B&TB: Are all three versions authentic?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Reader, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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    This has been discussed (but to no conclusion) in Ron's Beauty and the Beast Review which seems to be dominated by the quality issue. If an administrator decides to close this new thread for duplication I will understand; but be disappointed as the review thread has become a bit of a monster and carries multiple threads in itself.

    Now that that introduction is out of the way I want to address the subject of the title. Are all three of the versions on B&TB DVD authentic? Is even one version authentic?

    While it is well known that the IMAX 'Special Edition' release contains the new musical number 'Human Again' and a number of scenes immediately after the new sequence featuring new backgrounds, many other smaller animation and detailing tweaks were done throughout the feature. These were done to make the background detail for presentable on the huge IMAX screen.

    However, from what I can tell all of these changes seem to be on the 'Original' and 'Work In Progress' presentations as well as the 'Special Edition'.

    Also the soundtrack on all three seems to be from the 'Special Edition' - the Beast no longer stammers when talking to Belle in the tower and can be heard smashing objects when Belle lease to search for her father after she is released from her promise. The latter was added to the 'Special Edition' cut to explain why the castle was once again trashed after the newly inserted/modified scenes.

    I also seem to remember that the 'Work In Progress' version had a slightly different musical score, which again does not appear to be on the DVD. However, I could be wrong about this.

    I think that perhaps the 'Special Edition' is presented correctly, but would love to have that fact verified by anyone who knows.

    I would also like pointing to a definitive list of changes if anyone knows of one.

    It annoys me because, although the case is labeled 'Special Edition' it also claims to have the other versions intact. Something it apparently does not.

    I'm one of those people who despises retroactive film changes and as such consider the 'Special Edition' to be a curiosity and nothing more. I would prefer the Theatrical version to be the one intact.
     
  2. Patrick McNeal

    Patrick McNeal Auditioning

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    Well, apparently this is the way the filmmakers intended it to be in the first place, they just hadn't worked it out to their satisfaction in the rush to meet their deadline. Nearly everyone involved with the original production was involved with the SE, and gladly so.
     
  3. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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    I'm sorry but that doesn't really satisfy me. [​IMG]
    I don't really want to pick on anyone but doesn't anyone else expect the 'Original Theatrical Version' to be... well... the original theatrical version? Instead I see more people are concerned with removing stickers from the cardboard sleeve, or that the case doesn't match Snow White's. [​IMG]
    Look at all the fuss made on this forum with the 2002 edition of 'E.T.'. Those were made by the director Steven Speilberg, but the general agreement of this board is that the original is preferable because it is a piece of cinematic history.
    I will hold my hand up right now and state that my main concern with all 3 versions is the soundtrack - both from a remixed and altered point of view. I find it strange that this forum is so OAR proactive, but generally doesn't care about remixed soundtracks. I feel just as strongly about releases like 'Jaws' and 'Hard Day's Night' which have been released with "improved" 5.1 soundtracks only (the 'Jaws' release was unforgivable in my book being as the 5.1 mix contains totally new foley effects and the original soundtrack was an award winner)
    And if anyone states that my main concern seems to be the soundtrack and that it's trivial - look how strong people's reactions are to the looped 'terrorist' line, again on 'E.T'.
    You see, I see DVDs as being an archive medium, and as such it should always contain the version of the film as shown in Cinemas intact. If people want to take advantage of the benefits of DVD to include additional 5.1 tracks, seamless branching or angles for new effects etc fine - I have no problem with this. But the original version, both visually and aurally should always take priority.
    I'm disappointed that despite Disney's promises the original version is not included on the DVD, only a 95%+ approximation of it.
    Is a 95%+ version good for most people? Of course it is. But I, and I suspect a few others, expected more.
     
  4. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    I understand the concern about revisionist filmmaking (think Star Wars), but I thought the new "Human Again" sequence was a nice addition to the movie. I doubt I would ever want to watch the previous version in the future. I guess I don't have a problem with changes like this that add to the film rather than change what was already there (like Greedo shooting first) or change the meaning or understanding of what was already there.

    That said, I agree that for accuracy and archival completeness Disney should have left the original theatrical version intact, without any new sounds or animation details. Otherwise, what's the point? Why include it at all?

    Is this what's being done with E.T. (the ultimate collector's package)?
     
  5. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    I'm with you James. I like the Beast's stammer. I also think that a film that was nominated for BEST PICTURE should not be edited in any way shape or form unless the original version is also available. I really think Disney Home Video dropped the ball on this release in more ways than one. A big disappointment after the strong releases we have been getting from them.
    On a side note, I saw the IMAX presentation just this past Monday and the stammer was still there. Why was it changed for the video release? Has someone been leaving the editing room door open when George Lucas was in the building? [​IMG]
     
  6. StevenA

    StevenA Second Unit

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    I agree with James completely. I have not bought this yet simply because the original theatrical release does not appear to be included.

    And the lack of concern for OSTs being preserved on DVD by many who staunchly defend OAR always disappoints me.
     
  7. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    I've noticed something else. In the IMAX theater I work at we played the "dome formatted" B&tB print (I don't know if that would affect this or not). But on the DVD the Special Edition's credits are scrolling and have some extra score at the end to accomodate the extra credits for the Special Edition crew. However, at the IMAX theater where I work the credits weren't scrolling they were "cards" (or whatever its called) and there was no extension to the credit music, it was just the Beauty and the Beast song. Kind of odd that the credits would be different and that they'd have to add music to the end for the DVD but not have it on the IMAX release. So, apparently, the IMAX release actually cut some credits out or something.
     
