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Directors Support of WIdescreen/OAR Awards (Vote Now) (1 Viewer)

Joshua Clinard

Aug 25, 2000
Abilene, TX
Real Name
Joshua Clinard
Note: This is not an official HTF poll. The
results should not be considered an endorsement
of Home Theater Forum

This year I'm going to present awards to the studios for their support of Widescreen & Original Aspect Ratio on DVD. There are three categories that you may vote for. In your reply to this thread, please cast one and only one vote for each category. You can however vote for the same studio for Studio of the Year and Most Improved Studio of the Year. If you wish, you may provide a sentence or two explaining each of your choices. Please make your decisions based on the output of the studio for the 2004 calendar year. This poll will remain open until Midnight, PST, next Saturday. If there are less than 50 votes at that time, it will remain open until the following Saturday. The Awards will be presented in this thread, and on Widescreen Advocate, on the following Monday. I don't want to bias the results with my own conclusions, so I will cast the last vote, which carry the same weight as all the other votes cast.


Studio of the Year
Most Improved Studio of the Year
Worst Studio of the Year


Disney/Buena Vista

Jesse Skeen

Senior HTF Member
Apr 24, 1999
Do we vote here? Here's my votes (I'll delete them if we're supposed to vote elsewhere, I looked at the Widescreen Advocate site and didn't see anything.)

Studio Of The Year- Paramount, for to date not releasing a single title as "Formatted to fit your screen", except when including both versions on the same disc or as a separate release (though I must take exception to the "Full Screen Collection" banner on those- again, "Full Screen" is a misleading term, and it might as well be called the "I Hate Movies Collection"!)
Fox would be a runner-up, but they have two titles I'm aware of in pan & scan only- "Digimon", released just a few months after it was in theaters, the other "My Neighbor Totoro" though they at least explained that they didn't have access to a better transfer and wouldn't have the rights to it for much longer anyway.
Just noticed you asked for just the 2004 calendar year so I guess those titles don't count, but I still hold those against them. Big props to Fox for putting out catalog titles at $9.99 list price with new 16x9 transfers, some with pan and scan on the same disc. One demerit however for putting the pan and scan versions on side B (and not even giving side B a label!) on the discs that have both.

Most Improved Studio Of The Year- I'd have to say Warner, since for a while they were putting out some titles only in pan and scan. Most of their new catalog titles are now widescreen ONLY, when they used to include both widescreen and pan and scan together. ("Strange Brew" and "One Crazy Summer" are single-side, single-layer so a pan&scan version would have easily fit on those, but they decided not to include one. Hopefully "market research" showed no interest.) However a handful of titles have still gone out only in pan & scan this year, like "Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer".
Added- they also put out "Grind", a new movie, only in pan & scan. While it's probably not a great work of art, all movies deserve to be shown properly, and had they still been making laserdiscs it probably would have been widescreen on that format. Still I would say they are overall most improved. Universal's made a handful of improvements but also some disimprovements.

Worst Studio Of The Year- Easily Columbia/Tristar, for not only putting out new titles only in pan and scan, but RE-ISSUING several titles that had both versions with ONLY the pan and scan versions! They have also issued more brand-new titles in pan & scan format only than any other studio (with the possible exception of Warner in the first couple years of the format)- word is "Baby Geniuses II" will only be pan & scan. They were doing a pretty good job at the start of the format either including both versions on the same disc or widescreen only, I would love to hear the story of what happened over there. Their recent actions have caused me to boycott Sony electronics, since apparently they feel it's OK to play pan & scan movies on them. (Would you buy a Madacy-branded big screen TV?)
Yes, they still put out some good releases, but dropping existing widescreen transfers is totally unforgivable, and they're certainly not the company they were a few years ago.


Senior HTF Member
Sep 2, 2003
Studio of the Year - FOX

Most Improved Studio of the Year - Warner Bros.

Worst Studio of the Year - Columbia TriStar

Patrick McCart

Senior HTF Member
May 16, 2001
Georgia (the state)
Real Name
Patrick McCart
Studio of the Year: Warner

Mainly because of their excellent support of OAR in 2004. Also, this year, the first-ever OAR home video releases of Around the World in 80 Days and The Wrong Man occured. Also, the SE's of Blazing Saddles and The Iron Giant dropped the pan & scan flip-sides that were on the original DVD's. The "That's Entertainment!" films featured both 4x3 and 16x9 transfers, which allowed those with both monitor setups to see the films in the best way possible. Both the CinemaScope and flat versions were provided on the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers SE, both 16x9.

