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Ewok Movies and the Holiday Special in HD or Blu-Ray

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I’ve been looking all over, and I’ve yet to find edits of the Holiday Special or the Ewok flicks that are in Blu-Ray quality. I’m fairly willing to accept that they simply don’t exist, but I’d love to be wrong.
Has anyone done any work with them? Alternatively, in the event that Blu-Ray quality and / or HD versions don’t exist, what’s the best DVD quality versions y’all know of?

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The Holiday Special was shot on NTSC video (480i), so no HD unless somebody upscales the best copy. The Ewok movies were released only on DVD in modified form, and because they’re not canon anymore, I highly doubt Disney will invest in a new HD transfer of movies they pretend never existed.

Best quality? Holiday Special - the TV master or the Zion Hybrid - hard to decide.
Ewok movies were officially released on DVD (again - modified), the original versions are not available at all.

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I’ve been looking all over, and I’ve yet to find edits of the Holiday Special or the Ewok flicks that are in Blu-Ray quality. I’m fairly willing to accept that they simply don’t exist, but I’d love to be wrong.
Has anyone done any work with them? Alternatively, in the event that Blu-Ray quality and / or HD versions don’t exist, what’s the best DVD quality versions y’all know of?

Agreed with the response about the Holiday Special. The station master tape is of amazing quality though. I never thought we’d get to that level.

Regarding the Ewoks telemovies, there was an official DVD double-feature released, I think in 2004 or 2006. It was of course, DVD quality and resolution.
I have a capture of the two movies on vhs tape (missing the end credits, but with many of the commercials intact) as they originally aired in 1984 and 1985. The first movie has the original title, “The Ewok Adventure” rather than “Caravan of Courage.” With help, working on getting those tapes preserved. They will never approach the image or sound quality of the officially released DVD.

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I’ve been actually trying to get my hands on the original versions of the movies for many years, I originally wanted to add them to my Ewok cartoon collection which I shared many years ago, but I’ve never been successful.

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I’ve been actually trying to get my hands on the original versions of the movies for many years, I originally wanted to add them to my Ewok cartoon collection which I shared many years ago, but I’ve never been successful.

Pittrek, send me a PM, I may be able to help you out.

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What constitutes the original version gets kind of murky as both Ewok films played theatrically in Europe not long after they aired in the U.S. Or did they change them again for the DVD?

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

What constitutes the original version gets kind of murky as both Ewok films played theatrically in Europe not long after they aired in the U.S. Or did they change them again for the DVD?

I’m not going to claim to be expert by any means. In the U.S., the first movie was originally titled “The Ewok Adventure.” I believe it retained that title for it’s vhs and laserdisc releases. In other parts of the world, it is my understanding that it was originally called “Caravan of Courage.” The U.S. DVD release carries this alternate title. I saw somewhere online, I forget where, that the background of the end credits was changed after the initial airing of each movie (I read they re-aired in the 90s on some other channel). My tapes are both missing the end credits (it was the 1980s and you maximized the space on your VHS tapes!). If there were any other edits or changes, I’m unaware of them and I believe they would have been minimal, IF ANY. I’ve never done a side-by-side comparison and watched them far enough apart that I don’t retain specific enough memory from one watching to the next.

I have a version of both movies I’ll call my “1.0” edits. They are first generation recordings my dad made from my local station via cable in 1984 and 1985 respectively, missing a few commercials and end credits. I got a capture card and recorded them from a standard play VHS deck. I intended to use the same method they used for the WHIO Holiday Special preservation. My S-VHS deck was under the weather and not up to the task. I’m a novice, not good with titles or menus or inserting chapters. I’d like to make my 1.0 versions available via the usual location if someone can walk me through the process to upload them, send me a PM. Or, I’ll be happy to make arrangements to supply a copy to someone who can upload them.

Another forum member was in the process of recording my tapes using an S-VHS deck. If we get a nicer recording, by all means, that recording would likely be a version “2.0” supplanting my original preservation copy. If anyone ever comes through with original recordings with the end credits or the few missing commercials intact, I’d love to splice them back in to complete them. I’m happy to share with forum members to give back and contribute to this community. I just don’t want to become known as “the Ewok guy!”

I should note, the official releases have much better picture and sound and if the best version is what you’re after, I have to refer you to those. If you are interested in seeing the original airing out of curiosity for preservation sake, then hopefully my preservation can fill that niche. It’s kind of cool to see them with commercials and my local tv station identifier to take a trip back to childhood.

May the Force be with you.

