A Few Words About A few words about... Mary Poppins

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I've seen Mary Poppins in every format that has been available to the public over the past 40 years.

    From dye transfer 35mm prints in 1964 to VHS, laserdisc and DVD, the film has looked better, worse, or just different over the years.

    Disney Home Video has produced some beautiful DVD versions of their classic film features. In most cases they've changed the overall look. Much of the early animation no longer has the hand painted look and Disney "dust" that have been part of the image through the years.

    Once again, with Mary Poppins, the film no longer looks precisely as it did forty years ago. Which in this case is a positive attribute.

    Mary Poppins is now clean and clear and sharper than I recall it being, with more detail...

    but the major point is that the matte lines from the sodium vapor process, which surrounded live objects in scenes shared with animation, are substantially reduced or gone.

    The overall image and the new effect is beautiful.

    Mary Poppins is a superb replacement for the earlier versions. We'll most likely be seeing this same master again when high definition appears in the marketplace, and will then get the full effect.

    Disney receives an "RAH Approved" on this one.

    They've done a superb job. Will it create a tie for second place in the list of Best Classic releases of 2004? We'll find out after I'm able to spend some quality time with the new release.

    Do I have any quibbles at all? Yes. I'd have preferred to see the original logo and music. A tiny point.

    HIghly recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. Tim Glover

    Tim Glover Lead Actor

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    Thanks Mr. Harris. Already pre-ordered this one. One of my favorites of all time. Glad to know the image is spectacular. [​IMG]
     
  3. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Looking forward to this. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Oh, damn! Mary Poppins gets the RAH Seal of Approval!

    Woo hoo! [​IMG]
     
  5. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    "Much of the early animation no longer has the hand painted look and Disney "dust" that have been part of the image through the years."

    This is very true. When Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston were shown the digitally-restored Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1993, they approved it, though with a caveat. I think it was Ollie - who was a bit more free of tongue - who said, "Nice colors. Not the colors we used in 1937, but nice colors."

    Overall, when classic Disney animation is brought to home video, Disney attempts to boost the colors, perhaps trying to bring them in line with a more modern sensibility, or trying to make them as appealing to younger eyes as possible. An easy example of this is the DVD for Robin Hood, which is almost surreal now in the use of eye-popping vibrant hues. It also has a "digital" look that, while not objectionable, is not an acurate representation of the film as it was originally released. Other Disney DVDs that share these qualities are The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, The Rescuers and The Aristocats. YCM did a fantastic restoration of Pinocchio in 1992, and this has been the basis for the 1993 and 1999 home video releases, but even these, too, have been given digital tweaks, resulting in some objectionable attempts in the 1999 release to remove cel jitter during the opening credits by simply freezing the image while the soundtrack continued unabated.
     
  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Excellent news! Now I'm glad I didn't upgrade my first DVD (the first release) when those other versions came out. Now I can finally coasterize it! [​IMG]
     
  7. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Thanks Robert
    I'm looking forward to this. I'm sure it will be Classic of the year for me. My favorite Disney film.
     
  8. Ryan Wong

    Ryan Wong Stunt Coordinator

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    The review on Ultimate Disney is up.

    The cleaner and sharper image is sure to please. But compare to the 1.85:1 Gold Collection DVD, large part of the side has been cut off for this 1.66:1 Anamorphic widescreen release.[​IMG]

    Oh no...
     
  9. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Yeah, but you can see that the 1.85:1 version is lop-sided, with the image being shifted to the left. The new DVD looks more centered.
     
  10. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    The review also says:
    Good enough for me. I'll be curious to see what David says regarding the transfer.
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Our members need to read this.

    I am making this a "sticky" thread.

    As always, thanks for your input here Robert.
     
  12. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Just a question about color. The reds look very orange in this one, very saturated too. It's noticeable in Mr. Banks lounging jacket, and in the red carnations that he wears.

    I don't know if this is right or wrong, just something I noticed.
     
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The red question depends very much on one's hero for comparison.

    Past home video had reds which tended to smear from oversaturation, but if one uses an original print as reference, the reds, inclusive of the lounging jacket tended to jump off the screen due to the dye transfer dyes.

    The newest DVD reaches a very nice red without creating noise.

    RAH
     
  14. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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    I'm looking forward to getting this. [​IMG]
     
  15. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    If ever there was an incentive for me to invest in a 16:9 TV, this is it. Thanks, Robert.
     
  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Mr. Paynter...

    With the reversal of fortunes comparing the U.S. vs. the Canadian dollar, you should now be able to pick up a nice Sony 16:9 for about 2,200 Canadian, as opposed to a year ago, which would have been in the area of 1.2 million Canadian for the same monitor.

    Bring those loonies to the Colonies and return home with a great new monitor...

    which makes all the difference in the world in viewing quality.
     
  17. Ernest Rister

    Ernest Rister Producer

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    If ever there was an incentive for me to invest in a 16:9 TV, this is it. Thanks, Robert.

    The very first DVDs I ever purchased were Anchor Bay's The Black Hole and the first pressing of Mary Poppins on DVD.
     
  18. Michael Coate

    Michael Coate Stunt Coordinator

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  19. Bob_S.

    Bob_S. Supporting Actor

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    Robert, do you know if this edition contains everything the Laser Disc Boxset did? Also, has anyone picked up the 40th Anniversary sound track? I just got mine at Walmart fror 14.88! It has over 40 minutes of behind the scenes interviews on the second disc. I haven't had a chance to listen to it though.
     
  20. Adam*M

    Adam*M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the good words about this release. I plan to buy it as one of the last Disney things I have to pick up. (What happened to that company anyway? This is like the 70's over again for them.)

    And please stop buying things at Walmart. You're only encouraging them to keep buying fullscreen discs and Chinese junk.
     

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