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Nezha Conquers the Dragon King (1979) - BBC 1.66:1 & Theatrical 2.35:1 preservations

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The Monkey King Fan Project presents...

Nezha - Conquers the Dragon King (1979)
AKA
Ne Zha Nao Hai
AKA
Little Nezha Fights Great Dragon Kings (BBC title)
AKA
Le Prince Nezha Triomphe du Roi Dragon (French title)


BBC 1.66:1 & Theatrical 2.35:1 preservations
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Three versions of Nezha exists that I know of - the official Chinese 4:3 DVD, the theatrical 2.35:1 version & the BBC 1.66:1 version.

The official Chinese DVD of Nezha is actually (surprisingly) good quality, picture is great and subtitles are good.. The only problem is maybe that it is too dark resulting in crushed blacks in dark areas/scenes.
But it's only the 4:3 version in Mandarin, and while it generally presents the most picture information (like an open matte version), there are some differences in the other versions (besides the language dubs) that I feel make them worth preserving.

However, don't expect great quality, these other versions are basically only available on VHS or poor (bootleg) DVD's...

The theatrical 2.35:1 version has different compositions in the intro and in some places in the movie itself.

The BBC version has a different/re-cut intro but otherwise seems to be cropped/zoomed from the 2.35:1 version.

The French (VHS) version is a strange one... It has the Chinese theatrical 2.35:1 video, but the audio dub seems to be based on the English VHS version, complete with VHS jingle.. And because the BBC cut has it's own unique intro, it's rather strange watching the Chinese intro with the audio completely out of sync, only after the intro the audio fits.. Weird. (This makes me wonder if there is a different French dub, since I know Nezha had a theatrical release in France, and why would that be based on the BBC VHS version?)

I know that other language dubs exist, but unless someone else comes forward with them or is willing to hunt them down they won't be included.


Specs:

Theatrical 2.35:1 version mkv
Video: 704*300 x264
Audio: Mandarin, Japanese AC3
Subs: English

BBC 1.66:1 version mkv
Video: 704*424 x264
Audio: English, French (hopefully) AC3

Bonus material:
HQ scans of the following -
-French theatrical program
-French lobby cards
-French theatrical poster (hopefully)
-BBC & French VHS covers


TODO:
-Sync French audio
-Sync English subs


Screenshots comparing the three versions, in order - official DVD, BBC VHS, 2.35:1 version.
As you can see, the intro was recomposited for all versions (also recut for BBC version), the underwater scene has different background/foreground in these versions, the fight scene shows that the official DVD generally has the most picture information.

 

This post has been edited.

The Monkey King - Uproar In heaven (1965) Restoration/Preservation Project

Nezha Conquers the Dragon King (1979) BBC 1.66:1 & Theatrical 2.35:1 preservations

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Hello, Satanika..Hows the project going ? I have been looking for a clean version of this chineese classic for a long time.My favorite version is the french one, the narration is better and the vocabulary used to describe the story makes more sense...Do you think there is hope to have a french version ?

Thanks

Daniel

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Yes I will get it done at some point.. in the near future hopefully.. ;)
Not sure what you mean with 'clean version' though, as I said before the official DVD is very good and will be superior to these versions in almost every way, this is basically for completionists or those who have some special attachment to the other language dubs - of which (only) the English, French and Japanese has found their way into my hands.
..but in short - yes. ;)

The Monkey King - Uproar In heaven (1965) Restoration/Preservation Project

Nezha Conquers the Dragon King (1979) BBC 1.66:1 & Theatrical 2.35:1 preservations

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Interesting it seems the 2:35:1 version has the most picture information.  Most animated films are done in 4:3 format and have the top and bottom chopped off to create a letterbox or anamorphic theater version.

There are obviously some films composed in widescreen for animation like the Studio Ghibli Films, pre ghibli topcraft like Naausicaa.  And of course limited Disney films were composed for widescreen viewing before the modern era.

Like Sleeping Beauty being composed for 70mm and being wider than 2:35:1.

 

This and monkey king have beautiful  hand drawn cel animation.  With all that is known of anime in the west i am surprised Chinese animation remains unknown, or Korean.  Today Singapore animation is used in a great deal of japan animation and the US but the quality is so poor to compare it to this would be criminal.

This post has been edited.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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skyjedi2005 said:

This and monkey king have beautiful  hand drawn cel animation.  With all that is known of anime in the west i am surprised Chinese animation remains unknown, or Korean.  Today Singapore animation is used in a great deal of japan animation and the US but the quality is so poor to compare it to this would be criminal.

I blame the cultural revolution. Nezha was probably the height of Chinese animation unfortunately, it was all downhill afterwards.
Early Chinese animation was actually the inspiration for Japanese anime as I understand it.
At least we have Uproar In Heaven and this to give us a glimpse of what might have been..

The Monkey King - Uproar In heaven (1965) Restoration/Preservation Project

Nezha Conquers the Dragon King (1979) BBC 1.66:1 & Theatrical 2.35:1 preservations

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skyjedi2005 said:

Interesting it seems the 2:35:1 version has the most picture information. 

In the first shot satanika posted it does.  In the second and third shots it has much less.  It looks like a cropped 4:3 original to me.  Perhaps the intro was zoomed to focus on the cockerel, if that is what it is. 

EDIT:  Well, IMDB has it 35mm, 2.35:1, with anamorphic as the cinematographic process.  Usually you have extra picture information if you use Super 35 and open the mattes.  In which case, what does anamorphic mean in this context? 

I have never seen this.  It looks really interesting.  I shall have to track down a copy.  I love animation.  Thanks for the thread, satanika!

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Where would one get a hold of the 2:35:1 version of this, where to get the restored Chinese DVD.  Is it in NTSC  or PAL ?

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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My versions are not yet released, with luck I'll have time to finish the French sync this month.
The official Nezha DVD is not really restored I guess, it's just from a pretty good source. Worst feature of the transfer is the crushed blacks. Try yesasia or even ebay. Chinese DVDs are usually PAL.

The Monkey King - Uproar In heaven (1965) Restoration/Preservation Project

Nezha Conquers the Dragon King (1979) BBC 1.66:1 & Theatrical 2.35:1 preservations

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Hi satanika

did you ever publish the BBC version of this? I'm searching for a copy for my wife, who only has the mandarin version. She only speaks Cantonese so would prefer the eng dub.

Thanks

 

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I was rushing to finish this little project and was about to release it when I discovered I had made a mistake resulting in some blown out whites in the last part of the film. I didn't have time to redo it at that point.

I don't have as much time for this kind of work anymore though unfortunately, however these and other projects are definitely not abandoned. I will get them finished and out there at some point. I can't say exactly when though, sorry.

* If someone wants to help with subtitle editing/syncing that would help immensely

* If someone can capture SECAM VHS that would be an excellent help also

This would speed things up A LOT

The Monkey King - Uproar In heaven (1965) Restoration/Preservation Project

Nezha Conquers the Dragon King (1979) BBC 1.66:1 & Theatrical 2.35:1 preservations

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i had only registered to answer on this very nice project:

I can do SECAM VHS with my combination of panasonic DMR-EH52 and sony SLV-SF900D in maximal variable bitrate 9800 (pic) /256 kbs (sound) on a DVD9 in untouched PAL or NTSC.

the only wrong is: i live in germany.....

if you still want, PM or EML me....

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Is there an HD version or have there only ever been SD broadcasts ?

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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hello, is this project finished and downloadable? it's great.

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