Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 11-27-2010, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=192440&d=1290888327
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

90






Studio and Year: Disney - 1940/2000
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 125 minutes/75 minutes
Genre: Music/Animation

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.33:1/1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Region Code: 1

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 30, 2010







"A cinematic masterpiece gets the star treatment on Blu-ray"



Film Synopsis:

The dreams and visions of Walt Disney come to life in Fantasia, which blends music and film magic into an exhilarating movie-going experience. Unforgettable images are brought to life by some of the world's best music, and highlighted by the comedy of Mickey Mouse as a troublemaking sorcerer's apprentice, along with the beauty of winged fairies and cascading snowflakes, the majesty of Noah's ark and even plump hippos performing ballet in tutus.

Motivated by his uncle's foresight, Roy Disney continued the magic with Fantasia 2000 which begins where its predecessor left off. There are seven completely new segments, and viewers watch a bustling Depression-era metropolis in the style of Al Hirschfeld's famous cartoons, a flock of flamingos with slapstick yo-yo talents, an ark full of animals gathered by Donald Duck as Noah's first mate, and musical life breathed into a family of flying humpback whales.





My Take:

Seeing Fantasia as a child I really didn't fully appreciate it. I didn't mind the animation but found the lack of dialogue and non-traditional narrative/music uninspiring. It wasn't until I was an adult that I came to fully embrace its majesty. Walt Disney was such a visionary and Fantasia is a superlative representation of the scope of his vision. Seeing it now with all of its original components restored makes the experience of Fantasia even better.

Here is a little background on the film from the press kit:

Fantasia, an unprecedented and magnificent feast of music and animated images, was initially released by the Studio in 1940 as a road show release. The following year, at the 14th Annual Academy Awards, Fantasia earned two Special Awards. The first was given to Walt Disney and associates for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures, being the first commercial film released in multi-channel sound using a process called Fantasound, and the second to conductor Leopold Stokowski and his associates forunique achievement in the creation of a new form of visualized musicthereby widening the scope of the motion picture as entertainment and as an art form. Considered avant-garde during its time, Fantasia has gone on to become one of the most popular movies of all time and today is considered a classic. In 1990, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. Featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Stokowski, this groundbreaking film, which consists of animation set to eight musical pieces, is narrated by Deems Taylor and includes an appearance by Mickey Mouse (voiced by Disney himself).

As with Fantasia I find Fantasia 2000 to be creative, inspiring and emotive. It imparts similar cinematic grandeur while conveying the essence of what made the original so special.
Executive produced by the late Roy E. Disney it features an array of celebrity hosts including Steve Martin, Bette Midler, James Earl Jones, Penn and Teller, Angela Lansbury, Itzhak Perlman and Quincy Jones. The film, like its predecessor, expertly visualizes classical music compositions with various forms of animation and live-action introductions. The majority of its music is performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and conducted by James Levine.

In its various incarnations since its original release Fantasia has easily withstood the test of time and will continue to with this wonderfully restored version of this classic film. Disney has shown a fervent commitment to offering quality home video releases on Blu-ray Disc and their restorative treatment of Fantasia is no different. This film looks absolutely beautiful in high definition and offers fans an entirely new experience that easily bests anything previously seen in the home environment. Like many of you reading this I am thrilled that Fantasia has come to Blu-ray and kudos to Disney on another job well done.



Parental Guide:

Both of these films are appropriate for all audiences.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 90



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 90


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Fantasia comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.7 Mbps.

Fantasia 2000 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 5.8 Mbps.

