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Old 09-01-2012, 03:14 PM   #1
Freddy2 Freddy2 is offline
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Default Disney Classics Screenshot Comparisons

Hello everyone!

Being interested mainly in the Picture Quality of Disney Classics on Blu-ray, I'm a big fan of Screenshot Comparisons between the new BD-releases and any possible older versions available, be it on DVD, LD or VHS.

The first big comparisons I saw here are from our well known member Lnds500!... He has made a very comprehensive one of "The Aristocats" and a smaller one of "101 Dalmatians". Any others that I missed?... You're invited to post those again over here, if you want to.

Other comparisons of Disney Classics are very welcome too of course. "The Rescuers", "The Rescuers Down Under" and "Cinderella" come to mind, to begin with.


To start this thread, I decided to make a comparison for "Cinderella" between my old VHS from 1997 and the current 2012 BD. I can tell you up front, the result is shocking, seeing that in many cases the "ancient" VHS shows more detail, more contrast and more natural colors than the BD. As a fan, considering Cinderella as one of Disney's finest treasures, it really breaks my heart seeing this:

[Show spoiler]

(Warning: this is a BIG picture (2 MB)!...)

Other similar comparisons were made before, between the LD from 1997 and the DVD from 2005 which, I'm afraid, has the exact same, bad restoration, including all the errors, as our "new" BD:

CINDERELLA DVD - digital restoration gone too far?
How Cinderella's 2005 Release was Restored Very Wrong

I'm interested in all of your thoughts of course, and... Disney's thoughts if possible!...

Freddy

Last edited by Freddy2; 09-03-2012 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Added links to two other Cinderella LD vs. DVD Comparisons
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
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By now, seeing all these Screenshot Comparisons, reading many reviews, not always in agreement with "our" observations over here... and hearing people making comments about the latest releases, I decided to add a PQ Rating to this discussion... against better judgment, as I know many people will disagree...

but on a scale of 0 (worthless) to 10 (perfect), ordered chronologically as they came to Blu-ray, and based on everything I could find, including of course my own viewings, these are the results of Disney's Blu-ray restorations:



Have fun!

Last edited by Freddy2; 08-04-2013 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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Just finished "studying" those. Great comparison! it's a film which has been discussed extensively yet you managed to put more info on the table.

The restoration is awful!!! Lines are removed, the stairs are missing and the carriage green shadow??? digital work leftover. atrocious.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:30 PM   #5
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Oh god, is this from the actual restoration or from the HD promos? I'm starting to worry.
Guess I should hold on to the VHS (who am I kidding I never throw out nostalgic stuff) for a little while longer.

This frustrates me beyond a reasonable point of frustration about such a little subject

EDIT: Ok so I read it over and it's from the actual BD, wtf Disney wtf, oooh this is so going to give me a headache of pure frustration.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:39 PM   #6
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Was the VHS you're using sourced from the old YCM labs restoration from 1987 or so? YCM's restorations were criticized for being too dark and over-amplifying colors, especially with the 1990 Fantasia release and the 1987 Snow White 50th anniversary release. YCM was trying hide all the cel dust and cel scrawl in some of the older films by making the image very dark. Now, everyone thinks that's how the films looked decades ago, when the truth is different.

Of course, the modern digital restorations are different, also. I'm reminded of what Ollie Johnston said after seeing the 1993 digital restoration of Snow White. "Nice colors. Not the colors we used, but nice colors."

In other words, I tend to not get too upset about differences from VHS to laser or DVD or Blu for Walt-era films. None of them look like they did in theatrical release anyway -- Disney knows the titles are typically watched in living rooms with all the lights on, so the contrast can sometimes be higher versus the original theatrical presentations. They're also trying to compete with modern films, so the colors can be a bit -- what's the right word - surreal sometimes. Eventually it all comes down to preference (and maybe playing with your TV settings a bit).

Last edited by Ernest Rister; 09-03-2012 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Rister View Post
Was the VHS you're using sourced from the old YCM labs restoration from 1987 or so? They were criticized for being too dark and over-amplifying colors, especially with the 1990 Fantasia release and the 1987 Snow White 50th anniversary release. OF course, the modern releases are different, also. I'm reminded of what Ollie Johnston said after seeing the 1993 digital restoration of Snow White. "Nice colors. Not the colors we used, but nice colors."

In other words, I tend to not get too upset about differences from VHS to laser or DVD or Blu for Walt-era films. None of them look like they did in theatrical release anyway, so eventually it all comes down to preference.
To tell you the truth I'm not overly fused about colour changes. I know that a perfect reproduction of the original colours is extremely difficult to be achieved right now. But the loss of detail and the butchery this film has been put through.. That's appalling.


Freddy, if this is to become an "ultimate restoration thread", I think you must put other restoration comparisons of Cinderella on the first post (link will do I guess). I've seen 2 on DVDizzy, both of which are excellent.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Rister View Post
In other words, I tend to not get too upset about differences from VHS to laser or DVD or Blu for Walt-era films. None of them look like they did in theatrical release anyway -- Disney knows the titles are typically watched in living rooms with all the lights on, so the contrast can sometimes be higher versus the original theatrical presentations. They're also trying to compete with modern films, so the colors can be a bit -- what's the right word - surreal sometimes. Eventually it all comes down to preference (and maybe playing with your TV settings a bit).

