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Anime

Angry Spirited Away Fans Strike Back 334

peter_gzowski writes "Anime News Network is reporting that, 'The Japanese consumers in the Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures of Japan have filed a lawsuit against Walt Disney Japan over the red tint on the Japanese DVD release of Spirited Away.' Japanese consumers who purchased the Spirited Away DVD were very disappointed when they discovered a red tint to the film. A hundred thousand consumers complained, but Buena Vista Home Entertainment Japan (a subsidiary of Walt Disney) pretended nothing was wrong with the disc. The original source of news of the suit can be found (in Japanese) at Mainichi. No response from Disney yet."
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Angry Spirited Away Fans Strike Back

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  • Red faced? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2002 @05:56AM (#4825646)
    I bet this will leave Disney red faced ;-)
  • Could it be (Score:3, Funny)

    by bryan1945 ( 301828 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @05:56AM (#4825652) Journal
    the Communist version?

    (really dating myself here)
    • Nothing wrong with dating yourself. The dinner conversations are somewhat one sided, though... =)
    • You're not dating yourself. China is still a very red Communist. ;-)

    • No, because in the Communist version the DVD tints YOU!!!

      Sorry guys, the chance was there, my karma is good already, what can I say?
  • 100,000 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jericho4.0 ( 565125 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @05:58AM (#4825657)
    'A hundred thousand consumers complained', wow. That's a lot.

    Does this say something about Buena Vista, Disney, the Japanese, or what?

    • Re:100,000 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @10:37AM (#4826787) Journal
      the English version of the Mainichi Story [mainichi.co.jp]

      • Disney red-faced over 'faulty' DVD

        KYOTO -- Buyers of a DVD version of the popular animated film "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" have launched a lawsuit against its retailer, Walt Disney Japan, claiming the color is "completely different" from movie theater showings.

        The Kyoto District Court suit, launched by three buyers from Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, claims that a heavy red tone persists throughout the DVD version, ruining the film.

        They have demanded that the company replace the copies they bought with a better version, and pay them 10,000 yen each in compensation.

        A total of 3 million copies of the DVD have already been produced, and Walt Disney Japan and consumer centers have reportedly fielded numerous complaints from other buyers.

        Walt Disney Japan began selling DVD copies of the film through Buena Vista Home Entertainment in July. However, a red tone that buyers claim persists through the film makes the movie dark, and consumers say it is completely different from the movie version.

        Buyers of the DVD reportedly analyzed the colors by computer and found that of the three primary colors, the red tone was extremely strong.

        Buena Vista Home entertainment reportedly posted a home page message saying that the tone of the colors could vary depending on the playing environment, but the firm is reportedly refusing to exchange copies, saying the DVD is not a defective product.

        Buena Vista officials said they would consider a response together with Studio Ghibli, the makers of the "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi" film, but added that the DVD was an original product whose tones were produced while respecting the intentions of the producers. (Mainichi Shimbun, Dec. 3, 2002)

      Ironic that this happened in a country with a reputation for a highly developed sense of artistry and aesthetics. What were they thinking?
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @06:03AM (#4825669) Journal
    I think Hayao Miyazaki didn't notice the problem with the red tint in his movie for obvious reasons [clearchannel.com]. ;-)
    • I thought you were perhaps referring to the fact that Miyazaki was for a good deal of his life a Marxist. I'm surprised I have heard little mention of this... Any good biography [nausicaa.net] will note how much of an influence communism had on Miyazaki's life.
  • by DCowern ( 182668 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @06:06AM (#4825677) Homepage

    The article states: They claim that, after analyzing the DVD, they found that its color balance was biased towards red.

    Anyone have any ideas how this happened? It doesn't seem like it's one of those things that "just happens". It sounds to me like someone in the DVD production group seriously goofed and it was missed by the QA team. If that's the case, it's a pretty amazing oversight... I'd love to hear the opinions of those who know more about video production than I.

    • by noackjr ( 541550 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @06:11AM (#4825694)
      Studio Ghbli said that they did not use the data that was used in theatrical releasing prints of the film, but they used the newly mastered DVD/Video digital data in consideration with the fact that the DVD should be played on Liquid Crystal TV or Plasma TV, so should be no problem for its quality. As for the trailers on the DVD, it might not be color corrected for the DVD format so it might slightly be different from what you see in the DVD feature it they are the same scene.
      They optimized the color for another media. The director of photography of the film was in on it. That's how they wanted it to look.
      • Yup, it apparently looks great if you can spend $5,000 to $10,000 on a plasma screen :P

        For the rest of us with normal TVs however, it's a bit red.

