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The Little Mermaid (1989) - 35 mm (fully funded) — Page 3

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What’s the status on this? Would love to get a copy to add to my Disney Renaissance 35mm collection!

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Donors got access to a first release in November, but as already mentioned in the first post I can’t tell if and when a wider release is going to happen.

However, my project of “Mulan” still needs lots of fundings, so anyone who’s interested in helping on that one can of course also get access to “The Little Mermaid” right away: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Mulan-1998-35-mm-Help-needed/id/64031

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Dr. Cooper said:

Donors got access to a first release in November, but as already mentioned in the first post I can’t tell if and when a wider release is going to happen.

However, my project of “Mulan” still needs lots of fundings, so anyone who’s interested in helping on that one can of course also get access to “The Little Mermaid” right away: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Mulan-1998-35-mm-Help-needed/id/64031

oh please do

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VintageMan94 said:

Dr. Cooper said:

Donors got access to a first release in November, but as already mentioned in the first post I can’t tell if and when a wider release is going to happen.

However, my project of “Mulan” still needs lots of fundings, so anyone who’s interested in helping on that one can of course also get access to “The Little Mermaid” right away: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Mulan-1998-35-mm-Help-needed/id/64031

oh please do

I would love to see this in 35mm too.

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And even if otherwise, it probably still has the mutilated shot of the Knee.

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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Any news about this 35mm scan? I would love to see this too!! 😃
I saw last year a private screen of a 1990 print of The Little Mermaid and the old colors are amazing !! But these colors from the 1998 print are a little more better ❤️

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So… Disney just released a new 4K Blu-ray of The Little Mermaid. Apparently the master is the same as the 2013 Diamond Edition, but the colors were changed. Somebody on blu-ray.com complained about its accuracy, particularly the colors of Ariel’s fins. Here’s a comparison (all screenshots are from this link: https://forum.blu-ray.com/showpost.php?p=16124013&postcount=439 , except the last one, which I took from this print)

http://www.framecompare.com/screenshotcomparison/109CNNNU

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Fascinating, jolennon.

And thanks for a comparison. It’s enlightening. I may find myself switching discs to try to compare, but that will probably be an exercise in futility.

Is it odd that they would use the same master but tinker with the colours?

I’m personally a bit annoyed. The Disney Movie Club got me my copy a day early, so when I got home from work last night I tore open the parcel and — they accidentally sent the BD instead of the UHD. It’s going back to them today or tomorrow.

“Before the Dark Times. Before the Prequels.”

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jolennon said:

So… Disney just released a new 4K Blu-ray of The Little Mermaid. Apparently the master is the same as the 2013 Diamond Edition, but the colors were changed.

Boy, that’s frustrating. The 2013 Blu was about as close to perfect as one could realistically hope for (minus the revisionist studio logo at the top), so of course Disney couldn’t just leave well enough alone.

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MattMahdi said:

Fascinating, jolennon.

And thanks for a comparison. It’s enlightening. I may find myself switching discs to try to compare, but that will probably be an exercise in futility.

Is it odd that they would use the same master but tinker with the colours?

I’m personally a bit annoyed. The Disney Movie Club got me my copy a day early, so when I got home from work last night I tore open the parcel and — they accidentally sent the BD instead of the UHD. It’s going back to them today or tomorrow.

Not only the colors, there are many changes from the Diamond Edition, the grain has been completely removed in this new version and the picture frame is a little bit more opened now. They also corrected film “mistakes” like the Grimsby hand over Carlotta, the torn background in the “Ursula’s Defeat” scene, and as you already said, the colors are different, they are darker but more saturated and sometimes more “artificial”. It’s not a bad edition, but definitely not a good PRESERVATION of the original film.

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The problem is, the color has been altered on these Disney films so many times, at this point I’m not sure if anybody knows what the correct color should be from shot to shot. It’s down to a matter of preference imo. The two older DVDs were drastically different, with the 2nd release looking far different than any other version before or since. Then the blu-ray came along with some changes and now the UHD. The HDR and wider color palette means maybe these colors are far closer to what was originally drawn. Maybe not. Maybe the UHD is more accurate in some shots and less in others? Can any of us really know?