More importantly, they do dual releases when they do P&S DVD's. So, no one is let down with the release of Scooby Doo 2 (even if they're let down with the actual movie :D) They're also not doing what Columbia is doing: taking the dual-sided DVD's and re-releasing them with only the P&S version for retailers like Wal-Mart. On the Tom & Jerry 2-disc set, despite problems with other cartoons, they created brand new 16x9 transfers of the 3 CinemaScope cartoons.

Even above that, they're one studio that you simply can rely on OAR to be on DVD. There's none of the guesswork that people put up with for Universal, Columbia, or MGM.

I would like to mention that Fox and Paramount have supported OAR since day one, though. They've been a great help to making widescreen popular.

Most improved: MGM (barely)

Mainly because they cancelled the Techniscope (2.35:1) film, Charly from their schedule. This is part of the ABC Films licensed package from Disney. The DVD was to be released in October with a pan & scan transfer and no extras. Thanks to the efforts of Chris Blig and possibly Cliff Robertson (who was shown the petition and was alerted), there is no P&S DVD of the film in stores. However, with MGM to be with Columbia, let's hope it's not brought out again only to be unchanged. MGM is capable of great work!

Worst studio: Columbia

I think everyone else has been perfectly clear on why Columbia is being downright insane with their product. Instead of repeating, I'm just going to agree.


Senior HTF Member
Sep 28, 1998
Real Name
Studio of the Year: Warner
Most Improved: MGM (I guess, but this is a tough one to pick)
Worst Studio: Columbia Tri-Star

Rankings, Best to Worst:

1. Warner
2. Fox
3. Paramount
4. Disney/Buena Vista
5. (tie) MGM, Universal
6. --
7. Columbia Tri-Star


Senior HTF Member
Jan 30, 2003
I'd go with Paramount as number one, as, as far as I know, they have never pulled any MAR only crap. Fox would be next by a hair. WB is good but don't forget about Police Academy 4 and 5 and also Grind which were released MAR. So they take a hit this year.

I'll actually go with Disney as most improved. I think they have been pretty good lately. They have released a lot of Family Friendly titles in Widescreen that they could have easilly released MAR. Even when Darby O'Gill was released in 1.33:1 they actually gave an explanation of why in the liner notes of the DVD. Don't forget that they also did Brother Bear in its true, A.R. even with the correct shifts that the film presented

For worst....Gee, I wonder... Begins with a "C" ends in an "R" and has a "olumbia Tri-Sta" in the middle.

Lou Sytsma

Senior HTF Member
Nov 1, 1998
Real Name
Lou Sytsma
Hmmm guess everyone forgot about Warners handling of Kung Fu Season One...


Stunt Coordinator
Sep 8, 2003
Studio Of The Year - Paramount
Most Improved Studio Of The Year - Warner
Worst Studio Of The Year - Columbia/Tristar


Second Unit
Apr 24, 2003
Real Name
Studio of the Year: FOX
Bravo FOX, year in and year out you've proved your enthusiasm and support for the DVD format and especially Widescreen/OAR. I salute you.

Most Improved Studio of the Year: Warner Bros.
You've dropped using DVD-18 for nearly all of your releases and releasing your movies as a separate DVD-9 Widescreen/OAR release and I'm very happy for that, you've earned my respect (but that's just for video, audio is a different story :D).

Worst Studio of the Year: Universal
For OAR's sake Universal, you just seem to be getting worse every year! You still release movies in 4:3 ratio and still haven't re-issued many of your previous 4:3 ratio releases into 16:9 either! GET WITH THE PROGRAM! :angry:


Supporting Actor
Jul 27, 2004
Well, it's always amusing to see the same people damning Columbia over and over again. So, I'll be the lone dissenting voice because they've put out some of my favorite releases of the year, all in their proper ratio and all with superb transfers. While I'm never happy when they do the occasional screwup, I'm certainly going to contratulate them on the mostly terrific work they do. Worst studio for me, hands down MGM/UA, who have steadfastly refused to do anamorphic transfers on the majority of their catalog titles. It's shameful. Best studio of the year - well, I'd certainly go with Paramount or Warners, in terms of transfers and films I actually want to own.

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