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Fantasia - 35mm Project (Help Needed) (a WIP) — Page 7

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TonyWDA said:

Oh, yeah, I wrote about this in a previous comment. The mono soundtrack is its own dedicated mix, not simply a downmix of the stereo soundtrack. It sourced the original score stems and, what sounds like, outtakes for that portion of The Nutcracker Suite. If you try lining up the stereo and mono mixes, both versions refuse to lock together without extensive editing.

And do you know maybe where is the surround mix in Thunderbean’s release comes from?

“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working”
-The wind in the willows

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CMGF said:

Wonderful day! I also want to thank you Tony for your help with tsMuxer.

Anytime. Happy I could help. ✌️

CMGF said:

And do you know maybe where is the surround mix in Thunderbean’s release comes from?

That’s the 2000 DVD mix, but the front left, center, and right channels of that mix were spread across all 6 channels in Thunderbean’s release, which doesn’t reflect the mixing Stokowski intended at all. In his music sheets, Stokowski marked precisely where, in the auditorium, the score would pan to during very specific passages. The music was never supposed to fire from every speaker, all at once, for the entirety of the program.

“You missed! How could you miss-- he was THREE FEET in front of you!”
– Mushu

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I know they actually considered including the 4-track stereo mag. Wondering why they haven’t. But it was great to finally be able to watch Fantasia in 35mm for the first time. I might in the future sync it with the patched laserdisc audio used in Class316’s releases, but I hope this project will get released before that, because just like you mentioned the Thunderbean release doesn’t always look very good color-wise, and syncing it with the laserdisc audio sounds to me like a nightmare (it has a lot of missing frames! H E L P!!)

“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working”
-The wind in the willows

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My guess is that whatever print they had for the mag audio was too physically compromised to pull a stable sound capture. I can tell you from personal experience that Fantasia’s a tough find in good condition w/ the mag stereo mix; more than half the time, the colors turned almost entirely to red, the print has vinegar syndrome, and/or each reel has warped to some degree. The funny thing is that Thunderbean’s release does use the mag mix for the interstitial segments, but that’s it, and those portions also spread the LCR channels across the six-channel field.

“You missed! How could you miss-- he was THREE FEET in front of you!”
– Mushu

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TonyWDA said:

My guess is that whatever print they had for the mag audio was too physically compromised to pull a stable sound capture. I can tell you from personal experience that Fantasia’s a tough find in good condition w/ the mag stereo mix; more than half the time, the colors turned almost entirely to red, the print has vinegar syndrome, and/or each reel has warped to some degree. The funny thing is that Thunderbean’s release does use the mag mix for the interstitial segments, but that’s it, and those portions also spread the LCR channels across the six-channel field.

Regarding the frames that are entirely red (and other color issues), wouldn’t it be possible to painstakingly fix each of these frames and adjust the color to where the problem is greatly alleviated?

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In the Thunderbean release? Theoretically, yes, you can try, but for shots like this…

It’s a little more complicated because you’d need to feather mask the area of the faded image and then color correct it to match the surrounding information, which itself needs to be corrected to remove the excessive green tint. The problem is that the mask won’t stay over the faded portion unless you stabilize the footage first, as it has a noticeable gate-weave baked into it, and since the severity of that weave varies from scene to scene, one pass is unlikely to cut it. And this is all without a better print to keep pulling up for reference to ensure color accuracy, so what exactly would you (general “you”) be correcting the footage to?

So yeah, not impossible, per se, but it’s a lot of effort that, thankfully, won’t be necessary— at least not for this project. I can tell you this, though: if I had no other choice, I’d exhaust everything I suggested in the last paragraph.

“You missed! How could you miss-- he was THREE FEET in front of you!”
– Mushu

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Sounds like your version is a huge improvement over Thunderbean’s - absolutely, this project is the one I’m most waiting to watch on the internet. Fantasia is in desperate need of a restoration like this, video and audio audio wise, for sure.

“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working”
-The wind in the willows

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Never saw Fantasia before, I’ll wait for this version to be released before I see it.

