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New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - Preservation Project

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Ok, so first of all, if this should NOT be posted here I want to apologize and make sure that I'm not trying to violate any rules on this forum as this is a Disney production that is the topic. That being said, I would like to post some thoughts, things I'm doing towards this coming together and (hopefully) get some feedback on the topic.

It has come to my attention that almost all of the cartoons I watched in the late 80s and early 90s, as a kid, have been released in some digital format (usually, at least, DVDs) but one of my favorites (aside from the Maya the Bee series that aired on Nickelodeon), the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh has never been released. Granted, some of the episodes have had releases as part of other Disney DVD media, but the entire (with original intro) series has NEVER been released. There is a horrible quality xvid torrent floating around of the series, BUT most episodes are VHSrips and all are at very low bitrates.

I know that the series has been popular in many other countries as well, so I started looking for other video sources (regardless of what language they were in) that were of better quality. I found some German and Polish releases, but they were both low quality as well (in some episodes even worse than the English release) and then...

FINALLY, on rutracker, I found a 70GB release of the entire series containing PAL DVD-remuxed episodes and PAL DVB mpeg-2 episodes, all with bitrates between 3800kbps and 8000kbps. Unfortunately, over half of them are in Russian ONLY, are all PAL, and are all interlaced.

So, I am in the process of putting them all together now. I de-interlaced them all properly, slowed them back down to NTSC from 25fps to 23.976fps and am now putting them all together with the original intro, original title cards (most sourced from the English xvid release), all in English, also with all original end credits. Since I have these in four languages (English, German, Polish, and Russian) I am also syncing all sound tracks to the NTSC speed encodes. Converted all of the episodes to AVC at max bitrate of 9000kbps to ensure highest quality, at least for my masters, and am keeping the English tracks in WAV format as to not degrade the sound more by encoding lossy tracks back into lossy.

I started this project about six weeks ago and it will take me, at least, six more weeks to finish this whole thing. The reason it's taking so long, as some episodes are converted from NTSC to PAL incorrectly and there is some damaged/garbage frames (due to frame blending) that I have to fix. Fortunately it's not that hard, as those Disney cartoons had lots of duplicate frames, but it is time consuming. Once it's done, I'm wondering if I should release these in the format I will have for my "masters" (which will make a ~90GB release) or if I should make these into a proper (for the first time) DVD release of the entire thing...

I don't know yet, guess I'm waiting on some feedback from other people first... If you have questions, suggestions, comments, etc. - please feel free to make a post... Thanx 4 ur tyme... Shadoe

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Prolly sane as I got a Disney thread going here some years ago.

And yes, really needs the preservation.

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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I approve of this idea.  This series needs a proper preservation.  One thought, though.  Depending on the format you're planning on saving the files in, it might be better to use flac for the audio so you could keep the lossless compression but bring the file size down a little.

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@Molly - Thanx for the word of approval :)

@ Space Kaijuu - Thanx2u as well :)
I'm using the AVC codec in an M2TS container, where there will be 5 audio tracks (lossless and lossy English, lossy German, lossy Polish, and lossy Russian) and thought of using FLAC for the audio instead of WAV, but am wondering about compatibility for most people. Also wondering if including a lossy English is just redundant... On the other hand, anyone that would want to remux it (excluding audio they don't want/need) could just do that. Thoughts?

Side note: All of the source videos have a frame size of either 704x576 or 720x576 (except for some of the title cards and some of the end credits which come, mostly, from a 640x480 source)and I am encoding all of them at a frame size of 720x540.

Second side note: Should I release this just in my "master" format or should I do a DVD release too? And should this, once it's completed, be a "private" torrent on the spleen or a "public" torrent on tpb? Or maybe release the "master" on the spleen and the DVD release on tpb? I don't know, kinda "brainstorming" here... lol...

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jerryshadoe said:

thought of using FLAC for the audio instead of WAV

FLAC is just a container for the wav file .... just in case you weren't aware.

This idea does sound pretty neat for sure.  Winnie The Pooh is classic.

“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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@ Jetrell Fo - Yes, I am aware of that, however all stand-alone players will play WAV/LPCM but not all will play FLAC. I want to make sure that the release is as compatible as possible for everyone that would be interested.

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FLAC isn't a wrapper for PCM.  It's a compressed format.  Among lossless compression formats, however, it's probably the most compatible - but you're not likely to find support for it in video outside of Matroska, and certainly not on a toaster.

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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I'm very interested in this... especially if you manage to include German audio :)

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Thank you very much for doing this jerryshadoe!

