Chronicles Of Narnia DVD Is Edited, Cut..more inside

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by geod, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. geod

    geod Auditioning

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    Hello,
    First time poster. I had to write with some info about the Chronicles of Narnia DVD boxed set. First of all I am a consumer who saw there was no review or updated information about this title which came out on DVD on August 27th and wanted to supply as much info as possible . I have an ok set up tech wise with a 27" jvc I'art flat screen TV. pioneer dvd 434 player and a sony dolby digital theater decoder 5.1 receiver setup. I own a couple of hundred DVd's.
    So, above are my "Credentials" if that is required. I am going to give a quick reveiw because this e-mail is primarily to inform about running time and cut scenes.
    Brief history about the series:
    Some Spoilers
    Out of order:
    I taped the Silver Chair(1990) when it originaly aired in the U.S off of PBS. It ran in 3 parts. Each with a begining and end credits. The beginning and end credits of each varied in length for each episode. Beginning credits :35 to :45 each. End credits 1:00 to 1:20 each. The three episodes were 51:00, 53:00 and 51:50 minutes and sec each. Grand total of aprox 160:50 minutes and sec. I checked my original tapes THREE times. Now, The Silver Chair ..DVD itself clocks in at: 154:30 minutes and sec. Now here is the Important BAD part: The Silver Chair is in MOVIE format..2 beginings and 2 endings are cut out. With Those cut out the total time of the DVD should be Aprox 157:55 NOT 154:30!?! APROX 3 minutes and 25 seconds are CUT OUT! I started checking a side by side comparrison. The last 20 minutes of the Silver Chair there is a sequence when the Queen has injured a Character and another person starts talking about the SUN in the sky. On the video tape it goes on for about 2 minutes YET on the DVD the scene is cut down to about 1 minute with out the long description about the SUN in the sky. I triple checked this. I read a year ago that the books would be rereleaed with out the undertones of Christianity to make them more user friendly. No comment on that mess but as far as the DVD's I heard nothing of them bieng cut. The scene itself has nothing offensive. Violence is left in other scenes. I do not know what happened here BUT the FACT remains that THE SILVER CHAIR IS CUT. What the other 2 and a half minutes removed are I do not know.

    I also taped The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe(1989) when it originaly aired in the U.S off of PBS. It ran in 3 parts. Each with a begining and end credits. The beginning and end credits of each varied in length for each episode. Beginning credits :35, :40 and :35 sec each. End credits 1:05, 1:15and 1:20 minutes and sec each. The three episodes were 52:40, 52:10 and 52:10 minutes and sec each. Gand total of aprox 162:36 minutes and sec. I checked my original tapes THREE times. Now, the lion ,witch,etc..DVD itself clocks in at: 161:30 minutes and sec. Now here is the odd part: The Lion, Witch, etc DVD .. is in MOVIE format..2 beginings and 2 endings are cut out. With Those cut out the total time of the DVD should be no more than a maximum of Aprox 159:00. There are an EXTRA 2:30 added to the film. What the Extra footage is I can not say for I have only Watched parts of the DVD.
    Getting tired here but as far as the 3rd movie(2nd in the series) Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader(1989) is 3 parts as well but Prince Caspian has its own beginning and ending credits( a self contained story based on book 2 of Narnia Chronicles) this clocks in at Video taped verion 54:40 Exact and DVD version 55:56 1 minute 16 seconds more on DVD. And before I forget, None of my original TV taped versions of these Episodes have their END Credits sped up at all. All normal pace. So that does not accout for the time difference. If anything the END credits on the DVDs seem a bit faster. Still, that would not account for longer running times and cut scenes(the one I have confirmed anyway).
    Lastly the voyage of the Dawn Treader DVD version is 109:22 the Video Taped version is 108:53 with both (2) beginnings and ending and 107:18 with 1 beginning and 1 ending. Once again an extra 2 minutes on the DVD.
    If you can get any more info on this I would appreciate it.
    As far as a review goes, I said it would be brief The Audio is Mono Quite clear No hissing I noticed on the parts of the series I actually watched I skimmed through them on account of the time it took to time and confirm the above. As far as the video it is Heads and Shoulders above the original broadcast. 13 year old tapes with good reception could not hide the bland colors as originally broadcast but the colors are much more vibrant Much more lively and earthy as this series calls for . There are many many outdoor Sequences to this series and I think the remastering does this justice.

    So thats it. I hope I helped a bit. I hope anyone can find out more from the company that made these and with this sites DVD connections what is up with the cuts and possible added scenes.
    Thank You,
    Geo
     
  2. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Thank you for this information. I *just* found a copy of this set a few days ago, and it will be a week or so before I can even contemplate watching it.

