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Blu-ray Review Tom & Jerry The Golden Collection Volume 1 Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Timothy E, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    Just FYI, Thad is well-known in the animation community, both online and off, among professionals as well as private aficionados as an experienced historian, researcher and archivist.
     
  2. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Second Unit

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    I find it hilarious that you presume to tell me to "read carefully" when you yourself have mis-read and taken offence at numerous things not even aimed at you.
    So your efforts to inform people of this issue, consisted of possibly sending an email, years ago, to someone who may or may not have even received it. Well done! You get a gold star!
    With regard to the elements, as an expert, you will know that elements fade, shrink, become unusable and better/more suitable ones are found. You say these "better elements" were last used 20-25 yrs ago - well maybe they've faded/suffered damaged/aren't as suitable in general terms than the ones that were used. Certain archival prints are no good for HD telecine as they are too contrasty.
    I think there's only one of us that can be guilty of "raving", but that aside I fail to see why Sony can be let of the hook, when WB can't - especially as the MGM catalogue has changed hands more often than a whore's knickers drop, and has suffered bad management/storage and fire to name but a few issues. I'd say they both have issues with past-archival decisions that are not the current owners faults.
    To get back to the point, these releases aren't flawless, but do I think that WB did their best with the budget and elements available too them - yes I do.
    M
     
  3. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Second Unit

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    That's great, but unfortunately this is not an animation community forum - and so the vast majority of people here have no idea who he is - a fact he seem's to have taken offense at!
     
  4. ThadK

    ThadK Second Unit

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    :huh:
     
  5. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    So the dark and incorrect Tom that most of us think looks ok is an anomaly on the set and Tom looks mostly blue on the other cartoons? Just curious. Most of these classic cartoon sets have a bum episode or three, I'm still glad we are getting what we are getting since they are uncensored and I screwed up replacing the DVDs :S
     
  6. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    Tom should be a cool gray, not dark gray or blue. I haven't looked at disk 1 yet, but disk 2 looks good... More accurate than the color in Disney's Alice or Sleeping Beauty by a long shot.
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    What is cool gray and compared that to the light gray on Tom's belly and chest?
     
  8. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    Someone grab the Pantone charts!

    [​IMG]
    Based on Stephen mentioning a cool grey, I'd guess Toms main colour would be between these. More grey then the left, not as dark as the right.I'm basing that on whats considered "cool grey" in my industry, which has nothing to do with film. It's weird though, Jerry looks "right" and brown to me on the right, and yellowish on the left, and the white of the book looks like a proper white which makes me think that the one on the right is more "correct". that said, I've never seen Tom look so dark grey either, in previous versions or reprinted advertising materials. I'm not one of the chosen ones that has seen anything original cell wise though. :S
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I've seen the screencaps, but I asked the question because both Tom and Jerry look better to my eyes on the BR screencap. The dark gray with the light gray on his belly side looks right to me, but I'm not an expert on what a cool gray should look like.
     
  10. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    Here is a vintage cel setup. This is as dark as I've ever seen Tom. Usually he is a little lighter, and on the very early cartoons he is a pearl gray.
    [​IMG]
    Technicolor would have spread the whites and blacks, popping the contrast a bit. But the second disk of the bluray I saw is a still a bit too contrasty and oversaturated. You can easily correct for it using the saturation and contrast settings on your set though.
     
  11. Guest

    I'm watching the 4th cartoon on the first disc. So far in these four shorts, Tom is not as dark as the screencap portrays. he is a medium gray. BTW, these shorts are beautiful. I don't see how anyone could be very disappointed. Remember that they were created primarily to entertain, and they still do.
     
