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The 4 "Vault Disneys"--Outstanding extras but very disappointing transfers. (1 Viewer)

William Miller

Second Unit
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Feb 13, 2000
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I watched most of the extras first on the 4 new "Vault Disneys" and I was ecstatic. And just when I was ready to proclaim these the greatest DVD's of all time, I started to watch the main features. Ecstasy turned quickly to melancholy. The video quality of all 4 look about the same. And they are not good.

They all have a very dim look to them. The contrast is low. The color is very weak and has a faded look to it. The image is very soft. Something really went wrong on these transfers. The worst is The Parent Trap. The vibrant, beautiful color of the original has turned into a dingy, drap pastel that makes your heart ache when you know what it's supposed to look like. Plus the picture is very unstable with many scenes featuring a large amount of flickering and fluttering.

The sound quality is very good on all 4. The commentaries are very informative and interesting to listen to. The extras are mind boggling with imaginative menus. The bonus materials are a textbook example that should set a new standard for other studios to go by. It is obvious that much thought and planning went into these DVD's. It is just very sad they they dropped the ball on the single most important item...the movie itself!
 

Kyle McKnight

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The way I look at it, since they put so much effort into the rest of the disc, they probably did what they could on the transfer. I'll be picking up Old Yeller & Pollyanna after work today.
 

GlennH

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I still haven't picked them up, so I cannot comment on the picture quality.

But I did see them in the store and have one minor quibble. I wish they hadn't used the double-alpha keepcase for these. With shelf space becoming a premium I have become a big fan of the single-width keepcase for 2-DVD sets, such as was used for SHREK. I also like the "thin" case used for the individual discs of the 3-DVD set for SHACKLETON. Less is more as far as I'm concerned when it comes to package width.
 

Jeff Ulmer

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Did you watch the extras on Pollyanna? I had somewhat the same impression when I first watched the disc, but after seeing what condition the original negative was in, and the fact that the three strip separation masters were also problematic, it is a wonder we have anything to watch at all. I think the colors are as good as can be expected.

I also love the dual alpha packaging.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I've watched all but Pollyanna and thought the movies looked fairly good. Yeller seemed weakest of those three, whereas Parent was decent but unexceptional. I was very impressed by Swiss, though, which I thought presented a very solid image. It also included the best audio commentary of the three. Yeller's is good, while Parent's is somewhat dull. The track for Swiss was stellar, though...
 

streeter

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Although the picture quality has a little to be desired, I actually prefer this over one of those super-restorations that make the film look as if it was shot today. I just don't think movies should look better than they did upon their original releases, but that's just my opinion.
 

David Lambert

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Y'know, we picked up all but Pollyanna. We hadn't put any of them into the player yet, but a few hours ago we put in Parent Trap for a couple of minutes.

My initial reaction was: "Damn, Stephie...this is the best I've ever seen this film! It's gorgeous!!"

So, I'm not sure what to say to anyone claiming it's not up to what it could be. Perhaps when I get past the first couple of minutes I will see what the complaints are. Right now, though, I'm expecting it to continue looking as good as my first impression.
 

Dan M

Second Unit
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Feb 6, 2000
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I just picked SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON and I must say the extras are more than enough. Great commentary and an excellent making-of docu. Pretty cool menus too.
The image was near perfect about 95% of the time. Very smooth and filmlike for the most part. Most of the outdoor scenes look very good. However the black level appears to be severely off during the indoor scenes (at the beginning when they are still on board the ship just after the storm and during the Christmas dance scene inside the tree house). The blacks seem to be unsteady and look very blue to me.
I just had my set calibrated a couple months ago so I feel certain it's the software.
Also, towards the end there is a scene where Fritz is showing the girl how to shoot a musket. Watch the picture become out of focus and very soft. For a few minutes I thought I was watching VHS. Fortunately it recovers.
I doubt if I have a defective disc. Just an inconsistent transfer that somehow got THX approved.
:frowning:
 

Patrick McCart

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The image was near perfect about 95% of the time. Very smooth and filmlike for the most part. Most of the outdoor scenes look very good. However the black level appears to be severely off during the indoor scenes (at the beginning when they are still on board the ship just after the storm and during the Christmas dance scene inside the tree house). The blacks seem to be unsteady and look very blue to me.

I just had my set calibrated a couple months ago so I feel certain it's the software.

Also, towards the end there is a scene where Fritz is showing the girl how to shoot a musket. Watch the picture become out of focus and very soft. For a few minutes I thought I was watching VHS. Fortunately it recovers.

I doubt if I have a defective disc. Just an inconsistent transfer that somehow got THX approved.

Sounds like a dupe section added in. Most of the time, when a soft scene comes out of nowhere, it's usually a dupe spliced in. I don't know why you'd call it a bad disc if 95% of it is great...
 

Dan M

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Sounds like a dupe section added in. Most of the time, when a soft scene comes out of nowhere, it's usually a dupe spliced in. I don't know why you'd call it a bad disc if 95% of it is great...
When did I say it was a bad disc??

I thought it looked very good for the most part as I explained. I merely pointed out what I thought were inconsistencies in the transfer which only comprised a few minutes out of the film.

Although for a THX approved transfer I found it lacking. But then, THX doesn't seem to mean a whole lot these days anyway.

The softness I observed may have been a dupe as you say, but it appeared to be gradually getting worse. It wasn't as if all of a sudden the picture got really soft all at once.

That's what my eyes saw anyway.

I'm using a Panasonic RP91 and a Panasonic 56" widescreen BTW.

It was great watching SWISS FAMILY in glorious widescreen I must say!

I heartily reccommend this title
 

TedD

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Jan 9, 2001
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698
I'll agree with the original poster, somewhat soft image on shots with a lot of detail, especially on a big FP screen. The main titles on Pollyanna have some sort of wierd registration issues. Pollyanna and Parent Trap are certainly not restorations of the caliber set by North By Northwest, but that was a restoration for video only. I suspect the additional film generations for these transfers may have had some impact.

It look's like they did a film based restoration, which while it didn't net us the best possible DVD image, is the proper way to go for future generations, however.

Ted
 

soop.spoon

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 24, 1998
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757
4 of the most ambitious catalog releases from Disney come out at a reasonable price point and solid OAR transfers loaded with supplements and what do we do?... Complain. Unbelievable.
 

Kevin Korom

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Jun 30, 1997
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I just watched Parent Trap this afternoon, and I thought it looked excellent. No, it doesn't look like it was shot yesterday, but as Michael said, I don't think it should look that way. I, for one, am very happy with the transfer.

Haven't watched Swiss Family yet, but maybe later in the week...
 

Brian W.

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I got all of them (for about $14 a piece, tax included, since I have friends who work at Disney, hee hee), and I thought they all looked quite good except for Old Yeller, which was inexplicably grainy.

Parent Trap looked nice, though the color was slightly faded. I thought Swiss Family Robinson looked very good indeed. Actually, now that I think of it, I haven't looked at Pollyana yet.

I'm sure they used the best available elements, though.
 

Jeff Ulmer

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I think there would be complaining if they were given away free. I'm extremely happy with these releases. They may not be perfect, but for what we're getting for the money I'm very impressed.
 

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