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Fantasia PC

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At the risk of pulling a Lucas, I wonder if any artists interested poita's Fantasia project might be inclined to doctor a few (thousand) frames, to create a cleaner PC version of the controversial scenes Disney hacked up in the 1960s, at least as an optional, non-cringe-inducing alternative to poita's 100% faithful preservation (which, of course, is a perfectly legitimate and rather awesome contribution to cinema history).

The idea would be to convert all the offensive characters into more neutral characters, taking as few liberties as possible in order to preserve as much of the original footage as possible. This would probably involve changing skin tones, some hair styles and some facial features.

Just tossing this idea out there to see if it sticks. I hate to bring politics into the forums, but I, for one, would greatly prefer to watch a slightly-unfaithful copy like this with my family and friends.

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Erm, you want to paint out the non-white people?

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I also think it's a bad idea.

And while you try to correct a controversy I think you create another one.

I mean, in your "corrected" screenshot I see a less beautiful girl being the servant of a more beautiful girl.

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As opposed to seeing the less beautiful black girl being the servant of a more beautiful white girl in the original? 

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JayArgonaut said:

As opposed to seeing the less beautiful black girl being the servant of a more beautiful white girl in the original? 

 I didn't say that there isn't any controversy in the original either.

If you noticed I said that by trying to correct one controversy he creates another.

So, there's really no way of  correcting this without any controversy (unless you delete the whole character as Disney did)

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To clarify, these are scenes that Disney themselves actually edited out of the film in the 1960s, due to their racist nature. This was a good thing, although they didn't do a very good job of it, essentially just cropping (and deleting?) certain frames to remove the offensive characters.

So poita's work, among other things, is restoring those original controversial scenes, and my aim here is to simply redo what Disney themselves did in the 1960s, but just to do a better job of it, instead of just chopping the thing up.

In any event, I just think it would be a shame for a fully restored Fantasia, in all its glory, to be marred by these few unfortunate scenes.

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titanic said:

So, there's really no way of  correcting this without any controversy (unless you delete the whole character as Disney did)

I see your point, and I do think that would be a good course of action too. Just wondering if a character swap might be a better option, to keep the overall scenes intact.

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I think a modern human being can watch Fantasia and understand it is a product of its time, and anyone that can't, well the edited version exists from Disney.

Whitewashing these scenes now seems far more offensive to me than watching it with the scenes intact.

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titanic said:

JayArgonaut said:

As opposed to seeing the less beautiful black girl being the servant of a more beautiful white girl in the original? 

 I didn't say that there isn't any controversy in the original either.

If you noticed I said that by trying to correct one controversy he creates another.

So, there's really no way of  correcting this without any controversy (unless you delete the whole character as Disney did)

 I actually agree with you and I can see why Disney took that action. 

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poita said:

I think a modern human being can watch Fantasia and understand it is a product of its time, and anyone that can't, well the edited version exists from Disney.

Whitewashing these scenes now seems far more offensive to me than watching it with the scenes intact.

My 5 year old would not understand something like that.

I do agree with you though that whitewashing would be, in and of itself, still pretty offensive when taken in the broadest context. Cropping probably would make better sense in that regard.

I'd just really like to be able to watch this new and improved copy of the film with my kid, in a way that we can all just sit back and enjoy it. We can always pop in the Blu-ray, of course, which I suppose it what we'll have to do.

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dayofthedave said:

poita said:

I think a modern human being can watch Fantasia and understand it is a product of its time, and anyone that can't, well the edited version exists from Disney.

Whitewashing these scenes now seems far more offensive to me than watching it with the scenes intact.

My 5 year old would not understand something like that.

I do agree with you though that whitewashing would be, in and of itself, still pretty offensive when taken in the broadest context. Cropping probably would make better sense in that regard.

I'd just really like to be able to watch this new and improved copy of the film with my kid, in a way that we can all just sit back and enjoy it. We can always pop in the Blu-ray, of course, which I suppose it what we'll have to do.

This would be the perfect way to teach your child the difference.  My daughter and I have a lot of the same interests but I try to never miss a chance at showing her things that "were" and explaining why they "aren't" anymore. 

I am happy to know that poita understands film history with the passion he does and wouldn't want it any other way.  Although history may be written by the victors, its true path should never be forgotten ..... it shows how we came to be what we are in contrast to what we once were.  Good progress is good.  Preservation of the truth is what makes that possible and exciting.

:) 

“Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”
― Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”

― Socrates

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dayofthedave said: 

My 5 year old would not understand something like that.

