The Last Unicorn

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Re: The Last Unicorn

Post by Hewylewis » December 4th, 2011, 1:39 am

Conlan Press, who has released an audio book of the original Peter S. Beagle
novel, announced that the animated Last Unicorn will be returning to
theaters in 2012. The 1982 Rankin/Bass production, which featured the voices of
Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin, Tammy Grimes, Angela Lansbury, Jeff Bridges, and
Christopher Lee, was animated by Topcraft, the precursor to Studio Ghibli also
known for animating Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

From the announcement:

Starting early next year and running through the
middle of 2013, there will be more than 80 special digital theater screenings of
The Last Unicorn taking place in America, Canada, Great Britain, and
Germany. [Last Unicorn author] Peter [S. Beagle] will be at every one of these
events to do audience Q&A, meet people, and sign stuff.

On the movie's new, $5 million digital processing:

Not remastering, mind you, but renovating: going
through The Last Unicorn from end to end and top to bottom, spending
five million dollars to upgrade the special visual effects and soundtrack,
smooth out and improve character animation, finish background paintings that
were never completed, and add five to eight minutes of entirely new shots and
sequences that will bring the story to a whole new level. And when the work is
done, this wonderful new 30th Anniversary Version will be given a worldwide
theatrical release in both 2D and 3D.

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Re: The Last Unicorn

Post by Dan » March 20th, 2012, 9:35 pm

During WonderCon, I managed to attend a great panel on The Last Unicorn that featured Peter S. Beagle, Connor Cochran, and others. They went over the history of the license, the trouble they had trying to get it back, their agreement with ITV, and now the many plans they are setting forth, including a screening tour of the film using an original negative they managed to recently get hold of. They even asked us to suggest merchandise they would like to see made available. I mentioned them having a soundtrack and Connor went into the story regarding the "illegal" soundtrack that was released in Germany and how they're putting a proper one together at the moment.

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Re: The Last Unicorn

Post by GeorgeC » March 21st, 2012, 1:38 am

Hewylewis wrote:
On the movie's new, $5 million digital processing:

Not remastering, mind you, but renovating: going
through The Last Unicorn from end to end and top to bottom, spending
five million dollars to upgrade the special visual effects and soundtrack,
smooth out and improve character animation, finish background paintings that
were never completed, and add five to eight minutes of entirely new shots and
sequences that will bring the story to a whole new level. And when the work is
done, this wonderful new 30th Anniversary Version will be given a worldwide
theatrical release in both 2D and 3D.


Yeah,

Like this has ever worked well for a hand-drawn animated film!

Let me say a few things about hand-drawn films.
During the course of production, there is a "film style" that is adopted by most everybody on the film. While the uber-anal CAN occcasionally pick out sequences and instances where some drawings aren't necessarily on-model the fact is that on higher-quality productionsm (ie, Classic Disney features) the drawing/animating consistency is excellent....

NOW, flash-forward to 5-10-20 years from a film's ORIGINAL production... You have a different group of people, they're being tasked to produce new sequences OR reanimate portions of an existing film under tighter budgets and less time.

THIS. DOESN'T. WORK.

First off, it's a different group of people and different group of supervisors. Even if you were to dig up all the old model sheets and drawing tips/crib notes from the original film production, they're not going to draw exactly like the original group of artists. The differences pop up like it or not. This would be true even with the original production artists. Drawing styles evolve and you really can't go back to drawing like a 25-year-old when you you're now 40-years-old!

Secondly, given how mad producers are for technology for technology's sake, you sometimes have a problem matching colors between the original film and new sequences. When you produce a film, you want to make it all at once and NOT produce a scene or two 10-15 years later. The colors won't match exactly otherwise. Batches of paint generally aren't saved between productions because chemicals break down and as that happens colors will change. You have chemicals being mixed differently and computers being set differently between pictures as well.

With computers, you'd be talking at least 10-12 different generations of systems removed in 15 years. File formats may not even be compatible unless a production company makes a point to make sure the files will be usable in the future... Computers are also notorious for being difficult to color-adjust. In fact, Apple has been working on technology to color-match what you see on screen with what gets printed for years...!

The Disney Special Editions of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast have rightfully come under attack for new sequences that just don't belong or match up visually with the original films. These sequences were dropped to begin with because they weren't necessary to tell the stories that needed to be told. The only reasons they were eventually produced (long after the original production wrapped) were to lure people back into theaters (IMAX in these cases) so that people would pay to see films they already owned on VHS and laserdisc.