This was a very good series, alot of fun and adventure. Disney Television Animation was on a real roll back then, all of these shows were of very high quality.

With that said, the home video releases have indeed been pretty awful. This is one of the few series that has barely even had it's opening/closings attached to it's releases. Just like the 80's Berenstain Bears cartoon. Not sure why these fantastic shows have gotten a raw deal on home video, they ever even completed things like the Gummi Bears.

I'll refrain from rambling and thank you again for undertaking this project. It's one i've always dreamed of doing myself, but i just don't have the video editing skills right now. Hopefully you can get it up on the spleen in individual files, but i will be happy to have whatever.

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Gummi Bears would be another great restoration project!

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@ Laserschwert - the German audio will be included for (almost) ALL episodes (it took a minute to track down, but I managed to find them except for the Winnie the Pooh and Xmas too special - more on that further down)

@ jade88 - You and everyone else that will appreciate this once it's complete are VERY welcome. It is a damn shame that Disney is letting this great show just sit somewhere on the shelves instead of releasing it (even just on DVD)
You are welcome to ramble as much as you want ;) I am always interested in other peoples opinions about these things. That being said, I am wondering what you mean by "individual" files, as in whether you mean each episode will be separate torrent or actual individual files for each episode. If it's the latter, then yes, each episode (in its original broadcast format) will be it's own file with AVC video in a M2TS container (and as stated above, will contain properly synced audio for English, Polish, German, and Russian) If there is anyone out there that has audio in another language (and would be willing to share or point me in the right direction) I would be happy to sync it as well. So far, I haven't been able to find anything in other languages other than the intro song that's posted on youtube.

@ ExNihilo - After this project is finished, if I can find decent video source files, I might undertake the Gummi Bears as well, but that won't be for a while, as I am working on 3 other projects besides this one right now, have two small daughters and just can't find enough time to do everything right away and my computer can only process everything so fast, LOL.

Now that all that is out the way, I would like to post a slight "update"/comment on some of the effort I'm putting into this.
This is a very fun project to work on, especially with my daughters (ages 4 & 2) watching as I fix a cartoon they love to watch. However, it's also a little bit of a pain having to mix different sources and try to make it all look proper (in many case having to correct the video ONE frame at a time) There are numerous garbage frames in many of the episodes due to incorrect transfer from NTSC to PAL and cleaning those up is not hard, but extremely time consuming. Also, since I'm syncing not one but four language tracks to the video is also challenging at times, as the audio sources for MOST of the episodes (except for about half the English episodes which are sourced from PAL DVD releases) is from VHS tapes and the speed of the audio there is NEVER constant so I'm playing some audio tricks to sync it without it being obvious that those tricks are present. So far, it hasn't been difficult (as I have been editing audio for over a decade) but it is ALSO very time consuming. Especially since I'm having to slow down the PAL audio back to NTSC (as I want to preserve the original broadcast format) ALL episodes will now have an intro, the English title cards, and (mostly) original end credits (reason for mostly is that some episodes will have a 2-second Russian end credit "page" after original English credits where cutting that Russian "page" would throw the audio out of sync at the very end (last 3-4 seconds of video) and the "episodes" where there was an "A" and "B" episode in one ( to fill in the 30 minute time slot) will be preserved as aired originally which makes each "episode" ~22:30 including intro/end credits. (This was the only way to do it so I could also preserve all of the end credits as aired originally) The release will also contain the Xmas special "Winnie the Pooh and Xmas too" (mostly sourced from DVD) but I am having problems finding German and Russian audio for that episode ONLY. If there is anyone that could help me with the audio sources for that episode (in German or Russian) I would greatly appreciate it.

Okay, guess now I'm done rambling, LOL ;)

Peace

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jerryshadoe said:

@ ExNihilo - After this project is finished, if I can find decent video source files, I might undertake the Gummi Bears as well, but that won't be for a while, as I am working on 3 other projects besides this one right now, have two small daughters and just can't find enough time to do everything right away and my computer can only process everything so fast, LOL.

 Just keep doing what you are doing! I grew up watching the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and would love to show my kids. 

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I'm quite disappointed in how Disney has handled the releases of almost all their animated TV series from this era.  They couldn't even release the entire Ducktales series on DVD, but I'm particularly annoyed that they didn't release all of Darkwing Duck or Gargoyles.

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I like the opening better than the more familiar Sherman/Sherman theme.

