From movies to video games, remasters are becoming more commonplace in the media world – and Disney is no exception. As technology continues to improve, more and more film titles are being "upgraded" for a more modern look in form of 4K remasters. But this doesn't always go to plan, and some Disney fans are (rightfully) pointing out that these remasters can in fact leave a film worse off – and this isn't the first time we've seen surprising design choices by Disney.
Garnering over 20,000 likes, the Twitter thread shows a comparison of the original 1950 film vs the latest "restored" cut released in 2019. A user rightfully points out that by stripping the film of the original grain, pivotal artistic detail is lost. Back in the good old Disney days, animated titles were all hand drawn frame-by-frame and then put into a digital format during post production to make the film. This process gives the classic animations that grainy texture as they're transferred over to video.
Many fans agree with Twitter user Stephen Duigan that by sharpening the image to lessen grain, Disney in fact strips the movies of their original charm and atmosphere whilst also losing the traditional spirit of hand-drawn animation. Colour grading can be completely thrown off and some details like finer line work is lost completely. More importantly, it's rewriting the artistic vision of the movie – and we can't help but be reminded of those haunting botched art restorations.
They also ruin subtle lighting changes, too. On the right is from a 1964 reissue of PINOCCHIO, but the point is still there, just the same. pic.twitter.com/GDogxHAvfwApril 24, 2018
There are a few prominent examples circulating the web, like these two comparison shots from Robin Hood showing the original vs the Blu Ray remaster (below). The character models are a lot darker in the remaster and therefore feel out of place in the bright setting, and the bolder lines mean a lot of the detail (like their fur) is nearly non-existent in places. The fallen log and grass also suffer from a loss of detail, as the limitation of grain means that finer lines have just been removed entirely. Overall, it just feels like a shame.
Do we really need the older movies remastered, or are they perfect just the way they are, grain and all? Judging by the results of the remastering process (and the disgruntled Twitter threads), I'm sure many Disney fans are probably erring towards the latter.