Thank you, that's comforting.
The thing is, it's not really the coloring that bothers me (as long as they don't make Cinderella blue and blonde like in the DP merchandise) but the detail issue.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for the comparisons!
I do prefer the sharp BD version on my screen. Sometimes something falls away, but the movie is moving and are not still images.
But I do agree they've gone too far with the dress: the creases lines should have been preserved. Now it looks like one big blue dress without details...
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yumny View Post
Thank you, that's comforting.
The thing is, it's not really the coloring that bothers me (as long as they don't make Cinderella blue and blonde like in the DP merchandise) but the detail issue.
Well, the contrast is higher, and that's why the character lines are less prominent...but I'd suggest everyone go back and look at those screenshots again because the details in the *background art* are suddenly revealed after being hidden in the murky darkness. Again, that's due to the contrast issue.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:15 PM   #11
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I think a few points have been missed with this 'comparison'.

Firstly, you use the words "how they should look" a lot, which is entirely subjective. The VHS was sourced from a print that is multiple generations away from the original negatives, and therefore altering the contrast of the imagery itself. In the process, portions of the artwork alter in exposure.

This works both ways, for there are elements in the paintwork that appear to have both suddenly gone and then come from no-where.

Secondly, the DVD used the same Reliance Media restoration as this Blu-ray. Would that not have been a better comparison in terms of upgrade? You can't make a fair comparison of a restoration against a 1990's VHS because, as with both transfers between the 80's and 90's, the answer grading was altered significantly to boost certain elements of the picture quality - notably the saturation of the colours.

It is clear looking the at the Reliance Media restoration (used for both the DVD and the Blu-ray) that the source has been fairly well preserved. The use of colours is more befitting the light source of the actual camera, whites are absolutely Technicolor dye for that period (and gorgeous at that), and background art makes more sense in terms of the composition. The absence of those overwhelming red hues is how the photography would have looked, and again, everything within the frame implies this to be the case. In comparison, the VHS print makes absolutely no sense, because in many paintings, the red would have unnaturally been present in instances were the light source within the composition was pure white.

Most Disney classics suffer from this on VHS, but one good example is Pinocchio. Over-saturated reds, and viewers believed that's how it "should" look because they were so used to watching old prints. I even read one person refer to it as "that storybook glow", which is down right ridiculous.

Reliance may remove the photography process in their restorations (cel dust, scratches, newtons rings etc), but their colour grading with Disney films has been entirely convincing for the original source. But I agree that there are some errors with regards that need to be ironed out, such as the fairy dust absence. Unfortunately, the company's grain removal process is, shall we say, controversial...

The reason I'm telling you all this is because it's unfair to make such 'comparisons' if you're not willing to appreciate the photography itself. You may also want to check your monitors settings; I have two set-up for my graphic art work and I can tell you now, those horses are not "blue/green" at all.
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Last edited by miniroll32; 09-03-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:16 PM   #12
Freddy2 Freddy2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Rister View Post
Was the VHS you're using sourced from the old YCM labs restoration from 1987 or so? YCM's restorations were criticized for being too dark and over-amplifying colors, especially with the 1990 Fantasia release and the 1987 Snow White 50th anniversary release. YCM was trying hide all the cel dust and cel scrawl in some of the older films by making the image very dark. Now, everyone thinks that's how the films looked decades ago, when the truth is different.
The VHS is from 1997 and could very well be from that era, though it says: "New - Digitally Remastered", so...
But as others already pointed out, the problem is not that the image is brighter now, the problem is the way they achieved that: by increasing the Brightness through Computer Filters. I can hardly imagine an actual person having been involved in the process, as those Computer Filters made such a mess of things:

- Brightness went up too far, giving it a fog like appearance sometimes;
- Contrast was severely effected by this and went down quite a bit;
- yes, detail in the background is more clear now, but detail in the characters was lost; guess what's more important;
- balance between background and characters is lost; look for example at Cinderella looking back at her slipper: the VHS is darker yes, but both background and Cinderella are of similar brightness, whereas on the BD it looks like there was a spotlight fixed on Cinderella;
- and finally, a lot of colors are simply wrong: take for example the Blue and Green horses; I guess no one will believe that's how Disney meant it to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lnds500 View Post
Freddy, if this is to become an "ultimate restoration thread", I think you must put other restoration comparisons of Cinderella on the first post (link will do I guess). I've seen 2 on DVDizzy, both of which are excellent.
Thanks, I added both links!

Last edited by Freddy2; 09-03-2012 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniroll32 View Post
I think a few points have been missed with this 'comparison'.

Firstly, you use the words "how they should look" a lot, which is entirely subjective. The VHS was sourced from a print that is multiple generations away from the original negatives, and therefore altering the contrast of the imagery itself. In the process, portions of the artwork alter in exposure.
I understand all these processes, but... I don't think that the phrase "how they should look" is entirely subjective: you can easily imagine how certain things would have been meant to be seen, like the colors of the horses, her dress and the carpet on the stairs, the crease lines in her dress and on the drapes and I can go on and on...