    To sum up what you are saying (and please tell me if I'm right, and if I'm wrong please correct me to exactness):

    1) The entire "Chronicles of Narnia" was an '80s-'90s BBC television series (not mini-series or set of movies; an actual series no different than, say, Doctor Who or The Young Ones). Each "episode" of the series was a set of chapters from one of the books in the Narnia series.

    2) PBS aired these episodes in original BBC format at some point in the early to mid '90s.

    3) The home video products that came out afterward have taken the episodes of the TV series and reformatted them into a "movie" style that follows the novels and which cuts out the extra opening and closing credit sequences of the original episodes.

    4) In doing so, the running time should be adjusted, but there are other differences in the running times which are NOT accounted for these credit deletions.

    5) You are reasonably certain that the speeds of the show and the credits have not been "sped up", or slowed down either. I also assume, since you are comparing to PBS recordings, that the differences have nothing to do with the so-called "PAL Speed-up" phenomenon.

    6) In one case, the DVD version is shorter in length, in the other three cases the DVD vesion is actually longer. All differences are by no more than 2.5 minutes.


    Do I have that essentially right?
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Dave: I'm not sure I have it right, but PAL speedup shouldn't be an issue with British television product at all. I'd imagine the NTSC version just duplicates one less frame per second over film, and of course it was made at 25 fps PAL so that's no problem. Given that, the running times should be identical in both versions.

    The only thing I can think is that perhaps these edits were done when they original de-serialized them. And perhaps that's the only version they had the rights to release on DVD. Still, a bit disconcerting.
     
  4. debi_lee

    debi_lee Stunt Coordinator

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    Geo
    I reviewed the Narnia set for digitallyOBSESSED.com last month, and I know at least one other site did as well (sorry, i forget who it was, but had found it on dvd-basen).
    I had seen the original airings on PBS, but do not have tapes to compare as you have. I admit up front to not being as technically-minded as you are, so I cannot add much to the dialogue about time distortions, nor do I mind the missing credit sequences, since they are each used at least once per "movie."
    In my review, I do note that this is a beautiful transfer; the quality of the image and audio is miles above how broadcasts appeared on my set (via antenna in the woods/mountains of California!). So, IMHO, the job was well done and I doubt these issues will detract from your overall enjoyment of this charming series.
    David
    I believe it would have been considered a mini-series, as it had a limited length from conception; each title (there are 4 separated titles) was merely broken down into chapters, likely an approx. hour in length.
    I'll alert Home Vision to this post to see if they have anything to add.
     
  5. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Thank you for your input, Debi. If you can contact them, then perhaps we can get this matter cleared up. Perhaps some of us can also talk to the BBC, and get input from their end.

    While we are discussing the editing issue, perhaps we can also arrive at a consensus as to whether or not these features as originally broadcast are considered "shows", "miniseries", or a bunch of "movies of the week". That would help me settle the question as to whether or not these should be listed at TVShowsOnDVD.com, where right now it is in a gray area.

    In the meantime, I think I know where I have a copy taped off of PBS, so perhaps I can compare and verify what Geo is saying; it never hurts to have a 2nd opinion. Let me look for that tape.
     
  6. debi_lee

    debi_lee Stunt Coordinator

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    I sent email to our contact, we'll see where that goes.
    You raise an interesting point we struggle with sometimes as well, David. If something is created specifically for TV, we tend to use the catch-all genre "television." This, for us, encompasses everything from regular series programming (Friends, The Outer Limits, The Avengers and so on) as well as, say, A&E's limited series (Horatio Hornblower, Emma) and History channel docus. But then there are made-for-TV miniseries like Uprising, 2-part movies like Cleopatra (1999) and so on... it's really a tough call.
    I'd venture to say that The Chronicles of Narnia falls closest to the same classification as the A&E series listed above. As adaptations of the C.S. Lewis novels, they have an inevitable end; in my own opinion, a "show" is a continuing series (Friends and the like). The debate could go on ad infinitum, of course, but that's my 2 cents [​IMG]
     
  7. Brandon Gantt

    Brandon Gantt Second Unit

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    The DVDs are indeed cut. The series was originally done as three seasons, consisting on 6x30min. episodes each, between 1988-1991. Therefore if presented in there uncut forms each story would be 3 hours long. There is no point in contacting the BBC because they don't own home video rights to the series here in North America, Home Vision does, so they have no say in the way the series is to be presented. Home Vision could have gotten new episodic transfers from BBC Worldwide but I doubt they asked. It was probably cheaper to use the edited masters they already possessed.
     
