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A FANTASTIC 'FANTASIA' A two-year restoration has brightened the picture and sharpened the soundtrack
Providence Journal - Providence, R.I.
Author: MICHAEL JANUSONIS Journal-Bulletin Arts Writer
Date: Sep 30, 1990
Start Page: E-05
Abstract (Document Summary)

Fortunately the restorers got to Fantasia in time. With the picture and soundtrack restored to their full glory, audiences will discover a sparkling Fantasia, unlike anything they remember . . . unless they saw it in one of its 14 roadshow engagements that played from late 1940 through 1941. (Twelve of these bookings were in converted playhouses and not movie theaters because Disney had to spend weeks wiring the houses for stereophonic sound). This marks the first time since Fantasia's 1946 re-releasethat what audiences see comes from the original negative and not a dupe.

For the Fantasia project, the film restorers had a 1951 print for guidance on colors and tone, but at times were pressed by the studio to make things a little brighter than they had been even in 1940. "We did a series of tests for the studio," says [Pete Comandini], "and they said that due to the fact that Fantasia has such a dim history (it didn't make its money back until the 1969 re-release when hippies discovered that its wild colors were even wilder under a marijuana-induced haze) that we'd like to put a little more punch into it. So we put a little more snap than Walt originally intended, but that was the studio's choice."

For the first time in many years, audiences will see the entire square frame of Fantasia. When wide-screen films arrived in the mid-1950s, movie screens became rectangular. The square images of films such as Fantasia lost parts of their tops and bottoms when shown on these new screens. But this new release of Fantasia will put the entire image back on the screen, though it means that a black band will run down either side of the screen.

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