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Mesterius

DuckTales (1987) on the Japanese Disney+ with unique video masters?

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Mesterius

This Japanese DuckTales intro popped up on YouTube recently. Apparently it's taken straight from Disney+, and it intrigues me because it actually has Japanese text titles on top of the image. It's apparently an original broadcast master too, as the text is identical to this 15-year old YouTube upload of the Japanese intro.

 

Until now, I was under the impression that Disney+ used the same video files for their content in all countries. But apparently that's not the case with DuckTales on Disney+ in Japan... or the intro wouldn't have these Japanese text titles. So could it be possible that the video masters for the full episodes are also different from the ones used in most countries?

 

The reason this could be interesting is that the video masters Disney+ uses for DuckTales in the U.S. and Europe have horrible-looking DVNR on the first 75 episodes. (Those episodes were DVNR-ed for the DVD editions in 2005-2007, and since then the DVNR masters have been used by Disney pretty much everywhere.) If the Japanese version stems from an older set of broadcast masters, maybe the DuckTales episodes on Disney+ in Japan are without DVNR.

 

So I was wondering: does anybody know if full rips of the Japanese-dubbed DuckTales episodes on Disney+ have surfaced anywhere? The YouTube upload of the intro certainly implies that someone has ripped them.

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Mesterius

Update: never mind, the uploader explained in a comment that the video footage is ripped from a Japanese LaserDisc release.

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SaurusX

Where do you get that the DVD's have DVNR applied?  They're noisy as all hell.

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Mesterius
2 hours ago, SaurusX said:

Where do you get that the DVD's have DVNR applied?  They're noisy as all hell.

Are you serious?? :S There is TONS of DVNR applied to the 75 episodes on the three original DVD volumes released in 2005-2007. Have you really never noticed this?

 

Give me a little while and I'll post some samples.

Edited by Mesterius

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SaurusX

Before seeing your samples, I consider DVNR to be something akin to what Disney has done with many of their Blu-ray releases of their classics.  Sword in the Stone, A Christmas Carol, Robin Hood....  They've been denoised to the point of looking like oil paintings. DuckTales, TaleSpin, and others looks like shovelware from a videotape source.

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Mesterius
1 hour ago, SaurusX said:

Before seeing your samples, I consider DVNR to be something akin to what Disney has done with many of their Blu-ray releases of their classics.  Sword in the Stone, A Christmas Carol, Robin Hood....  They've been denoised to the point of looking like oil paintings. DuckTales, TaleSpin, and others looks like shovelware from a videotape source.

Of course the DuckTales masters are from a videotape source, but they still DVNRed them. And quite brutally too. Disney hasn't done this with any of their other old TV cartoons, so the treatment of DuckTales really stands out.

 

In any case, the DVNR in DuckTales can't be compared with the treatment of the theatrical features, because at least there (in most cases) they tried to not let it erase animation... even though that has of course happened. In DuckTales, they obviously just let the DVNR run rampant on autopilot for the most part.

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SaurusX

I think you maybe referring to the rampant and destructive dot crawl that is in these Disney DVD releases. It literally destroys horizontal animation lines by turning them into a series of separated dots. I tried my best to deal with it when I encoded the series and I think Disney did, too, with the D+ version with differing results. However, I don’t think the problem there is DVNR, but just a very awful storage medium. 
 

But maybe you’re talking about something else?

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Mesterius
7 hours ago, SaurusX said:

I think you maybe referring to the rampant and destructive dot crawl that is in these Disney DVD releases. It literally destroys horizontal animation lines by turning them into a series of separated dots. I tried my best to deal with it when I encoded the series and I think Disney did, too, with the D+ version with differing results. However, I don’t think the problem there is DVNR, but just a very awful storage medium. 
 

But maybe you’re talking about something else?

No, dude, I don't mean dot crawl. Again -- I'm talking about DVNR which literally erases animation. It's not a problem that can be fixed through encoding of any kind. I've seen many of your DuckTales encodes and the DVNR is there just as it is in the DVD originals.

 

I presume you do know how DVNR works?

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SaurusX

Dude, show me. I’m very curious because almost the entire series has been posted on MySpleen taped from their original broadcast. I want to see the difference between then and the DVD’s. 

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Mesterius

@SaurusX Here are just a few of the many, many examples of DVNR in the first 75 episodes of DuckTales, as seen on DVD and Disney+. It's a big, consistent problem through the episodes on the first three DVD sets. Basically: very often when something on screen moves quickly, or the camera moves left/right or up/down, the DVNR cleanup software mistakes the fast-moving picture information for dust or damage, and erases parts of the animation.

 

This is how DVNR - aka Digital Video Noise Reduction - always works on cartoon animation. The trick to using it, as people working with film restoration have told me, is to afterwards go through the filtered footage and re-insert the original picture where the DVNR software erased/altered stuff that it shouldn't have. Of course, this is often not done at all (especially for cheap DVD releases of old TV cartoons), because it's a lot more costly than just letting the DVNR filter run on autopilot. Which is what happened on DuckTales.

 

By the way, there are tons more examples where these are coming from. (I think the only episode of the many I've watched from the first three DVD sets where I haven't noticed DVNR damage is "Don't Give Up the Ship".)