Fantasia has undergone a restorative process that cleaned up the original print and the results are impressive. Colors shine brilliantly with pleasing saturation and striking blues that look absolutely beautiful. The 1.33:1 framed video is pillarboxed in black however Disney offers the option of viewing it via their DisneyView option where the pillarboxes feature custom artwork. The original film elements don't have the highly polished resolution of today's digitally enhanced animated films but fidelity remains intact as image quality is simply beautiful. Blacks are dynamic in appearance and stand out well when onscreen with mixed content. Low level sequences have excellent contrast with visible stages in grays and dark chromatic elements. Whites sparkle and appear crisp, bright and punchy. The live action segments featuring the orchestra and narrator offer appreciable levels of definition that are reproduced with excellent clarity, strong shadow detail and natural colors. I don't think that we as fans could ask for this film to look any better than this. Being a newer film Fantasia 2000's hand drawn animation and live action segments appear better refined with clearer delineation, superb contrast and deeper blacks. While it would be fair to say that it looks noticeably better than Fantasia it wouldn't be fair to say that the differences are vast, especially considering the age of the latter. Both look terrific and are presented in their finest light since coming to home video.

Disney provides a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 channel surround mix on each title. Neither mix makes for an ostentatious display and expertly retains much of the feel of the original soundtrack. The presentation has a frontal focus but utilizes the entire the soundstage as the instrumentation sounds airy, smooth and noticeably detailed. The four surround channels are mixed a bit lower than the mains so that frontal perspective remains intact while providing a discernible amount of spatiality that adds dimension. The percussion associated with the various set pieces engage the subwoofer and provides enriching low frequency emphasis that resonates nicely. While Fantasia 2000's recorded elements exhibit more dynamism I think that Fantasia's sounded quite good and appropriate in that the mix didn't feel disingenuous to the original soundtrack while adding a bit of polish. In both instances I found the audio to be crystal clear, strident free and appreciably rewarding.



Bonus Features:


  • Fantasia:


  • (HD) Disney Family Museum - 4 minute featurette

  • (HD) The Schultheis Notebook: A Disney Treasure - 13 minute documentary

  • Interactive art gallery

  • 3 audio commentaries:

    1. Disney historian Brian Sibley
    2. Original DVD commentary with interviews and story note recreation by Walt Disney, hosted by John Canemaker
    3. Original DVD commentary with Roy E. Disney, conductor James Levine, John Canemaker and Scott MacQueen

    Fantasia 2000:


  • (HD)Musicana - 9 minute documentary on Walt Disney inspiration for a sequel to Fantasia

  • Dali and Disney: A date with Destino - 82 minute documentary

  • (HD) Destino - 6 minute animated short

  • Disneys Virtual Vault (BD-Live powered)- Original DVD bonus features for Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 from Legacy Collection. The video is streamed in a window and features making of segments, interview clips, production info, segment specific breakdowns, trailers, TV spots and more. *It should be noted that viewing this additional material requires an internet connected Blu-ray player.*

  • Audio commentaries:

    1. Original DVD commentary with Roy E. Disney, James Levine and Don Ernst
    2. Original DVD commentary with the art directors for each segment
    3. Bonus DVD of Fantasia
    4. Bonus DVD of Fantasia 2000


Final Thoughts:

Fantasia is one of the most original, beloved, and ambitious of the Disney Classic animated feature films. It holds a special place of prominence not only in the Disney universe but within filmmaking in general. Fantasia along with its companion Fantasia 2000 represent the true visionary that was Walt Disney as his legacy is firmly entrenched in the spectacular imagery and broad scope of their productions. Kudos to Disney for reinvigorating the original film with a superlative restoration that presents it an entirely new light for fans and generations to come. Fantasia 2000 comes to Blu-ray featuring top notch high definition video that compliments the film's beautifully crafted elements. Each film is presented via a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that brings them to life with surrealistic detail. The end result is a home video offering that presents these wonderful films looking and sounding better than ever. The bonus features found on both discs combine to enhance an already strong package however the decision to limit the availability of the legacy DVD features to BD-Live accessible players only is questionable. Nonetheless this Blu-ray Disc release from Disney is simply a must have and comes highly recommended. Enjoy!









