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Hi-fi stereo soundtrack elements to the post-shutdown Warner Bros. cartoons

Shortly after the Warner Bros. animation division recovered from a six-month closure in 1953, nearly every major movie studio switched from recording their movie/short soundtracks on optical film to recording them on high-fidelity magnetic film. Warner’s scoring stage was retooled for stereo recording around this time, and most of their “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” were recorded on this stage in this manner from 1954 to circa 1963(?).

This thread on the Steve Hoffman Music Forums chronicles Hoffman’s job as a music storage archivist at Warner (among the things he remembers salvaging are some hi-fi “LT”/“MM” scores). Although most of the material he was working with was thrown out shortly after his time there, it is implied a few pages into the thread that he transferred the scores to digital audio tapes. He also recalls finding a magnetic stereo track for What’s Opera, Doc? (much to the animation department’s delight), indicating that at least a few of the short scores were indeed recorded stereophonically.

However, all of the isolated music tracks for the magnetically recorded shorts on the Golden Collection DVD sets and the Platinum Collection Blu-rays are in mono, and (AFAIK) the packaging and liner notes of both volumes of The Carl Stalling Project CDs don’t say if anything is in mono or stereo. However, some shorts have aired on Cartoon Network with stereo soundtracks before, including (according to a Golden Age Cartoons forum thread post) Bonanza Bunny. Are there any other stereo soundtracks to the post-shutdown WB shorts making the rounds (like on The Carl Stalling Project CDs(?), hi-fi VHS/digital recordings of the CN broadcasts, etc.)? It would be interesting to see and hear the 1990s-2010s restored versions with whatever is known to exist (or circulate).

The Magic School Bus in 4K (1994-1997)

This sounds like a rather ambitious project…

…but were the final masters stored/edited on film or SD video? If they were finished on the latter, I doubt you’d get that much of an improvement. Would doing a 1080i restoration be a better way to go if the latter was the case? (I’d be all in for a 4K restoration as long as film prints for at least some of the episodes are known to exist)

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) Stereo Mix

Had a listen to this mix via some videos on both the playlist embed in the original post and an Internet Archive playlist of the same tape (unfortunately featuring only the first 20 minutes or so of the film as opposed to the YouTube playlist), and I am floored by how wide/spacious it is compared to most of the other home video releases’ audio tracks! Any idea if the opening music to Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day and the closing cues to …and the Honey Tree and …and Tigger Too were recorded in stereo, too?

If Disney can’t be bothered to use the original stereophonic stems for their multi-channel remixes, they should definitely use them for a Legacy Collection CD set of the “Winnie the Pooh” featurettes/The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

A Charlie Brown Christmas comparisons

Had a look at that video a few days ago.

I have a feeling that what we’re calling the “original” version is actually more a workprint than a final print; some music cues and sound effects are absent and at one point, when Charlie Brown realizes that Snoopy is decorating for a “lights and display contest?!”, his voice is not provided by Peter Robbins. Is there anyone out there who can do a reconstruction of what would’ve aired on CBS less than 55 years ago?

Additionally, the music was recorded in stereo, but downmixed to mono on both the workprint and the broadcast prints. Anyone here willing to sync the stereo score elements (most of which were released on CD and vinyl) to the video of the official Blu-ray release - or their own restoration/preservation - of the special? Here’s a very useful cue chart.

It's the full collection, Charlie Brown! AKA continuing the Warner Peanuts 1960s, 1970s "decade" collections

Charles Threepio said:

Myself, I’m hoping to do a full-length restoration of A Charlie Brown Christmas based on the Blu-ray and a 16mm print I downloaded from MEGA as part of this project.

The Internet Animation Database forum has a thread about the original poster obtaining a 1965 workprint and listing all the differences between it and the much more common re-edit. Here are some of the differences…

  • The Coca-Cola references are left intact
  • When Snoopy decorates his doghouse and Charlie Brown reads the paper about the lights and display contest, an instrumental version of “Christmas Time is Here” plays instead of “Surfin’ Snoopy” and Charlie Brown’s voice is softer
  • Various sound effects are missing or different
  • There is no close-up of Lucy’s hand when she gives “five good reasons”
    …and here’s the thread I’m referring to. Was the print you downloaded the same as or similar to the one the thread was about?

Additionally, are you going to sync some of Vince Guaraldi’s full stereo soundtrack elements, most (if not all) of which are available on CD and vinyl, to the video of your restoration project?