Some food for thought before the weekend draws upon us. In my fairly recent review for the so-called “Platinum” edition of Walt Disney’s Peter Pan (you may recall that, while I love the film, the DVD left me wishing it had “never-never happened”), I touched upon the poor restoration of the image, including comments on the lack of sharpness and a questionable color scheme that made the film look closer to a direct-to-video presentation, a la the 2002 sequel Return To Never-Land. Views reader Benoît A. Racine wrote in to inform that the colors were indeed different to what had previously been issued on DVD and as seen on original artwork. Don’t even get me started on that missing Christmas Show that we should have gotten as an extra! To see more of Benoît’s research, head on over to DVD Savant for their piece on The Color Of Peter Pan…
Lowry, now DTS Images, the company responsible for these “restorations”, is also being taken to task by fans of the James Bond movies, who are up in arms about the mess they have made to the colors and the framing of those films in their 2-disc, so-called “Ultimate” editions. Which brings me on to my new pet hate…aspect ratio conversion.
As noted here before, now that Disney’s gone Blu-Ray for high-definition, they want to release everything that they feasibly can with a 1.78:1 ratio. While some folks are getting excited about seeing The Jungle Book in widescreen for the first time this Fall, all I can say is “hey, blow it up to fit your widescreen TVs as it is right now and you’ll get the same image” as that is all Disney is doing. All the post Sleeping Beauty films were shot to a 1.37:1 negative for later TV showings – as Walt wanted them – and cropped in the theaters. Jungle Book will simply lose its top and bottom, not add anything left and right, and this will now be the new version that gets “preserved” for hi-def and future screenings.
The Mouse House used to be the best at preserving their legacy. Now they’re just screwing about with it.