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 39 Old 11-27-2010, 12:22 PM
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I wonder how they have handled the "politically incorrect" content on this release? In the last incarnation I believe they zoomed in on the frame(s) to avoid any offensive imagery, but in past incarnations they have edited out the scenes entirely.
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post #3 of 39 Old 11-27-2010, 12:48 PM
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Ralph,

I'm so glad to read your great review of these animation masterpieces. I have this set pre-ordered and forgot that they're going to ship soon, so your review was a welcome reminder that good things are coming.

I've always loved Fantasia, and being a music and movie fan, plus loving Disney animation, what better marriage than the combination that Walt and company came up with many years ago? I remember the excitement I felt when Fantasia 2000 came out, and rushing to the theatre to see it. Since then I received both films in their DVD versions, and now that I've become completely hooked on Blu-ray, I can't wait to see them again.

We've all come to expect only the best from Disney, and since they perform up to task (and even exceed expectation), I really hoped that they could work the same magic on Fantasia as they did on Snow White and Pinocchio, which are both incredible. Apparently they've done it again, based on your review, and I really look forward to these Blu-rays. Thanks for the vote of confidence!
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post #4 of 39 Old 11-27-2010, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebard View Post

I wonder how they have handled the "politically incorrect" content on this release? In the last incarnation I believe they zoomed in on the frame(s) to avoid any offensive imagery, but in past incarnations they have edited out the scenes entirely.

I'd like to know as well, as I've read they edited out the scene during the mythology segment containing the Black centaurs. I also read the voice over was changed in a particular segment as well, as the original was lost.

Ralph, can you comment on this?
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post #5 of 39 Old 11-27-2010, 03:24 PM
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Great review Ralph! Can't wait to get it on Tuesday...Cheers,

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post #6 of 39 Old 11-27-2010, 05:55 PM
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Wonder if we'll ever see an official release of Song of the South?

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post #7 of 39 Old 11-27-2010, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by gridbug View Post

Wonder if we'll ever see an official release of Song of the South?


After watching SotS on YouTube, I'm not sure it's one a lot of people would buy, but maybe they would for historical interest, esp. if it had a huge ad campaign.

Which means, probably never.
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post #8 of 39 Old 11-27-2010, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moork View Post

I'd like to know as well, as I've read they edited out the scene during the mythology segment containing the Black centaurs. I also read the voice over was changed in a particular segment as well, as the original was lost.

Ralph, can you comment on this?

DVDBeaver discusses this and shows how it was reframed: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/blu-r...ia_blu-ray.htm
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post #9 of 39 Old 11-27-2010, 09:12 PM
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Thanks for the great review. I have been waiting for this release for awhile. This just confirms that it is a release day purchase.
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post #10 of 39 Old 11-27-2010, 10:34 PM
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Anybody know if there will be a discount coupon like the one they had for the Toy Story 3 combo pack?

Update - just answered my own question - $10 off at disneymovierewards.com!
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post #11 of 39 Old 11-28-2010, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eweiss View Post

DVDBeaver discusses this and shows how it was reframed: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film3/blu-r...ia_blu-ray.htm

Thanks.
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post #12 of 39 Old 11-28-2010, 09:48 AM
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Does anyone know if this release of Fantasia uses the original soundtrack/performance?

I remember many years ago they re-released Fantasia with a newly recorded soundtrack. While the sound quality was better, I prefered the original performance.

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post #13 of 39 Old 11-28-2010, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eweiss View Post

After watching SotS on YouTube, I'm not sure it's one a lot of people would buy, but maybe they would for historical interest, esp. if it had a huge ad campaign.

Which means, probably never.