Likewise for me if I showed it to my 10 year old nephew. I would have to explain beforehand that this is how people such as he and I were routinely portrayed in film and its offensive nature is why such images are now widely frowned upon. As with you, I'd rather let him watch the edited Blu-Ray instead.

 

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dayofthedave said:

poita said:

I think a modern human being can watch Fantasia and understand it is a product of its time, and anyone that can't, well the edited version exists from Disney.

Whitewashing these scenes now seems far more offensive to me than watching it with the scenes intact.

My 5 year old would not understand something like that.

 Your for year old would probably sympathize with Sunflower and wouldn't even notice her skin color.

It's you who's overly sensitive, not your child.

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I grew up watching old Fleischer cartoons from the 30s and 40s, and you'd see characters like Popeye and Superman fighting really racially stereotypical characters. I saw basically every flavor of racial stereotype from as early as I can remember, but I didn't pay any attention to any of that at the time I watched it. It was re-watching them as an adult that made me see what was in the picture. Did it have any negative affects on me, as to how I see different races and cultures? Absolutely not.

The problem with censorship; you are pretending that the time the piece was created, there weren't views like that. I don't see the point in restoring a censored scene, only to change it further. In fact, I never payed any attention to the badly altered scene until it was brought to my attention when I was trying to work on my own edit of Fantasia a ways back.

The problem with Fantasia is the fact that there isn't really any true original version. That film has been hacked and re-arranged from the second it premiered. And knowing how "well" Disney preserves things, it's a wonder we even have the film in it's butchered state. If you're going to restore something, restore the audio. People are trying to hard to preserve the Fantasound, which has always sounded like shit to my ears. I'd like to hear the best possible source used, instead of these heavily scrubbed recordings that sound like a bad phaser on a guitar pedalboard.

I know for a fact that the reel to reel soundtrack from around 57 (I believe) sounds much better than any home video release in my lifetime. It's getting your hands on it at a reasonable cost and condition; that is the real struggle.

I really feel like Disney had a good idea when they made Fantasia, but the technology just wasn't there yet.

I don't know what sources Disney has at their disposal, so it's probably unfair for me to dog them, but I've just never seen all that good out of any restoration Disney has done lately.

"The other versions will disappear. Even the 35 million tapes of Star Wars out there won’t last more than 30 or 40 years. A hundred years from now, the only version of the movie that anyone will remember will be the DVD version [of the Special Edition], and you’ll be able to project it on a 20’ by 40’ screen with perfect quality. I think it’s the director’s prerogative, not the studio’s to go back and reinvent a movie." - George Lucas

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OK, all, without getting into the politics, I'm admitting here that the character alteration idea was a pretty terrible one, for many reasons. I do still think a cropped version of the final preservation would be nice to have though, and I'd like to use this thread just to see if anyone out there is willing and able to produce such a version.

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The blu-ray has the most well-done alteration to the scene so far. Simply bringing that scene in line as a replacement for the scene in the "original" version/restoration is plenty.

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EyeShotFirst said:

I grew up watching old Fleischer cartoons from the 30s and 40s, and you'd see characters like Popeye and Superman fighting really racially stereotypical characters. I saw basically every flavor of racial stereotype from as early as I can remember, but I didn't pay any attention to any of that at the time I watched it. It was re-watching them as an adult that made me see what was in the picture. Did it have any negative affects on me, as to how I see different races and cultures? Absolutely not.

The problem with censorship; you are pretending that the time the piece was created, there weren't views like that. I don't see the point in restoring a censored scene, only to change it further. In fact, I never payed any attention to the badly altered scene until it was brought to my attention when I was trying to work on my own edit of Fantasia a ways back.

The problem with Fantasia is the fact that there isn't really any true original version. That film has been hacked and re-arranged from the second it premiered. And knowing how "well" Disney preserves things, it's a wonder we even have the film in it's butchered state. If you're going to restore something, restore the audio. People are trying to hard to preserve the Fantasound, which has always sounded like shit to my ears. I'd like to hear the best possible source used, instead of these heavily scrubbed recordings that sound like a bad phaser on a guitar pedalboard.

I know for a fact that the reel to reel soundtrack from around 57 (I believe) sounds much better than any home video release in my lifetime. It's getting your hands on it at a reasonable cost and condition; that is the real struggle.

I really feel like Disney had a good idea when they made Fantasia, but the technology just wasn't there yet.

I don't know what sources Disney has at their disposal, so it's probably unfair for me to dog them, but I've just never seen all that good out of any restoration Disney has done lately.

 I have the reel to reel tapes if anyone wants to take a crack at it, and it is in good condition.

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