Disney's American Legends DVD:"Modified from Original Version"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul Hillenbrand, Feb 11, 2002.

  1. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    As I was looking on the back of Disney's American Legends DVD case to find the production year, I read, in the smallest print on the back of the case:
     
  2. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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    It was my understanding that the DVD was a brand new production, meaning it was most likely completed in 2001. I don't know for certain though. And since it is direct-to-video, I'm not certain they would frame it for something wider than 1.33:1 and then crop the DVD release.
     
  3. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    I don't know about this case, but wouldn't it make sense these days, as we stand on the threshold of a 16x9 standard, for new productions like this to be 1.78:1? Maybe Disney did it in 16:9 and expect to sell us that one later on.
     
  4. Tim Gerdes

    Tim Gerdes Second Unit

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    The disc is a compilation of stories, most of which appeared in the animated anthologies and shorts of the 40s and 50s, with one exception.

    Johnny Appleseed originally appeared as part of Melody Time (1948). "Paul Bunyan" was a short feature released in 1958. Casey Jones was the subject of "The Brave Engineer", released as a short in 1950.

    John Henry was completed a few years ago, if I recall correctly. At one time, they showcased its development as part of the animation studio tour at Disney MGM Studios in Florida.

    For whatever reason I don't think this final short has actually been released before. I suppose it could have been developed for modern theaters, and thus cropped from its intended aspect ratio, but the other films certainly have 1:33 aspect ratios, based on their age alone.

    Perhaps Disney has labeled this release as "modified" because it is actually a collection of multiple films, perhaps with new linking material, rather than an original release.
     
  5. Michael St. Clair

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  6. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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  7. Tim Gerdes

    Tim Gerdes Second Unit

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  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The "xerox" look is indeed intentional for John Henry.
     
  9. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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    I'm willing to accept that the effect was intentional, though I'd love to figure out what the point of it was. It looks terrible - the whole thing just looks sloppy. No, I don't think all animation has to appear identical and perfectly-formed, but this was ridiculous.

    My confusion still revolves around the lack of consistency. Frankly, if they intentionally made the work sloppy, why are some scenes perfectly clean and others a total mess? That's the oddest part about the thing.

    Well, even if "John Henry" had no concerns, this package is still a shoddy rip-off. Considering the high quality of so many of their animated DVDs, it's a great disappointment to get such a crummy package. I'm not sure why Legends bothers me more than similarly high-priced and weak sets like the Recess and House of Mouse Christmas packages; maybe because this one exploits collector desires instead of family desires. But it rubs me the wrong way, especially on the heels of excellent product like the Atlantis CE and all the WD Treasures sets...
     
  10. Jon_J

    Jon_J Auditioning

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    John Henry was intended to be viewed in widescreen. It'll be shown in it's OAR infront of Return to Neverland.

    I personally think the visible construction lines, or any rough pencil tests in general, are more visually pleasing than the final product... but I'm biased.
     

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