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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The Gargoyles Season 2 Part 2 DVD set is being sold through the Disney website as an exclusive.  Disney has also sold Ducktales The movie DVD as a Disney Fan Club exclusive.  I wish they would get around to finishing the Ducktales DVDs, too. I went through ebay to get the Ducktales Movie DVD before I knew any of this exclusive DVD nonsense.

It's been so long since I've seen any of the Winnie the Pooh TV shows that I can't quite remember them.  I have always enjoyed the original Disney adaptations.  Thanks for picking up where Disney is dropping the ball!

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@ kaarma33 - Where the Ducktales movie is concerned, there is a 4.38GB 720p HDTVrip available on rutracker (which suffers from PAL speed-up) capped from disney cinemagic HD in France (as it has the title of movie in English and French) however the release only contains English and Russian audio. It contains the Disney logo in bottom left-hand corner and looks to be a straight to digital (no film in-between) transfer, which IMHO looks to be a little too DNR'ed (but it just might be me, LOL) still, it's better than the DVD. There is also an itunes 1080p 3.5GB rip floating around in proper NTSC speed and looks to be a film transfer. Personally, I think the 1080p copy, even though it has a lower video bitrate, is a much better transfer but this copy is extremely hard to find (took me over 4 months of searching in Eastern European forums to find it after a friend told me that it's out there) According to the metadata, the itunes copy was ripped in January of 2013. If you, or anyone else, would like to find this copy, please PM me for details as I've been asked not to post publicly.

Alright, now that I've addressed that, I would just like to say "WOW!" and "Thank you" to the HUGE response that this project has gotten. I'm surprised how many people have commented already and how many people have viewed this thread already. I can't wait for this to be finished. Not only because so many would love to see this, but my kids and I would like to see this as well. However I will not compromise my process (and therefore quality) to get this done sooner. I am very disappointed with Disney and many others for what they have (or haven't) done with some of these great shows from the 80s. If they even get released, they are usually of poor quality and are usually incomplete. We have seen this with other shows, from Nickelodeon, from the 80s as well. David the Gnome (which a fan restored from VHS recordings) and Maya the Bee (partially restored by fan from VHS as well, but still incomplete) are great examples of others from the 80s that have gotten the shaft. WHAT THE F*CK is wrong with our generation? All of us, that grew up on the 80s cartoons are now adults (some of which I'm sure are involved with Disney, Nickelodeon, or others) should be doing more to preserve "our" stuff! That's a big part of the reason that I took it upon myself to do this preservation project for Winnie the Pooh series. It's something that SHOULD BE DONE, not JUST for this, but for all other shows of that era. I guess that's why I love this forum so much and the people involved in it: we all see the need and purpose in preserving these wonderful "things of the past" ;) and IMHO, a lot of the "old stuff" is WAAAAAAAY better than some of the "new school" crap (pardon my French, LOL) that is released now-a-days.

As far as updates are concerned on progress, I am now on episode 14 of season 1, where the last few episodes have been more of a pain to work on because they were incorrectly transferred from NTSC to PAL (where the PAL copy does NOT have the PAL speed-up) so there are LOTS of garbage frames due to frame blending and with every episode being around 30000 frames (excluding intro and end credits) that's a LOT of correcting. But never fear, for I am stubborn and will make this project see the light of day as I will not give up until it's complete. 

Once again, thanx to all for the support of this project and I can't wait to share once it's completed. Peace

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If you had a PAL source that wasn't blended, but telecined, I could have fixed it :(

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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@ Molly - I WISH they had been telecined as I could have fixed those too but unfortunately they ARE blended. However, even with that being said, they are still of WAYYYY higher quality (especially once I fix as much damage as possible) than the crappy xvid vhs release which are all between 800-1200kbps video bitrate ;)

I'm working on syncing audio to one of the episodes right now and it's interesting to see how the audio speed is SOOO inconsistent when sourced from VHS compared to straight digital source. Even the differences is audio speed between the different languages sourced from different VHS tapes makes for a fun challenge to sync up properly. Now, granted, I will NOT be able to sync them all down to the millisecond (as that's impossible) but they are all in-sync within a +/-20ms tolerance which is close enough and not noticeable to the naked eye, especially in an older cartoon :)

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Hey Jerry, just discovered this thread; I like very much your efforts, and the fact that, even if I don't love the Pooh, it will have a proper release.

Personally, as the files you are working on are all AVC encoded, I will leave them "as is", using BD-25 (4 should fit the entire series), and "simple" AVCHD on DVD-5, or BD-5 for the ones who has not a BD burner. Of course, you could always release DVD, too. It's up to you, but to be widespread, I'll do them all, plus "raw" MKV with FLAC for english as well.

