A Few Words About A few words about... Disney's Lady and the Tramp

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The "keepers of the frames" at Disney have been doing it correctly.

    For their most recent DVD releases of the acknowledged Disney feature length animated classics, they've been returning to the original camera and audio elements and re-working these great films from the foundation up.

    With the new release of one of their most popular classics, the 1955 Lady and the Tramp, they've again raised the technological bar.

    The task of scanning, cleaning and processing the original CinemaScope sequential camera negatives has gone, once again, to DTS Digital Images (previously known as Lowry or LDI). This decision must not have come lightly. For in doing so, one of the most established of the Hollywood entities has handed off the flame of wizardry to the new kid on the block, and with astounding results.

    Let me be brief and to the point.

    Lady and the Tramp is finest looking incarnation of a classic animated film to date. The beauty of Bambi, and what had been learned in that excercise, has been taken many steps further, to something that I can only refer to as visual perfection.

    DTS Digital Images didn't do this alone. The technical staff at Disney went through a lengthy process of research -- literally returning to the original painted cells as reference -- which has given the new incarnation just the right amount of color and density.

    To top this off is the all new 5.1 mix.

    While all of the original elements have now returned to the vaults until the next time they're needed, the home theater audience is the ultimate beneficiary of this new DVD with a high "wow" factor. Like the past few Disney classic DVD releases, this is not a "restored" version which would exhibit both the beauty as well as the imperfections of the animator's art.

    This is the beauty without the imperfection. A new edition for yet another new generation.

    While Disney need not be concerned about their sales of this title, I'm pleased to be able to report that the final result of their efforts once again gets an A+ in all departments.

    Lady and the Tramp could not be recommended more highly.

    Whilst I don't wish to sound as if I'm having a "Simon Cowell moment," if I'm going to be totally honest...

    I still have one problem, not with the transfer or contents, but with the packaging. Disney Home Video is still not giving viewers an indication of the date, or era of production on their DVD packaging. In this case it leads to error.

    This is purportedly a "50th Anniversary Edition."

    But the reverse of the packaging clearly states "2006 DVD Release."

    If any of this were correct, which it is not, it would make Lady and the Tramp, which according to IMDB, was premiered in Chicago on June 16, 1955... a 1956 production.

    Would it not be so much easier to simply offer the date of theatrical release, if for no other reason than to allow the young to better understand the chronology of this great company's animated heritage?

    RAH
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Sounds great! Two more weeks and I'll have my copy.

    It's been a while since I've seen you posting, RAH. Good to have you back. [​IMG]
     
  3. Brendon

    Brendon Second Unit

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    I weakened and bought the R2 UK version ahead of my R1 pre-order. Only ever having seen the fullscreen VHS version of L&tT, the DVD is a revelation!

    I suspect my viewing equipment (32" CRT anamorphic TV, RGB connection, non-prog scan capable) limits what I can see, but to my eyes this is every bit as stunning video wise as Bambi & Cinderella. I have the very highest of expectation for The Little Mermaid; I hope to retire my 6/7 year old limited edition later this year.

    Sound wise the 5.1 Enhanced Theatrical mix sounds very good, with little to no gimmicky use of multichannel effects or panning.

    Leaving the AV considerations of L&tT aside, what a great film! Now to find someone to palm my R2 disc off to so I can get the R1.

    Brendon
     
  4. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    The only thing that worries me is the "all new" 5.1 mix.
    Disney did a new 5.1 mix for the last Laserrdisc version with disastrous results. Allkinds of things were missing for the mix that should have been there.

    the last dvd went back to the original theatrical 4.0 soundtrack. why can't they leave the damn thing alone and give me the original film?
     
  5. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    The DVD also includes the original stereo soundtrack, here presented as DD 3.0...
     
  6. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    BTW, RAH doesn't mention this, but the DVD includes both the widescreen and fullscreen editions. Does anyone know how to tell if the latter is the 1955 reframed version or if it's actually P&S?
     
  7. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    I'll be buying. [​IMG]
     
  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Another non-grudging Disney double-dip for me.

    Bella Notte

    (Music & Lyrics: Sonny Burke & Peggy Lee)

    This is the night, it's a beautiful night
    and we call it bella notte.

    Look at the skies, they have stars in their eyes
    on this lovely bella notte.

    Side by side with your loved one,
    you'll find enchantment here.
    The night will weave its magic spell,
    when the one you love is near!

    For this is the night, and the heavens are right
    On this lovely bella notte!

    EDIT** Oh, gee! I just took out the soundtrack CD of TLatT and just remembered the incredible version of Home Sweet Home by The Mellomen (barking and crying like dogs!). What fun! And I know Disney's got footage of the group--including the legendary Thurl Ravenscroft--getting into the spirit of the piece! Hope its included as an extra.
     
  9. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I'd like to know if the 4x3 version is the Academy Ratio version, too. It would be a pity to go P&S when they could utilize it.
     
  10. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    One of my favorites. Always remember, "Argh, and they're verrrrrry expensive". That and "CHOP SUEY!!!"
     
  11. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    I also would like to know if the new full screen version is just nasty old pan and scan.
     
  12. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    This is one of my all-time Disney favs. Thanks for the "few words", Robert. I can't wait for this disc!! [​IMG]
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The "full-screen" version appears to be, while not a "nasty old pan and scan," a newly produced pan and scan derived from the new master.

    While it would have been interesting to do a comparison between the original CinemaScope and flat versions, it would also have necessitated that Disney do two full digital jobs at great expense. While I'm not making excuses for decision making, I'm thrilled with the CinemaScope version. The actual use made of the flat version on this release will doubtless not be for historical perspective, but rather for use in a child's bedroom on their personal non-widescreen television.

    Personally, I'd cut Disney quite a bit of slack in this area, as the original flat version is certainly not only preserved, but available for any serious evaluation that may come its way.

    RAH
     
  14. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    It's not one of my favorite Disney flicks, but mine has already been pre-ordered. This will be required viewing the weekend of the 4/5.
     
  15. Reagan

    Reagan Supporting Actor

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    Great news. Thanks for the post, Mr. Harris. Can't wait for the 28th to get here.

    -Reagan
     
  16. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Great news indeed. Classic film that is done right. Thanks Disney and thanks to DTS Digital Images. [​IMG]
     
  17. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    My memory is telling me that they fixed the obvious errors (e.g. missing lines and music vocal parts), but that the DVD was still a new mix, eschewing directional dialog and such. I will have to give it another listen. In any case, it sounds like we will be getting the best of both worlds mix-wise with the new release.

    Regards,
     
  18. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    It is truly amazing (got my disk last week), and one of the great movie experiences, too. Thanks to RAH for his cherished evaluations, once again. And to the folks at Disney who know how to do some things, really right.
     
  19. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    >>Would it not be so much easier to simply offer the date of theatrical release, if for no other reason than to allow the young to better understand the chronology of this great company's animated heritage?
    ---


    Perhaps the art dept/packaging designers at Disney have yet to learn that [option-G] on the keyboard yields a "©" symbol...
     
  20. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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