MGM Cartoons version differences discussion

Discussion in 'Back To The Inkwell - Classic Cartoons Discussion' started by Cool_Cat, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. Cool_Cat

    Cool_Cat Active Member

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    People asked me to do one, so here it is. This is a thread about all the MGM cartoons version differences, recreated title cards, censored gags, etc.

    Unlike Looney Tunes, MGM shorts got a lot of alterations with the time, so I'll try to explain what I know until now.

    First of all, MGM apparently made the first Pan & Scan versions to theaters which were not ready for wider aspect ratios.

    Back in the 16mm era the Chuck Jones team made altered versions to hide racial stereotypes and a few scenes of violence by redrawing these scenes by using all the backgrounds and original animation they had access to. Also, Mammy Two Shoes was sometimes redubbed by June Foray.

    These versions were sent to CBS when they also recreated the title cards, made a new intro and split the shorts with fade outs in order to fill them with ad breaks. These altered versions were lately mastered.

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    In theaters instead they had the original lion logo replaced with the 60s one. In any case, these versions were not processed by Technicolor. They had the yellow color faded out and the blue one being really dark. It does not seem Eastmancolor to me either. They also fixed the Cinemascope shorts to be shown in Pan & Scan.

    Then MGM started sending 16mms to TV stations, and in foreign countries they used them for dubs. Then all these prints were mastered.

    For an example, these are the ones sent to RAI's dubbing studios in Italy. Some had the 60s logo, some were unaltered and some had the Technicolor line blanked out, these usually look worse. During the dub they also added fake translated title cards directly cut into the reel.

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    Then, they made more transfers from TV, I don't really know all of these.

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    Then MGM started releasing home video tapes and remastered shorts specifically for those releases.

    First T&J volume used non 35mm sources very similar to the Italian prints and had the pitch shifted for the PAL versions. The NTSC ones instead had frame blending. The Little Orphan was the 60s version.

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    The second tape also used 16mms and they looked even worse, but the sound quality was really good (the best one in almost all the shorts), and no blending on NTSC or pitch shift on PAL. Some of these move left/right very badly in certain scenes. Saturday Evening Puss was the 60s version with the original soundtrack.

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    From the next volume they started using high quality sources, and the best part... all these tapes were uncensored.

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    They made around the same time prints which some ended up on VHS, with a line on the left side on the NTSC versions. The one of The Framed Cat had June Foray's voice over a 35mm (best looking version so far).

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    A good amount of these 80s transfers looks way better than the mid 90s prints in the Turner era.

    Then in the mid 90s when CN was launched already they made new masters done around the same time as the Looney Tunes ones. These had various altered versions, some for an example have two versions, one uncut and the other one censored.

    At the same time they redubbed Mammy's voice again by using the m/e track. All these shorts have a music effect track and even more different tracks.

    PAL and NTSC versions are also quite different. I'll explain these ones more in another post or this one will be too long.
     
  2. NewBogus :)

    NewBogus :) Plastic Duck Saves the World

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    I didn't know, that Dog Trouble was re-released in 1960's with MGM 1960's title card.
     
  3. Daffyrocks

    Daffyrocks Woo-hoo-hooo!

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    Ok. I wanna know if "Dixieland Droopy" was really released in Academy ratio as well as in Cinemascope simultaneously, because that's how Wikipedia says. And I don't know if I should beleive it or not.
     
  4. Cool_Cat

    Cool_Cat Active Member

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    I haven't seen it in Cinemascops yet. It's pretty unlikely though.

    Oddly enough they restored it for the DVD release. The older prints looked very bad though.
     
  5. Daffyrocks

    Daffyrocks Woo-hoo-hooo!

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    Well, Wikipedia isn't the only source. IMDB also states that it was released in Cinemascope (source), as well as this comment (source). So it's pretty likely that it's true. And now I wish I would find it somehow to see it.

    Anyways, I always like the 90s Turner remastered prints of MGM shorts over the old prints. But it would have been even better if they wouldn't have those borders around the titles for some shorts, of course.

    Anyways, I beleive that this supposed Cinemascope version of "Pup on a Picninc" (1955) isn't 100% accurate, given that the title cards and the cartoon itself aren't at the same aspect ratio.



    I think that those who made the Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection DVD were smart enough to make digitalized Cinemascope-recreated titles of the cartoon, and it really looks like it's true (which I doubt). Though there are several "official" sources which state this, I think that they saw this DVD print and beleived it is true.
     
  6. Cool_Cat

    Cool_Cat Active Member

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    @Daffyrocks They put the 16:9 version in the DVD by accident.

    The short is in Cinemascope on iTunes and Amazon, and it will be on RSI La 1.
     
  7. Daffyrocks

    Daffyrocks Woo-hoo-hooo!

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    I see :rolleyes2: But how did they manage to do that mistake? If they could get through the widescreen title cards, then why not also through the full cartoon itself? Wasn't it included on the full print along with the title cards? :D
     
  8. NewBogus :)

    NewBogus :) Plastic Duck Saves the World

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    At least Boomerang DE and Super RTL airs it restored in 4:3 version.
     
  9. Daffyrocks

    Daffyrocks Woo-hoo-hooo!

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    Well, I wish Turner would have used the 4:3 prints of all the cartoons in this format, including the ones produced in both 4:3 and 16:9. I wonder why they couldn't get the acces to the 4:3 prints of "Touche, Pussy Cat" (1954), "Pet Peeve" (1954) and "Southbound Duckling" (1955), while those who made those Tom and Jerry laserdiscs could make it (even though those from Turner at least tried to make "Pet Peeve" like a 4:3 print, by squeezing the 16:9 Cinemascope titles with borders around them, and panning and scanning the cartoon).
     
