Term For Disney's Canon/List of Disney Films/A Song For Them

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Post by Neal » September 27th, 2008, 4:36 pm

Ah, okay. Well, it's busy enough here - I mean some forums take four or five days for an answer. There just doesn't seem to be THAT many active animation forums out there. There are a lot of animation forums, but a good deal many I saw in my search for a good one were too quiet with posts only once a week or so.

I like having answers overnight.

Also, you don't need to reply if you don't want to, but I did reply to your lengthy post. You had commented in a way of dislike or maybe disappointment at my initially short answer but I was busy/moody at the time and came back and made a full answer to your post.

Just so you saw and knew that I had responded. If you want to respond, then my post is there. Otherwise, if you don't care to respond, that's fine - doesn't really matter. I just wanted to make sure you knew I hadn't allowed you to write a long post in vain.
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Post by Neal » October 2nd, 2008, 11:13 pm

Another question: DVDs Always The Highest Quality?

I wondered are the Disney DVDs always the best quality of all releases for a certain film and if not, which release for the 47 released animated films is the best quality or how can I tell?

I know this question possibly defies logic. Wouldn't the latest DVD release or the Blu-Ray releases be the best for each film? I thought so, but it seems as if some people are arguing that's not always the case.

If it isn't, then which release for each of the films gives the best quality? I guess Blu-Ray can compress some images so that makes the DVD better. What other situations are there like this?

For my homage film mentioned earlier, I want the best quality footage of each film available. However, buying all the DVDs is a pricey endeavor. Tracking them down is cheaper but not necessarily easier as it requires a lot of renting and/or inter-library ordering.

Basically I want to know - is it true or false that the latest release isn't always the best quality and sometimes the regular DVD can look better than the platinum edition DVD or the Blu-Ray?

And is there really a huge magnitude in the difference between Special Edition VHS and Special Edition DVD? Basically, is the change in image quality really worth another $20? To me, it would seem as if the animation is the animation. They can clean in it up, but it's still the same animation. Is this true or is there a truly noticeable difference in quality, enough so that if I want the best looking video-montage that getting the DVDs would be something I should do?

Are there any comparison images between VHS, LaserDisc, DVD and Blu-Ray?...if not, I'll trust some of the more educated Disney fans to clarify this image quality issue for me.
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Post by GeorgeC » October 3rd, 2008, 2:03 am

Are we writing a dissertation? Your posts are all very long!

Generally speaking, the latest releases on DVD/Blu-Ray are the best these films have looked on home video. Aside from owning a clear 35 mm copy of any of these films after they've been restored/remastered, this is the best they'll look.

There are other sites that deal with the technical issues of home video media formats or you can Google and look on Wikipedia for this information.

We already had a case of a kid asking for information for a report and I'm afraid I gave away way too much.

Ask one or two questions at a time and keep them brief.

Most of the things you're talking about have already been covered on the Disney and home video review sites...

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Post by droosan » October 3rd, 2008, 4:02 am

Actually, GeorgeC .. Neal's (bolded) question was pretty brief; it was his 'follow-up' that got slightly long-winded. (a 'crime' of which all three of us have been 'guilty', on occasion) ;)

--------------------

In answer to the (admittedly broad) question .. much depends on the quality of the film-to-video transfer, and/or restoration process.


:arrow: In general, most of Disney's animated films have high-quality transfers, and (also in general) the latest edition of a given DVD tends to boast the best quality.


However, transfer 'mis-steps' do sometimes occur; some Disney DVD's have received criticism for shifting the color pallettes away from the 'look' of the original film, or for removing fine details with the use of grain/noise reduction.

Aside from transfer issues -- some Disney DVD releases have received 'edits' which have angered many fans .. either via scenes which are omitted (or, occasionally, are re-touched) for 'politically correct' purposes, or even shots which have been re-animated entirely. Some of those titles are available in an 'uncut' condition on other formats, such as LD or VHS (both of which are a 'lower-resolution' quality than DVD, btw) .. but some are 'unavailable' in any other format, which can be frustrating for collectors/completists.

Also, aside from the feature film presentation -- sometimes, 'bonus features' can vary greatly between editions .. and the latest edition isn't always likely to be the best, in this regard. In fact, some of Disney's laserdisc boxed sets from 15+ years ago have wonderful 'bonus features' which have never been made available on DVD!