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Oldfan said:

hers? Can any of us really know?

Sad and ridiculous that we cannot.

“Before the Dark Times. Before the Prequels.”

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Pretty cool that you did this!

A few notes though…

In 1997 Disney scanned in the original 1989 final production negative used as the basis to print the theatrical release from and then touched it all up in computers and then put it back to film. So I’m not sure we can really take a 1998 print as giving us the true original 1989 look (where to find a 1989 reel though, I have no clue sadly, I also wonder if some of them would not be a bit faded by now, I forget around what time the typical print strated becoming a bit more color fast).

The colors on this seem reallllly muted. And they have sort of a drab yellow-green tint. Do you know what color space the scanner company provided your scan in? Are you really sure it was sRGB/REC709? Just comparing your scanned samples to the quick flashlight trick picks you first showed, color seems to have gone way muted. And if you swap the profile on those images to say AdobeRGB, they start to begin to look a bit more reasonable (and perhaps they were scanned in an even larger colorspace than AdobeRGB). I sort of have a feeling that you were delivered files that were not sRGB/REC709 but then treated them as if they were?

I think we forget that film could provide pretty rich colors, even in 1989. We are just so used to how faded out old prints become over time (other than for a few ones printed out on certain long lasting stock, which most were not).

FWIW, I have various pieces of what appears to be perhaps a 1990 trailer from the UK (didn’t get released there until very late 1990) for the Little Mermaid (can’t, at least not all of it, be from 1989 US trailer since one part has overlayed text about having won two academy awards, which happened in early 1990), although perhaps it is for the 1997 release, maybe some of it is even from regular release print and not all trailer, it’s a bit confusing, trying to figure out exactly what the various little set of scraps I have is from. What I have has no digital sound stuff encoded on it, just 2-track analog and it’s on some sort of Eastman Kodak stock. Not sure if all of the 1997/1998 re-release trailers and prints had digital audio encoded or whether some might still just have had 2 track analog only.

Anyway, what I have, has absolutely BRILLIANT colors and eye popping saturation. Some of her tail and some of the red on Sebastian in some frames is beyond anything seen even in any home release. I think it’s beyond what sRGB/REC709 can even display and you need wide gamut to see it all. The colors look sort of like a mix of the 2019 blu (probably closest to this overall, well the UHD even more but I haven’t gotten to compare that yet) but still clearly different, this and 2006 get her tail a bit closer to intensity although 2006 seems to make it too green; 2019 seems to often make her shells too dark and saturated though), 2013 blu and 2006 DVD and stuff simply not like any release has that I’ve seen. Flounder also has a more deeply saturated color.

Anyway, FWIW, the bits and scraps of 35mm I have for this look radically more saturated and colorful and without any hint of that drab yellow-green cast shown on the examples for the scan in this thread (look a bit closer to like your initial flashlight shots).

I have a feeling that something is off with the colors shown as examples from the scan here. Maybe wrong color space assumed or something else?

Gonna try to scan a few frames on Nikon 2000 stills scanner.

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Interestingly I managed to find the date code on my film bits and the date code says 1990!

So it would seem likely now that my TLM 35mm bits are probably from a something or other 1990 release (since, AFAIK, it only had releases for trailers or full movie in 1989/1990 and 1997/1998 and 1997 would seem sort of a long time for them to have left film stock sitting around, although maybe for trailers they would use really old stock??? seems not so likely though).

It would also seem that it is probably more likely a trailer than the actual film due to the overlayed mention of having won two academy awards, unless it’s a mix of trailer and actual release print.

Since it got a late 1990 theatrical release and it has some overlayed text about having won two academy awards and the text is in English and I got these from someone in Europe and the film it was printed on was manufactured in 1990 and it has only analog stereo soundtrack of black ink not cyan ink type I’m thinking maybe this is from either entirely a trailer or a mix of trailer and release print from 1990 UK theatrical trailer(/release print???) although perhaps it could be some late US trailer that they re-did after it won awards and decided to show again before other movies as part of some post Oscars re-release or pehaps still continuing release from the Nov 1989 initial release.

