As you may or may not know, movie studios don't always give us proper versions of something and sometimes nothing at all. And in many cases they are significant and iconic movies.
Original Star Wars Trilogy
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Disney's Song of the South
These are just SOME examples of things that don't have proper versions in any modern format or modern streaming service. Thanks to the Internet however, you cannot dictate or suppress anything. And the people come to the rescue and gift us with things like HD 35mm scans or fan restorations using the best available resources to bring us something such as the original theatrical version of Star Wars in a format that looks and sounds pleasing on today's equipment.
One movie where no one truly bothered to put in the heart and effort to restore is Walt Disney's Masterpiece: Fantasia. Over the years, I collected materials and info in the hopes of changing that and finding some qualified people to restore Fantasia as Walt himself intended. And during the COVID pandemic I finally did just that. In February 2021, I finally gave the world an authentic version of Fantasia for the first time since 1969! And since then the choices and qualities of Fantasia restorations exceeded even my dreams and expectations.
To sum up, these do the following:
Restores the censored scenes in the pastoral symphony (censored since 1969)
Restores Deems Taylor's original voice during the narration. The modern DVD/Blu releases use the longer (and generally less preferred) intros where the original narration was deteriorated. So Disney dubbed the original narration with that of actor Corey Burton.
Restores Fantasound! The modern releases have a mix that is not even close to the original Fantasound. These restorations uses the laserdisc audio as the primary audio since the audio of that is the early 90s recreation of Fantasound (and also has Deems Taylor). Considering it is a feature film where music is the focus, this is a damn important one! The 2000 DVD mix deviates from Fantasound, and the 2010 blu ray completely butchers it. Really no reason Disney couldn't have offered a Fantasound track as a choice in addition to these new mixes.
We went from essentially having no viable choice in 2020 to now having THREE choices now. And here links detailing the write ups as to what they're about:
https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Fanta ... 2/id/96261
This uses the early 90s Disney master (free of Disney "retouching") as the primary video source. This master is the same one that exists in the Library of Congress (albeit in censored form) and was used for the early 90s VHS and laserdisc releases. Sourced from the early 2000s Australian PAL DVD released by Disney (which by some odd miracle uses the early 90s master for its video).
https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Fanta ... 0/id/99856
This uses the blu ray footage as the primary video source. Sourced from the 2010 US blu ray released by Disney.
https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/Fanta ... /id/101085
This uses a 1956 35mm film scan as the primary video source.
You can read up to see details on the recipies for each, but in terms of audio they are all the same. They use the laserdisc audio as the primary source. And all are uncensored and use the shortened intros (only way to have Deems Taylor speak). So in the end it depends on which video source you prefer.
I put version 1.0 and 2.0 of the Restored Laserdisc Edition on archive.org. I tried to put a newer version on archive but Disney began taking them down so I didn't try since. Somehow they did not target 1.0 and 2.0 and I haven't tried again. Will probably try to put 2.2 in the future.
I have garnered a lot of positive feedback on these throughout the Internet. Here is an excerpt of a review I got on archive.org
And here is another review on archive.orgYou sir have righted a tremendous wrong in the cause of film preservation. I salute you and have absolutely no doubt if Walt Himself were here today, he would commend you as well for a job very well done!
I can't put direct links to the 3 restorations on here, but if you want any then PM me.Just when you thought it couldn't be improved a gem that is the Aussie DVD oddity pops up. Fantastic find. This is THE ABSOLUTE BEST Fantasia has ever looked and most likely ever will look barring a (properly) restored pre 1969 print. As stated in other comments, there is another film scan but there is severe fading and print damage throughout most of that scan, despite it being in a higher resolution. A real mess. This version, although DVD resolution, is still THE absolute best looking with zero damage at all due to a better looking source being used that had no damage. This is the ultimate version. Yes I wish we had an HD version that was accurate in color (the production bluray is not even close and the aforementioned film scan has faded colors and bad print damage). Until that changes this is THE one to watch. Excellent work.