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The Smurfs and the Magic Flute - United States English Dub from 1983 - Remastered Edit

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To any Smurf fan on the web, I have created a remastered edit of the United States English dub of "The Smurfs and the Magic Flute", as seen in 1983. I used elements from the 2011 DVD (containing the UK English dub), a rare limited and unofficial DVD release of the U.S. English dub, unrestored (which I used the original opening titles and closing credits from), and the original French soundtrack as provided by sinituuke on YouTube. The link to my remastered edit should be available soon and if anybody has any other ideas on how to improve it, please feel free to let me know!

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I'd love to hear more details about your sources and how you combined them.

Wasn't the UK DVD awkwardly cropped top/bottom to make it 1.78 widescreen? Maybe I'm misremembering? (They used the same master for a Blu-ray release.)

I have a straight bootleg of the US version I bought off eBay back in 2004, which is fullscreen. Obviously copied from VHS, but still very watchable.

I also have a Swedish release which is 1.66:1 widescreen, but not anamorphically enhanced.

Visit my *NEW* Star Wars on Video Collection site:

http://www.swonvideo.com

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The DVD restoration is not cropped; it's the original widescreen master, restored. The only thing cropped on the DVD, however, is the beginning half of the credit sequence (starting with Peewit/William whining at the end, "I gave them back the magic flute!"). In fact, the entire credit sequence starting at point, remains unrestored and choppy.

I heard that there are also supposed to be two versions of the U.S. dub: both versions have different voice actors for Papa Smurf, while in one of the versions, Johan is called John. The version I have uses "John" and has Papa Smurf's voice sounding like a parrot. (I haven't seen the other version, but I heard that Papa's voice there is supposed to sound deeper.)

By the way, do you think you can send me a converted mp4 download link to your bootleg copy of the film, so I can compare my version with yours?

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There is a good condition 35mm print on ebay at the moment pretty cheap. Check it out.

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Okay, I stand corrected on the aspect ratio of the recent DVD "restoration". My bootleg was indeed cropped instead of opened up like I thought.

I made a few comparisons with the 35mm print available on eBay, and even though the new DVD's framing is a bit tight here and there, it seems to be accurate to the hardmatted print. 

I also found that the UK and Swedish DVDs were from identical masters. The 2011 DVD is letterboxed widescreen, with hard mattes top and bottom, unbelievable!

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Here are the comparisons: 35mm first, 2011 DVD, and my bootleg from the US VHS.

The title sequence is very different, as you can see.

#2

Some of these don't have a 35mm equivalent, but here you can see how tight the DVD is on the bottom compared to the US VHS.

#3

#4

#5

#6

In this set you can see the bottom of the feet being cut off in both the DVD and the VHS, and how much image detail is hidden in the dark areas of the contrast boosted DVD "restoration".

#7

Too bad we don't have a 35mm frame to compare, but as you can see the UK (and Swedish) DVD resorts to more damaged source material for the English credits. I suspect the French DVD has proper French credits with no generational imagequality loss.

The credits are different between the UK DVD and the US VHS too.

Visit my *NEW* Star Wars on Video Collection site:

http://www.swonvideo.com

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What about the audio on the 35mm print? Does it have the other version I mentioned with Johan being called "Johan" instead of "John" and Papa Smurf's deep voice?

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GoboFraggle1983 said:

What about the audio on the 35mm print? Does it have the other version I mentioned with Johan being called "Johan" instead of "John" and Papa Smurf's deep voice?

 Good question. Perhaps you can message the eBay seller and ask?

Visit my *NEW* Star Wars on Video Collection site:

http://www.swonvideo.com

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OK, I now have the link available on Mediafire for viewing and downloading. If anybody wants to see my edit, please feel free to PM me.

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Here are some of my personal pros and cons between the UK and U.S. versions of this film. If anybody wants to do their own "pros/cons" list, please feel free to do so! Cheers! :-)

-UK version:

*Pros: The voices and songs are pretty decent. My favorite characters here are Peewit (re-named William), Homnibus, 

*Cons: Some scenes have inaudible dialogue, in which the characters are supposed to be talking, but somehow, the actors probably forgot to dub those parts. (Ex. the Smurfs' party sequence with Brainy giving a lecture to Greedy, the flute battle with two background ladies talking and the Smurfs cheering for Peewit, the working song with a bored Johan and Peewit briefly conversing, and a Smurf laughing at Peewit trying to cross a bridge) Also, there's no denying that some of the Smurfs during the "Personality" song number have extremely uncomfortable deep voices, notably Greedy, Grouchy, Hefty, and especially Lazy. My biggest peeve is obviously the fact that this is the only version released on DVD, which is thankfully the reason I made this project.

-U.S. version:

*Pros: Cam Clarke is awesome as Peewit; he's very mischievous, but also very lovable. All of the songs are done perfectly, notably "Peewit Wants a Smurf", "Life is a Voyage", and "Just Like Their Names". I especially love how the Smurfs' working song is half instrumental, unlike the UK version, which uses repetitive lyrics throughout the entire song. The rest of the characters are also performed very decently, notably Johan, Brainy Smurf, Matthew McCreep, and the King.

