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Da Nao Tian Gong -- The Monkey King - Uproar In Heaven (1965) RESTORATION <em>v2</em> (Released)
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satanika said:

Version 2 released! See post on page 6.


This is my project:

Sun wu kong - Da Nao Tian Gong AKA The Monkey King - Uproar in Heaven (AKA Havoc in Heaven) (1965)

  • To restore the complete chinese version from best possible sources w/english subs and possibly also international narrations/dubs.

This is classic Chinese animation, and you may have seen it on tv in the 80’s (at least in Europe, where it was quite popular apparently).

Unfortunately the only dvd available (the 40th anniversary ed.) is Chinese only (no English subs), and, while being a rather nice transfer, it is missing quite a lot of footage - 20+ mins. I’m guessing either due to print damage or lost footage. It’s sad though that they apparently didn’t have the resources to locate another print so we could at least have had a complete version…

After I learned that the dvd was sadly incomplete, I scoured the depths of the interwebs trying to locate a complete version, and I did manage to locate several European versions and a complete Chinese version. Now regrettably, none of them are all that great, and they certainly can’t compare with the ‘40th’ dvd.

Now, my plan is to take the 40th anniversary dvd and re-insert those ‘lost scenes’ (+ english subs) so we can finally get a complete international version… Also I’m considering adding additional dubs/narrations. Of course restoring everything as best as possible (color-correcting, stabilizing, some light dirt-removal etc.).

If necessary I will complete the project with the sources I have now, however, it would be very nice to have a higher, even slightly higher, quality version of the complete movie - which must exist (the complete Chinese version I found (which is rather washed out - it looks a bit like a telesync) seems to have come from a dvd).
Also it would be very nice to have the English audio which must also be out there somewhere.
Further, I also need help with some translating… There is a fan-sub of the ‘40th’ dvd which seems pretty good, however the restored scenes have no translation.

Please speak up if you know of or have access to any versions of the movie I’m not aware of!

And let me know what you think or if you have any other ideas for this project…

Sources:

Da Nao Tian Gong (40th anniversary ed.) (DVD)
Da Nao Tian Gong (40th anniversary ed., Taiwan ed.) (DVD)
Da Nao Tian Gong (Complete ‘ts-like’ Chinese version) (DVD->DivX)
Apkungen/Kung Markatta (Swedish narration) (VHS->DVD)
Le Roi des singes contre le palais céleste (French dub) (VHS->DivX)
Abekongen (Danish narration) (TV->VHS->DVD)


The Monkey King - Uproar In Heaven (1965) FAN RESTORATION
Restored from the best sources currently available

PAL DVD5

Runtime: 114 mins.

Audio:
    Chinese Mandarin
    French
    English (Narration)
    Danish (Narration)
    Swedish (Narration)

Subtitles:
    English (Fansub)
    English (Alternate)
    Chinese Traditional
    Chinese Simplified

Fixes include:

  • Stabilized and cleaned image
  • Re-inserted 20+ mins. missing from the 40th anniversary edition
  • Hand-cleaned/repaired hundreds of frames
  • Color-corrected entire movie as best as possible
  • Restored stero audio from poorly faked 5.1 audio
  • Tried to make the audio slightly less grating
  • Added credits
  • Added reworked fansub and reworked Taiwan ed. subs, including new subs for the added scenes

Long:

BACKGROUND

The story is based on the earliest chapters of the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West.” The main character is Sun Wukong aka. the Monkey King, who goes to heaven in rebellion against the Jade Emperor of heaven.

The first part of the film was completed in 1961 by Wan Laiming and Wan Guchan. The second part was completed in 1964 with the assistance of Wan Chaochen and Wan Dihuan. Both parts of the film were screened together for the first time in 1965.

Both historically and artistically this should be considered an important movie in Chinese animation. Today when we think of foreign animation, many will probably just think of Anime (Japanese animation). But this movie affords a glimpse back to a time before the Cultural Revolution dealt Chinese animation a serious blow from which it (arguably) never recovered.

And it is simply a fun story with some beautiful animation! It certainly deserves a proper DVD release. Hence this FAN RESTORATION. Hopefully a proper restoration will be done at some point in the future, until then this is probably the best you’re gonna get…

VIDEO

Basically two versions of this movie exits:
The theatrical version, which has been released on vhs and on a Chinese bootleg dvd. This is also the version you might have seen on tv - it was aired in many European countries in the late seventies or early eighties.

And the 40th Anniversary Edition, an official Chinese dvd released in 2004.
It appears to be an earlier generation/different version than the theatrical version, and features some differences in framing and colors. This is the only official dvd release of the movie.

Both sources, unfortunately, has several problems:
The 40th Anniversary ed. has a very jumpy image that needed to be stabilized. It shows a lot of dirt and image degradation, many scenes shows a color shift towards green or another color - in some cases the color information was too far gone to be repaired/corrected. Also it has the dreaded ‘crushed blacks’ which destroys the details in dark scenes. Many frames are bad or has annoying writing on them. In many places it shows some strange ghosting or blended frames (fortunately not very noticable in motion). And of course, most importantly, it is missing over 20 minutes of the movie.
What is good about it is that it is sharper and more detailed than any other version, and when not too damaged, the colors are much more vibrant and colorful than ever seen before.

The theatrical bootleg DVD - like all theatrical versions, it is cropped differently, and the colors are rather different. More blue and red and lacking some yellow. This is a pretty poor transfer, rather soft and lacking detail, but it’s the best I’ve found.

This version mainly uses the video from the 40th Anniversary ed., with footage cut in from the Chinese bootleg DVD when the former was unusable or missing. I’ve tried my best to match the two versions, but they are very different in look and quality.

Dirt and damage have been removed to the best of my abilities, including repairing MANY frames by hand. A few bad frames still remain, they were simply to time consuming to fix properly.

The entire movie has been color corrected. It is still not completely consistent unfortunately, due to the sometimes heavy damage to the colors.

AUDIO

All the audio tracks was edited to sync with the restored version. Some light filtering was performed to unify the sound a bit and make the patches/edits less apparent. Also tried to tone down the sometimes very harsh sound.

Mandarin Chinese (stereo/mono)
Similarly to the video, the 40th Anniversary ed. audio was used where possible. The poorly faked 5.1 audio was converted back to stereo. This is the only known stereo source, so was preferred even though it has some weird artifacts in places. Audio from the Chinese bootleg DVD was spliced in where needed.

English Narration
From a vhs recording of the tv-broadcast.
Unknown narrator.

French Dub
From a digitized version of the original vhs.
This was recorded much too ‘hot’, so some distortion is inevitable in places. I’ve tried to restore some of the dynamics with an expander.

Danish Narration
From a vhs recording of the tv-broadcast.
Narrator: Povl Dissing

Swedish Narration
From a digitized version of the original vhs.
Narrator: Hans ‘Hasse’ Alfredsson

SUBTITLES

Chinese Simplified
Taken from the Chinese bootleg DVD, and synced to this version. A few lines are left untranscribed, and I couldn’t say how accurate it is.

Chinese Traditional
Simply converted from the above.

English Fansub
This is a slightly edited/modified version of the Duxty/foolip fansub that has been available for some time for the 40th Anniversary DVD. New translations of the re-inserted scenes was added.

English Alternate (default)
An alternate English translation based on the (bad) subtitles from the Taiwanese edition of the 40th Anniversary DVD, but very heavily edited and modified. Hardly a line has been left untouched.