  8. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    the IMAX version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST also had a title card up front about the "large format" version of the film which is not on the DVD.

    As far as the Work in Progress edition, the precedent on the laserdisc version is that the soundtrack was the finished Dolby Stereo version, so having the 5.1 mix on the DVD version seems fair to me.
     
  9. Jason Smalley

    Jason Smalley Stunt Coordinator

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    "You see, I see DVDs as being an archive medium, and as such it should always contain the version of the film as shown in Cinemas intact."

    Not to be too nitpicky, but this statement scares me. DVD can be a personal archival medium for an individual (which I think he meant), BUT the amount of compression that is done on a film to make it fit within the bit-budget of a particular disc ultimately means information is being lost (albeit redundant info). I want DVDs to be widely available so I can have a record of a film (E. T. especially since it was the first movie I saw in a theater), but I want a complete copy locked away in a vault somewhere safe from bacteria and humidity for the sake of history.

    Yes, I used to work in a library.

    I totally agree with the statement that the "original theatrical version" should be the original theaterical version, but remember, we are talking about Disney, the masters of revionist history.
     
  10. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  11. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I don't know if I agree with you guys about this.

    Vertigo has a completely new soundtrack.

    Lawrence of Arabia was re-edited by David Lean after the restoration work by Robert Harris. Do we really need to know what the original, original was?

    Unlike a pan-and-scan version of a widescreen movie, a remixed soundtrack isn't losing any detail -- presumably it's adding more detail.

    In the case of Beauty, the remix and re-edited movie more closely coincides with the filmmakers' vision.

    After the disastrous premiere of Madama Butterfly in 1900, Puccini rewrote the opera, adding new things and removing other things. Though some may want the "original" for historical value, the final version is the one which ultimately found an audience, and it has Puccini's stamp of approval. We should all be satisfied with his choice.
     
  12. Joshua Moran

    Joshua Moran Supporting Actor

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    I have this disc but have not watched it yet. You mean to tell me that the Original Theatrical Version is not really the Theatrical Version? If that is the case I am very disappointed. [​IMG]
     
  13. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    I watched the SE version of Beauty last night, and I thought I heard the stammer, but I could be wrong. At any rate, the transfer looked fine to me, but I suppose it could have looked better. Perhaps I'm so used to seeing the advances made in animation in the last ten years, that BatB doesn't look as "advanced" as it used to.
    Also, if it is indeed true that the elements for the special edition were used in the "Original Theatrical Version" on the disc, then that is disappointing. And it also makes no sense: I assumed that they didn't use seamless branching because there were so many digital touch-ups in the SE, but if they used the updated animation, there was no point in not using it. Weird. I haven't looked at the WIP yet, but it seems like they could have used seamless branching to combine that and the original original theatrical version, but perhaps there were too many differences.
    Strange things are happening. [​IMG] Anyway, I didn't mind the SE, but on a movie like this where the original version is the one that became a classic, I agree that the original theatrical version should be preserved and kept available.
     
  14. Jeff Ashforth

    Jeff Ashforth Stunt Coordinator

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    Well on my copy, the disarray and mess of the castle is still there on the theatrical version. Take note of the scene where the Beast is being bathed and cleaned up for his big date with Belle. In the SE the backgrounds are cleaned up, in the TC they are a mess. So I think the only thing that might be changed on the TC is the soundtrack.
     
  15. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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    Special Editions In General
    Films are, when all said and done, historical documents. True, they might not reflect actual world events of the time, but they reflect other things.
    Perhaps the most important is the technology of the time. I daresay that now Steven Speilberg could go back and composite better dinosaurs into Jurassic Park - but how many would want him to do this? Jurassic Park should be seen as originally shown because the effects work within made cinematic history.
    As for the original filmmakers' intent/vision argument - that could be said about any work of art. Artists grow, or are often under some external pressure or other when creating their work.
    The 'Special Edition' still suffers from the same pressures that affected the original release (namely time and money). The opening sequence is still static images when originally it was to be animated (See Here for info). Does this mean in a few years time you'll be happy for Disney to release a 'Super Special Edition'?
    I don't know how much money Disney spent on the IMAX 'Beauty and the Beast' - but I feel that whatever the money was it would have been better spent towards the budget of new, original films.
    Soundtracks
    The advantage over DVD has is that it can hold BOTH soundtracks. It doesn't take much room to hold an extra soundtrack, especially if it is mono.
    Do you honestly not mind that an award winning soundmix (Jaws) now seems to have been obliterated? After the DVD release, I doubt any new releases of the film on any format will contain the original mono mix [​IMG]
    So for all intents and purposes the original Award Winning soundtrack, with it's original foley effect will never be heard by this upcoming generation.
    This is so wrong. It's wrong with a capital 'W' - especially when the original Mono mix could easily have been included on the DVD release!
     
  16. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The Beast's stammer is the only difference I noticed in the theatrical version. All of the other changes I noticed occured only to the SE version including the tidied up castle and the slightly different animation of Cogsworth after the Beast tells him he let Belle go.

    Of course, the sound has been remixed to lesser effect, but that's another thread already.

    Regards,
     
  17. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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    Jeff, lots of minor changes were made to background images and animation throughout the film - not just the new backgrounds in the castle.

    This was done because inperfections on the background detail would be clearly visible when projected on the huge IMAX screen.
     
  18. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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  19. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Bryan,
    Check out my post in Ron's review thread for a description of how the branch is encoded. The gist of it is that the only branch point coincides with the layer change around 50 minutes into the film and the WIP is encoded as an alternate angle to the theatrical version.

    Regards,
     
  20. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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