I own a still sealed copy of SOTS on laser disc. I also have a svhs copy (made from a copy that I rented). The movie is excellent! There are japanese subtitles during the songs, but otherwise the transfer is good. The animated scenes, which also have live action are classic- they appear in other disney released short compilations (except for the tar baby ending!). I have been on Splash Mountain at Disney land and Magic Kingdom (Disney World, FL) and it is interesting seeing how close the ride follows the movie until the near end when Brer Rabbit is stuck with glue, not tar!
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Quote:


(HD) Destino - 6 minute animated short

This bonus feature figures highly as a reason I'll be purchasing this on day one. I've seen Destino at a couple of concert and museum screenings over the years and count it as among the most haunting and beautiful shorts produced by any animation studio. At the museum screenings, people would stand through several replays of it just to soak in the experience. The historic Disney/Dali pedigree, the heady surrealism, the music, the gorgeous animation and the fact that it had been unfinished during Walt's (and Dali's?) lifetime makes those 6 minutes about as magical as it gets.

Really looking forward to owning a copy of it in HD.
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post #15 of 39 Old 11-28-2010, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

Does anyone know if this release of Fantasia uses the original soundtrack/performance?

I remember many years ago they re-released Fantasia with a newly recorded soundtrack. While the sound quality was better, I prefered the original performance.

The soundtrack is a restored version of the original FantaSound tracks conducted by Stokowski, not the 1982 Irwin Kostal modern-day re-score that has since ceased to see the light of day.
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post #16 of 39 Old 11-28-2010, 03:46 PM
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Ralph, thanks once again for a wonderful review.
I'm 61, and the last time I saw Fantasia in it's entirety was, believe it or not, over 50 years ago. I've not seen Fantasia 2000 as yet.
I'll be at BB on Tuesday morning to grab this one (along with some others).
I have a $10 off coupon for it, but I'd buy this even without the coupon.
My wife and I watched Peter Pan last night, and 101 Dalmations a few weeks ago. We still have 4 or 5 in our Disney collection we haven't watched yet.
Being able to watch these classics whenever we want and still enjoy them even at my age is truly one of life's pleasures.
Memories of seeing these Disney films when I was very young is just plain fun. It wasn't financially easy for my Mom to take my sister and me to the movies back in the fifties (and that's an understatement), but she somehow managed to do it.
Watching films like Fantasia and some others always reminds me of the sacrifices Mom made for sis and me.
Thanks again for the review, Ralph.

And thanks again, Mom.
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post #17 of 39 Old 11-28-2010, 05:22 PM
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Thanks for the heads up about the coupon! I'm only interested in 2000, and the price was a bit steep to get a single movie. That coupon makes it a purchase!
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post #18 of 39 Old 11-28-2010, 05:36 PM
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Re: eweiss
As to the censored scenes, in todays times they are better left out.
Thanks for the link, to at least see what the talk is about.
I read recently there was talk of removing smoking scenes in some old films, have you scene the new Blu-Ray release of "Breathless"? Jean Paul Belmondo smokes throughout the entire film. There would be no film. Perhaps they were referring to children's films where adults smoke.
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post #19 of 39 Old 11-28-2010, 09:42 PM
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I hope they didn't take out the boobie shot of the witch who pops up for a sec in "Bald Mountain". It is in the dvd and laser disc versions, my dad even remembered it when he saw in the theater back in 1940.
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post #20 of 39 Old 11-29-2010, 06:10 AM
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"Fantasia" may still be the most imaginative creation in film history...

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post #21 of 39 Old 11-29-2010, 10:22 AM
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Anyone know if Netflix is getting this in Bluray - they only show DVD available for this and F2000? I'd like to rent before deciding whether to buy.
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post #22 of 39 Old 11-29-2010, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikosF View Post

Anyone know if Netflix is getting this in Bluray - they only show DVD available for this and F2000? I'd like to rent before deciding whether to buy.

Odds are 0-5% Netflix is pretty much out of the catalog BD renting business.
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post #23 of 39 Old 11-29-2010, 07:03 PM
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Netflix does Blu, you just have to pay an extra $2-$3 a month for Blu-Ray versions (if available) of the films in your queue.