        Actually, I wasn't too unhappy with mine - it looks pretty decent on my TV.

        N.
      • by Mononoke ( 88668 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @08:44AM (#4826119) Homepage Journal
        Quoting the stuff you quoted:
        they used the newly mastered DVD/Video digital data in consideration with the fact that the DVD should be played on Liquid Crystal TV or Plasma TV
        Bullshit. If there were special white balance considerations just for LCD or Plasma TVs, then everything else you would watch on those TVs would look wrong, because their white balance wasn't 'specially altered' for viewing on those devices.

        If your CRT/LCD/etc. isn't calibrated to the same white point as the rest of the world, then everything but this DVD would look bad.

        Disney just doesn't want to admit they fucked up. Again.

      • Even on Liquid Crystal TV (I have no plasma TV to play with) the movie still looks reddish, not so much different than normal CRT TV. Even if it is really intended to be view on those kind of TVs, there should be warning on the package.
  • Disney had a similar problem with "Pocahontas" a few years ago, with thousands of Americans complaining about a "red tint" in the film.

    These complaints stopped, however, when Disney admitted they were trying to portray "Native Americans". Consumers were simply mistaken -- the rest of the movie suggested they were Americans of European descent.
  • Japanese eyes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by theolein ( 316044 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @06:10AM (#4825689) Journal
    Apart from the other arguments, this suddenly reminded me of something I read when I was a kid. Apparently, according to the article, a lot of japanese have more sensitive eyes than most europeans (caucasian, white etc, this is not meant as a racist comment) and can detect subtle differences in hues of a colour that others don't. The article talked about japanese pearl divers being able to see subtle off-whites in the pearls and seperate them according to quality.

    The point is: Are Disney's people in Japan mostly beefy white Americans? Is it possible that they literaly can't see the red tint in the DVD?

    I've had a similar experience once when designing a website, and a guy from marketing kept wanting fucking wierd oranges and other strange hues until we discovered that he was colourblind.
    • Can it be the reason why they implemented HDTV at 1980's even? Real interesting point, thanks.
    • The off-white from pearls is just training and being around the items for so long you get to know the different hues.
      It is no different then jewelry and gemist of other races being about to grade stones just but looking at them with the naked eye.
    • Sounds highly dubious to me. I've not heard superior eyesight, but I've read that certain kinds of eye failure and even blindness are a ton more common in East Asia--one thought was that MSG might cause eye failure.
      • Has MSG always been a natural component of East Asian food, or is it a modern additive?
        • It's my understanding that MSG didn't come into common use until the early 20th century. Long enough to mess up the current generations.

          Of course we Americans eat much more MSG (and other sources of glutamte: hydrolized vegetable protein, autolyzed (or torula) yeast, caseinate) than anyone else, so that theory won't hold. Despite the growing awareness that MSG is an "excitotoxin" and might cause various neural dysfunctions, it is still a common additive in prepared foods.

    • The colour counts (Score:5, Interesting)

      by oliverthered ( 187439 ) <{oliverthered} {at} {hotmail.com}> on Friday December 06, 2002 @07:33AM (#4825884) Journal
      People with Brown eyes(on average) are less sensitive to flicker than people with blue or green eyes by about 5-10hz. (not sure about grey eyes).
      The internet's a bit lacking on information, so here's some info on colour sensitivity...

      Sensitivity to Color:

      Different areas of human eyes have different sensitivity to color. For example, the eye is not sensitive to color at the periphery. It is only possible to discriminate between colors only +_60 of the straight head position. The color awareness range is about 90 to the straight head position. The eye is least sensitive to red, green, and yellow at the periphery. Thus when designing interface for large screen, blue would make a good background color.

      The front of the eyes is more sensitive to red, green, and yellow. If we put small blue objects on the screen, which will usually be in the front of the eye, these objects will tend to disappear form the screen.

      Discernment of color differences:

      Eye is also least sensitive to changes in the shades of blue. It is very sensitive to changes in the shades of red. Eye is sensitive to the differences between colors in various degrees and the discernment of color differences is not uniform across the spectrum.

      The eyes need to refocus for the colors, which are not near on the spectrum. Thus it would be difficult (tiring) for human eye to focus if red and blue are placed together.
      • Try it (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jacobjyu ( 583486 )
        The fact that our eyes can barely detect color in our peripherary vision is not common sense to most people.. we assume that we can see color in our peripherary because it "seems" that we retain that color information.

