Does it include Clair de Lune? What are the bonus features, if any? What are the bonus features on the Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 joint set? Is there much improvement in picture quality since the older DVD? Why can't I find this simple information anywhere? Help!
ANY new DVD from Disney 2008 or later with a 'diamond' 'Anniversary' 'Special Edition' and my personal favourite 'Musical Masterpiece Edition' will now have few features if any and be lacking in every respect.
I restarted my collection in December 2011 and apart from 3 pirated DVDs (amazon refunded my money) I have managed to get genuine R1 or R2 older feature-packed Disney DVDs.
Fantasia is a film that IS improved each time. The earlier DVD featured actor Corey Burton as the voice of narator Deems Taylor as the sound elements were beyond the ability to repair or unavailable at the time. Plus the audio is Dolby Digital (and on R1 also DTS) 5.0 (no low-frequency sub-woofer sound channel). In the new 2010 releases the audio has reportedly been restored to the previously missing Deems Taylor sections and is now presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 on DVD or DTS-MA 7.1 on Blu-Ray Disc.
Disney never make is easy. The USA sets for other Disney films will often include the original theatrical audio mix, additional audio mixes (DTS) and sometimes entire discs of extras.
Blu-Ray Discs also get superior Combo-packs of every type imaginable.
Now, back to Fantasia, here is my post elsewhere. It may help -
I do not fall in with the BD is always better crowd.
In the case of the 2010 release of Fantasia (1940) both the DVD and Blu-ray versions look stunning to me. The newer release has less noticeable damage/excessive grain. However some die-hard fans point out that some of the detailing & contrast/brightness levels have been altered/enhanced. It won't matter to me since I'm sticking with the R1 60th anniversary DVD for the first film.
Note: the 2010 BD of Fantasia (1940) is in a 16:9 side-panel window at 1.33:1 Not the 1.37:1 Academy Aspect ratio of its original production/theatrical release.
I cannot judge the 7.1 audio on BD because my system is not presently an 8 channel setup.
The Disney Enhanced Home Theatre mix 5.1 Dolby Digital on the DVD for Fantasia (1940) is not great! I cannot stand it! I've never been a fan of DEHT. That's why I was glad when the 2 disc Aladdin Special Edition DVD had 2 audio mixes on it. The choice was mine!
You do get a new audio commentary by Brian Sibley on the 2010 DVD. The BD also includes the two classic commentaries from the 60th anniversary USA DVD version.
I'll be sticking with my USA imported "anthology" box set for sound and extras.
BTW the new versions do not have the making of documentaries on either disc/film. Reports are still pretty bad as to the quality of the online special features archive.
The new DVD of Fantasia LOOKS the best it ever has in my opinion, BUT the region 1 anthology set sounds better and has a huge collection of extras.
Add to that Fantasia 2000 is NO LONGER IN THE CORRECT ASPECT of 1.85:1, the new Fantasia 2000 being 1.78:1, and you've got another reason to import the region 1 set & buy the current versions.
I loved the DTS 5.0 on the 60th anniversary USA DVD of Fantasia (1940) & DTS 5.1 on the USA R1 DVD of Fantasia 2000.
Since these movies rely on quality audio, again I'd trust the older USA DVD box set.
The BD/new DVD does not appear to include "Clair de Lune". My USA R1 Legacy (disc 3 of The Fantasia Anthology) does include reconstructed footage for ideas for the sequence.
The new 2010 commentary on Fantasia (1940) is pretty good though.
I've had to buy them all.
BTW, check out the 1 star review by Jason M. Schlierman "milojthatch" over at amazon.com dated December 6, 2010. It's pretty balanced.
thanks for the replies and sorry for taking so long to reply myself.
I had managed to find the old R2 box set Fantasia Triple Pack [DVD]  on eBay for a great price and in great condition. I'm an extras sort of guy and this has a lot to make me happy, especially Clair de Lune. I can see room for improvement in picture quality on the 1940 Fantasia and maybe some way in the future I'll get a fully remastered version, possibly on import if it comes to it, but it's so old I almost subconsciously don't notice the imperfections while watching. It's mostly all committed to memory anyway. It's better than my old video and absolutely stuffed with features, and I have the F2000 with it too which I guess is the original ratio (still not got round to that one yet). You didn't seem to rate that one though :) It looks much the same as the R1 set but I wouldn't know what the differences are.
