“There’s one genre of filmmaking in which the ‘they-would-have-gotten-rid-of-the-grain-if-they-could’ line holds a great deal of water,” Some Came Running‘s Glenn Kenny wrote yesterday, “and that’s animation. Disney works with Lowry Digital on (thus far) all the restorations of its classic animation titles, and the digital work goes beyond erasing scratches and smudges. It extends well into the issue of the grain that was produced when the actual animation cels were photographed.
“It aims to give a representation of what the artwork would have looked like had the intermediaries of the camera lens and the film stock never, shall we say, interfered.
“The first high-definition demonstration of this wizardry was with 1959’s Sleeping Beauty, released on Blu-ray last fall, a staggeringly beautiful disc. In a week and a half, DIsney unveils a 70th-Anniversary edition of Pinocchio on Blu-ray, and in a way, it’s even more of a stunner.
“Okay, the actual 70th anniversary of this 1940 title is a year away, but let’s not quibble. For borderline boomers such as myself, Pinocchio never played as an ‘old’ movie when we saw it, or bits of it, on the color version of The Wonderful World of Disney on our households’ first color televisions in the early ’60s. But to look at this version is to look at something not just not old, but brand new.
“The colors, the detail, the almost preternatural absence of smudges, scratches, and whatnot…this does, I think, inarguably, honor the intentions and the labors of the filmmakers in a way that even they themselves could not have envisioned.” Yes!
DVD Beaver capture of Sleeping Beauty Blu-ray.