        But try this: tell your friend to bring an object from the left or right of you, deep in your periphary vision, and tell him to move it up and down, and come less and less deep in your peripherary vision.. tell him to stop when you can see the movement out of the corner of your eye. I'm willing to bet that you can't tell what color it is (at this point I've had my brain fool me by thinking it's definitely one color, when it turns out to be somehting totatlly different).
      • Red on blue (Score:3, Informative)

        by tgibbs ( 83782 )
        The eyes need to refocus for the colors, which are not near on the spectrum. Thus it would be difficult (tiring) for human eye to focus if red and blue are placed together.
        The eye also gets some depth cues from focus. So red on blue produces a slight "3D" illusion, which was exploited in some of the "psychedelic" posters of the 60's
    • Re:Japanese eyes (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @07:52AM (#4825930) Homepage

      Google reckons that "Congenital color vision deficiency overwhelmingly affects more men than women. About 10 million men in the United States (7% of the male population) have a color vision deficiency compared to 0.4% of women. Caucasian men experience the highest prevalence of this disorder." [visionchannel.net] et al.

      Try a colour vision deficiency test [toledo-bend.com] yourself.

      C.f. the overheard conversation in Return to Castle Wolfenstein:

      • German 1: "How do ve defuse this thing?"
      • German 2: "Cut ze red wire. Or is the ze green? Hold on vhile I get ze manual."
      • German 1: "Ach, it doesn't matter, ze all look grey to me anyvay." [BOOM]

      It's funny, until you ask the Institute of Electrical Engineers [iee.org] (largely composed of caucasian men) whether they require their members to be able to distinguish wiring colours. Go on, ask them. ;-)

    • by Richard Kirk ( 535523 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @08:23AM (#4826027)
      I used to do colour calibration stuff for Canon, and have measured printers and monitors in Tokyo and the UK. This isn't a definative answer, but maybe it will do for now.

      The early CIE eye tristimulus models (the figures for spectral sensitivities of the eye's red, green, and blue detectors used in the CIE standard colour spaces) are still based on a very small sample of people. I beleve the first standards were based on only 17 people, all white, male Europeans. Even now, I think most standards are based on a sample of a little over four hundred people.

      Why? Well, you cannot easily measure the tristimulus directly, so you have to get each of your subjects to match a lot of colours to characterise their eye's sensitivity over the whole spectrum. Then each person has a different yellow spot on their eye - the size and the density can vary quite a bit - so there is a fair amount of natural scatter. The case for natural tetrachromats claims the women's eye red response is bimodal, but when you see the tristimulus functions plotted out, it is really hard to see the evidence for it.

      We do not have to rely on western figures. The Japanese had independently worked on colour science. The Ishihara who did the eye test patterns (he hand-painted the first ones using watercolours) did some measurements. But, again the populations measured were fairly small.

      On the other hand, we know that the ability to remember and perceive colours is greatly affected by experience, and even the words used to describe colours. Tests on Bornean tribesmen that had separate words for yellowish-green (Wor) and bluish-green (Nol) were relatively better at remembering and distinguishing contrasts between these two colours then some other pairs of colours that the rest of us would find more easy. Now Japanese uses 'akai' for bright red paint, but also for skin colour (usually in connection with emotions), and brown shoe colour. Brown is usually 'chairo', which is 'tea-colour' but they also use 'kitsune-iro' (fox color) and 'tsuchi-iro' (earth-colour). If we are familiar with tomato red, brown, ochre, and brick red, we are bound to respond to colours and colour contrasts differently, but this does not mean we see them differently.

      So, are Eastern and Western eyes different? The figures we have would suggest that you would not be able to identify the race of a person by their eye response - we are much more alike then we are different. If we measured a few tens of thousands of people, we might be able to drag some systematic difference out of the noise. But I don't think we could tell whether it was a genetic difference of a cultural difference, even then.

      The pink cast on the DVD is much bigger than these differences. It's clearly an error. The suppliers ought to have offered a replacement DVD. Next time, they might. Give 'em hell, fellas, gambatte kudasai!