As GeorgeC suggests, this issue has been much-discussed on Disney home-video forums, over the years; a search on any of those forums should turn-up many opinions of which editions/versions of a given Disney feature are considered to be the 'best', by enthusiasts. :idea:

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Post by Neal » October 3rd, 2008, 8:23 am

Do you think the difference is significant enough that it could affect the overall beauty of my homage short film (using clips from all 47 movies) to get some of my clips from VHS over DVD? If you really think so, I'll go to the effort of getting the DVDs.
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Post by Ben » October 5th, 2008, 9:43 am

I just spent ages writing a long reply to you about the various problems with this endeavor in terms of quality and frame rations and my session crashed as I tried to post it.

So...maybe at some point in the future I'll try and reconstruct it...but not today.


<I>DAMMIT!</I> :(

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Post by Neal » October 13th, 2008, 10:01 pm

Well, sorry to hear that... :( Sucks for me too, not being able to see what you wanted to say.

However, for quality... I'm trying to get the best DVDs possible and I have a certain 'thing' that can get the movies imported into iMovie. It's a $500 piece of equipment my teacher has for our media class, but her intended use was to have it so we could take home videos and import them into our Macs. I'm using it in a different way...

As for frame ratios... I mostly understand the contrast... how there's a certain portion of the films in a full screen aspect, then Lady and the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty are super wide screen, and then there's a long line of wide screen except for Fox and the Hound which mysteriously has only come out in full screen.

However, whatever you were going to say, I'd still like to hear it if/when you ever have the time/care. It certainly can't hurt to learn more before I embark on this.
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Post by Neal » October 13th, 2008, 10:34 pm

Here's another question for only the most knowledgeable Disney animation fans/collectors.

Ben - I've been reading through some of your reviews and have noticed the side-by-side comparisons of such films as Peter Pan and do agree that some of the older DVDs look better than the new transfers.

I want the richest colors available for my homage project as well as each film presented in the 'original aspect ratio' AKA the ratio it was drawn in/intended by animators.

Would you, or someone, please help me out on this? I'm reading your reviews but noticed some seem to be missing (unless my searches were wrong). I search AV for 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' 'Hunchback' and just 'Notre Dame' and found no review. I only found a review of 'Dumbo' for the 60th Anniversary release but not the Big Top release. Amazon and Wikipedia didn't reveal much more.

Basically, I want to know which release has the best picture quality (clarity, colors, etc.)

It can be VHS or DVD.

Despite our couple squabbles would you - or anyone else - help me with this?

I'm essentially wanting to go film-by-film for all 47 of the released Disney animated films and be told which release - VHS, DVD or Blu-Ray has the best picture quality (colors and sharpness). Can't do LaserDisc or any other format.

I can see the 2007 Peter Pan is not nearly as good as the 2002.
I can't find the difference between the 2006 Dumbo and the 2001.

I'll do as much research as I can, but can anyone help me who really knows by having seen the difference themselves?

I've been told that the best releases are always the SE/PE releases, but apparently that's not so true.

Can anyone just list the 47 films and then say which release would be the best for what I'm looking for?

I hope you don't see this as me being a question-filled, can't work it out for himself type again. I'm fully aware of sites like Ultimate Disney that list the full range releases of any Disney film, but they don't really touch on coloring variation and whatnot between releases.

When multiple Disney fans insist that the PE's are the best of everything (color, image quality, bonuses) than I can see it's time to stop reading the layman's reviews and start asking people who really, really know about this sort of stuff and it seems you people here would be those types.

In further looking, I've found some reviews at UD do post comparison shots. May I make a new thread that helps others like myself know which DVD of each film to get? Using info. from UD, AV and other sites, I'll try to summarize short and sweet why a certain DVD version of the film is better than the other in one of two categories: film's image quality (in terms of clarity and color) and the bonus features (number of them/which ones).

It'll be like The Ultimate Disney Animated Classics DVD List but even more short and to the point.

What's so different about than versus what you have now? Well, it's sans review, sans summary...it's really just 'buy this, not that' based on two factors. Really simple.

Can I do this? This thread here is getting pretty full. By doing this, I'll help answer some of my own questions and you can help me where I'm a bit off...

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Post by Ben » October 14th, 2008, 7:21 am

At just three pages, this thread is <I>far</I> from full! Please keep this going right here.

DVD is always the way to go, if it's available, over VHS. No question.

We don't have reviews up for certain titles (either we were not offered it, were not able to cover it, or haven't gotten around to it yet!), but Hunchback is the only available version of that film on DVD, and there are no differences between the transfers on the 60th and Big Top editions of Dumbo.

