the virgin negative," but the archivist's goal of the perfect restoration is a Platonic ideal that exists only in the divine world. As a filmgoer, the reality is and has always been that every projection, televised broadcast, or home video presentation of a film introduces imperfections and errors that affect the experience and make it less like the creators' vision. There is no possibility of this not occurring.

    Moreover, it can be part of the fun. Random example: about ten years ago a little theater in LA a few blocks from where I lived did midnight showings of every Star Trek movie for ten(?) Saturdays in a row.
    When I saw Wrath of Khan (introduced by a Nicholas Meyer Q&A), it was a razor-sharp 35mm print with very good contrast, but the color had turned red to such an extent they mentioned it in the intro. Would I choose that print of Wrath of Khan to send into space on the Voyager probe as a lifeboat of human artistic production? No, but it was a cool part of the experience of that night, the reality of a theater tracking down prints of each film as a physical object in the world just like the frozen yogurt I had while I waited in line.

    If I wanted to pump a digital file of Cinderella into my Epson projector to watch at home tonight, and I could choose between a 1080p version of that scan or Disney's blu-ray, it wouldn't even be a contest: give me the scan of the private collector's dusty technicolor 35mm. In fact, I've done just that with the "Grindhouse" Star Wars scans widely available online, and it's a tangibly better experience than the sterile Lucasfilms Special Edition.

    I see projects like this Cinderella scan not as an attempt to archive the Truth of the film, but an attempt to archive the truths of a particular experience that would otherwise eventually be lost; a snapshot rather than a portrait.

  66. Craig M Russell

    I'm confused about the undercurrent of contempt towards this kind of project, Robert.

    Even if some people might interpret it that way, this video doesn't advertise itself as "here's the original vs. what Disney has now done to it." I take it as "here are two different examples of ways this film could be experienced today,"

    Perhaps from the archivist's perspective, the standard of judgment is always "how close is this to a properly-timed print from the virgin negative," but the archivist's goal of the perfect restoration is a Platonic ideal that exists only in the divine world. As a filmgoer, the reality is and has always been that every projection, televised broadcast, or home video presentation of a film introduces imperfections and errors that affect the experience and make it less like the creators' vision. There is no possibility of this not occurring.

    Moreover, it can be part of the fun. Random example: about ten years ago a little theater in LA a few blocks from where I lived did midnight showings of every Star Trek movie for ten(?) Saturdays in a row.
    When I saw Wrath of Khan (introduced by a Nicholas Meyer Q&A), it was a razor-sharp 35mm print with very good contrast, but the color had turned red to such an extent they mentioned it in the intro. Would I choose that print of Wrath of Khan to send into space on the Voyager probe as a lifeboat of human artistic production? No, but it was a cool part of the experience of that night, the reality of a theater tracking down prints of each film as a physical object in the world just like the frozen yogurt I had while I waited in line.

    If I wanted to pump a digital file of Cinderella into my Epson projector to watch at home tonight, and I could choose between a 1080p version of that scan or Disney's blu-ray, it wouldn't even be a contest: give me the scan of the private collector's dusty technicolor 35mm. In fact, I've done just that with the "Grindhouse" Star Wars scans widely available online, and it's a tangibly better experience than the sterile Lucasfilms Special Edition.

    I see projects like this Cinderella scan not as an attempt to archive the Truth of the film, but an attempt to archive the truths of a particular experience that would otherwise eventually be lost; a snapshot rather than a portrait.

    As a "mere" movie viewer, I'd like my experience of a movie to approximate as closely as possible the audio and visual intent of the originators of that film. If something is deliberately altered I'd like to be informed.

  67. Craig M Russell

    […]Perhaps from the archivist's perspective, the standard of judgment is always "how close is this to a properly-timed print from the virgin negative," but the archivist's goal of the perfect restoration is a Platonic ideal that exists only in the divine world. […]

    Great for those who enjoy serendipitous experiences with film;
    but, at the same time, what's wrong with Archivists striving for perfection?

    What kind of Archivist is one really if, within their pursuit and profession, they suddenly became as casual as the average ticket-buyer?

