I know this subject can be quite touchy, and I myself was torn on whether or not I should be working on this and releasing it. But ultimately, I believe in historical preservation and that these things should be kept available in some ways for the future. I am hoping people can see and appreciate the reasons behind this project and be respectful.
This is the first version of my Fantasia LD Restoration project, edited to re-insert the censored part of the pastoral scene. I got surprised that no one seemed to have done it, even when all the pieces have been available for a while, so I decided to do it. Now, I have just learned yesterday that class316 has done his own a few days ago, but I figured both of our versions have their own strength and its always good to have options. Its crazy that we went years without a restoration of the LaserDisc version and suddenly have two different one released almost on the same day.
The Fantasia 1990 LaserDisc was taken as the basis for this restoration (you can thank AlanGrant for the original capture and encode). I took the Blu-ray edition to get the full audio for the pastoral scene and re-inserted the deleted scene with Sunflower using the 35mm reel scan that have been available online for a while. I cleaned up the noise from the LaserDisc capture and I also tried to fix the 35mm scan colour and image a bit to make them fit a bit more seamlessly with the rest of the LaserDisc capture. They might appear a bit darker and less vibrant, but this is also how the LaserDisc version looked like to a certain extent. It is not perfect, because I am not that knowledgeable or skilled in color grading but it should be better or at least no worse than it was. I also removed some of the biggest scratches in the 35mm parts and a big blue stain or two on some of the frames, but many scratches and dirt still remain and I do not feel motivated enough for now to invest more time into cleaning these scenes up. Maybe in a future version 2 of the restoration. I also want to investigate why one of the scene with the blonde centorette seem doubles right after she is seen going down the steps. This is not a mistake on my part but how it is on the Blu-ray edition, which is supposed to contain the full scene albeit reframed to hide the offensive Sunflower character on the offending parts. Since the full 35mm scan of that scene is not available, it is hard to figure out if its supposed to be like that or closer to the LaserDisc version for that part. I think it might be one of the time where the LaserDisc contain part that are not on the Blu-ray edition, but I will have to investigate and see if it need to be re-edited in another way in the future.
Original LaserDisc image
Resoration denoised image
Original deleted frame
Original deleted frame
Now, I have to say though that I find those scenes offensive/racist, and personally understand and agree why they were censored in the first place. This restoration was done only for historical preservation and to have a record of how Fantasia was originally presented to people in 1940 as I think it is important to remember that this existed. This is not meant to start a discussion or argument about political correctness and such, but I have to at least say this since I am the one releasing this restoration and want my intentions to be clear. Nevertheless, if this message and opinion bother you, maybe skip that one as I have a longer disclaimer message screen before the movie start and it might bother you even more.
I had plan on working on the 35mm frames further and making an uncensored Blu-Ray version, but I think this will do for now and might revisit the idea in the future.
I hope some of you will appreciate it for what it it!