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Hold onto your old Little Mermaid discs!

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Disney apparently caved in and erased the "it's not a boner!" kneecaps on the priest in the wedding scene. And early reviews are complaining about the video, (You can never use too much DVNR!) and lousy soundtrack remix.
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Apparently the repainting of the knee cap was done years ago to prepare for an aboted IMAX release. I think it's pretty stupid as well. Alas, it's a second of footage, so it's not like George got his hands on it. I still wish they hadn't messed with it.

As for the video and remix, I heard the old DVD was no bread winner either. Single layer with a lot of softening and a non-anamorphic transfer. Remix wise, I'm always a fan of the original audio. I just don't understand why they always have to mess with the sound.

That said, I'm buyin it for the extras. It's extremely rare that I do such (this is only the second time). I'll probably still watch the film on my old original VHS or one of the many recordings I made off TV. That means watching either the '89 or '97 sound mixes (I'm pretty sure that's what Disney played after that point). The Little Mermaid was one of the first films I watch at home in stereo[I had a mono tv back then] I haven't compared recently, but I remember the 97 mix on the Disney Channel sounding far more forceful than the original VHS tape. I could be wrong though.



Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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That sucks.

I guess we have to be careful Disney doesn't see this film or my favorite film will see more than a fake erection erase:

Movie here

What’s the internal temperature of a TaunTaun? Luke warm.

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Well, someone can make a fan edit with the laserdisc audio and new transfer video (inserting the 1 second of footage).
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Originally posted by: Mavimao
That sucks.

I guess we have to be careful Disney doesn't see this film or my favorite film will see more than a fake erection erase:

Movie here


That was awesome. I especially love the use of music from the old Genesis game. I used to play that all the time.

I got my DVD a few hours ago. I've only sampled some of it. I don't really see anything wrong with the image outside of the reds not liking my TV (it's always had a slight case of the chroma bug). I keep saying I'll never watch the film poper due to my long standing loathing of the DVD format (I swore never to watch TLM on DVD though I've watch a little of a Xvid rip of the old DVD and, of course, some of this one). Though who am I kidding? I'll probably do it anyway, as I have calmed down about "DVD=EVIL". Though I'll still watch a cherish my VHS. I know I'll have to watch the audio commentary.

I'll actually see about get a rip of the old DVD to paint the knee back in. Shouldn't be too hard. I have to clear HDD space first.

As for the audio, I'm on a stereo setup at the moment, so I can't really comment. Regardless, if I do make the edit, I'll try hard to include the original audio mix or close to it. It sucks that they only included the Home theater mix.

wonder if any of the deleted footage could be salvaged. I know there's an extended Poor Unfortunate Souls. I wonder if it's the same as the demo I've got? I love the added lines.

[after, "Life's full of though choices, isn't it..." ]

Come on I know you need a little magic
And magic is my specialty du jour
Don't just stand there looking sick
Would I kid you, play a trick?
Like I told you I don't do that any more.

So I think you aughtta take my little bargain.
Yes I think you aught to make my little deal.
Yes it's sad to leave your life, but you can be a prince's wife
Why don't you let me take that dream and make it real?

Come on you Poor Unfortunate Soul!
Poor Child, Poor Fish.
Aren't you glad you brought your problem to a lady you can trust?
Won't you let me grant your wish?

You Poor Unfortunate Soul
Poor Sweet, Poor Dear
Aren't you happy that I'm ready with a potion and a plan?
Aren't you glad you came and asked if I can help you? And I can.
When a mermaid comes to Ursula, she always gets her man!
You Poor Unfortunate Soul.

Thatta girl....

Needless to say, if this were sung by Pat Carrol and fully animated, I'd definitely reinstate it.


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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I picked up the DVD yesterday at Best Buy when I bought XMen 3. I've collected all of the platinum editions, because I still love those old disney films and the platinum editions are the best of them, with exceptional treatment. Little Mermaid is no different. I think it looks and sounds great (just skimmed through bits of it) and the bonus features are excellent, though few in numbers. I wish they would pack the bonus features on more on these platinum editions like they did with the Snow White DVD. I got that right when it came out and still haven't watched all the bonus material. It was the same with Beatury and the Beast and Lion King, but then they started to fall behind on the numbers of bonus feeatures. Luckily, all the features are very good and still worthy of being in the platinum line.

The editing of the "it's not an erection" doesn't bother me, because you'd really have to look closely to notice it. I'll take a brilliant remastering over a small edit anyday. It's worth the sacrifice.
Watch DarthEvil's Who Framed Darth Vader? video on YouTube!

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Originally posted by: Mavimao
That sucks.