It sounds like you would like the newer DVD/BD which is less grainy but has lost that filmic classic cinematic animation look/feel.
I cannot watch that version on DVD since I REALLY dislike the new Disney Enhanced Home Theatre Mix Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround which on a film that is wall to wall music is a bad thing! I do not recommend it if you still want DVD rather than Blu-ray disc.
I've been reading customer reviews comparing the picture quality and bizarrely the 2000 DVD Region 2 release is considered an inferior transfer. I have no idea why as I own the DTS Region 1 version. Also people are less than happy with the supposed DVNR on the 2010 DVDs & Blu-Rays.
I am very sorry if you got the wrong impression of my view of Fantasia 2000. I often say it is not as good as the original but of course that film is a tough act to follow!
I love it! As a child of the 1980's I grew up during the time of wonderful TV series such as Duck Tales, Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, etc. & of course the start of the Disney classics renaissance that began with The Little Mermaid.
For some reason in the States Fantasia 2000 was only released theatrically in IMAX. Very few people actually got to see it!
The film has a multitude of segment hosts (play the film to the end to catch more audio from Steve Martin) and explores many animation styles. It is never boring and is a wonderful compliment to the original. In keeping with Walt's original concept of new and old segments being intermixed you got the Sorcerer's Apprentice (starring Mickey Mouse, composed by Paul Dukas & arranged/conducted by Leopold Stokowski) into the intro & segment for (Noah's Ark) Pomp & Circumstance (Starring Donald Duck, composed by Sir Edward Elgar, conducted by James Lavine) - this has been done really well and it is pretty funny too!
The real highlight of Fantasia 2000 for me is the George Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue segment directed by Eric Goldberg who animated the Genie in Aladdin & was the animation director for Joe Dante's much underrated Loony Tunes: Back in Action. It is a well observed, sweet, funny look at daily life in the Big Apple! Just marvellous! It can be classed as a 'period' piece to as well. It truly is one of my favourite animated cartoons of all time.
BTW, The COMMENTARIES are missing from Region 2 triple pack and 45 minute making of documentaries on both films. Plus the DTS audio for the best DVD experience!
You really are missing out on a lot. Plus as I said the DTS sound is great.
oh, I wasn't clear myself, I meant you didn't rate the triple pack, I quite like the F2000 film itself (might not have bought it separately but it was a big reason to get the triple pack). I saw it first on Youtube and it was better than I was expecting based on some reviews; Rhapsody in Blue, Pines of Rome and particularly Firebird make it worthwhile.
Hmm commentaries missing in the box though; I like extras but guess I can live without those. I enjoy commentaries most when they're done by the director (or similar) with the film fresh in their minds. I still have lots of featurettes yet to watch anyway, and I'm more interested in those 1940 techniques.
I used to be able to play R1 DVDs but recently discovered my new laptop blocks VLC from playing them, like most modern drives which are RPC2. I might get a standalone player but I still haven't made the jump to Blu Ray... I'm not too keen to start messing around with the drive so might wait until I really need to upgrade, by which time there'll probably be a new remaster out :)
It sounds like the original DVD version is worth sticking with for now anyway. In films so old such as this, improved picture and sound can come off seeming unnatural which seems the case here from what you're saying.
Thanks for all the info, there's a lot to get through so I'll be refering back here and it'll be great for other people wondering the same things I did. I guess I should provide a full list of all the extras I have at some point too since no-one else seems to have done it.
Firstly at this point in time I now watch Blu-ray discs at the homes of friends and family members. I could never find the right mix of all-in-one 7.1 player/home cinema system. Add to that modern BD fan-boys want everything to be perfect.
At least with DVDs you knew your device whether it be a player, recorder or drive would fulfil it's purpose!
I'm not a fan of BD players!
I love High Definition but just want to enjoy the Movies/TV series. I'm not bothered by the advanced functions.
We find ourselves in a similar situation. My machines are aging too.