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Long story short: It’s hard to compare trailers to how the actual film looks. I’ve seen trailers of “The Little Mermaid” projected and they looked totally different to the actual film. The 1990-trailer looked very greyish and the 1998-trailer also had a low saturation, so Ariel’s hair looked even pink in some parts. But both look nothing like full prints from either release.

The problem that came with this 1998-print was that reels 1 and 5 seem to be made from a new master, because credits had to be changed while they just used the 1990-negatives for reels 2-4. Those look less detailed and also less saturated compared to the fist and last reel.

More saturation definitely wouldn’t have done any favor to the scan. I admit it has some weaknesses when it comes to red-tones (especially Ariel’s hair), but boosting the saturation wouldn’t have helped here. More saturation would’ve made the skin-tones look like sunburned. Hopefully that problem will be gone in future scans like “The Lion King” due to the scanner’s new light-source.

Here are screenshots of the scenes that I photographed for the first post and how they look on the release-version:

vlcsnap-2019-09-21-10h46m05s497.png
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vlcsnap-2019-09-21-10h47m39s773.png
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vlcsnap-2019-09-21-10h49m35s376.png

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MonkeyLizard10 said:

In 1997 Disney scanned in the original 1989 final production negative used as the basis to print the theatrical release from and then touched it all up in computers and then put it back to film. So I’m not sure we can really take a 1998 print as giving us the true original 1989 look

Where did you get that information? Also are you sure that the film-out negative was used for foreign prints and not just domestic?

The colors on this seem reallllly muted. And they have sort of a drab yellow-green tint. Do you know what color space the scanner company provided your scan in? Are you really sure it was sRGB/REC709? Just comparing your scanned samples to the quick flashlight trick picks you first showed, color seems to have gone way muted. And if you swap the profile on those images to say AdobeRGB, they start to begin to look a bit more reasonable (and perhaps they were scanned in an even larger colorspace than AdobeRGB). I sort of have a feeling that you were delivered files that were not sRGB/REC709 but then treated them as if they were?

The colours on all Disney films before Aladdin look very different to their home-video counterparts. Unless you’ve seen it recently on film yourself, then you can’t attest to how the film looks. Dr. Cooper should be able to arrange to get the print projected sometime so that will give a better idea about actual theatrical colour timing.

I think we forget that film could provide pretty rich colors, even in 1989. We are just so used to how faded out old prints become over time (other than for a few ones printed out on certain long lasting stock, which most were not).

Yes film has more density than is possible with 8-bit Rec 709. The scan done was a “single flash” SDR (standard dynamic range) scan so doesn’t provide all density that’s in the film.

Anyway, what I have, has absolutely BRILLIANT colors and eye popping saturation.

Again you need to see it projected - but sure it wouldn’t surprise me if the colour is beyond Rec709.

FWIW if we can get our hands on an English print we can arrange to scan it in HDR. 😉 There’ll be a substantial cost involved of course, but the film is definitely worthy of it.

__Valeyard.net

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Dr. Cooper said:

Long story short: It’s hard to compare trailers to how the actual film looks. I’ve seen trailers of “The Little Mermaid” projected and they looked totally different to the actual film. The 1990-trailer looked very greyish and the 1998-trailer also had a low saturation, so Ariel’s hair looked even pink in some parts. But both look nothing like full prints from either release.

hmm my stuff with the 1990 film manufacture date doesn’t look grayish to me at all, look very neutral and brilliant

I also have some bits from 1997/1998 (either full release or trailer, probably trailer, but no idea really, all I know is it has digital audio formats on it so it has to be something to do with the 1997/1998 releases) and the few bits I have of this look dingier, often less saturated than my 1990 dated film stock bits. Looks getting a touch closer to your project based off the German 1998 release, although still more saturation overall (if not universally). In the frames I have from 1997/1998 her hair never looks pink although in some cases it starts looking maybe a bit redder and less red/brown than the 1990, although in others it still looks pretty brownred. Doesn’t seem as pleasing as my 1990 bits.

The problem that came with this 1998-print was that reels 1 and 5 seem to be made from a new master, because credits had to be changed while they just used the 1990-negatives for reels 2-4. Those look less detailed and also less saturated compared to the fist and last reel.