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Curious about the project as well!

“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working”
-The wind in the willows

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It’s been a while, so it’s time for an update, and it’s a big one.

The 1956 SuperScope print I’d been given access to (now almost two years ago (!)) has not only been scanned, but I also received the files just a few days ago. Given the rarity of this release, I sprung for a 6.5K HDR overscan to accommodate the highest possible quality after matting and color grading the footage. While the scan itself is stunning, and I could not be happier with the work done by the facility that captured the footage, there’s a lot of good, some bad, and even a little ugly concerning the A/V quality of the print. Let’s dive right into it, addressing the unfortunate news first.

The Bad

• The 4-track mag stereo soundtrack on this particular print is… not great. Half the time, it’s completely unusable. If the audio isn’t briefly dropping out in one channel, it’s virtually absent in another reel because the Magna-Tech it went through couldn’t even read the damaged magnetic strip properly; or the frequencies fluctuate wildly from intelligible to suffocated during a significant portion of another segment.
— This is the problem with the right channel during half of The Nutcracker Suite and most of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
— In the case of Night on Bald Mountain, aggressive clicking completely ruins the right channel during the sequence’s climactic finale.
— In Reel 5, which contains the film’s entr’acte, the right channel is hardly present during the Jam Session, and by the time you get to Meet the Soundtrack, it’s practically nonexistent— same goes for the first movement of the Pastoral Symphony at the end of the reel, and a significant portion of the second movement at the start of Reel 6.

• Both the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” and “Chinese Dance” segments from The Nutcracker Suite appear to be in the earliest stages of vinegar syndrome, as the size of the image kept warping and weaving even under the optimal scanning conditions of the unit it went through.

The Ugly

• Because Disney prepared this release of Fantasia to be shown on 2.20 SuperScope screens, they applied some very conspicuous animated matting to switch from footage they wanted to keep windowboxed in its original aspect ratio (like the interstitials and the entirety of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”), and footage they artificially stretched to fill the wide screen. As a result, the opening and closing scenes from almost every segment are rendered unusable. Pretty upsetting, as they would require another scan of the two other prints available to this project to fill those gaps. I’ll likely post a clip here that illustrates the animated matting issue sometime in the next few days.

• There’s a nasty splice near the end of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor where 13 seconds of footage is entirely missing. Needs patching.

And now for…

The Good


























Take a good look at the samples above this text; it’s how the print came off the scanner before any color correction was applied. It seems that there’s very little to “correct” because the reels, for the most part, were already in spectacular shape when they got to the scanner. This is saying something, given the age and what type of print this is; there aren’t many magnetic stereo Technicolor prints of Fantasia still around— let alone before the color has already started to fade. I’m almost tempted to leave the color as it is and render the whole thing out as a grindhouse-style transfer, but there are some glaring instances of fade and hue imbalance that I can’t ignore, and I can assure you that they will be addressed.

As for the magnetic stereo mix, the soundtrack I had professionally captured back in 2020 is still the best version of the original mix. Where the 1956 audio supersedes my 1969 print, however, is the EQ. The long and short of it is that the frequencies on the former sound better, but this is an easy fix with iZotope’s “EQ Match” module, available in both their RX and Ozone programs. I’ve already tested essentially copying and pasting the '56 EQ profile to the '69 audio with satisfactory results, so we’re covered on that front.

In conclusion…

Life happens, so I can’t promise that I’ll be able to post more updates as frequently as you may prefer, but I can promise you all that this project is still very active and receiving as much of my attention and TLC as possible. As good of a source as this new scan is for the project, it’s still another drop in the bucket (albeit a big one), and may not even be the primary scan used for the final grading and transfer. The two aforementioned prints (one Technicolor and the other an SP color print) are still the preferred source material for the project, but believe me when I tell you that eventually I will find extensive use for the ‘56 print. I may also cobble together a sample of the first 15 minutes of the film using this new scan so that you all have a good idea of what the final project looks and sounds like at play, but again, there are no promises as to when— I’ll get to it as soon as I can.