In the old days I'd say buy a Philips player, find the model over at videohelp.com, make it region 0 or free as instructed and enjoy!
For Blu-ray Players however HDCP signals sent via HDMI and the TV/Player have sometimes caused issues for customers (it's all beyond my level of understanding).
In short, I am really uncertain of BD players since people always moan about something.
Although I personally tend to buy Multi-region DVD Panasonic machines or look into ZONEFREE BD players.
Without endorsing either manufacturer or any model I'd say think about a cheap (if on a tight budget) Philips since the DVD playback is quite simple to change to multi-region, or by something like this Panasonic -
I struggle to find what I need since to me the picture, sound & disc functionality are all important factors. In order to play a BD your machine will occasionally require firmware updates to play specific discs or advanced features including new copyright protection systems.
I was happy with 5.1 - I do not wish to break the bank as it were in search of 7.1 surround on a budget!
I have an extensive DVD collection from Regions 1 (USA/Canada), 2 (UK, France & Germany) & 4 (Australia). I'm not about to throw them away in favour of a new BD with fewer features with the collector in mind! Plus people lived with 576i SD for years with no quibbles so I for one intend to find room for mine and continue to use DVDs in the near future.
BD will likely be replaced by something else to take advantage of 4K or god help us 8K Ultra High Definition formats!
At a certain point the electronics industry and movie studios have to slow down!
We're not all made of money.
Anyway, for now I'd recommend looking into cheap players that do work with R1-6 DVDs at least.
People don't have to worry as much about BD since fewer titles actually have a region code/lock.
Good luck to you, Paul.
Free information sites for those hoping to find or use multi-region content:
PLAYER 'HACK'/UNLOCK CODES - http://www.videohelp.com/dvdhacks http://www.dvd.reviewer.co.uk/info/multiregion/
REGION CODE AND CONTENT COMPARISSON/INFO FOR DVD & BLU-RAY DISCS - http://www.dvdcompare.net/ http://regionfreemovies.com/ http://bluray.liesinc.net/ http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/search.php
Thanks for those DVD compare links, I searched far and wide for that info but for some reason couldn't find it
I'll definitely look into some of those players you mentioned, at some point I'm going to be stuck with DVDs I can't play (currently have to hook up my old laptop to a TV as the backlight's broken). I'm not sold on BRs either, watching DVDs or SD cable on a TV at a distance I don't really find myself missing improved details often. Only on things like nature docs with mass swarms, or heavily CG'd apocalyptic explosions might a higher resolution be an obvious improvement.
I'm starting to suspect SD TV shows are sometimes broadcast in sub-par qualities actually though, as I'm picking up a lot of picture breakdown that I never noticed when I watched/recorded the same thing a few years ago. Maybe they're trying to con us into going HD by making SD look worse, maybe it's the move to digital or maybe I'm just paranoid. Looking at the space an hour-long show takes up on the planner across different channels, some channels certainly do broadcast in better and worse qualities though.
* I finally remembered to vote your posts helpful!
For animation you don't need Blu-ray. It looks good enough to me!
I'm also not a fan of the 16:9 side-panel for content not in widescreen.
I hate staring at a half empty screen. You sacrifice maintaining natural dimensions for 1.33:1 in favour of 16:9 native display for HD. It is true the picture can seem out of proportions (squashed/stretched) watching 4:3 encoded 1.33:1 DVD video on a 16:9 screen but I'd rather fill the screen than star at black all day and night!
DVDs do look worse than they used to (lower bit-rate encoding) & SD TV looks worse because of the switch to Digital, one carrier/transponder frequency can carry many channels. The higher the number of channels or amount of data carried on that frequency the greater the compression of data therefore lowering the final received image quality.
Digital TV Freeview/satellite (sky) looks abysmal in SD. an SD programme doesn't take up much space at all in a Sky planner 1-3% depending on length and box type (available storage). HD on mine varies from 2-6% for a hour long programme. Bones on Sky Living may take up 3% but Nashville on More 4 always used twice that. I guess it's all down to compression of data.
It's funny but I'd gladly go back to Analogue because at least it worked when weather conditions changed or were less than ideal.