Good job!

[Fundamental Collection] thread| homepage: blog.spoRv.com| fan preservation forum: fanres.com|

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ExNihilo said:

Gummi Bears would be another great restoration project!

 Wouldn't a Preservation of Gummi Bears require getting rips of the Australian seasons 4-6 episodes and slowing them down to NTSC speed? 

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jade88 said:

ExNihilo said:

Gummi Bears would be another great restoration project!

 Wouldn't a Preservation of Gummi Bears require getting rips of the Australian seasons 4-6 episodes and slowing them down to NTSC speed? 

 That depends on whether they were transferred correctly to PAL (where there is an actual PAL speed-up) which is not always the case. Someone would have to check run-times and see if they match with NTSC or PAL speed. A good reference are VHS rips from NTSC to give you an approximate, correct, run-time.

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Ok, so I kind of hit a brick wall with this project and need some advice. Some of the episodes have the frame blending issue (where the PAL copy has the NTSC runtime) and I searched high and low for alternate sources. I finally found a second edition of German releases of the series in xvid format (but instead of a 800-1200kbps video bitrate they are 1600-1800kbps) and is the ONLY one that has those episodes converted properly to PAL (with PAL speed-up and NO frame blending) Now I do NOT want to use that as a "main" source for this project (as the other source are MUCH higher bitrate) but perhaps replace the frames that I can't correct by duplicating frames could be used from the German source. However there is a little Disney logo in the bottom lefthand corner of the screen on the German release which is not there on the higher quality source. So should I try to "cookie-cutter" that part out where that part will still display the higher quality source but most of the screen would be properly there from German source. Should I just replace those frames directly and leave logo intact (which would be weird if a disney logo flashed for a frame here and there occasionally or what???? Not sure how to bite this one... Or edit each of those frame in PaintShopPro and re-insert them that way??? Any suggestions would be awesome... I will not let this stop me but I just want to make sure it's done right. What's really weird about this is that the NTSC xvid release of some of these episodes in question suffer from the same frame blending that I saw in all PAL releases (except for the second German one I just found that I reference up top) which makes me wonder if the NTSC releases were de-interlaced incorrectly, hence the frame blending.

Ok, I'm rambling now... thanx4reading&hope someone might have a suggestion that will help, peace

P.S. The episodes in question are very few as far as entire series is concerned, so for now I am going to finish working on the episodes that were converted to PAL correctly and once I have the "blending" issue figured out I will go back to those troubled episodes. So either way, this project is still moving forward :)

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How bad is the problem? Can you post some screenshots?

If it's not that bad, and limited to few frames per episode, you can leave them "as is"; probably no "normal person" (read: most of all out of this forum) will note it.

If it's bad, but still limited to few frames, you could always modify the replaced frames to remove logo.

If it's bad, and with a lot of frames to fix, you could always try some de-logo script; even if they are not perfect, they work very well on animated material; or, make the "patchwork" job, to replace the logo with the non-logo'd part...

[Fundamental Collection] thread| homepage: blog.spoRv.com| fan preservation forum: fanres.com|

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Thanx4the response Andrea. Sure, I can post sceenshots of the "trouble" areas (there a lot of them in some episodes, but for example so you can see what I'm talking about, here's a few where first I'll post the trouble spots that don't have duplicate frames that I can use to correct the problem with the proper transfer examples of those frames underneath):

01- problem frames

correct frames:

example 02 - problem frame:

correct frames:

example 3 - problem frame:

correct frames:

example 4 - incorrect frame:

correct frames:

Unfortunately, it's more than just a few frames per episode (fortunately it's only a few episodes, as most are correctly transferred to PAL) I am trying to fix them as best as possible and want to go for a "purist" version, if possible, and you're right that most people won't notice (but I will)

As far as scripts are concerned, it's something I'm still learning and most (but not all) of the editing work (after I deinterlaced the videos using a script in avidemux) is being done in Vegas Pro 11.

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Sorry for the double post, but now that I see these screenshots side-by-side, even with the blending issue, there is a huge quality difference between the two sources and the xvid copies (even though they don't suffer from the frame blending) look like "smear-o-vision" and now I'm wondering if I should even use ANY of the frames from that release as the difference will be obvious and probably look WORSE than the frame blended source "as is" (except where I can use duplicate frames to correct problem)  ...thoughts?...

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