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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Sleeping Beauty SE (Disney) --VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! (1 Viewer)

Steve K.H.

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 11, 2002
Messages
719
Excellent review again David.

The colours in your other reveiws (on the headers) were a nice touch.

This technicolor review is a bit much. I would prefer if you reel it back a bit. The blue background and yellow font were (to me) a difficult read.

Not dis'n, just suggest'n. ;)
 

jonathan_little

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
223
soundtrack)

In order to introduce CinemaScope's wide image and stereophonic sound, Alfred Newman conducted the tuxedo-clad Fox orchestra on-screen in a 5:36 suite from his 1931 score to Street Scene... We have remixed and remastered Newman's recording of "Street Scene" from the original six-track magnetic film stems for the best possible sound.

Source
 

Bill Burns

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 13, 2003
Messages
747
A few of us have explored the technical side of Sleeping Beauty (primarily the film itself, not the final DVD) here:

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=155202

I'm eager to hear a bit more from Robert Harris on this matter, as I'm uncertain what he means when he says that measuring aspect ratios is a "meaningless exercise" ... the correct shape of a film as projected can be represented as a set ratio (or a range of ratios for films projected a variety of ways), and the ratio of a home video image of that film would presumably offer a clue (not a definitive clue, but a starting point) in determining whether the entire projected image is represented on the home video product? Or is this not the case? I realize an image can be zoomed, cropped vertically as well as horizontally, or any number of other things and still yield a ratio the same as the projected ratio, with a great deal missing that we're intended to see or, conversely, revealed that we're not meant to see, but a ratio comparison seems a good starting point (not an end point) for determining the validity of an image at home when considered against that same image in a theatre, particularly when considering films we haven't seen in the theatre and whose visual information may not otherwise prove familiar (which isn't the case here for a few of us, of course, though I'm sorry to say I've never seen Sleeping Beauty in a theatre).

If Sleeping Beauty has been cropped significantly (would it be possible to represent the missing screen area in an approximate percentage figure, Mr. Harris?) I'll have to rethink my plans to buy it (and I'm very grateful to Robert Harris for bringing the trouble to our attention -- it's always heartening to discover these problems before money is spent! :)). If it were mastered from a four perf reduction (see the above link) rather than correct eight perf 35mm original elements, I'm sure Mr. Harris is correct about the loss of resolution -- this has always been my experience in viewing DVD and laserdisc product taken from reduction elements, and is yet a further mark against the DVD of Sleeping Beauty.

If the problems with SB are significant (I'd consider this the case if it's misframed and derived from reduction), I'm also wondering, as per a recent thread for Comedy of Terrors and An Evening of Edgar Allen Poe, if Disney's "restoration" yielded a high definition master they'll be using for future HD releases of the film, as well. If so, is there hope of The Mouse revisiting this title in a way that more properly represents its original character anytime in the foreseeable future?

I should say that despite the above concerns, though, I certainly enjoyed and appreciate David's review, as always. :emoji_thumbsup: The color schemes are a nice touch, offering visual flair and an easy means of finding the various sections for glancing references -- the professionalism of your style of presentation sets a high standard.
 

DaViD Boulet

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 24, 1999
Messages
8,826
Hey Bill,

The restoration process must have been done in a very high-resolution digital form because it was printed back to film (I'm assuming 35mm?) and the DVD was then subsequently mastered from the new film-print. At least that's the way they made it sound in the special feature short (and I'm assuming the film-print is a full-res high-quality print intended to be used for projection as well as archiving).

And I really do not mean this as a criticism but a sincere question: how come you find this "an unavoidable consequence of watching a 50 year old film" when such a problem was not present on the almost 70 year old SNOW WHITE transfer?
I'm assuming it's unavoidable as Disney has clearly taken great pains to minimize every other anomoly, and even talked a bit about this uneven-fading issue in the restoration short and how they attempted to correct for it. I don't mean to suggest that every 50 year old film has these problems...just that in the case of S.B. it seems there were some problems with the way the film has aged over the last 50 years and it seems to me that the folks at Disney have done everything that they can to correct for any deterioration.

