Please note: if an earlier link doesn't work, it may have changed following an update! Check the Category Labels in the side-bar on the right! There you can find animator drafts for sixteen complete Disney features and eighty-six shorts,
as well as Action Analysis Classes and many other vintage animation documents!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hearsay - Sleeping Beauty at the Academy

As I noted elsewhere, I was not able to attend yesterday's first public screening of the newly restored print of Sleeping Beauty at the Academy. I have spoken with some of my dearest friends who attended, and I value their opinion greatly.

They found that the image was beautifully crisp, actually so much so that a few scenes seemed to be originally shot out of focus. Also, this restoration was made from the original three black and white Technicolor negatives, and there seemed to be some color variance, as some characters seemed to have slightly different colors from scene to scene. The fish that King Hubert fights with is beautifully blue, though, and when he put it back in his belt, it got a bigger laugh than ever before.

The sound was gorgeous, though for the cinema mixed by folks who are used to mixing realistic 5.1 mixes, while this film originally was produced with a kind of "fantasy stereo," a sort of caricature of real life sound. My friends recall the screening of the 1979 release (and following panel discussion which I believe included Frank, Ollie, Milt, Woolie and Marc!), and the mix there was more surrealistic. But the new mix is not bad per se, and the sound quality is amazing! The Once Upon a Dream number ended with a chord that they did not remember ever hearing...

Putting together a restoration of a Technicolor film with multichannel sound means making ethical decisions that are going to be based more on taste than on science, and with this in mind, my friends gave this restoration a "both thumbs up." Everyone will have things they would have done different, but in all, the new release seems to still be a good reason to finally invest in a Blu-Ray player! I for one am certainly looking forward to it - and also to seeing it in the cinema at the El Capitan later this year!

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Anonymous Oswald Iten says...

This sounds very exciting! Can't wait to see it. Seems like they are finally on the right track with the restoration process.

About your last post: Your drafts provided me with information I thought I'd never get. They made me actually study the features frame by frame again, as I haven't done for years (I'll wait with SB until October). I also picked up animators' names I'd never heard of before. Working in an environment where Disney animation isn't particularly admired, your blog is one of the places that reinforce me in learning all about classic 2D animation.

Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 11:48:00 AM PDT  

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