    But, of that Platonic ideal that exists only in the divine world…would you prefer the older looks of VHS copies over the current BD's of "Spartacus", "Lawrence of Arabia", "My Fair Lady", "The Godfather I, II, III", "Rear Window" and "Vertigo"?

    For my money, that divine world is an absolute. It's both tangible and it will continue to exist.

    I am all for one enjoying their films as they deem fit;
    yet to speak against attainments towards a perfect preservation seems to me like a slippery-slope of a direction to prescribe or to follow, especially in the wake of the alternative.

    I won't be responding further; as I am a convert, not ever to be swayed.

  68. PMF

    Great for those who enjoy serendipitous experiences with film;
    but, at the same time, what's wrong with Archivists striving for perfection?

    What kind of Archivist is one really if, within their pursuit and profession, they suddenly became as casual as the average ticket-buyer?

    But, of that Platonic ideal that exists only in the divine world…would you prefer the older looks of VHS copies over the current BD's of "Spartacus", "Lawrence of Arabia", "My Fair Lady", "The Godfather I, II, III", "Rear Window" and "Vertigo"?

    For my money, that divine world is an absolute. It's both tangible and it will continue to exist.

    I am all for one enjoying their films as they deem fit;
    yet to speak against attainments towards a perfect preservation seems to me like a slippery-slope of a direction to prescribe or to follow, especially in the wake of the alternative.

    I won't be responding further; as I am a convert, not ever to be swayed.

    You misunderstand me completely. I'm not speaking against the archivist mindset at all; I am 100% in agreement that it is the philosophy that should underlie film restorations and commercial releases, preserving film grain, removing dust without digitally scrubbing detail, etc. I'm on your side. I not only own the BDs of every title on your list, I eagerly double-dipped both for the major upgrade in the later Spartacus BD transfer and the modest upgrade in the later My Fair Lady transfer. I stand in humble awe of Robert Harris's knowledge, expertise, body of work, and philosophy.

    What I'm saying is that I can simultaneously see the value in this activity, and also see the value in a hobbyist scanning a print of a film for for fun. The hobbyist isn't competing with the archivist, any more than I'm competing with professional artists when I doodle in my sketchbook; these are two different pursuits with different aims, and I can appreciate each on its own terms.

    In this specific case, and the divine world is certainly not tangible: there's no way for me to watch the archivist's ideal version of Cinderella, because the archivist's version only exists as a theoretical alternative to the digitally scrubbed Disney BD. The hobbyist in this situation isn't in competition with the archivist philosophy, but they are able to offer a DIFFERENT kind of imperfect copy in a scanned 35mm print. Thus my options are either to cross my arms and not ever watch the movie, or choose between imperfect viewing options, taking off my Archivist hat and putting on my Moviegoer hat.

  69. Craig M Russell

    You misunderstand me completely. I'm not speaking against the archivist mindset at all; I am 100% in agreement that it is the philosophy that should underlie film restorations and commercial releases, preserving film grain, removing dust without digitally scrubbing detail, etc. I'm on your side. I not only own the BDs of every title on your list, I eagerly double-dipped both for the major upgrade in the later Spartacus BD transfer and the modest upgrade in the later My Fair Lady transfer. I stand in humble awe of Robert Harris's knowledge, expertise, body of work, and philosophy.

    What I'm saying is that I can simultaneously see the value in this activity, and also see the value in a hobbyist scanning a print of a film for for fun. The hobbyist isn't competing with the archivist, any more than I'm competing with professional artists when I doodle in my sketchbook; these are two different pursuits with different aims, and I can appreciate each on its own terms.

    In this specific case, and the divine world is certainly not tangible: there's no way for me to watch the archivist's ideal version of Cinderella, because the archivist's version only exists as a theoretical alternative to the digitally scrubbed Disney BD. The hobbyist in this situation isn't in competition with the archivist philosophy, but they are able to offer a DIFFERENT kind of imperfect copy in a scanned 35mm print. Thus my options are either to cross my arms and not ever watch the movie, or choose between imperfect viewing options, taking off my Archivist hat and putting on my Moviegoer hat.

    And, by the way, welcome to the forum .:drum:

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