Sometime today, or perhaps later this week, I’ll post a “to do” list of sorts at the end of the original post, to make it easier for those who have followed this project since early pandemic, and newcomers who are just discovering it, to keep track of where it stands and what needs to be done next.

Also, since we’re still here… happy 82nd birthday, Fantasia. 🎂

“You missed! How could you miss-- he was THREE FEET in front of you!”
– Mushu

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 (Edited)

Fantastic news! Do you, by any chance, plan to release this print regardless to the project? And have you already got the files of the 2nd IB tech print?

BTW, a few weeks ago, a member of this site was very kind to share with me a scan he had of this 1956 release. To celebrate Fantasia’s 82nd birthday, I’d like to post here a short sample:
https://mega.nz/file/aeYTiQxY#sYi6FDqxnUJFMWE47JFwLugPTGq4pspgzD64Q0Vx9rk
(I hope it’s fine, if it’s not please tell me and I’ll delete it)

“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working”
-The wind in the willows

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CMGF said:

Do you, by any chance, plan to release this print regardless to the project?

I did consider it, but I may be more comfortable releasing the 1969 print for several reasons. After color correction, it looks identical to the '56 release; there isn’t a single splice throughout the print, and the original rounded corners are fully retained— it doesn’t lop anything off the edges of the image area to accommodate the stretch and animated transitions from the original aspect ratio to 2.20 the way the SuperScope release does. Moreover, the collector who loaned the SuperScope print to me is extremely particular with whom they lend it; I’m amazed I was even offered a chance to digitize it in the first place, let alone be able to go through with it. I had it preserved more for posterity and possible color reference than to share it with others, so, likely, this print will not make its rounds. But again, as beautiful as it looks, the '69 release print will look just as good— if not slightly better— by the time I get through with it, so there’s nothing to worry about.

CMGF said:
And have you already got the files of the 2nd IB tech print?

That one hasn’t even been scanned yet, but it certainly will be some time after I get the 1969 release print digitized, and that should happen sometime over the next month or two if God permits. I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that we’re moving slowly, but we are moving nevertheless. Once the 1969 print is scanned, it’ll be much easier to whip up what I consider the “Version 1” of the project. Version 2 is… ambitious. There’s a lot I would love to do for Version 2, particularly on the audio front, but I’m putting the cart before the horse as of this writing. I hope to share more about what’s planned for v2 after I’ve successfully put together the first one, and that’s pretty darn close to finally happening.

“You missed! How could you miss-- he was THREE FEET in front of you!”
– Mushu

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 (Edited)

TonyWDA said:

That one hasn’t even been scanned yet, but it certainly will be some time after I get the 1969 release print digitized, and that should happen sometime over the next month or two if God permits.

Oh, then I may have referred to the wrong print. I remember you once told me (in PM) that the scanning facility sent you an email that a scan you waited a year for is ready, but you haven’t recieved the files yet. Maybe it was the 1969 print?

I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that we’re moving slowly, but we are moving nevertheless. Once the 1969 print is scanned, it’ll be much easier to whip up what I consider the “Version 1” of the project. Version 2 is… ambitious. There’s a lot I would love to do for Version 2, particularly on the audio front, but I’m putting the cart before the horse as of this writing. I hope to share more about what’s planned for v2 after I’ve successfully put together the first one, and that’s pretty darn close to finally happening.

Sure, take as much time as needed… most of us prefer good results over quick progress, and even V1 itself sounds very ambitious, especially when considering that the only 35mm scan available online currently is Thunderbean’s release. Very exciting that V1 is near done!

“After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working”
-The wind in the willows

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Looks great! Shame about the sound, but regardless I’m excited to see how this goes.

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 (Edited)

A sample of the transition from 1.33:1 to 2.20:1.

“You missed! How could you miss-- he was THREE FEET in front of you!”
– Mushu

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Wow wow wow. The color and quality in those stills are fantastic!! Thank you for all you’ve done so far

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Glad to see this project alive. It all looks great! If anything is no good I’m glad it’s the sound after all we have enough sources for that.