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

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Robert Harris

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MatthewA

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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.
 
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Jake Lipson

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Is the transfer actually changed from the previous Blu-ray at all? I can't imagine why they would do a new one.
 

Josh Steinberg

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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.
 

Robert Harris

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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.
 
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notmicro

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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)?
 

Robert Harris

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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.
 

Matt Hough

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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.
 

Konstantinos

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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.
 
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PMF

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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".
 
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Konstantinos

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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.
 
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PMF

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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?
 
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MatthewA

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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.
 
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Patrick McCart

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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.
 
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titch

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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!
 

Konstantinos

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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!