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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Pocahontas 2-disc 10th Anniversary set, OUTSTANDINGLY RECOMMENDED (1 Viewer)

Lyle_JP

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To be fair, I am not certain. As I said, what I was viewing was enlargements of still-frame captures. Since they were not in motion, determining that it was mosquito noise is more difficult. It looked similar to what mosquito noise looks like when freeze-framed, but again, very very light.

What it did not look like was the distinctive uniform halo created by an Edge Enhancement filter. That was my main point. In the end, Pocahontas suffers to a small extent what every DVD suffers from: MPEG-2 compression. But it hides this compression better than 90% of the discs out there, and for animation, that is truly stellar.

-Lyle J.P.
 

Steve Christou

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No problem David. Here are a couple more.




I suppose if I had a bigger screen the ringing would show up more, but as far as Disney animations go this is one of the best transfers I've seen. One thing I particularly like about Pocahontas, which makes it stand out for me, is the color, it has it's own unique color palette which I really like a lot.:)
 

Ernest Rister

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This helps the characters blend more naturally into the background artwork, and was done deliberately since this was the first ever Disney animated film to be based (loosely) on real people and events.

I'm not sure the historical aspect had much to do with the purpose of the inking -- prior to the 60's, line work on the larger-budget, Disney features like Sleeping Beauty, Fantasia, Pinocchio and Bambi was extremely intricate and detailed and, when need be, multi-hued to help fight the tendency of cels to look "pasted" onto the backgrounds. The look of classic pre-60's Disney animation was a standard that the new crew in the late 80's and 90's aspired to meet. The reasoning behind soft-colored ink lines in Pocahontas is really no different than the reasoning used for the characters in Sleeping Beauty and [/i]Lady and the Tramp[/i].

The only thing i found "missing" in the image was film grain, which is not surprising, since the in-between work for the film would have been done entirely by computer.

LOL -- I had to double-read that to make sure I understood you. Usually when someone refers to In-Between work in animation, they're talking about the frames performed by assistants to complete the gaps in the series of key frames drawn by the directing animator or his proteges (which was most certainly NOT done by a computer on Pocahontas). You're referring to the final photography process of the CAPS system, not in-between animation, hence my initial confusion.

Thanks for your technical comments, Lyle. I look forward to seeing the disc.
 

Seth--L

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Well, "Disney's America" is a tad more complicated. The invisible hand behind the attack against it were some of the most wealthy and influential Americans who lived in Prince William County who didn't want their backyards turned into a parking lot for a theme park. They could care less about the revisionist history and/or environmental impact of the park. But they knew who would be concerned and gave them phone calls. Once it was revealed that the theme park would include such things as an 'Experience Slavery Adventure,' where kids got to 'simulate' being a slave for a few minutes, the park was finished. Disney = evil.
 

Mark Zimmer

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I'm watching on a Toshiba 65H80, with the sharpness completely off, using component inputs directly from a Sony changer. I see ringing on the 2nd of Steve's grabs around Pocahontas' head too.

There are plenty of DVDs where I don't see the ringing, so if my system is adding it, it's not doing so on a consistent basis. But when it's there it's pretty bad. Rather than small screenshots that cover lots of sins I'll try taking some photos off the screen and maybe that will help illustrate what I'm seeing.

Watch Pocahontas' blue necklace; the blue outlines of it often pixelate (though not always)--that looks to me like a definite noise reduction screwup; the computer is trying to make it blend in with the turquoise of the necklace and botching the job.
 

TheLongshot

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Yeah, that was probably the biggest reason. Disney didn't do their homework when they chose the site. These are people who live in their big houses on large tracts of land, and they don't want it to change.

Frustrating for us who can't afford that lifestyle, and have to live even further out... :angry:

Jason
 

DaViD Boulet

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Mark,

thanks for sharing more info. I'd love to see some of your screen-shots to illustrate.


Sounds similar to the stair-stepping effect I was seeing in a few instances. Please take a shot of that too if you get the chance.

-dave :)
 

Lyle_JP

Screenwriter
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I have no doubt that you're seeing what you're seeing, Mark. I just wonder if it is something player generated as opposed to a mastering defect. If you tell me the time-code on that particular scene you're mentioning I'd be happy to look at it and step through it on my PC, Denon, Philips, and Sony players and see if I can't reproduce it.

-Lyle J.P.
 

Ernest Rister

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Several years back I read an article about the art direction of Pocahontas, and it specifically talked about the unique color palette being chosen because Pocahontas would be the first Disney cartoon based on history. In that article, line color was also mentioned.

I come at Pocahontas from a different perspective. I think the movie is no more a work of history than Pecos Bill, Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, and Casey Jones. It is an American Myth, and it fits right in with those previous Disney cartoons -- I doubt John Smith and Pocahontas suddenly learned to speak each other's languages after communicating with a wise-cracking willow tree.

But true, the film does deal with people who did at one time actually live and breathe, though this wasn't the first time Disney tackled that in animation. Ben and Me - the much-loved tale of a mouse that helped Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson in the years before the American Revolution - dealt with real people in a fantasy context. And true, it wasn't a feature, but it ran a good half hour or thereabouts, and was well-done and received an Academy-Award nomination.