If anyone has any more info on the state of affairs with the S.B. elements, how they had deteriorated, and/or how they have been "restored" please share!

dave :)
 

Simon Caleb

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 8, 1999
Messages
214
Quote - This also appears to have been produced from a 35mm scope element which has been poorly cropped vertically, as the bottom of the image is missing. Robert Harris - Quote


I too am not happy with the framing.
I own the 2 disc UK R2 release & it feels far too tightly matted both top & bottom for my liking.
The NTSC widescreen LD was also too tightly framed for my tastes.

If anyone could provide actual frame grabs from a print, I'd be most interested in a comparison.

Just for the record I have almost 0% overscan on my Pioneer MXE Plasma.
 

Dane Marvin

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 21, 2003
Messages
1,490
Amazon sent me a free copy of this a couple weeks ago. Sadly, because it isn't my style and because I needed the cash, I sold it on e-bay without so much as opening it.

Oops!
 

Lew Crippen

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 19, 2002
Messages
12,060
Thanks for the fine review David. I also appreciate the additional information from RAH.

I do think that you gave away too much of the ending in your plot summary. ;)
 

DeeF

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
1,689
Thanks for the review, David; you really are setting a standard for review quality. Keep it up!

On Sleeping Beauty, I'm not all that thrilled with the disk. On my Bravo D1 to Fujitsu 5001, the entire movie appears with black letterboxing (no overscan), so the vertical cropping is apparent.

I didn't see the color shifts you spoke about, but I did see what appeared to be missing frames in the opening sequence (the book opening) which were manifest as sudden shifts in the book's position. This seems like an easy digital fix to me -- why wasn't it done?

I suppose some of my disatisfaction is with the movie itself, perhaps my least favorite of the Disney animated "classics." I recognize the details, the deep focus, etc., but overall, it seems little better than Hanna-Barbera TV cartoons, to me. The animation of the figures is terribly static looking. I also think the writing and music are pretty flimsy compared to others.

Much prefer Cinderella from about 10 years before. I need that one on DVD, to make a thorough comparison.

But, terrific work on the review. Kudos!
 

IvanT

Agent
Joined
Jun 7, 2001
Messages
35
I too am not happy with the framing.
I own the 2 disc UK R2 release & it feels far too tightly matted both top & bottom for my liking.
The NTSC widescreen LD was also too tightly framed for my tastes.

This is interesting... I have the R2 version since last year when it was released here and I did actually notice when I was watching it that there was a distinct lack of headroom in the framing that I could not understand.

But now after reading this and the other thread about the problem it seems to be clearer what is going on. The R2 version is definitely 2.35:1, by the way.
 

Felix Martinez

Screenwriter
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Aug 27, 2001
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1,491
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South Florida
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Felix E. Martinez
I'm eager to hear a bit more from Robert Harris on this matter, as I'm uncertain what he means when he says that measuring aspect ratios is a "meaningless exercise"
Just guessing here, but I think he means onscreen geometry has nothing to do with the aspect ratio of the element itself.

In order to really know if something has been erroneously resized and cropped to a (seemingly) correct aspect ratio, one needs to compare what's onscreen with the element itself. And what are the odds that any one of us can do that? Anyone can measure the screen, but do we have a frame of the original to compare it too? Hence, it's a "meaningless excercise."

Just a thought...
 

DaViD Boulet

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 24, 1999
Messages
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Chris Matson,

that is a very good review. Everyone should check out the review he's linked to above...some great screen shots. That reviewer also notices no edge enhancement which I find interesting.

Dee,

you mention no overscan and letterboxing all the way around making the vertical cropping apparent? I want to understand you clearly...how would overscan affect the vertical cropping being visible given that the 2.35:1 16x9 image is already letterboxed (ie the only vertical info to be overscanned is black bars)? Please explain! :)

and I completly understand your comments about the stylized animation not being to your liking. It's very severe, but it certainly is in keeping with the artists' desire to present a "gothic" style image. However, one may disagree whether the result is pleasing!

Indeed, there is something magical about the more "romantic" animation/story style of many of the other Disney classics. Cinderella is my favorite for this this very reason.

dave :)
 

DeeF

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 19, 2002
Messages
1,689
David,

What I meant about the cropping is, when you see little headroom on a normal 1.85:1 film, or even a 1:37 film, you might attribute it to overscan, or improper scaling. If I ever have doubts about cropping (like Hello, Dolly's left and right cropping), I pop the movie into the Bravo, which produces no overscan, top or bottom or left or right, so I can see the whole image. That was all. Of course, we're talking about a 2:35:1 image, so I would be able to see the top and bottom on any player. Well, as Emily Littela would say, "Never mind!"