  12. David_AG

    David_AG Extra

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    Allow me to vouch for Thad's credentials as well.
    In 2009, he and I carried out an extensive research project to determine which Tom and Jerry cartoons survived with original titles. In the process, we both looked at dozens of Tom and Jerry 1940s nitrate originals, some in archives and others in private collections. Thad even acquired a few himself—like this version of THE LONESOME MOUSE, which I'm sharing here for the first time (excuse the hasty wall shoot):
    [VIDEO]www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0-_1XDs6io[/VIDEO]
    Tom's colors vary more than a little in the early years. In general, Russell G is right, above, that Tom should look grayer than the MOUSE TROUBLE chrome that Thad pictured—but also bluer than the Eastman Color version on the Golden Collection Blu-Ray.
    Steve Worth's cel set-up, meanwhile, is a good guide to lightness vs darkness with Tom, but remember that the Technicolor process distorted the colors of the cels a little. Items didn't look quite the same on 35mm nitrate film as they did on the cels when they went under the camera; studios certainly allowed for this (just look at cels from Disney's ALICE IN WONDERLAND, where Alice's hair has a little green in it; this produced a yellow end result when filmed). In general, I find that 35mm nitrate MGM cartoons have warm, heavily saturated colors on film—more saturated, on the whole, than the surviving cel set-ups I've seen. This certainly affects Tom.
    But hinging the discussion around Tom is a distraction from other, better proof that the ten Eastman Color cartoons on the new Blu-Ray Golden Collection aren't as good as they could be. The better proof comes from the earlier Spotlight Collection DVDs, where nine of the ten are reproduced from Tech elements and look much better in terms of color (even though the restoration itself is otherwise inferior). Look at Jerry, at the backgrounds, and the scenery in these comparisons from MILLION DOLLAR CAT (1943). You'll see all the telltale signs of Eastman color turning: dark blue becoming gray (because the cyan layer fades first); violet and magenta becoming eraser-pink and dull red; sharp green becoming greenish brown; gold and yellow becoming duller, sometimes closer to tan.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Finally, here's another grab from the hotly contested PUTTING ON THE DOG, which was discussed above. Ignore Tom (though I'd argue that he suffers severely in the Blu-Ray!) and see just how many other elements in this frame have degraded:
    [​IMG]
    This is not to call the Blu-Ray a poor purchase. The price is right; it's got 27 of 37 cartoons looking clean, sharp, and perfectly colored, and the remaining ones still looking very clean and sharp—just colored somewhat incorrectly. The effect is often like watching very good copies of two-color Tom and Jerry cartoons.
     
  13. David_AG

    David_AG Extra

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    Allow me to vouch for Thad's credentials as well.
    In 2009, he and I carried out an extensive research project to determine which Tom and Jerry cartoons survived with original titles. In the process, we both looked at dozens of Tom and Jerry 1940s nitrate originals, some in archives and others in private collections. Thad even acquired a few himself—like this version of THE LONESOME MOUSE, which Thad has obliged me by uploading (excuse the hasty wall shoot).
    Tom's colors vary more than a little in the early years. In general, Russell G is right that Tom "should" look grayer than the MOUSE TROUBLE LPP that Thad pictured, but also bluer than the Eastman Color version on the Golden Collection Blu-Ray.
    Steve Worth's cel set-up, meanwhile, is a good guide to lightness vs darkness with Tom, but remember that the Technicolor process distorted the colors of the cels a little. Items didn't look quite the same on 35mm nitrate film as they did on the cels when they went under the camera; studios certainly allowed for this (just look at cels from Disney's ALICE IN WONDERLAND, where Alice's hair has a little green in it; this produced a yellow end result when filmed). In general, I find that 35mm nitrate MGM cartoons have warm, heavily saturated colors on film—more saturated, on the whole, than the surviving cel set-ups I've seen. This certainly affects Tom.
    But hinging the discussion around Tom is a distraction from other, better proof that the ten Eastman Color cartoons on the new Blu-Ray Golden Collection aren't as good as they could be. The better proof comes from the earlier Spotlight Collection DVDs, where nine of the ten are reproduced from Tech elements and look much better in terms of color (even though the restoration itself is otherwise inferior). Look at Jerry, at the backgrounds, and the scenery in these comparisons from MILLION DOLLAR CAT (1944). You'll see all the telltale signs of Eastman color turning: dark blue becoming gray (because the cyan layer fades first); violet and magenta becoming eraser-pink and dull red; sharp green becoming greenish brown; gold and yellow becoming duller, sometimes closer to tan.
    Spotlight DVD on the left, new Golden Blu-Ray on the right:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Finally, here's another grab from the hotly contested PUTTING ON THE DOG, which was discussed above. Ignore Tom (though I'd argue that he suffers severely in the Blu-Ray!) and see just how many other elements in this frame have degraded:
    [​IMG]
    This is not to call the Golden Collection Blu-Ray an unworthy purchase, by the way. It's still got 27 of 37 cartoons looking clean, sharp, uncensored, and perfectly colored—and ten more still looking quite clean and sharp, just colored incorrectly. The effect is sort of like watching great prints of two-color cartoons.
     
