Recieved the same canned response that Timithy posted above. I also responded back to him with this.
I know about the press release, that is what made me aware of this horrible decision to cut off the top and bottom of the film in order to get it to fill a 16:9 TV. This is an unacceptable thing to do in my opinion.
When DVD came around we had to deal with all the people cutting down the widescreen films to fit 4:3 TVs. We finally got all of the studios to quit doing this to all films and to release them in the original aspect ratio, they would then make a seperate Pan & Scan 4:3 release if they felt they need to do so.
When Blu-Ray came around film collectors and fans like myself were very happy to see that almost all films were being released in the original aspect ratio. We no longer had to worry about accidently picking up a horrible hacked up version of a film that was meant to fit someone's TV instead of the director's vision.
Now we get word that you are preparing to do just what we have been hoping to avoid. Hack up a great film in order to get it to fit someone's screen instead of the Director's vision. Would you take a painting from Da Vinci, Van Gogh, or Picasso and cut off the top and bottom in order to fit a frame? Or would you do the smart thing and keep the painting in tact and have a framer add matting around the painting to make it fit a new larger frame?
Cutting information out of a film to fit a TV screen is a horrible habit that needs to be stopped immediately. People need to be educated about why some films don't fill their screens, rather than pandered to in order to make the uneducated happy. Over the years I have explained Letterboxing, and Pillarboxing to many people, and have shown them examples of the information they miss out on when films are cut down. Once you get them past the idea that Letterboxing is "cutting off the top and bottom of the movie" (which you are actually planning to do here by the way) and show them the information they are actually missing out on when watching a Pan & Scan or cropped film they are suprised. Afterward I would say 90% or more begin to understand and agree that this is a horrible practice.
I implore you to rethink your plans here and give us film fans what we want. A great restoration of a classic film, in it's original aspect ratio. I fit is too late for that I would hope you at least consider releasing another version with the original aspect ratio in tact. I think you would be very suprised to see which one sells more copies.
Thank you for your time,
--- On Tue, 1/6/09, Gurlitz, Dan wrote:
From: Gurlitz, Dan
Subject: RE: Gulliver's Travels Blu Ray Release
Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 7:11 AM
Thank you for your comment and concern. Below is a statement issued by KOCH Vision on Jan 5th.
January 5, 2009: The March 2009 KOCH Vision release of Max Fleischer’s Gulliver’s Travels on Blu-ray (and on standard-def DVD) has been restored and re-mastered from the original source 35mm film by North Hampton Partners, the same company that received universal acclaim for their restoration work on the 60th Anniversary Edition DVD ten years ago. These talented individuals have gone back to the same source materials and used the best technology available to present the film in a manner consistent with today’s standards. This ambitious process included the decision to enhance the film, frame-by-frame, for 16x9 – so that it could be fully appreciated and enjoyed on HD televisions. North Hampton Partners firmly believes that their efforts have resulted in the best version of Gulliver’s Travels ever available to the consumer market.
KOCH Vision is extremely proud to release these newly restored editions and stands behind them 100%. We kindly ask that you reserve your opinions until you have had the opportunity to personally experience these new editions of Gulliver’s Travels for yourself.
Vice President - Video
KOCH Entertainment Distribution
22 Harbor Park Drive
Port Washington , NY 11050