  8. geod

    geod Auditioning

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    Hello,
    Thanks for all the feedback. I would like to answer a couple of questions:

    First of all the series, or specials, as in England allot of shows are but 6 episodes a year, aired in the late 80's to early 90's 1988,1989,1990. I made a mistake in my original comments that Lion, Witch, etc was 1989 it was 1988. These 3 series 9 episodes total aired in the U.S. as well as in England. I am not sure how close the release dates in England these were aired in America, but they were close. Not the usual couple of years delay for a series to hit the states because backing was partially provided by an American based compay called Wonderworks out of Pittsburg. The company went out of buisiness soon after The Silver Chair since there was no financial backing. The Children(main actors) were getting older. It was pivotal to the plot of the latter books that these episodes{from all 7 books} be filmed within a few years of each other TOTAL. Ther were rumors up until the mid 90's of the series starting again with the Magicians Nephew but that never came to fruition. Alas, the continuing story with the original cast will never be completed. If you have read ALL the Narnia Chronicles you would understand why all the different actors would have to be relativley the same age by the end of production of all 7 books. Much like the Harry Potter movies being released once a year. Harry Potter, as you know, is a year older in each book so the actor can not take a few years off between films or they would have to recast every couple of films like James Bond.

    PBS aired these episodes as they were seen in the UK.
    The home video versions are in movie format from what I myself have read but I cannot confirm this because I own first run taped off of TV uncut broadcast versions.

    The running time for each of the 9 beginnings and endings were not the same . The beginnings from each series of 3 episodes were relativley the same but the endings were different for each individual episode. The endings were sometimes :30 longer or shorter and sometimes there were scenes from other episodes shown at the end or Aslan himself popping up and "breathing" at the end. The DVD's have selectivley shown only 1 beginning and 1 ending for each, so those are cut. With the Exception of Price Caspian as I have already stated in my original post.

    As far as My estimated times I am 99% certain of their accuracey and have gone so far as to point out the fact of at least 1 one minute sequence has been Cut out with the absolute certainty that at least another 1:30 is cut from the Silver Chair as it was originally broadcast.

    As far as the Lion, Th witch, Etc.. and Prince Caspian and The Dawn Treader the running times are longer so something has to be added in but I am uncertain as to what. I will have to study very carefully, over the next weeks, to see what has been added and will update with a new post.

    Personaly, I love this series and do not mind added footage(who dose) or the missing beggining or end credits...But I do mind the removal of footage that is not offensive. If something was deemed to violent or unsuitable for children I would understand the argument but that is not the case and I havent a clue as to why this has been done with The Silver Chair.

    Thanks For Everyones imput.
    Hopefully someone will get to the bottom of this.
    Geo
    Kindly excuse typos
     
  9. AmitS

    AmitS Extra

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    Does anyone know if these cuts also exist on the VHS tapes that were released years ago or is the tape set the same as the broadcast version?

    thanks!
     
  10. Anne M

    Anne M Agent

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    Well, I'm not sure how much this adds to the conversation, but I can personally attest to that fact that there are added things in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and some things are missing from The Silver Chair. I also taped these two off of PBS, and there are definite differences.

    I haven't watched all of the DVD version of The Silver Chair, but one of my favorite lines has been removed:

    When Jill is talking to Aslan just before he gives her the signs, they are having a conversation about trust, and Alsan tells Jill that he called her and Eustace to Narnia. At this point, Jill says, "Ahhh." This all of the mini-conversation that appears on the DVD. On my taped version, however, the conversation proceeds as follows:

    Aslan: Speak, child.
    Jill: If you please, sir, we were calling to you.
    Aslan: You would not be calling to me if I had not been calling to you.
    Jill: I see.
    Aslan: You do not see.

    And then the DVD follows from there. Normally, little edits like this don't bother me, but this happens to be my favorite conversation in the whole movie. So I am a little perturbed. Like I said, I have not watched all of my DVD version of The Silver Chair, so I cannot tell you the other bits that are missing. But I'm really not happy.
     
  11. geod

    geod Auditioning

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    Hey thanks for the update. I still have not had time to go through these DVD's completely myself. I hope anyone else who notices any other differences will feel free to contribute thier findings here.
    Keep up the good work.
    Thanks,
    GEO
     
  12. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    Would you believe that my local Blockbuster has the second two discs, but not THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE? [​IMG] Oh well.
     

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