I’m currently in the planning stages of a very personal Fantasia preservation project, but for it to move completely forward, I need some help. The film’s footage will be sourced from a (drop dead gorgeous) IB Technicolor print from 1963, which unfortunately lost reels 1 and 4 to the worst case of vinegar syndrome I’ve ever personally witnessed; completely unusable. If I can get those two reels from another 35mm IB Tech print comprised of 8 reels-- even if I can only borrow them for scanning, then we’re in business. (Not literally, this is strictly a non-profit preservation project, as it should be.)
The other problem involves the film’s master of ceremonies, Deems Taylor. As Fantasia’s original sound elements no longer exist, neither do Taylor’s complete commentary tracks, and all that has ever survived is what’s available in the general release version. Or so I thought; according to this post, studio continuity drafts for the 1942 release confirm that more of Taylor’s recordings did survive in that 81 minute cut. I guess this is a call to action of sorts to all film collectors/archivists and dedicated enthusiasts who happen to peruse these threads, that either have access to a reduction print or an original blue-track Technicolor print of this release, or at least knows where either may exist. I’m trying to include as many of the original soundtrack elements as possible in this home brew, even if it’s just a minute or two more of commentary audio that wasn’t previously available, so locating a good copy of this release would be of enormous help.
Hope I can share more about this very meaningful project in the near future. =)
“You missed! How could you miss-- he was THREE FEET in front of you!”