I guess we have to be careful Disney doesn't see this film or my favorite film will see more than a fake erection erase:

Movie here


Really scary...

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It's a minor edit, but the fact they changed it for the third(?) home video incarnation speaks volumes on the lack of spines at the house of mouse. (They've all but validated the people who said it was a boner all along!) The lack of the original sound mix on this new release makes me glad I have the LD! I'm starting to wonder if any Disney "classic" has made it to DVD in it's original form at all.
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Well, Disney does get a lot of people on them with this kind of mentality. They'd rather remove the offending material than put up with a frivolous lawsuit on how some mother feels her kid's eyes were sullied by this "supposedly" family film. They have been sued over this in particular. It's ridiculous.

One thing I have noticed in the DVD is that I have played Under the Sea on my VHS, and have noticed a change in Ariel's tail color. The color for Ariel's tail was specially mixed at Disney Animation (it's officially named after her). It's a specific blend of blue and green. I noticed in the DVD her tail was predomently green in the scene, whereas the VHS was bluer. Now I know there's a difference in color rendition between VHS and DVD, but I don't think it would change the look that much. I know that all art since then has it basically as green, and it did fluxuate between scenes a bit. I doubt given that the VHS was from when the film was new that it's a product of faded colors. So I'm guessing they color corrected it to be more green in scenes where it wasn't.

I'll compare it to the rip of the old DVD I have.

I also noticed listening to the remix in stereo that they definitely boosted the vocals over the music. The VHS is more balanced in this respect. THough I figure this is partially downmixing. You just can't beat VHS for stereo. ^_^


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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That was probably just the remastering that was done. I know the VHS was remastered and all that, but the DVD was remastered digitally, and that makes a big differance.
And SilverWook, a few Disney films HAVE made it to DVD unaltered. Most of the platinum editions. The only ones in the platinum line changed were Aladdin and Little Mermaid. Of course, Beauty and the Beast and Lion King both had a song added in, but they presented the theatrtical version as well. (Although the special edition of Beauty and the Beast is clearly the superior version.)
Watch DarthEvil's Who Framed Darth Vader? video on YouTube!

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Actually BATB, and Lion King both had scenes redone for the IMAX presentations, and the original scenes aren't on the DVD's no matter which cut is selected. BATB also is cropped to 1:85. The laserdisc was 1:66...
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I just saw the Platinum Little Mermaid and dropped in to bitch about the "not a boner" thing too.

I noticed it RIGHT A FRICKIN' WAY. I think I'm more offended that Disney is spineless and doesn't care who complains or how insiginificant... they'll cave.

He's short, it's the guys KNEES!!! If you can't tell you're an idiot, not religious or puritanical. Now the poor guy is all straight legged and unnatural looking.

Whew, that said, someone needs to PM ADigitalMan and get him on this thread. He restored the changes in Aladdin, we could probably talk him into this.

Btw, what was redone in BatB? I know the extra scene is there, but that's optional with seamless branching.
Edit: Also, are the knees unaltered (and the audio mix) in the previous DVD release? I can get my hands on that if needed.

Dr. M

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Well when they released Beauty to IMAX, they did redraw some of the characters in the background. This was because on a regular sized screen, you wouldn't notice the lack of detail like you would on an IMAX screen. Since the Human Again sequence was put in, the SE has background redrawn to put the castle back into shape. This is were the branching comes in. Technically the whole SE wasn't released on DVD. To save disc space, the video reverts back to the original after Belle leaves. Basically the Beast trashes the place again after this.

So the original still has some SE elements, while the SE has some oiginal elements. I wonder if the SE is intact on the VHS release.

As for the aspect ratio, most animated films are shot open matte. Hence it was filmed in 1:66:1, but was intended to be viewed in 1:85:1. Hence 1:85:1 is the correct aspect ratio.

As for the Little Mermaid, according to IMDB, the laserdisc is 1:85:1. The old DVD is opened up to 1:66:1. THe new DVD is somewhat cropped down to HD standard 1:78:1

As for the tail, while remastering my be the case, I still think it's moe likely that whomever mastered it thought it was supposed to be more green and color corrected it. I still have to compare sources.

As far as I know, the DVD contains the film as presented in the 1997 rerelease. The video should be unaltered. The audio was remixed if I'm not mistaken.

I'm clearing disc space at the moment, and may consider going about swapping the scenes about. Anyone able to rip the original laserdisc for the audio?