    • If you look at the screenshots some people posted above, the red shift is so obvious a dog could see it.
  • by pangloss ( 25315 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @06:13AM (#4825697) Journal
    i have the region 2 (japanese) of spirited away--but it's still shrink-wrapped, so i can't give a first-person account :P nevertheless, here [animeondvd.com] are plenty of firsthand accounts of the red tint.

    on the same forum there is another thread reporting that the publisher of the korean release (dec 7) has announced that it will not have the red tint--although i'm not sure how that's been arranged. this seems to be a pretty severe acknowledgement of the red tint problem if the report is true.
  • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @06:14AM (#4825701) Homepage
    Sample picture [nausicaa.net]

    I have no knowledge about the problem, just passing on the link I found. The effect is somewhat subtle from a single image, but I bet it's much worse when you watch the whole movie. Seems quite possible that the shirt on the right should be white.

    -
    • by Schwarzy ( 70560 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @06:36AM (#4825763)
      Display histogram of this picture (I used Gimp but any program should work).
      Then, have a look at the unified histogram values of the picture and the red one: they are almost identical !

      Another thing to do is to decompose the image in order to see the strength of each component. You will see that the red is very very very strong compared to other (look at the [to be supposed] white and green leafs).

      A desaturation make the image flat and ugly because there are too much red. It is like if the image had have been badly normalized because normalization do nothing.

      There is no doubt that the color components are badly balanced. At least in this picture.
      • In gimp, go: Image->colors->levels
        In the levels dialog, click on the Auto button.

        It makes quite a difference.

        If this screenshot is indicative of the whole movie, I'd agree with the complainers that there's a problem.

    • I found a screenshot from the DivX-version that floated around on the web earlier and uploaded it, just so people can see for themselves:

      the 'original' version [e-mats.org]... the title says that its a DVD-RIP, but it might be from another batch or another manufacturer.

      (if not, its just divx screewing with the colors :p)
    • Yup, that's red all right. That's not the level of thing a less practice eyen would notice, though. I could show this pic to my grandmother, and she'd think I was nuts to claim I was seeing a red tint. But I swear, to me those skin tones stick out badly.
    • by Stavr0 ( 35032 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @09:34AM (#4826379) Homepage Journal
      Did a histogram on the subtitle word 'Mange'. as inserted by the DVD player): R:141 G:137 B:126 -- Almost perfect.
      The whole scene is skewed: R:141 G:119 B:63.
      Worse is Haku's (boy on the right) shirt, supposed to be white: R:244 G:183 B:136

      This looks like the white balance was pushed all the way to 6000K

    • Well, the balls of rice that the girl on the right are holding should definitely be white.

      My question though is "are the consumer's televisions" balanced correctly?

      I was amazed when I got a the Avia [amazon.com] video calibration disk at how much red was in my televisions by default. It seems that TV manufacturers make them more red by default so that display models will look good under store lighting. But when you get it home you don't look at it under store lighting and so you need to adjust things back to NTSC standards. (I can't speak for PAL, sorry Europe)

      Anyway, movies from my DVDs look a lot better now that the color has been adjusted. Blacks are black, whites are whiter, and color balance is near perfect. My TV (57" Widescreen Sony) allows for multiple color settings as well. So I have one for Lights Out watching and one for when the lights are on in the room. Makes a big difference.
  • by MoonFog ( 586818 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @06:17AM (#4825709)
    From the mail :
    "(...) Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)" is a digitally-animated movie produced by Studio Ghilbli, and its full-digital frames were designed and produced on computers. The coloration of the master for the DVD and VHS was strictly supervised/approved by Studio Ghibli's color designers and DP/Cinematographer.
    The "Spirited Away" DVD/VHS was produced through an entirely novel procedure in mastering, and both Studio Ghibli and Buena Vista Home Entertainment Japan believe the quality of the DVD/VHS to be the best and the most faithful in terms of reproducing the original movie under the given circumstances.
    As for the trailers on Disc 2, they have been included solely for the purpose of providing necessary information on the film, and because of this nature, it was not specifically color-corrected. Consequently, some differences in coloration may be detected between the same scene on the trailers on Disc 2 and the main feature on Disc 1. We assure the highest standard of quality control has been maintained on the manufacturing of both DVD and VHS, but differences in coloration may be detected depending on the type of equipment and/or the settings of the system being used.