And I'm pretty sure the prior gentleman or lady who was trying to add Fantasia to their queue was seeing the old Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 discs, not the new batch.
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post #24 of 39 Old 11-29-2010, 07:35 PM
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Great review, thanks Ralph

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post #25 of 39 Old 11-30-2010, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob West View Post
Re: eweiss
As to the censored scenes, in todays times they are better left out.
Thanks for the link, to at least see what the talk is about.
I read recently there was talk of removing smoking scenes in some old films, have you scene the new Blu-Ray release of "Breathless"? Jean Paul Belmondo smokes throughout the entire film. There would be no film. Perhaps they were referring to children's films where adults smoke.
They are better left out, why? Because they are so offensive in today's politically correct Hollywood that we can only watch The Human Centipede & Saw films? Ridiculous!
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post #26 of 39 Old 11-30-2010, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rach View Post

They are better left out, why? Because they are so offensive in today's politically correct Hollywood that we can only watch The Human Centipede & Saw films? Ridiculous!

That may be true, but I really don't care to watch movies with pickaninny caricatures, nor do I want my grandkids seeing it, so I don't mind their removal. I wouldn't want cartoons with beak-nosed, claw-fingered Jews depicted as Hitler's posters had them, or with slant-eyed, buck-toothed bespectacled Japanese as they were depicted in WWII comics a la Dr. Seuss.

Some call it "political correctness," and in part it is, but it's also a recognition that some things are offensive and dehumanizing and don't need to be on exhibit. And we're only talking about a few seconds of movie here. If people really like that kind of stuff, they can always go to Mexico and buy some MemÃ*n PinguÃ*n comics.

YMMV, of course.
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post #27 of 39 Old 11-30-2010, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by eweiss View Post

That may be true, but I really don't care to watch movies with pickaninny caricatures, nor do I want my grandkids seeing it, so I don't mind their removal. I wouldn't want cartoons with beak-nosed, claw-fingered Jews depicted as Hitler's posters had them, or with slant-eyed, buck-toothed bespectacled Japanese as they were depicted in WWII comics a la Dr. Seuss.

Some call it "political correctness," and in part it is, but it's also a recognition that some things are offensive and dehumanizing and don't need to be on exhibit. And we're only talking about a few seconds of movie here. If people really like that kind of stuff, they can always go to Mexico and buy some MemÃ*n PinguÃ*n comics.

YMMV, of course.

Well said, eweiss. Thanks.
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post #28 of 39 Old 11-30-2010, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by eweiss View Post

That may be true, but I really don't care to watch movies with pickaninny caricatures, nor do I want my grandkids seeing it, so I don't mind their removal. I wouldn't want cartoons with beak-nosed, claw-fingered Jews depicted as Hitler's posters had them, or with slant-eyed, buck-toothed bespectacled Japanese as they were depicted in WWII comics a la Dr. Seuss.

Some call it "political correctness," and in part it is, but it's also a recognition that some things are offensive and dehumanizing and don't need to be on exhibit. And we're only talking about a few seconds of movie here. If people really like that kind of stuff, they can always go to Mexico and buy some MemÃ*n PinguÃ*n comics.

YMMV, of course.

It's also true that we are all adults, and the notion of deliberately avoiding the viewing of anything offensive is a bit childish. It's an offensive world, and frankly I think that kids stand to learn more by viewing such stuff than by being guarded from it.
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post #29 of 39 Old 11-30-2010, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gridbug View Post

Wonder if we'll ever see an official release of Song of the South?


Go to www.mayancastledvd.net there you can find a pretty descent copy of SOTS. Not remastered of course,but probably the best copy you'll find anywhere. I bought a copy sometime ago,and i "think" it'll cost ya about $14.95. Oh,there are none of those annoying subtitles.

May political correctness die a sudden death.It's unacceptable in a (supposedly) free society. It's thought/mind/speech control masquerading under another name.Marx/Engel et al, would love it. G.
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post #30 of 39 Old 11-30-2010, 02:20 PM
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