I could swear the press kit for the 1997 re-release implied that they digitized every single frame and then fed out things from computer after processing to produce the re-release. Let me check.

More saturation definitely wouldn’t have done any favor to the scan. I admit it has some weaknesses when it comes to red-tones (especially Ariel’s hair), but boosting the saturation wouldn’t have helped here. More saturation would’ve made the skin-tones look like sunburned. Hopefully that problem will be gone in future scans like “The Lion King” due to the scanner’s new light-source.

what sort of light-source did the TLM scanner use? did they send and already calibrated file back matched to scanner’s properties and film stock? some raw file in some wide gamut? a processed file in sRGB?

Here are screenshots of the scenes that I photographed for the first post and how they look on the release-version:

thanks

i still can’t help but feel they look a bit like old film/film displayed 1000000x times/film duped a few times/etc. and not nearly as rich as 35mm film can look when new, fresh, not shown much, processed to get the full richness film is capable of; i’ve certainly seen 35mm projected (other titles) looking vastly more brilliant and richer than that

maybe it’s not representative, but my 1990 stuff just looks way more brilliant (and yet without her skin going sunburned or anything else weird, some stuff like her shells and her dad’s skin sometimes comes out less dark and saturated than say the 2019 home release and yet other stuff even more brilliant) and to me it has a pretty realistic look to what good film looks like and it looks like it should be a believable look for the original film and seems not as grayed or dingy as they 1997/1998 film bits, not that I have enough of the latter yet to be totally sure, but the latter does seem to be potentially a bit dingier and more subdued looking, not as fresh.

I’ll dig out my Nikon 2000 and try to scan a few frames of these. Hopefully I won’t run into calibration issues or can find a way to adjust it reasonably close to what it looks like and post. May take a few weeks.

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RU.08 said:

MonkeyLizard10 said:

In 1997 Disney scanned in the original 1989 final production negative used as the basis to print the theatrical release from and then touched it all up in computers and then put it back to film. So I’m not sure we can really take a 1998 print as giving us the true original 1989 look

Where did you get that information? Also are you sure that the film-out negative was used for foreign prints and not just domestic?

I have U.S. info, but it would seem very odd for Disney to produce prints from a totally different source for the foreign releases (even more if they only did that for certain reels and not others).

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48772787937_48dacc6e2e_o.jpg
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48772249018_95c5c7d057_o.jpg
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48772788557_d5c4694456_o.jpg

assuming you can trust that, it would seem that one can’t necessarily rely on any 1997/1998 prints to get the 1989 original release (maybe they were super careful and managed to change zero colors and only did a few tiny bits of re-paint, in which case it would more or less work, but there is no way to be sure that colors/density/saturation etc. didn’t get shifted around or more)

I think we forget that film could provide pretty rich colors, even in 1989. We are just so used to how faded out old prints become over time (other than for a few ones printed out on certain long lasting stock, which most were not).

Yes film has more density than is possible with 8-bit Rec 709. The scan done was a “single flash” SDR (standard dynamic range) scan so doesn’t provide all density that’s in the film.

Well REC709 is not any particular bit level, it’s just a black point, white point and color primaries. You can view it on an 8 bit, 10bit, 12 bit monitor, whatever. And even SDR/HDR is different than the bit depth since you can easily find 10bit and 12 bit SDR monitors as well as 8 bit ones. HDR usually does use more than 8bits though otherwise you get banded issues, but it could use less.

And SDR and HDR are separate things from color gamut. sRGB/REC709 has more muted primaries and can’t show intense saturation of that larger gamuts can and saturation allowed for very bright, closer to white stuff is lower too.

I was referring more to color gamut than dynamic range, some of the reds and turquoise and such I see in my 35mm bits I have a feeling would clip past REC709 primaries.

Anyway, what I have, has absolutely BRILLIANT colors and eye popping saturation.

Again you need to see it projected - but sure it wouldn’t surprise me if the colour is beyond Rec709.

