Good news everyone! This is done, this is up, and this looks AWESOME! I figured since February is a politically correct month it’s only fitting to release a restored Fantasia in February! I don’t think we’re allowed to post Mega links here. But I do have a link ready. Here is the write up of this release. If you release it on torrent sites please keep the following write up along with it:
Hello everyone. My username is Class316, and over the years it has bothered me that there was been no authentic version of Fantasia available for viewing (officially or otherwise). Unlike the Original Star Wars Trilogy, Song of the South, and many others, Fantasia never got the same love. So over the years I took it upon myself to find a way to change that.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, I present to you something that is not only long overdue, but also making its Internet debut! Disney’s timeless classic Fantasia with Fantasound, Deems Taylor’s voice, AND all the censored scenes restored!
As most of you may know, in what is probably one of the earliest cases of cartoon censorship in the name of political correctness, the “offensive” scenes from the Pastoral Symphony of Fantasia were cut out in 1969, never to be seen in official form again. Additionally, Fantasound was lost to time.
In the early 90s Disney would recreate Fantasound theatrically in two theaters, one in New York and one in Los Angeles. This would be dubbed as “Fantasound 90”. And this would be the basis of the audio in the VHS, Laserdisc, and soundtrack CD released in the early 90s. Although a few seconds of audio is missing from the Pastoral Symphony of those releases due to the censorship. Regarding the intros, these home releases use the shortened (and generally more preferred) intros by Deems Taylor.
In 2000, Disney released Fantasia on DVD. This was dubbed “original and uncut” on the cover. Was it uncut? Debatable. It PANNED the “offensive” scenes (thus yielding complete audio at least) but it is anything but “original” as Disney blatantly falsely advertised on the front cover. Additionally, unlike the LD, the DVD audio is far gone from Fantasound. To boot, Disney chose to use the longer intros. In itself perhaps not necessarily a bad thing as some might prefer that. But the audio of said intros were so deteriorated that they couldn’t be used. So rather than work with what was still usable, Disney decided to completely dub Deems Taylor’s voice entirely with that of actor Corey Burton.
Here is a youtube comparison of the uncensored Pastoral Symphony segment compared to the modern-day censored versions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyPFibRadto
In 2010 Fantasia was released on blu ray and its audio was even more far gone from Fantasound than the DVD release (and of course retained the dubbing and censorship of the DVD release).
Another “feature” of both the DVD and blu ray releases is the visual “retouching” that Disney is infamous for when it comes to their older films. Meaning the laserdisc more so reflects the work of the original artists than the more modern releases do.
Now there have been projects on the Internet that have restored all the censored scenes back into Fantasia. But all those releases use the DVD or blu ray release as the basis. Meaning there has yet to be a fully authentic version of Fantasia that is available, officially or otherwise. That is up until February 2021!
Over the years I had collected many Fantasia related things, these include but are not limited to:
In December 2018, I was given (by someone who has long disappeared) a great looking HD version of the censored scenes.
In August 2020, Myspleen.com user AlanGrant released a wonderful rip of the early 90s CAV laserdisc. Here is his write up of it, and I quote:
This is the 1990 remaster of Fantasia transferred from the CAV LaserDisc boxset, released in January of 1991. This serves not only as a preservation of the 1990 remaster, but of the LaserDisc itself as this is one of numerous disc sets that has disc rot issues which will intensify with time.
Several noticeable differences to other, more modern releases include:
-Color timing is much brighter, especially in the “Nutcracker Suite” section of the film
-A recreation of the 1940 intermission card is used as a title, as opposed to the 1941 “RKO” titlecard used for the 81-minute cut and all post-2000 releases
-Alternate shots with the orchestra in darkness are used for Taylor’s narration; later cuts restore Taylor’s speaking footage
-Deems Taylor’s narration, which was replaced by an actor’s redub in post-2000 releases of the film due to deteriorated optical soundtracks
-A ~115 minute runtime made to resemble the 1946 release of the film (which restored Toccata and Fugue), as opposed to the 124-minute 1940 Roadshow version
-An end credits sequence, which all other versions lack
This boxset suffers laser rot to some degree due to the glue used; thankfully here, it’s contained to the very beginning of each side. It will be most noticeable in the beginning of the film but each subsequent disc/side has less visual “disc rot”.
Transferred using a DVL-90 player, DMR-ES15 passthrough to an AJA Kona LHe card using the S-video input.
Captured as a raw image sequence which was then ran through QTGMC and exported as a 10-bit 4.2.2 H.264 video through ffmpeg (Placebo setting).
(The film runs at 59.94p to better preserve the LaserDisc image as the high framerate and raw modulated image combine to create a “clearer” picture to the eye.)
Digital audio track piped from the DVL-90 to an X-fi Titanium card, bit-matched and recorded as a 44100Hz 16-bit PCM; the file is directly muxed to the .mkv.
Analogue audio was transferred using the AJA KONA LHe card and exported as a monaural Opus file.
Captions were transferred by way of DVD burning on the Panasonic DMR-ES15, ripped using MakeMKV/MKVCleaver and corrected to the .mkv timing in SubtitleEdit.
Chapter stops and titles are direct from the “Chapter Index” insert in the CAV boxset.
So here I had the most authentic looking and sounding version of Fantasia that Disney put out (ie a HQ LD rip), I had a great looking clip of the censored scenes, among other things.
After many attempts of trying and failing to find someone with the necessary skills and patience to insert the scenes back into the LD and patch up the missing LD audio, on comes user Starbond9 of originaltrilogy.com. I sent him all Fantasia related materials I had collected over the years, and he did a fantastic job. To summarize, he reinserted all the “offensive” scenes into the LD, he patched up the missing audio of the stereo/Fantasound track with that of the DVD audio (the next closest thing we have to Fantasound after the LD), and he patched up the missing audio of the mono track with audio from his own vinyl record!
Here is his write up on what he did, and I quote:
-Added 5 individual scenes featuring Sunflower and Otica (the centaurette who assists Bacchus)
-Sources on these clips are the audioless HD clips floating around online, color adjusted for LD (adjusted by originaltrilogy.com member Brodnation). The scene with the carpet was from a personal source found on the internet
-3 of said clips were inserted by removing panned/zoomed/and looped existing animations
-2 clips required expanding the video track and inserting a stereo and mono dub as the audio tracks of the movie were physically shortened, see below. (this is also heard on the 1990 CD and Legacy Collection versions of Pastoral)
-Used the DVD stereo audio track as dub source for the missing Fantasound track. These few seconds are NOT Dolby Prologic so listeners with the setting will notice a loss of spatial surround when the two dub spots play. Regular stereo listeners will not notice an issue
-Used a personal copy of a 1961 Mono LP of Pastoral as the dub source for the mono audio track
-Adjusted chapter and subtitles beyond the Pastoral Sunflower clip insert to match the ~8 second shift
-Technical: demuxed individual tracks, remuxed with MKVtoolnix, project assembled in Vegas Pro 14
I would like to thank him for his time and effort, and for finally bringing an authentic version of Fantasia that showcases, in all its glory, all three of Fantasound, Deems Taylor’s voice, AND the full video/audio of the Pastoral Symphony.
Hopefully someone can also use these two patched up audio tracks for any future Fantasia projects, such as HD 35mm film scans or edits of the blu ray footage.
Please feel free to release this on Torrent, my only request is you keep this write up along with it.