The IMAX box office grosses did not justify producing those new scenes. IMAX has pretty much had slim profits since its beginning and the experiments with Special Editions and 3D have not paid off to the extent that that the main owner (Disney) of the chain had always hoped. Until most films started being digitally projected, IMAX films had by far the highest (wet) film costs; the frames in those rolls are huge!

*************************

I'd get The Last Unicorn on DVD and Blu ray now. Whoever owns the film now, this idea is really bad. It's one thing to do a restoration and try to get the colors to sparkle the way they originally did and get rid of the scratches -- and the film probably does need another restoration -- but to add unnecessary razzle-dazzle and futz with it in any other way after 25 years is unnecessary and just poorly spent money...

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Re: The Last Unicorn

Post by Ben » March 21st, 2012, 6:10 am

I love TLU, but I have to agree this feels like flogging a dead unicorn in place of not getting the live-action LOTR style movie off the ground.

As for the Disney SEs, well, B&TB always DID have Human Again in there, George; it was deleted when they couldn't get the story to work and they replaced it with Something There. The stage musical worked out the story kinks (as a way to use as much Ashman material as possible) and then they went back and added it in - YES, as an Imax gimmick, but legitimately as it had always been intended and they got the original animators and voices back.

In Lion King's case, that WAS just for the Imax gimmick, to give them a sales point to hang the release on (Proud Of Your Boy was mooted for Aladdin but that never happened, which I'm sad about as it would have been pretty cool). On disc, B&TB is offered in both cuts, both of them valid, but even Disney knows Morning Report (they had to use a John/Rice song contractually but picked the worst of the bunch in my eyes) didn't work, so it's just an extra on the Blu-ray.

In the case of Pocahontas, full animation was already done and finished for the If I Never Knew You sections of the film, but was cut after it was deemed boring to kids. After the movie ended up skewing to an adult audience anyway, it was colored and included in the alternate cut of the movie. Since this was always intended from day one (and it was just test audiences that got it removed), this remains my preferred cut of Pocahontas, so you see it DOES work in some cases!

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Re: The Last Unicorn

Post by GeorgeC » March 21st, 2012, 2:54 pm

"Human Again" sure doesn't look like it was finished with the original theatrical edition of Beauty & the Beast. It's fairly disjointed against the rest of the film and looks more cheaply made, too.

It has all those tell-tale signs of off-model drawing and coloring, Ben. It may have been boarded at the time of the original production; I do remember it as being one of those discarded songs that used to be exclusive with the Broadway version of B &B but I'm fairly certain the animation wasn't finished or got beyond storyboard stage (at the time of original production) before the Disney execs decided on doing Imax versions of the 1990s films for the latter part of that decade/early 21st century.

Now who benefits from newer versions of the 1990s movies? Not the audience, and not the company's reputation in general. We all saw the corrosive effects of all those direct-to-video sequels, too, that came from the minds of the same people (or of the same ilk) who decided to do IMAX special editions of the newer films.

No, the people who benefit are the people who stand to make the most individual money from re-releases of "upgraded" movies. That would be the Disney producers and executives who have it written into their contracts that they make money off of re-releases of the 90's movies.

(This was supposition of an instructor I had who was an ex-Disney associate. It's very possible he's been made a Disney legend since I took classes with him. I don't think very many of the people who worked pre-Eisner Disney cared for what the company became later. Walt Disney's widow sure didn't care for the directions the company took after the change in management in the mid-1980s, either...)

There's certainly no benefit to these people when Disney re-releases films that were made before these people had their offices on Hyperion Avenue. I wonder if this personal greed and political agendizing are why Disney Channel has degenerated into the junkpile that it is today. They certainly don't push much of anything Disney that's pre-1990s anymore on the other Disney cable channels, either. These people could care less about what happened pre-1990. At this point in time, they only pay the Walt era lip service...

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Re: The Last Unicorn

Post by newport » August 14th, 2013, 8:15 pm

Hey guys! [i]The Last Unicorn[/i] is coming to the Lido

Special Screening of The Last Unicorn – Wed Aug 21st 7:30pm – Newport Beach Film Festival

The Newport Beach Film Festival is proud to host a special screening of the newly digitally restored animated classic...

THE LAST UNICORN
at The Historic Lido Theatre Wednesday, August 21 at 7:30pm Q&A with author and screenwriter
Peter S. Beagle

Last Unicorn books, Blu-rays, DVDs, graphic novels, art prints, clothing, and jewelry will be available for purchase and signing. Costumes encouraged, and great ones rewarded!