Even then, with the Pan DVD, I saw some original artwork on this and was amazed at how bright it was. I'm doubting that either version of the film on LaserDisc or DVD is exactly true to the original intention, but people seem to like the higher contrast of the old SE disc over the what looks to be washed out coloring of the PE. But who's to say the PE is not the right one and we've just grown up watching something that is actually further away from the intention? I don't actually agree with that in Pan's case, but your best bet is just go with what <I>you</I> feel will work best for your project. In any event, your clips are going to be so quick that no-one's going to sit and say, "well, he should have used the PE there"...

The ratio thing is another matter entirely...any 1.33 "fullscreen" release isn't showing the full frame anyway...those films were composed to 1.37:1 - slightly narrower and which should have a slither of black barring along top and bottom. But 1.37 and 1.33 are so close that all the transfers crop them down a bit...only Warners, on may of their main titles, retain the correct ratio. In HD, it looks like we'll finally see these frames correctly, but there's not much you can do about that now.

Your big question is how you're going to composite 1.33 (1.37), 2.55:1, 1.75:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1 and 1.66:1 all together, since those are the frames you're going to be working with. Your best bet is probably a 16:9 1.78 frame, with black on the sides of the narrower early ratios, and the black top and bottom for the wider films. Disney nowadays just seems to crop everything down to that one ratio (1.78) which is another way you may want to go (see the Disney promo on the front of all recent DVDs) if you want editorial fluidity on this.

Happy to keep this going, but keep it going in here.

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Post by Neal » October 14th, 2008, 8:23 am

Okay. Do you have an opinion on which Little Mermaid release is best?

And in UD's review of Dumbo, they post comparisons of 60th vs. Big Top editions...Big Top is slightly brighter.

I'll keep it going here... I just didn't want this to become a dumping ground for all my posts.
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Post by Ben » October 14th, 2008, 9:28 am

Little Mermaid: PE undoubtedly, for the anamorphic enhancement.


Dumbo: it seemed to have been artificially brightened. Up to you, of course, but the 60th matched the original LD much more closely (and the LDs, for the most part, seemed to be the last editions that matched original coloring schemes) and the 60th had a couple more extras.


Posts: dumping is good! ;)

I'd likewise prefer not to have our boards filled up with many one-time question/answer threads that lead nowhere, and since your end goal on most of them (which is better, what is this, where can I get...) is to basically make up your clips package, then I'd appreciate keeping things tidy. Also, effectively around here at least, you're likely to get more answers.

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Post by Neal » October 15th, 2008, 11:20 pm

Okay.

Does everyone pretty much consider 'when you wish upon a star' to be Disney's theme song? I mean, it wasn't from his first movie or anything like that and there were plenty of other Disney movies, but it seems to have gotten attached to Disney as a theme song.

Would everyone agree that Disney's official 'theme song' is "When You Wish Upon a Star"?
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Post by Ben » October 16th, 2008, 10:41 am

There is none other.

Forget where it came from...it's what it says that indelibly links it to Walt's ethos. Just like the Sleeping Beauty castle represents "Disney" as a visual idea, it's this song that represents an audio cue to associate with Walt.

Actually, it was never really used as a single piece of music in that regard - usually mixed in within a medley of other tunes - until December 15 1966, when Disneyland closed by marking his death earlier that day with...you guessed it..."When You Wish Upon A Star". Since then, it's been Walt - and Disney's - signature music.

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Post by Neal » October 16th, 2008, 2:00 pm

Okay. Then that's definitley going into my video. Originally, I felt like it was a little stereotypical and cliche... it's used so much but I began to re-consider as it IS the Disney theme.
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Post by droosan » October 16th, 2008, 2:26 pm

Well, if you want it to be a bit 'different', there are several versions of When You Wish Upon A Star on various Disney 'tribute' compilation albums .. :idea:


Ringo Starr sings it on the excellent 1990 album, Stay Awake (it begins about two minutes into the final medley, Do You See the Nose Growing?)

Billy Joel's version appears on the 1991 album, Simply Mad About The Mouse.

Take 6
gives the song a nice 'a capella' treatment on the 1996 album, Disney's Music from the Parks.

Mannheim Steamroller's instrumental take is on their 1999 album, Mannheim Steamroller Meets the Mouse.

Ronnie Milsap sings a 'countrified' version on the 2003 album, O Mickey, Where Art Thou?

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