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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Lady and the Tramp -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Message #1 of 30 Feb 18, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2018
    Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Robert Harris

    A few words about...™ Lady and the Tramp -- in Blu-ray
    [​IMG]


    I've been trying with the Disney animated classics.

    Trying to like the new Blu-rays.

    I really have.

    I've even reviewed them well, hoping for something to change.

    For about a decade, I've been forgiving them their exigencies, as they try to get films that shouldn't look like Toy Story to be precisely that.

    Digital animation.

    The worst, for me, was Snow White, a little 1937 film, that had some sequences (think Snow and the Huntsman) so horrific, that they looked like stagnant, post card images, with parts of cells frozen in time, with not a single bit of film grain to create the magic of a cohesive image.

    Disney('s) new Blu-ray of this glorious 1955 film, while a bit better than Snow White, similarly removes the magic of motion, and the natural patina of film grain, that made these films what there were.

    There are two sides to this debate.

    There are those who will tell you that this isn't really a film at all.

    Never was.

    They're all drawn cells. Photographed to create the illusion of movement.

    But that's what film is.

    Nothing moves, as we move from frame to frame. It's all just a long (very long) strip of fillum.

    And that film grain was merely something that was a necessity toward creating a means of replicating, and getting these films on to motion picture screens.

    Remember, these films were shot on black & white film, which was then used to produce printing matrices, all of which had grain.

    You can't ship hundreds of multi-plane flip-books.

    And, of course, this is correct.

    The films are created from cells, and photographed to create an illusion.

    But that's not the way that they were originally seen, and the removal of the original film grain (at least for me) destroys that overriding cohesiveness that binds the cells together, and allows us to believe that they're moving.

    The latest incarnation seems to be a bit more cleaned up than the previous release (the Diamond Edition), and it's now playable on every device that Walt never imagined, possibly down to one's Apple Watch.

    Let's also be very honest about this.

    There are a couple of very separate audiences involved.

    Kids won't give a damn about film grain, and those under two will probably just drool, and smile at the pretty "oof-oof" faces, or whatever they call them.

    But to those of us who grew up with these films, and understand the art of cinema, it's become more than troubling. With all due respect to Disney management, and they're a great company, I was hopeful that when one of the top animation execs took a leave, or whatever, that things might change, but it appears not.

    Walt's company seems to be set in their ways, and I in mine.

    I can no longer excuse their desires to make everything shiny and new, and drool-worthy for tots.

    Make no mistake.

    Walt's Lady and the Tramp is still a miraculous, gorgeous animated entertainment, but on screen, without it's proper, or at least a small replaced sheen of film grain, it's deader than a doornail.

    What may be necessary here, (and please, no 4k releases) are two versions, on the same Blu-ray disc. 2.55, 76 minutes = no problem.

    One modernized and beloved by drooling tots, and some studio execs, and the other for dotty, old fans of the cinema.

    Image - 2

    Audio - 5 (DTS-HD MA 7.1)

    Pass / Fail - Fail

    Upgrade from previous Blu-ray - No

    RAH
     
  2. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    Absolutely right. The hand-drawn animation was glorious, the detail incredible. Computer animation not so much. The last Disney film I really enjoyed was Aladdin. The computer animation look is, well, antiseptic, untouched by human hands.
     
  3. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Was there also a 1.33 version of this film made? If so, has anyone seen it in the last few decades? Imho that should have been included as a bonus feature. But I also agree these movies should look like animated movies on film, not almost as if they were digital animation....
     
  4. alter filmnarr

    alter filmnarr Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally I was spoiled all the time about that topic, and so it came, that I have bought the BDs, but somehow avoided to watch them (after the wacky "Snow White" experience).
    What would be Your suggestion Mr. Harris? Would it be the best, trying to find the old DVD sets again? And: which ones? Platinum,"special collection" etc.? Any "plan B"?? :D
     
  5. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Don’t remove the grain. Simply soften the image very slightly to replicate the look and texture of the original prints. Keep in mind that the SE negs were a bit grainy, and grain was reduced in the dye transfer printing process.

    That’s the easy part.

    The difficulty is the corporate mindset.
     
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  6. richardburton84

    richardburton84 Stunt Coordinator

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    There was indeed an Academy Ratio version of Lady. This version was released in the 90’s on VHS and Laserdisc along with the CinemaScope version (I know because I have that VHS and the fact that this VHS is the Academy Ratio version is the primary reason I’m holding onto it, along with the 90’s Fantasia tape with Deems Taylor’s actual voice and a more accurate approximation of the original Fantasound mix).
     
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  7. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    One of the very few Disney films that I have not seen so if my local library gets it I will check it out. I hope Disney gets around to releasing The Black Hole on Blu-ray.
     
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  8. B-ROLL

    B-ROLL Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]
     
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  9. alter filmnarr

    alter filmnarr Stunt Coordinator

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    ...yes, that would be nice, but how to watch the movies until then in Your opinion?
     
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  10. Gary16

    Gary16 Supporting Actor

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    Yes. I have the laserdisc with both versions.
     
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  11. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    How much do they differ? I guess what a mean to say, is did they draw different cells for the two different versions?
     
  12. Gary16

    Gary16 Supporting Actor

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    They recomposed certain scenes to fit. For example when those three dogs are walking toward the camera. In the 4:3 version they’re much closer together to fit in the frame. Someone posted comparison shots quite a while back.
     
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  13. Gary16

    Gary16 Supporting Actor

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    E59A2726-1AC7-4491-9CC3-A84E0EB9E215.
    Here’s one:
     
  14. richardburton84

    richardburton84 Stunt Coordinator

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    There’s also a difference in one scene between the two versions that’s not related to framing. In the scene where the Tramp first sees Lady, the Academy Ratio version starts with a wide-angle shot but then zooms into a close-up of Lady, indicating his interest in Lady. By contrast, the CinemaScope version stays on the wide-angle shot.
     
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  15. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    DVDs?
     
  16. Message #16 of 30 Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    alter filmnarr

    alter filmnarr Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, but that was my question at the beginning. Are the DVDs really better than the BDs and especially: which ones? Only the first editions or the later ones as well? To be honest, I gave away some of them, and I am curious, if it pays off to buy them back again or to stay with the less than stellar BDs... For the Moment I'm in the strange situation, that I hesitate to watch them at all.

    Please, excuse my faulty English, coming from Vienna/Austria...
     
  17. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    Wow. 180 Degree turn RAH. I'm shocked
     
  18. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer

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    Does anyone happen to know when the current approach of Disney to their animated classics began? I think people were happy with the 2008 blu-ray release of Sleeping Beauty, but by the 2014 release things had gone wrong. This is the chronology of the Disney blu releases: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Disney_Blu-ray
     
  19. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    And what of the 2009 SNOW WHITE AND THE 7 DWARFS Blu-ray, as opposed to the 2016 Signature release? Also, is the '01 DVD edition better than both, in terms of the original look?

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  20. Message #20 of 30 Feb 20, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
    RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Found these on other sites. Notice how the 1.33 version has more picture info on the top and bottom than the 2.55.

    ladytramp-05.JPG

    latt03. latt04.
     

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