I do not even pretend to understand the technology.
is there a reason DVDs are lower rates on average now? I know they used to do special Superbit and can see why that stopped. But they don't bother to put on bonus features on a lot of DVDs now, why make the main feature worse too?
Can't say I've really noticed but I haven't watched a lot of the more recent DVDs I've bought yet...
Actually SUPERBIT was a Columbia-Tristar/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment series of SD DVD releases. They claimed the releases would utilise a higher bit rate encode to a dual-layer DVD from a high definition source master by using/optimising the space normally taken up by trailers, documentaries, still galleries & audio commentaries to improve the picture quality (I never noticed). They also had Dolby Digital 5.1 & DTS 5.1 (the big selling point for most people buying them) surround sound tracks. Plus selected subtitles.
The titles available varied according to who held the license for a film in a particular territory - e.g., The Fifth Element was Columbia-Tristar in the USA but Guild/Pathe Distribution here in Britain. Thus a 'Region 1' Superbit DVD does exist there. On the flip-side through a distribution deal to produce/handle early Universal Pictures DVD titles led to the likes of Gladiator getting a UK Superbit release. At the time this was achieved through a worldwide home video distribution deal Universal had struck with the then newly formed DreamWorks SKG. Presumably due to Steven Spielberg's close ties to Universal Pictures.
Superbit was a bit of a con. They did offer higher bitrates but Sony DVDs were often offering lower bit rate encodes on their DVD titles than say Disney to start with. If your machine can show you the video bitrate then you'd see what I mean. To add insult Suberbit discs rarely exceeded 6GB in capacity, a dual-layer DVD-9 holds 8.5GB. They could have offered PCM 2.0 stereo (if the original sound mix had been 2.0 surround) to use the extra space for something an audiophile would appreciate.
I collected Japanese anime at the time and a (now defunct) label known as ADV Films/AD Vision Inc. always had high bitrate DVD encodes on both anime and live action titles. Fans of Jim Henson Productions' TV series Farscape who imported the ADV versions from the USA could attest to that.
As for Sony, from 2012 they are now pushing Blu-ray discs 'Mastered in 4K - Maximum Picture, Expanded Colour' that are the 21st century equivalent of Superbit. This time it's a code embedded into the film that tells those super expensive 4K Ultra-High Definition Televisions how to up-scale a 1920x1080P full HD Blu-ray picture for improved image quality (3840 x 2160 pixels or 4096 x 2160 pixels) on a 4K display. You must have both a player and TV capable of the task.
There's still 8K (7680 × 4320 pixels) to look forward to! I told you they were going too far, too fast!!
Finally on to your question re current DVD content. Fox, Warner & Sony have been including Digital Copy on DVD for a few years now. If it is the iTunes compatible version, I believe it is on the disc thus taking up space traditionally set aside for extras or additional soundtracks. Since the UK includes English Audio Descriptive Tracks on many DVDs these days that's another factor.
A film under 2 hours in length should still be fine with both limited extras and the AD alongside a Digital Copy. A longer film would be expected to be either a bare-bones release or like The Dark Knight Rises have one measly featurette compared to say the French 2 disc DVD! Distributors in the UK favour Blu-ray disc so we get less on DVD - fewer extended cuts of movies as well!
Hmm, I always assumed studios would put as high a quality disc out as the disc could hold. More fool me!
I've seen some things advertised as 4K (Total Recall 2012) but it's actually just a *transfer* from an 4K version, not 4K itself (I think?). I really am not sold on Bluray yet, at least not for older movies not filmed on high-tech equipment. So there's only one or two on my shopping list so far. I wouldn't mind Total Recall on Blu-Ray for instance but they're not offering a BR/DVD combo like they are with some other titles, so I may as well wait. UV seems awful too, so that's no selling point. I don't think I actually own many DVDs with a digital copy either, I think they're just trying to ween us off DVDs with the bare-bones offerings mostly.
I like anime too and most of my R1s are anime. Doesn't the horizontal glitchiness of NTSC bother you though? If I can find a R2 PAL I'd definitely take that over an import (which goes back to why I bought this Fantasia to begin with!)