  10. Action!

    Action! Active Member

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    You should never trust Wikipedia and IMDB. They are not good sources for infomation.
     
  11. Cool_Cat

    Cool_Cat Active Member

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    @Daffyrocks WB made 16:9 masters for TV back when they restored them, other than new Pan & Scan ones. These pop sometimes into DVDs.

    I'll explain how they remastered the "Turner prints

    First of all, there are the ones with thicker borders at the titles which do not fade out at the MGM lion (with some exceptions). These usually look worse than the other ones, so they were probably the first to be mastered.


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    The NTSC ones have that white line on the right, the PAL ones do not. The color correction varies a lot between PAL and NTSC. Also, The Bowling Alley Cat had DVNR only on NTSC while Pet Peeve is apparently the only Cinemascope short to belong to this list.

    Both Part Time Pal and A Mouse in the House have transfers which belong to this batch. I can confirm at least for the PAL ones they have Mammy's voice redubbed and no cuts.

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    Speaking of Pet Peeve there's also an alterned version.

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    The second batch was probably this other one, which has a white line at the right (thicker on PAL) and introduced 2 kinds of DVNR. One is the one which applied to the full shorts Kitty Foiled and Just Ducky, one is used only on the titles in this batch and has color shift on PAL. The color correction also varies between PAL and NTSC. I only know Tom and Jerry shorts in this way.

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    Notes:

    -The Missing Mouse has the titles DVNRed only on the PAL version.
    -The Mouse Comes to Dinner seems to be redubbed only on the NTSC version, but there's probably another track.
    -Mouse Cleaning has a NTSC version with Mammy's voice redubbed and the gag cut, and another one uncut. I've always seen the PAL print uncut instead.

    The third one has the color correction on PAL absolutely terrible. The shorts are Dr Jekyll and Mr Mouse, Triplet Trouble and Polka Dot Puss.

    Triplet Trouble has the original voice on the PAL version, but the redubbed one is probably in another of the 8 tracks. I've heard the other track in Polka Dot Puss has June Foray's voice but I can't confirm it.

    Then with the rest of them, it's not easy to say which ones have been remastered first. First of all, some of the shorts exist in both cut and uncut form, like The Milky Waif or Droopy's Good Deed.

    In any case, the Cinemascope shorts usually exist in both letterboxed and Pan & Scan form.

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  12. NewBogus :)

    NewBogus :) Plastic Duck Saves the World

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    Notice, that Boomerang CEE airs "Push-Button Kitty" with original Mammy Two Shoes voice intact (according to @Daffyrocks).
     
  13. Cool_Cat

    Cool_Cat Active Member

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    @NewBogus :) It's because they used the older print. Oddly enough they used the same one on Italia 1.
     
  14. Daffyrocks

    Daffyrocks Woo-hoo-hooo!

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    And if I'm not wrong I think that there are other T&J shorts which were aired on CN and Boomerang CEE with the original Mammy voice intact, like "Mouse Cleaning" (1948).
     
  15. NewBogus :)

    NewBogus :) Plastic Duck Saves the World

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    Every European channels which airs T&J cartoons got the same prints which were used to be aired on Cartoon Network and Boomerang.
     
  16. Daffyrocks

    Daffyrocks Woo-hoo-hooo!

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    Now I'm going to post some goofs and weirdness regarding some prints of certain cartoons (which I know for now):
    - the 90s Turner print of "Little Tinker" (1947) has the Fred Quimby credit title card cut, and the card before that remains freezed before the cartoon starts
    - The Laserdisc print of "The Bowling-Allet Cat" has a wrong end title (with the "Made in Hollywood, U.S.A" tagline), instead of the initial reissue one (without the Hollywood U.S.A tagline)
     
  17. Cool_Cat

    Cool_Cat Active Member

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    Little Tinker does that only on the PAL version.

    Both The Bowling Alley Cat and The Dog House had the correct end card on the original VHS release.

    They altered them on the 50th Birthday classics tape in the US and they sourced it for the Laserdisc release.
     
  18. Daffyrocks

    Daffyrocks Woo-hoo-hooo!

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    For you what is the best-looking Turner 90s print MGM cartoon? :D
     
  19. Cool_Cat

    Cool_Cat Active Member

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    Many of them look good, it's not easy to pick one. They had access to good quality sources.

    Actually many of the shorts look so good they don't really need to be restored.
     
  20. Daffyrocks

    Daffyrocks Woo-hoo-hooo!

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    Well, for me the best one is "The Bowling-Alley Cat" because of its very bright colors following the restoration process. :D The rest are just ok for me.

    BTW, just like the Looney Tunes shorts, the MGM ones also had differences between the USA and European Turner 90s prints, this including on the titles. An example is "Push-Button Kitty" (1952), which has no borders on the opening titles on the EU version, while the USA version does (proof here and here).
     
  21. Daffyrocks

    Daffyrocks Woo-hoo-hooo!

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    Well, for me the best one is "The Bowling-Alley Cat" because of its very bright colors following the restoration process. :D The rest are just ok for me.

    BTW, just like the Looney Tunes shorts, the MGM ones also had differences between the USA and European Turner 90s prints, this including on the titles. An example is "Push-Button Kitty" (1952), which has no borders on the opening titles on the EU version, while the USA version does (proof here and here)
     

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