*Cons: I actually really don't have many problems here, but if I have to nitpick, I will admit that some of the Smurf voices can become pretty squawky and jarring at times. Also, I don't know why, but for some reason, they not only forgot to dub a line from the Smurf that Johan and Peewit first meet in the forest, but this dub even left out the brief music that plays when Matthew McCreep's men walk into Earl Flatbroke's castle to show the amount of money McCreep has. 

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Awesome to see a project for the original Smurfs movie! I'm a big fan of everything Smurfs prior to the Hanna-Barbera cartoons (the comics, the records, the PVC figurines)...they were dumbed-down a lot for the cartoons and pretty much everything else since.

GoboFraggle1983 said:

Also, does anybody have the Televista DVD of this film from 2008?

I do in fact have this! It is most definitely cropped top and bottom, and has a  pretty rough transfer of the film. Definitely watchable, and at the time it was the best available. I haven't bought the 2011 DVD, hoping (probably in vain) that a US Blu-ray might appear. You mentioned you were working from the 2011 DVD. What about the UK Blu-ray? I've pondered getting it, assuming it is actually that much better quality than the DVD.

skoal said:

For other Smurf fans:

Les aventures des Schtroumpfs (1965)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDBE_J3STVc 

I am really, really hoping someday these early films show up. This posting to YouTube was the first time I'd seen so much as a scrap of footage from them.

--SKot

Projects:
Return Of The Ewok and Other Short Films (with OCPmovie) [COMPLETED]
Preserving the…cringe…Star Wars Holiday Special [ONGOING]
The Star Wars TV Commercials Project [DORMANT]
Felix the Cat 1919-1930 early film shorts preservation [ONGOING]

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If I decide to make a 2nd version, by the way, it would be very helpful if someone can create a fully instrumental version of the 2011 restoration (with the sound effects still intact). 

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Also, does anybody have the TV version of the U.S. dub, with the Smurfs' party sequence moved to the beginning of the film (along with Johan being called "Yohan" and Papa Smurf voiced by a different voice actor)? If so, would whoever has it send it to me via a private message?

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Video Collector said:

Okay, I stand corrected on the aspect ratio of the recent DVD "restoration". My bootleg was indeed cropped instead of opened up like I thought.

I made a few comparisons with the 35mm print available on eBay, and even though the new DVD's framing is a bit tight here and there, it seems to be accurate to the hardmatted print. 

I also found that the UK and Swedish DVDs were from identical masters. The 2011 DVD is letterboxed widescreen, with hard mattes top and bottom, unbelievable!

--------------------------------------------------

Here are the comparisons: 35mm first, 2011 DVD, and my bootleg from the US VHS.

The title sequence is very different, as you can see.

#2

Some of these don't have a 35mm equivalent, but here you can see how tight the DVD is on the bottom compared to the US VHS.

#3

#4

#5

#6

In this set you can see the bottom of the feet being cut off in both the DVD and the VHS, and how much image detail is hidden in the dark areas of the contrast boosted DVD "restoration".

#7

Too bad we don't have a 35mm frame to compare, but as you can see the UK (and Swedish) DVD resorts to more damaged source material for the English credits. I suspect the French DVD has proper French credits with no generational imagequality loss.

The credits are different between the UK DVD and the US VHS too.

 That's a really good comparison!

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Good thing you used the 2011 UK DVD, as that was pure 25fps PAL and could be sped down to 23.97fps without any ill effects. OP, did you ever consider using the UK Blu-ray? Was that a proper 24fps transfer or is it a 1080i PAL bump? I tried something like this once with the U.S Shout! Factory release and a Chinese DVD of the U.S version. But the SF disc was a nasty PAL-NTSC conversion with ghosting (now thinking about it, I assume those dimwits just did a sloppy port of the UK Arrow release), and the latter had massive amounts compression blocking that it was unusable, so I gave up.

This post has been edited.

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Video Collector said:

Wasn't the UK DVD awkwardly cropped top/bottom to make it 1.78 widescreen? Maybe I'm misremembering? (They used the same master for a Blu-ray release.)

 Actually, that one was cropped a little bit but not far off from the 1.66:1 negative ratio. Going by those screen grabs of the 16mm U.S print, it seems that the opening and ending credits are open matte (they were recreated for that release) while the rest of film itself is hardmatted at 1.75:1. 

This post has been edited.

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Supermartyoh said:

Good thing you used the 2011 UK DVD, as that was pure 25fps PAL and could be sped down to 23.97fps without any ill effects. OP, did you ever consider using the UK Blu-ray? Was that a proper 24fps transfer or is it a 1080i PAL bump? I tried something like this once with the U.S Shout! Factory release and a Chinese DVD of the U.S version. But the SF disc was a nasty PAL-NTSC conversion with ghosting (now thinking about it, I assume those dimwits just did a sloppy port of the UK Arrow release), and the latter had massive amounts compression blocking that it was unusable, so I gave up.

I actually am planning to use the UK Blu-Ray for my next restoration, which I haven't started yet, but I'm planning to do so. By the way, could you please PM me a download link (or a zip file) to your Chinese DVD of the U.S. version? The more sources, the better! :-D (Also, does your DVD have any other languages, perhaps a Chinese dub as well?)

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