Quote:
Secondly, the DVD used the same Reliance Media restoration as this Blu-ray. Would that not have been a better comparison in terms of upgrade? You can't make a fair comparison of a restoration against a 1990's VHS because, as with both transfers between the 80's and 90's, the answer grading was altered significantly to boost certain elements of the picture quality.
The comparison between the DVD and the BD would have been an easy one, as both show the same mistakes. The shocking part is that they didn't take the time, during the last 7 years, to fix these, as they were already known by then. The VHS, and the LD for that matter, are the closest ones we have that show what was in there before they started "fixing" things...
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy2 View Post
I understand all these processes, but... I don't think that the phrase "how they should look" is entirely subjective: you can easily imagine how certain things would have been meant to be seen, like the colors of the horses, her dress and the carpet on the stairs, the crease lines in her dress and on the drapes and I can go on and on...
Colours yes, but the fairy dust and the latter are definitely inexcusable. That's down to the grain removal process however (which is fully automated) and not the artists working on this restoration.

All I'm saying is that you should take into account the production, rather than how things 'should look' because many factors contributed to the final look of these movies. The VHS colour grading is no where on the ball for a 1950's animated film, and just looks like a typical old print. Here are some good examples from Fantasia - a 1990 restoration that was marketed as "better than the original" - and how a print can shift from the three original nitrate negatives.

VHS Left - Blu-ray Right





In both examples, the blue hues are completely wacked out, much in the same degree that for the Cinderella VHS, some reds had shifted beyond the original source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy2 View Post
The comparison between the DVD and the BD would have been an easy one, as both show the same mistakes. The shocking part is that they didn't take the time, during the last 7 years, to fix these, as they were already known by then. The VHS, and the LD for that matter, are the closest ones we have that show what was in there before they started "fixing" things...
Disney, for some reason, are biased in how they treat their movies for home release today. They have the 'pristine' camp which means they scrub the entire film frame free of artefacts within the photography or film damage, and then they have the 'that'll do' camp which pretty much explains itself.

I'd be interested to see some LD screencaps, though.
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Last edited by miniroll32; 09-03-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miniroll32 View Post
Colours yes, but the fairy dust and the latter are definitely inexcusable. That's down to the grain removal process however (which is fully automated) and not the artists working on this restoration.
Yeah, that's disappointing, to put it as mildly as I can.

The Fanatsia 1990 caps are from the YCM restoration, and as I mentioned, in addition to boosting colors, they lowered the contrast trying to hide the cel dust and cel scrawl. Of course, that also meant hiding details in the backgrounds. If anyone has the old Show White CAV box set, they have screencaps from the Snow White YCM restoration and you can see for yourselves what they did.


Quote:
Disney, for some reason, are biased in how they treat their movies for home release today. They have the 'pristine' camp which means they scrub the entire film frame free of artefacts within the photography or film damage...
They also fix famous registration errors and repaint inking mistakes, etc. I think they justify all this by stating they are fixing what Walt would have wanted to fix, were he around today, and that's a hard argument to counter, because they're probably right.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:55 PM   #16
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I see more of the original negative though on the bluray, and this thread will get heated up once CAPS transfers are on here
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:58 PM   #17
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some of you are so anal. who cares if a sparkle is missing? who cares if a horse is a different tint for a few seconds? the blu-ray is still superior and that's what matters. if you all want to complain so much, it's easy. DON'T BUY THE BLU-RAY AND KEEP YOUR VHS COPY.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cahleb View Post
some of you are so anal. who cares if a sparkle is missing? who cares if a horse is a different tint for a few seconds? the blu-ray is still superior and that's what matters. if you all want to complain so much, it's easy. DON'T BUY THE BLU-RAY AND KEEP YOUR VHS COPY.
Ha, that would be something, wouldn't it?
To be fair though nowadays I fluctuate between VHS and Blu - Blu because it's the only thing I accept anymore, VHS because it's really nostalgic.
I simply can't bear to watch DVDs anymore, it strains my eyes.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cahleb View Post
some of you are so anal. who cares if a sparkle is missing? who cares if a horse is a different tint for a few seconds? the blu-ray is still superior and that's what matters. if you all want to complain so much, it's easy. DON'T BUY THE BLU-RAY AND KEEP YOUR VHS COPY.
Yeah, who cares if they tamper with the original film, scrubbing away detail to the point of which there is more on a VHS copy than on a transfer used for a Blu-ray of all formats; no one could possibly care. But we all know Gus shot first, that change is inexcusable.

Last edited by anthonyb; 09-03-2012 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cahleb View Post
some of you are so anal. who cares if a sparkle is missing? who cares if a horse is a different tint for a few seconds? the blu-ray is still superior and that's what matters. if you all want to complain so much, it's easy. DON'T BUY THE BLU-RAY AND KEEP YOUR VHS COPY.
..I was thinking the same thing. Who even wastes the time to compare VHS to bluray?? They are in totally different leagues and their standards are generations apart based on their current technology at that time.
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