The reason animation tends to shy away from historical films is because those stories are usually told best via a live-action lens. There has to be a compelling reason to tell a story via animation. If a story can be told better via live-action, then you shouldn't animate it, and vice-versa. I don't think it is any accident that the best Batman movie yet made was animated -- live-action directors struggled with that character in the realm of the "real", and yet in animation, he comes to life. Despite decades of live-action films, Tarzan was really born for animation, and Disney proved it in 1999. Sidney Franklin couldn't make Bambi work in live-action, so he brought it to Walt Disney - the subject cried out for animation, live-action wouldn't work.

Pocahontas, though -- if the intent was to stick to history, then there is no reason to animate it. Treating it in the fashion of American Myth, like so many classic Disney shorts from the past, gave Disney the leeway to make the project an animated fantasy musical.
 

Bruce*A

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Apr 15, 2004
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And that's what I think so many people seem to forget. Disney never advertised Pocahontas as being historically accurate. In fact, the tag line was "An American legend come to life." That doesn't say history lesson to me.

I picked up the DVD yesterday and plan to watch both DVDs tonight.
 

Mark Zimmer

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I didn't have a lot of luck getting good pictures of the ringing, but here are some illustrations of the other things I have a problem with:

04m:27s--Edge enhancement on the rigging-like a ghost set of rigging.


12m:41s-Necklace DNR-the interweaving of the skin tones and the turquoise of the necklace at upper left is the giveaway. A similar effect can be seen at 32m:08s on Smith's arm.

(I'm not sure why this didn't come out; sorry for the poor quality)

42m:24s-corduroy stair-stepping on Pocahontas' neck. I remember there was a worse segment (this shows up a couple of times, and isn't persistent) but I didn't find it while I was looking for examples.
 
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I just read your fantastic review, David. Great job! I've always enjoyed this film, and you just convinced me to double-dip. I'm off to Best Buy!

--RJ
 

Chuck Mayer

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Haven't had time to watch the whole thing, but I did watch the new song. Definitely frames the entire film much better. Great to see it restored.

I thought the film looked quite nice, but I don't have a critical display.

Take care,
Chuck
 

Max Leung

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Just a couple of comments on the technical investigations:

- If possible, try to post links to uncompressed images (.bmp or .png files - with PNG being the best and smallest format)

- It might be best to take a screenshot using a PC and a reference mpeg2 decoder utility - for example, the free DGIndex (set to Video Level output) progam can be used to take reference frameshots. This eliminates the variables of scaling and additional filtering performed by the player (for example, some players have mosquito noise reduction built-in).

DGIndex can be found here: http://neuron2.net/dgmpgdec/dgmpgdec.html

As for the native american impact on ecology and so forth, I believe, if I remember correctly, that Jared Diamond covered this in his excellent book, "Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies" ( http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0393317552 ). Driving buffalo over cliffs in the hundreds, and then pulling meat from a couple of bodies (not enough manpower and no refridgeration to handle all of them) was not uncommon.

Since the arrival of humans on the American continents, most of the large mammals were extinct by the time the Europeans arrived. At least, that is what the paleontologists concluded from the evidence.
 

dave bula

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Jun 7, 2004
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I have the exact oppostie philosophy, and it has paid off very well for me again with Pocahontas. I learned some time ago that negative reviews and comments like the above are of no value to me, and can actually cause me to miss out on something I might enjoy. The ONLY useful comments to me are "raves." Why? Because if it works that well for someone else, there's a possibility it could for me as well.

I had not ever seen Pocahontas in any form until tonight. Partly because of negative reviews that had somehow penetrated my subconscious over the years, I guess. However, my wife likes this film a great deal and got the DVD. Surprise to me, I really liked it. The use of beautiful bright colors is breathtaking. The serious story and the underlying messages were unexpected and a very pleasant surprise in a Disney film. No, it's not as fanciful or light and breezy as some of the other Disney classics are, but I'm not watching it through the eyes of a child (I saw Sleeping Beauty in the theater on its first run in 1959). The so-called unhappy ending was not a problem, in fact it had indeed very nicely set up by the song that had been removed from the theatrical run. The songs are not as memorable as those in Mulan (for a fair comparison), but they're better than I expected from Alan Menken.

Do like I do and ignore all the negative comments about films. The raves are much more useful.
 

george kaplan

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It's a good thing I'm not evil. Otherwise, I'd start raving about how great the remake of Psycho, Armageddon and Gigli are, just to get Dave to watch them. :)
 

Ken_McAlinden

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Since I am evil, I will spin all three positive for you:

The problem with "Armageddon" is you watched it with the incorrect soundtrack that included the actors speaking their lines way up front in the mix. Only the Criterion Collection edition has presented it with the proper soundtrack with the technical advisors all but apologizing for how their advice was ignored.

As for Gus Van Sant's "Psycho", it is perhaps the greatest argument ever made for the skill and abilities of both Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Perkins. It shows how the equation no longer adds up when they are removed from it.

Oh, and, "Gigli" took a lot of heat off of "Ishtar". :)

Regards,
 

RomanSohor

Second Unit
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Jan 9, 2003
Messages
360
Man, I love these kinds of discussions. It really annoys me that all the people I have to talk to about home theater in my "home theater sales" job either know that "Monster gives you a better picture" and all the customers I help out tell me that "The yellow white and red are good enough"[for their new JVC DILA] or that the Cyberhome DVD player should look great on their plasma. After all it is progressive scan, isn't it?
 

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