For Tickets!!!!
[url]http://www.newportbeachfilmfest.com/201 ... icorn-821/
http://www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com[/url]

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Re: The Last Unicorn

Post by veldaxx » August 30th, 2016, 6:31 pm

Hi all, sharing from a fan list.

The creator of the Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle, is suing his ex-manager Connor Cochran for fraud and elder abuse. Here's the entire document of Peter's lawsuit.

http://supportpeterbeagle.com/wordpress ... Beagle.pdf

Background: This is NOT the story that Cochran told many times about Peter being cheated since the 1970's. Cochran used it to convince fans he was "saving" Peter, and used the "everything's cool now" angle to entice everyone to trust him and Conlan Press. In the words of Peter's support site, he "systematically used that trust to appropriate Peter’s life’s work for himself and destroy Peter’s reputation for his own personal gain."

http://supportpeterbeagle.com

In late 2015, Cochran and Conlan Press became the focus of numerous lawsuits. They revealed financial fraud against Peter, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from movie investors, and cheating fans out of goods that were paid for but never sent for a decade. He even physically abused Peter.

Cochran lied to everyone when he ended The Last Unicorn Tour because of Peter's "health problems" and claimed that Peter was misled and too feeble-minded to tell the "real" story. The truth is, Cochran was covering up because Peter hired a lawyer. "Health problems" claims were thrown out by the courts. As medical evidence shows, Peter is in excellent health for age 77. He's currently appearing at conventions and promoting his new book.

Cochran's activities of claiming to "save" Peter were done with a goal to milk Peter and the fans for all they were worth, seize the Last Unicorn movie rights, and target $125 million from investors for a remake. It's all falling apart. Now Peter is in the fight of his life to sue Cochran for his own rights back.

Right now, Cochran continues to show the movie for his own profit, and sell Peter's work without permission to squeeze money out of fans. Fan goodwill is paying Cochran's lawyers to retaliate against Peter in court. Many don't know this.

FANS NEED TO KNOW: DO NOT pay for anything that profits Peter's abuser!

Fans are urged to contact Peter's lawyer if you have paid for Peter's work during his lawsuit.
http://fansagainstfraud.com/peter-beagle-contact-lawyer

The story is suppressed and fans are being kept in the dark by professional "crisis management". If you post about this to The Last Unicorn facebook page with 195,000 followers, your comment will be deleted and you'll be banned. Instead, visit and share Peter's support site, (consider his legal fund). http://supportpeterbeagle.com . His new official facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/TheRealPeterSBeagle. Also check out Peter's new book Summerlong not under his former manager. Please tell other fans with this hashtag - #TakeBackTheUnicorn

Media (Vice, Cartoon Brew, google for more):
http://www.cartoonbrew.com/law/last-uni ... 26613.html
http://www.vice.com/read/the-sad-strang ... r-s-beagle

This summary got over 1,000 votes on Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/r/gamegrumps/com ... aged_by_a/

Since then, Cochran worked with Peter's kids in a false attempt to get Peter ruled incompetent and put under care. It was thrown out of court. http://scifi4me.com/2016/07/13/last-uni ... otherwise/

Cochran falsely claimed that Peter was manipulated by his own lawyer, and sued her for representing Peter's rights. That was thrown out of court too. http://fansagainstfraud.com/countersuit-dismissed/

You can find many other reports of fraud by fans. One movie tour volunteer appeared in the DVD special features and happens to be a professional dementia nurse. Here's her report.
https://drunkinagraveyard.com/2016/03/3 ... corn-tour/

Until Peter has his rights back, please DO NOT pay for anything that profits Peter's abuser (from Conlan Press, ebooks of Peter's work at Amazon, or Last Unicorn related goods.) Please share!

#TakeBackTheUnicorn

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Re: The Last Unicorn

Post by Dacey » August 30th, 2016, 8:14 pm

So from what I gather Peter's lawyers are taking advantage of him, or...?
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift--that is why it's called the present."

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Re: The Last Unicorn

Post by veldaxx » August 30th, 2016, 8:16 pm

That claim was thrown out of court. http://fansagainstfraud.com/countersuit-dismissed/ You can’t sue a lawyer for representing a client. That's what Peter's ex manager did as a frivolous defense to delay Peter's lawsuit.

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