I "get" the Gothic quality of the animation. And it was an interesting experiment. But animation itself is a little bit antithetical to those elongated "gothic" images which are static and mysterious and still, and animation is ... animated, for want of a better word. But a curious byproduct of the experiment is that the animation looks less like the quality work of old. If you compare Malificent, the evil fairy, with the Wicked Queen from Snow White, it looks like the Disney Animators lost their talent over the 20 years between the films. I know it was on purpose, but that's how it appears to me.

The very next project after this one, 101 Dalmations, has a freedom and naturalness that this one lacks, and it was a much more popular film, as well. SB (I believe) was the last film made using completely traditional drawing techniques, and Dalmations utilized the Xerox for the first time.
 

DaViD Boulet

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 24, 1999
Messages
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Dee,

Thanks for clarifying the overscan thing. I never doubted you...was just confused!

And your comments about the artistry style are 100% valid and I think on the money in many regards. I respond more favorably but I see what you're saying and I'm sure many others feel like you do for the same reasons you state.

Yes, a friend of mine who will be contributing some "film history" segments on the films I review just told me that SB was the last Disney animated feature using completley hand-drawn techniques...from that point on the Xerox was utilized.

Thanks for all the great comments!

dave :)
 

Roy Batty

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 6, 2001
Messages
290
Real Name
Jose M Mendez
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm eager to hear a bit more from Robert Harris on this matter, as I'm uncertain what he means when he says that measuring aspect ratios is a "meaningless exercise"
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just guessing here, but I think he means onscreen geometry has nothing to do with the aspect ratio of the element itself.
Adding my two cents, I would say that Mr. Harris is referring to the fact that you can crop the rectangle and leave out as much of the original image as you want to and then zoom that remaining part to fill your screen, while keeping the image proportions all through it.

I mean, all you need to keep proportions is to respect the diagonal. But, for example, let's mark the middle point in the diagonal of a 2.35:1 rectangle, and then draw parallel lines to it so as to draw a new smaller rectangle inside the rectangle. That inner rectangle would be exactly half the size of the whole image, and it would show just half the original image, but it would be 2.35:1 in proportions nonetheless. And you could move that half-size rectangle around the whole image to wherever you like, to re-frame that part of the image you choose and leave the rest out, and the resulting half image would always be in the correct aspect ratio, 2.35:1. But you'll be missing half the picture.

So the fact that the screen ratio (that is, width and height relation) matches the original does not guarantee that you are watching the whole image.
 

Colin Jacobson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
11,714
Beaucause it seems.. that this Special Edition is much better than the 2002 Platinum Edition title.
But the monikers "special edition" and "Platinum Edition" really mean nothing in terms of specific content. Your wish that Beast had been an SE instead of a PE doesn't connect to the fact that the product would have been the same no matter what they called it. The whole "Platinum Edition" thing is just a gimmick Disney invented to distinguish the 10 titles they originally selected as PEs from the rest, which were supposed to be "Gold Editions". They've discarded the latter name, and the former is meaningless in terms of what the DVDs include. Sleeping Beauty and Beast would be what they are no matter what they're called...
 

Chazz_S

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 8, 2002
Messages
501
So Disney discarded the 'platinum edition' name? (Lion King is also a special edition according to the disney store)

Why on earth do they keep changing names? Disney seems like one giant unorganized mess to me.
 

Brian W.

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 29, 1999
Messages
1,968
Real Name
Brian
SB was the last Disney animated feature using completley hand-drawn techniques...from that point on the Xerox was utilized.
Yes, "101 Dalmations" started the Xerox trend, unfortunately. Robert Finch, in "The Art of Walt Disney," says the Xerox technique would "forever change the look of Disney animation."

BTW, "The Little Mermaid" was the last Disney animated feature to use hand-painted cels... and also the last to be animated in its on-lot animation building, now called "the old animation building," since the new animation building across the street on Riverside opened.
 

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