The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: 35mm Re Creation
Goal: To restore the theatrical presentation of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, through ‘filmizing’ the current release and preforming a shot-by-shot color retiming based on 35mm references.
Project Info: Every home release of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, since the 2005 DVD and VHS, has been sourced from a digital master, which more closely resembles that of the ongoing cartoon. The animated segments were digitally re rendered, possibly with an altered palette, and the live action segments have been noticeably retimed. The purpose of this project is to preserve the movie as it was was originally presented, on 35mm, during its 2004 theatrical run.
- The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie - 2011 Blu-ray
BD 5.1 Audio Track (For now)
Isolated Score - Custom track I intend to compile down the line
First Theatrical Trailer c. 2003 - an official scan from 2003 of a 35mm print, featured on Paramount’s website
Final Theatrical Trailer c. 2004 - an official scan from 2010 of a 35mm print, featured on Paramount’s YouTube channel
My own 35mm print of the final trailer, for the best possible color reference
Original first post:
I’ll preface this by saying that Paramount did a fine job on the 2011 bluray release of The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (nowadays you have to write the whole title out, to differentiate from that recent blunder I’d rather not think of). The animation is straight from the source files, looks just as it did when it was animated, and the live action segments completely retain their grain, no DNR to be found.
But in its theatrical run, it was presented on 35mm. Paramount features, on their youtube channel, the theatrical trailer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv8xk7BKaNM), evidentially from an original 35mm print; you can clearly see constant grain and specks of dust on the frame throughout.
Point being, it’s enough proof to see just how the movie looked during its theatrical run (it seems this 2004 print was scanned for youtube in 2010, I doubt the image could have faded a great deal in that window of time). The colors are radically different, and even the movement of the animation from frame to frame feels a bit unique compared to the more familiar digital transfer, as to be expected (although I’m foreign to the technicalities of that sort of thing, I’m sure there’s an explanation someone else here can offer). It certainly retains that early 2000’s, “awkward-90’s-to-00’s” Nickelodeon appearance they quickly rid themselves of a short time later. It feels much more it’s era (if five years can be considered an era) than that of a straight 1080p re-render; despite the obvious advantage in accuracy.
I would love to see the movie just as it looked on film in 2004. Should I be the one to commence this project, my goal is to use the 2011 blu ray to recreate that exact appearance, down to the subtle back-and-forth jittering of the frame you can see exemplified in the trailer. Seeing it back in 2004 was probably one of my fondest movie-going experiences. I spent five years watching my favorite show grow and mature brilliantly, and it reached its grand finale in the form of this movie (what’s that called again? Nuh-stalj-a or something). It’s also probably the last of the fond memories I’ve harbored for Nickelodeon. Everything after that’s just kind of a blur to me.
Seeking only the most natural looking colors for Star Wars '77