FWIW if we can get our hands on an English print we can arrange to scan it in HDR. 😉 There’ll be a substantial cost involved of course, but the film is definitely worthy of it.

finding a 1989 original print would be cool (so long as not faded out, filthy beyond repair)

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Just went back and looked at the stretch that had the talk about Oscar wins and can’t believe I had missed it, but I just realized that one stretch has a different stock and it’s not from the same set as all my other stretches. I guess it was late at night, noticed the fading in text about Oscars and only paid attention to that. This one little stretch actually has cyan analog audio track backing, digital and a more recent film stock, so it has nothing at all to do with all the rest of the pieces I have, the ones printed on 1990 film, which all have the same look, all have black backed analog sound, no digital and whichever ones do have the date code symbols all have ones that decode to 1990.

Now I wonder if maybe they are actually not various bits from an original 1990 print (either a late in the game US one or a UK one) and not a trailer. They are not remotely grayish or under-saturated as you say the 1990 trailers that you saw were and it seems to have scenes from across the entire movie, more than I might expect trailers to cover (although trailers have been known to basically cover and spoil almost every main scene or briefly glance at them all).

On youtube, so far, I only see a single trailer posted for the original release, but since the 1997/1998 re-release had at least 4 different trailers, there were probably more than one for the original release. FWIW, while some scenes I have are in the 1989 trailer, I also have quite a few that are not in either the 1989 or single 1997 trailer on youtube. Of course if they are bits from an actual release print, you wonder what the heck happened to the rest of the print. All my little stretches probably don’t total beyond 3 minutes together. Full film is a heck of a lot of frames. I suppose over 20 years maybe it could have been slowly cut up and sold off in scattered sets of chunks?? But you’d think first reel by reel, but this would’ve have the reels kept together. So maybe it is some mix of all the 1989 trailers or something.

If it is release print bits it would have to be, I guess, either some late in the game US release print that got printed on super fresh stock made near the start of the year or a UK print.

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Hello all 😃

I run a Disney Spot called Walt Disney Characters @ Fanpop.com and I have a made a Forum Topic about the different releases for The Little Mermaid. You can see it here:

http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/walt-disney-characters/forum/post/228686/title/walt-disney-comparisons-little-mermaid-walt-disney-classics-vhs-vs-laserdisc-vs-limited-issue-dvd-vs-platinum-edition-dvd-vs-diamond-edition-blu-ray-vs-signature-collection-blu-ray

I have a new Blu-Ray for the 1990 VHS from the UK that has much more color than the faded danish one I have provided screencaps from now. I also have the 1998 VHS on Blu-Ray and in a few days I’ll have the 1998 Laserdisc on Blu-Ray as well. So I’ll redo everything in the forum with new screencaps. (I have 8 maps on my computer, one for every release):

1990 VHS
1990 Laserdisc
1998 VHS
1998 Laserdisc
1999 Limited Issue DVD
2006 Platinum Edition DVD
2013 Diamond Edition Blu-Ray
2019 Signature Edition Blu-Ray

Sadly, I can’t take any screencaps from my 4K version yet, as my computer don’t have a 4K Blu-Ray drive. (Yet)

But I was wondering if I could buy a version of this 35-mm Print on a Blu-Ray Disc so I can add it to my comparison forum? 😃

I use a program called Pavtube ByteCopy to take screencaps with. Before that, I used Xilisoft Blu-ray Ripper, but I discovered that when I take screencaps from that, they are more brighter than Pavtube.

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Well, I found out how to decode more symbols and it seems that my TLM stuff from 1990 was actually on Eastman stock manufactured in France so it seems likely it’s to do with original trailers/release print for France in 1990 most likely.

I also got a bit of Labrynth from same person and it is on Eastman stock from 1986 also made in France so probably from France 1986 original trailer/release print.

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I’ve seen a bit of a full US 1997 trailer reel and some frame cuts from a 1997/1998 trailer, probably also US, all the latter and so far the bit of the former seem duller than my 1990 stuff, I could see them being perhaps describes as grayish and a touch subdued in some ways at times as you saw, nothing at all like my 1990 stuff which just pops like mad, but still more color than the new scan samples here.

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Will this ever be available for download? Looks awesome.