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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Interesting. Perhaps the theatre I saw BATB several times at back in '91 (the last time I recall a movie staying in release almost a year!) goofed up? Because it looked more like 1:66 at the time. One showing I actually had to go bug the manager because the the framing was screwed up vertically, (much like an old tv with a bad V control knob) and there didn't appear to extra image info visible before they fixed it. This theatre was actually pretty good with it's presentations most of the time, something I kind of miss now.
originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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They probably didn't frame it correcty. It happens. All the side info would still be there, it would just have more info in the top and bottom. Though of note, IMDB lists the Beauty DVD as 1:66:1 for some reason.


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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Where has Disney been sued in the past over such silly stuff? On that logic, couldn't they be just as liable for changing the film, especially if they advertised it as the original version?
Snow White, Bambi, Cinderella and Lady and the Tramp weren't altered, were they?

They're not going to sue Disney for releasing Miyazaki's films with all their "offensive" parts intact too, are they?

Take back the trilogy. Execute Order '77

http://www.youtube.com/user/Knightmessenger

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Originally posted by: Knightmessenger
Where has Disney been sued in the past over such silly stuff?

http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/minister.htm

On that logic, couldn't they be just as liable for changing the film, especially if they advertised it as the original version?

They never made such claim. Besides, aren't we all rather familar with someone who does change his films and gives no headsup on the release? I don't recall him ever being sued over it.

Snow White, Bambi, Cinderella and Lady and the Tramp weren't altered, were they?


To my knowledge, no. Disney has changed their films in the past to protect themselves. Quite simply, they're so large and high pofile, that several people have seen them as far game for lawsuits when they see them do something "un-Disney-like". Past exampes include changing a line in Arabian Nights deemed ofensive to some, removing cigarettes from the Pecos Bill segment of Make Mine Music as modern sensibilities towards them have changed and no one cares to think of an animated film as a roduct of its time. They were also sured over the letter SFX (for Special Effects) hidden in The Lion King that some kid read as SEX, and Donald Duck in The Clock Cleaners saying, "Sez you!", and people mishearing it as "F-ck You!". In that case, it didn't help that the spring that says, "Say I" sounds like it says, "May I?"

They're not going to sue Disney for releasing Miyazaki's films with all their "offensive" parts intact too, are they?


I'm sure some have wanted to. Disney's got a no-editing clause though, so they can't do anything, and,reasonably, not get sued for something they have no power over. Pom Pokko's been out for some time. I've heard nothing.


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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 (Edited)

Ok, no-one is providing a definitive list of what needs to be done, or in fact even talking about doing this project...

My understanding is the last release has more mute colors, ringing artifacts and is non-anamorphic.
The new release is by and large improved on the above, yet has bad softening and artifacting (from poor digital clean up (They didn't use Lowry).)
Home Theater Forum has a great review: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/showthread.php?t=243216 Giving the video a 3/5 and the audio a 2.5/5.
None of the reviews I read take issue with the new colors, and you know, I really do like them.

Reviews uniformly thrash Little Mermaid's DEHT audio Mix as much as the prior DEHT mixes.

And of course we have this:http://adventureclub.postrock.net/lm/noknee.jpg
(Image missing)

What to do?

1) I suppose the ideal disc would use the sharper (but possibly more flawed) original DVD for the Luma channel (made anamorphic (and possibly properly digitally cleaned). Edit: As long as we're going for the ideal set, let's say we use the PAL DVD's Luma.
2) The new release for the Chroma channel.
3) The original 5.1 audio mix.
4) Bishop's got knee.
->Be aware vertical and horizontal lines will be lost because of different aspect ratios.

Will I be doing it? Sigh, I don't THINK so. Is anyone capable of doing this well?

Dr. M

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Wow, thanks for the review Doctor M. I'm not one for reading reviews, but that definitely confirmed a few things for me and got me thinking. Note that I haven't had time to actually watch the DVD fully yet. Not even all of the extras that i bought it for. I did notice the audio though. I'm only on a 2.0 set up at the moment (dad screwed up my center channel), but can set up a 4.0 system if needed (I have a ghetto hand made surround system).

I did notice the reenforcing of the vocals. I've only watched Under The Sea at the moment. Like I said before, compared to my first release VHS, the vocals are heavily enforced, and didn't blend like they did on the tape at the end. I've long be an ardent believer in original sound mixes. I was quite peeved that they didn't include it here.

I also noticed that my TV didn't like the reds. Though I'm well aware of the fact that it does have a bit of the chroma bug, it varies from source to source. It hit the DVD bad, but not the VHS oddly. I still need to look at that Old DVD rip to compare whether any color correction occured. I just don't remember her tail being that green. I actually used to use the tape back in the day to calibrate the tint on my old TV.

As for anyone willing to do it, I might be able to. I say might as I've never done anything like this before, and until your post figured all I had to really worry about were some knees and what should be a simple audio switch. That. and I'm not entirely sure if this would constitute as a legitimate preservation project. I do love the film enough that I might be able to at least attempt this for experience. I'd need to clear more disk space on my HDD to fit a rip of the two DVDs first though. That, and look into how to do the points you've made. If anything, it'll help me gear up for helping my friend restore a fanfilm he made a decade ago.


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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Ok, I will now recant what I've said.
If the screenshots I'm looking at are anything to go on, there may be some loss of quality in the new release, but compared to what the original DVD looked like it's still an improvement.
Now take this with a grain of salt since I cannot get the frames to merge correctly. Why? Well it seems besides different aspect ratios, the frame appears ROTATED! The Platinum disc is rotated slightly counterclockwise in the frame below. I have no idea why. BUT as a result the merge isn't perfect, but you should get the idea.
Standard Edition:
http://adventureclub.postrock.net/lm/standard.jpg
Platinum:
http://adventureclub.postrock.net/lm/se.jpg
Standard Luma, Platinum Chroma:
http://adventureclub.postrock.net/lm/test.jpg

There is just less detail in the original release. Period.
I am floored that the Platinum has brighter whites in many places, but the eyes are whiter on the Standard. Strange.

Anyway, I think just the audio and the knees are all that's really needed to be fixed...

Dr. M

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That I could pobably do. I've swapped out audio before. Though that rotation is rather odd. I also notice that the platinum in that example seems rather blue cast, but that' probably just me or something.


Made for IE Forum's Episode III theme month - May 2005.

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Hmm, just a thought, but here's a second go at it.
This time I brightened the whites slightly (so the shirts and dog are more white), and added a sharpening filter.
Standard Edition:
http://adventureclub.postrock.net/lm/standard.jpg
Platinum:
http://adventureclub.postrock.net/lm/se.jpg
Standard Luma, Platinum Chroma:
http://adventureclub.postrock.net/lm/test2.jpg

A little better, but I still don't think any sort of work we can do at this point will make the original release look good enough to compete with the new one. It's just that the new one is sub-optimal.

Things of note: The sailors on the far right are slightly soft compared to the rest of the frame. That's even after sharpening.
Also check out the color change of the hair ribbon? Someone really went to town on the color.
And again, there is the odd rotation.

Funny thing. I watched the extras on disc 2 tonight. The "Story about the Story" featurette shows the clip of the Bishop-y guy with his knees.
It's not anamorphic, but the quality is pretty good.
Guess that slipped by someone.

Dr. M

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Originally posted by: Doctor M


And of course we have this:
http://adventureclub.postrock.net/lm/knee.jpghttp://adventureclub.postrock.net/lm/noknee.jpg



Oh. My. God.

I cannot believe people are actually bitching about this change. I looked at that picture for two minutes before I noticed it. If you were just watching the film, you'd have to already be looking for it to see it. I know its more of a matter of principle than anything, but why let it distract from the viewing experiance? Just watch it without thinking about it, and you'll forget it when you watch the scene. I can't get what the bitching is about.

Also, all this stuff about muted colors and bad sound....what the hell? You're all overanalyzing this. Once again, everyone is delving deep to find problems so that they can distract from the viewing experiance. Can anyone spell martyr? The film looks and sound great, I can't understand what the complaining is about.
Watch DarthEvil's Who Framed Darth Vader? video on YouTube!

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Darth_Evil:
While I can see your point, in the case of the audio there is a definite issue. The new Platinum Edition of THe Little Mermaid features only a DEHT (Disney Enhanced Home Theatre) Mix and not the original audio from the theatrical release. That audio is however located on one of the Laserdiscs. Multiple reviewers and DVD enthusiasts on forums and websites have commented, upon comparison, that the original audio sounds much better than the DEHT mix. The filters applied to the new mix destroy the quality of the sound somewhat, especially during the musical numbers. Of course the "bigger picture" issue is that Disney didn't include the original theatrical audio, when they have done so on almost all previous Platinum Edition releases. While that may sound like another "matter of principle" issue, it adds insult to injury because the DEHT mix is inferior to the theatrical audio which was readily available for Disney to include.

Oops. I kind of rambled on didn't I? Oh well, I hope I've explained the sound issue. You can check these two reviews and their comments sections to see what I'm talking about: Home Theater Forum and DVDTimes.

To contact me outside the forum, for trades and such my email address is my OT.com username @gmail.com

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Home Theater said it best. Here it is for the lazy.

They are morons folks. Allow me to state boldly the plain and simple truth. The techs who cooked up this DEHT mix are nothing but tone-deaf, MP3-listening junkies who wouldn’t know a holographic soundstage if it bit them in the ass.

Dr. M