Originally Posted by Josh Z
Walt had a reputation for tinkering with his movies after they were completed as well. Look at the Fantasia censorship.
While Pinocchio may not have had artwork redrawn, it has been extensively recolored. So have many other Disney classics.
I don't agree with it, but it has long been the company's stance that its animated films should be "timeless." For many years, the studio refused to put copyright dates on the VHS, LD, and DVD editions of its movies, because it didn't want children watching Sleeping Beauty or whatever to think of them as "old" movies.
I think I have to politely disagree here. Don't want to stray too far off topic here, but as far as the Fantasia edits, really what choice did Disney have? They could remove the offensive parts and alienate the film students & purists, or they could release them in their original form and anger everyone else.
Regarding the color, here
is an interesting article about Disney's restoration process (Dumbo, specifically). They underscore that in determining the color temp they go back to the original elements - but they don't sample those for the color palette, because that's not what the film would have looked like in the theater. Instead they scan & print them as they would for release, and sample that. That can lead people who have grown up viewing earlier home releases to think that the colors have been messed with.
I did want to point out, from a color standpoint, we're fortunate because we here at Disney have our Animation Research Library which has something north of 70 million pieces of art archived. And we're able to go back and pull out color backgrounds from all of these films, as well as get a series of backgrounds that would be representative of the color palette of the movie. Instead of just looking at those backgrounds, we actually have them scanned and photographed out on SE film, because the successive exposure film actually picks up contrast and picks up color saturation, and the Disney background artists always painted their backgrounds a little bit less contrast-y and a little bit muted, knowing that the photographic process would then pick up the contrasts and saturations to give them what it was they wanted. So we take a lot of care in making sure that we are restoring these back to what the artistic intention was, as far as the color goes.
And the copyright issue may have more to do with Disney's stance on intellectual property/public domain legislation in the U.S.
On to... Lion King. Yes, I feel they should leave clouds and foregrounds and everything else as far as content alone
... for the 2d version. As far as the 3d, however, let's face it: by converting it, they are already removing it considerably from its original intended viewing format. So I feel they should be free to make those creative decisions (as long as they provide the unaltered 2d version!).
Now, it seems the changes to the grass and shadow and reflection are only for the 3d, but the cloud screencap seems to indicate the 2d is affected as well. If so, I have a feeling this may have been a mistake rather than a conscious decision... if so, we may be looking at an exchange program ala Pinocchio or POTC sometime down the line...