  14. ThadK

    ThadK Second Unit

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    Sorry to hurt feelings, but anyone who thinks that the one on the right is closer to how it's "supposed" to look is.... well, many things. "Correct" isn't one of them though.
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    It's obvious as to who's feelings have been hurt around here.






    Crawdaddy
     
  16. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Supporting Actor

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    So is there any word on whether WHV will remedy this situation? Have they replied on their Classic Animation page on Facebook?
     
  17. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    Alice's hair is basically the same on film as on cel. It's the colors around it that make it look less cool. The bluray release totally messed up the color balance and is a totally different palette for the film.
    I've found that the colors on cels are a good representation of the way it should look on film with a couple of exceptions...
    Cels were generally painted with cream colored whites. When Technicolor struck prints, they spread the contrast making blacks pure black and whites pure white. This resulted in a similar effect to levels in photoshop, snapping up the contrast and increasing brilliancy.
    Certain scenes and sequences were adjusted for a particular look at the lab. A good example of this is Geppetto's workshop, which was painted in normal colors then shifted to a warm glow at the lab. The bluray totally missed this, making the sequence look much cooler than it did on film.
    Certain colors, in particular brilliant purples and reds became even more brilliant on film. These colors were usually darkened or grayed on the cels to correct for this.
    A common misconception about the relationship between the ink and paint department and Technicolor is that they shot wedge tests of paint swatches to determine the difference between the paint and the way it looked on film. This isn't true. The ink and paint department adjusted their palettes so they would be using colors that looked the same on both art and film. The background painters had a great deal of knowledge about how Technicolor responded to certain pigments and painted in a range that Technicolor could handle.
    Like I said earlier, I looked at the second disk of Tom & Jerry and it looked very good. The color on these films isn't nearly as sophisticated as Disney films, and they did a lot less tweaking at the lab. If they strike an overall color balance, everything will fall into line. The only real problem that can occur is if they use a faded dupe element for the video transfer, or if the telecine colorist starts to get creative. Warner has been notorious for both of these mistakes in the past, and there's always a handful of shorts on their collections that could be better. This set is no different.
    But the level of image quality and color on the second disk that I've looked at on my ten foot projection system far surpasses the way any of these films have looked in the past. It's worth the price just for disk two. I've been watching horror movies lately, but after Halloween, I'll get back to looking at disk one.
    One note though... Really dark grays where there should be middle gray is an indication of a gamma misadjustment. Screen grabs are not always representative of how video looks. It might beworth double checking on several video and capture setups.
     
  18. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    By the way, a good color to look at is the inside of Tom's ear. It was a grayed rose color with a bit of blue in it. It seems that when a transfer leans to the cool side, the color goes dull, andwhen it leans to the warm side, it goes brilliant. It should be the same throughout the cartoon. When you see it changng from scene to scene, the telecine colorist is doing some broad adjustments to bring it into line. This might be an indicator of an inferior element being used.
     
  19. Guest

    According to WB facebook animation page, they are looking into the concerns from posters on that page, and will report back. So, it seems that they are on it.
     
  20. Kriztoffer Swank

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    It sounds like you know what you're talking about, based on David_AG's vouching for you, but you just haven't been very friendly or reasonable in any of these posts. It's hard to take seriously anyone who behaves like a pouting child. Behave differently and perhaps people will actually care to hear your insight.
    As for the comparison...I definitely do like the picture on the right more overall because of the detail levels. For me, detail takes priority over color timing. The BD capture certainly looks faded and too dark, and some BG art detail is being lost, but the DVD image is much too saturated for me. A middle ground certainly would have been appreciated, but I'm not pulling my hair out over the BD presentations of these affected shorts. I find them overall very pleasing.
     

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