 

"Earth Quack"

Old TV recording - without DVNR:

29-Earth-Quack-04-49-TV-rip-without-DVNR 
 

DVD rip, standard (from DaftMink's upload) - with DVNR:

29-Earth-Quack-04-49-DVD-rip-with-DVNR.p

DVD rip, SaurusX encode - with DVNR:

29-Earth-Quack-04-49-DVD-rip-with-DVNR-S

 

 

"Merit-Time Adventure"
 

From top to bottom:

Old TV rip - without DVNR 
DVD rip, standard - with DVNR
DVD rip, SaurusX - with DVNR

 

40-Merit-time-Adventure-TVrip-without-DV

 

40-Merit-time-Adventure-DVDrip-with-DVNR

 

40-Merit-time-Adventure-DVDrip-with-DVNR

 

 

"Bermuda Triangle Tangle"

 

From top to bottom:

Old TV rip - without DVNR 
DVD rip, standard - with DVNR
DVD rip, SaurusX - with DVNR

 

31-Bermuda-Triangle-Tangle-15-19-TV-rip-

 

31-Bermuda-Triangle-Tangle-15-19-Dvdrip-

 

31-Bermuda-Triangle-Tangle-15-19-480p-DV

 

 

From top to bottom:

Old TV rip - without DVNR 
DVD rip, standard - with DVNR
DVD rip, SaurusX - with DVNR

 

31-Bermuda-Triangle-Tangle-15-03-TV-rip-

 

31-Bermuda-Triangle-Tangle-15-03-Dvdrip-

 

31-Bermuda-Triangle-Tangle-15-03-480p-DV

 

 

Incidentally: could you (or alternately, someone else reading this) possibly share those MySpleen TV recordings you mentioned here on the forum? They would be nice to have preserved.

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SaurusX

@MesteriusWell, I'm a believer now.

1989-KTTV-FOX-11-53-Duck-Tales-Earth-Qua

I did notice this line scrubbing effect while doing the encode, but I attributed it to the storage medium and not the use of DVNR, which doesn't seem to have made a positive difference in any other aspect. If only we could get top of the line LD rips from that Japanese release...

 

And I don't know about making available the DuckTales videotapes. Some people on there prefer things to remain on-site, but it's also a huge 115GB.  That's a lot of data to upload and have to maintain.

Edited by SaurusX

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flumpybump

how noticeable is this when the cartoon is playing?

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Mesterius
13 hours ago, flumpybump said:

how noticeable is this when the cartoon is playing?

It varies, but it's pretty damn noticeable in many cases. Especially when you know that the video masters are not supposed to look like this. Once you pick up on what kind of damage DVNR does to cartoons, you notice it more and more.

 

Just for instance, go to 04:45 here to see the first example from "Earth Quack" in action.

 

But of course, it's also a matter of knowing what you're looking at. If you assume the line erasing is due to bad compression, age, etc., you might think this is the best the series can look when sourced from the tape masters. Not so, however. If Disney had just released the DuckTales masters without DVNR-ing them, we would have had all the line art intact.

Edited by Mesterius
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Mesterius
On 11/6/2021 at 11:31 PM, SaurusX said:

@MesteriusWell, I'm a believer now.

1989-KTTV-FOX-11-53-Duck-Tales-Earth-Qua

I did notice this line scrubbing effect while doing the encode, but I attributed it to the storage medium and not the use of DVNR, which doesn't seem to have made a positive difference in any other aspect. If only we could get top of the line LD rips from that Japanese release...

Yeah, no, just Disney's self-inflicted damage in an attempt to make the episodes look "better" for DVD, sadly.

 

And actually... while making all the framegrabs, I DID notice a bit more dust and dirt in the unfiltered TV rips. So the DVNR filter removed some of that stuff too. But of course, there's still some noise left in the DVD picture. And given that no one will ever mistake the DVD presentation of DuckTales for a real restoration, it just feels doubly pointless that they did it.

 

To be clear, though: it's my understanding that the DVNR filter is primarily meant to remove dust and dirt, not necessarily all types of noise. For example (and probably depending on the settings you use), DVNR can scrub the picture of what it belives to be damage or dust and still retain film grain. Which is how it's often used when restoring film footage, since film grain is generally seen as a natural artifact of analogue film today.

 

On 11/6/2021 at 11:31 PM, SaurusX said:

And I don't know about making available the DuckTales videotapes. Some people on there prefer things to remain on-site, but it's also a huge 115GB.  That's a lot of data to upload and have to maintain.

 

I can see what you mean regarding the data, that is a lot of space. Might this mean the recordings are from homebrewed DVDs maybe (as in a VHS-to-DVD rip)? Around 1 GB, give or take, is fairly standard for a half-hour episode on DVD.

Edited by Mesterius

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SaurusX
17 hours ago, Mesterius said:

I can see what you mean regarding the data, that is a lot of space. Might this mean the recordings are from homebrewed DVDs maybe (as in a VHS-to-DVD rip)? Around 1 GB, give or take, is fairly standard for a half-hour episode on DVD.

It is a VHS-to-DVD transfer and about 30 minutes per episode given that the commercials are included. Spleeners love those old commercials. I think 2 or 3 episodes are missing from the entire run of the series. Quite impressive. 

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