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I have both U.S. Laserdisc releases, but haven’t watched them in some time. I know there’s a slight dialog change in Battle For Endor from the tv version. The end credits in the tv version play out over the final shot, the movie version credits play out over black.

I preserved my 1985 off air recording of BFE several years back. It’s mostly complete, except where the family VCR backed up a second or two when paused around commercial breaks. I used to have a tv recording of The Ewok Adventure as well, but lost that along with all my Droids/Ewoks Adventure Hour recordings when I loaned the tapes out in the early 90’s and never got them back. 😕

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Thanks for the suggestion about the Hybrid Zion v2 of the Holdiay Special. I’m going to see about acquiring a copy (And a DVD burner so I can actually have a physical copy).
As far as the Ewok flicks go, I figured that DVD double feature was my best bet. Ironically, I figured that would be the perfect thing for Disney to rerelease, seeing as how kid-friendly it is. Perhaps that’s just wistful thinking though.

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I’m sure they’ll reissue it at some point. They’ve had Ewoks in the parks for years, (at least in Orlando) and they’ll make bank on new toys. One of the park exclusive action figure sets even had Teek!

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Teek is the reason my family and I still say “waaa waa!” when we eat something tasty.

I watched those Ewok movies so so so many times when I was a kid, recorded from TV. Complete with a commercial about the NEW McBLT. With a song-and-dance number as I recall.

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Disastroid said:

I watched those Ewok movies so so so many times when I was a kid, recorded from TV. Complete with a commercial about the NEW McBLT. With a song-and-dance number as I recall.

This is the one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh1kmVwS4Hw

One thing I like about the Star Wars saga are the planets, especially the ones wet with rain, hahaha! Kamino, Eadu, and Ach-To - all three of them have enormous amounts of rain, it seems. 😃

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Just to add, the films on Amazon are the DVD versions too 😭

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I ripped them from my buddies LD’s long ago to my old Terrapin DVD recorder via S-Video, I’ll dig them up as just now checked and I do not have them on my SATA drives so I’ll dig up the IDE drives and DVD’s

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins

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Rikter said:

I ripped them from my buddies LD’s long ago to my old Terrapin DVD recorder via S-Video, I’ll dig them up as just now checked and I do not have them on my SATA drives so I’ll dig up the IDE drives and DVD’s

I found the RAW Terrapin DVD’s burned to Tayio Yuden’s in 2004(?) so I was able to rip them - not the greatest quality but I do recall using the two hour mode/

So is anyone still after these?

RiK

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins

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Hi Rik, I’m very interested. Would it be possible to upload to the organ site?

Thank you very much

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gary1 said:

Hi Rik, I’m very interested. Would it be possible to upload to the organ site?

Thank you very much

Which site?

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins

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I realize something for a while now; is it possible the DVD versions of the Ewok movies are actually the international theatrical versions (I.E. changes made for that market as opposed to the US television versions)?

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ThiefCobbler4ever said:

I realize something for a while now; is it possible the DVD versions of the Ewok movies are actually the international theatrical versions (I.E. changes made for that market as opposed to the US television versions)?

I have a feeling they are as from what I understand the official DVD has the Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure title card. The LD rip I have is as I watched it as aired “An Ewok Adventure”.

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins

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I’m really surprised that no one has been able to purchase some of the film prints from the UK to scan.

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Have any prints ever actually come up for sale though? I talked with a film collector recently and they’ve been looking for both movies for quite some time.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

Have any prints ever actually come up for sale though? I talked with a film collector recently and they’ve been looking for both movies for quite some time.

I’ve never seen any at all - I bet they were destroyed after they flopped.

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins

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They did that badly in the UK? And I’ve never heard of a print being destroyed just because a movie did badly. I’ve seen prints of Howard The Duck on Ebay over the years. 😉

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

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SilverWook said:

They did that badly in the UK? And I’ve never heard of a print being destroyed just because a movie did badly. I’ve seen prints of Howard The Duck on Ebay over the years. 😉

I know it was just a wild ass statement (fake news!)… But its known to have happened from time to time.

In all honesty since it was a limited release, so we would have to know how many screens it showed on and I would estimate 3-5 so there may have only been that many copies of each film. I have a suspicion that for the DVD’s they may have used the Lucasfilm archives 35mm’s for the DVD transfers.

So I wonder if the VHS and laserdiscs are sourced from the broadcast tapes? Damn I can’t really remember them that well so I’ll have to watch them in the next few days. I’ll transfer the MPG’s to my TiVo and find the differences based on the interwebs information as I do not have the official DVD’s.

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins