The Monkey King Fan Project presents…
Nezha - Conquers the Dragon King (1979)
Ne Zha Nao Hai
Little Nezha Fights Great Dragon Kings (BBC title)
Le Prince Nezha Triomphe du Roi Dragon (French title)
BBC 1.66:1 & Theatrical 2.35:1 preservations
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.
Theatrical 2.35:1 version mkv
Video: 704*300 x264
Audio: Mandarin, Japanese AC3
BBC 1.66:1 version mkv
Video: 704*424 x264
Audio: English, French (hopefully) AC3
HQ scans of the following -
-French theatrical program
-French lobby cards
-French theatrical poster (hopefully)
-BBC & French VHS covers
-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.