    That's their explanation at least.
  • by oRiCN ( 21089 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @06:32AM (#4825750) Homepage
    I took that screen shot that is floating around and just ran it through Photoshop 7's 'Auto Color' options and this is the result!

    http://www.digitald.uk.com/storage/s-away-red.jpg [uk.com]
    • Should the subtitles be bright white with a black edge? On the left the subtitles are a light gray with some red and occasionally green tints. I wonder if the jpeg compression didn't bias the entire image toward the red scale. Obviously once its been corrected in photoshop the text turns blueish. That's to be expected from photoshop.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You're all mistaken, that's just the latest copy protection Disney came up with. Now they have a list of 100,000 consumers that they can sue for DMCA infringement ;)
  • What I wonder is... (Score:5, Informative)

    by 26199 ( 577806 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @06:39AM (#4825772) Homepage

    Why are they asking for a replacement plus eighty dollars?

    Has it caused them emotional and psychological distress to that degree?

    Surely a replacement and legal expenses would be more reasonable...

    • hehe you should have heard the jerks sueing MCDonalds because it made them fat, or "they didn't know coffee was hot", it sounds like that to me.

      Hmm, when did japanese start this style of lameness?
      • hehe you should have heard the jerks sueing MCDonalds because it made them fat, or "they didn't know coffee was hot", it sounds like that to me.

        The lady who spilled coffee on her actually had 3rd degree burns on her legs and private area. The coffee was actually too hot for consumers to drink. The coffee was hot enough to give you 3rd degree burns in 3 seconds.

        A mocha at your local starbucks was safer before this lawsuit.
      • With respect to the McDonald's lawsuit, the multimillion dollar verdict was reduced by the judge as being too excessive, and the plaintiff settled for much less. The people who point out this lawsuit as an example of tort abuse never seem to mention this fact.

        The concept of punitive damages is that it acts as a punishment for intentional or grossly negligent behavior, and is intended to discourage future improper behavior. In the McDonald's case, the McDonald's corporation was aware of a number of previous burn incidents and more or less decided that they would keep their coffee as hot as it was, and would simply pay damages whenever they get sued and lost. This is the same finanically based decision that Ford made when they neglected to do anything about the Pinto's exploding gas tank. The purpose behind imposing punitive damages is to make the defendant come to the realization that it's economically better for them to behave properly.

        Oh yeah, and the woman received 3rd degree burns. From coffee.

    • by parliboy ( 233658 ) <parliboy@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Friday December 06, 2002 @07:08AM (#4825835) Homepage
      From an interview [animenewsnetwork.com] with one of the plaintiffs:

      - You seek 10,000 yen per plaintiff. What is the basis of this amount?

      I believe that we should not demand too much compensation because it is not as if we were harmed in any way. Our purpose is not financial, but rather to scrutinize the distributor's attitude as a corporation towards its clients. I think that this would not have become such a problem if Buena Vista had admitted its mistake when people complained in the first place; there would never have been any lawsuit if they had. I think that it is Buena Vista's attidude and response to the issue that are the problem

    • Apparently you're not familiar with how much DVDs (especially the Ghibli DVDs) cost in Japan.

      A typicaly Miyazaki DVD goes for over 4000 yen (~$30 given current exchange rates) at most retail stores, slightly under that if you shop around for a "discount" place online or go somewhere like Don Quixote.

      That's still a 5000-6000 yen difference between what they paid and what they're asking for. I suspect that the amount might actually be some "padding" to take into account the typically very small awards most lawsuit winners end up receiving. I remember seeing a news story about a town where entire families have been mutilated and diseased due to the presence of a chemical plant dumping straight into the ocean (they had a pipe running straight from the factory to the shore) where each victim ended up with ~$10k for a lifetime of heinous suffering and deformity.

      I happened to be in Japan when this DVD was released and picked it up, took it home and watched it, and never noticed anything but my TV auto-adjusts the color balance. I also saw it in the theater when it came out in Japan, but it was so long before the DVD release that I can't really remember if there was a tint or not.

    • This is a legal tactic. I'm sure that in whatever passes for a class action lawsuit in Japan, they'll be willing to settle for new DVD's and some amount of legal fees to feed the lawyers.

  • watch out (Score:5, Funny)

    by rudiger ( 35571 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @07:03AM (#4825819)
    hell hath no fury like a thousand angry anime fans.
    • "hell hath no fury like a thousand angry anime fans."

      A thousand hentai fans would not only leave a wake of death and destruction, but inumerable bleeding orafices as well.
  • possibilities (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mattr ( 78516 ) <mattr@NOSpAM.telebody.com> on Friday December 06, 2002 @08:25AM (#4826039) Homepage Journal
    I don't know what happened and don't have the DVD but I've seent he original a few times.

    Maybe it's a copy protection experiment.

    Maybe it's a wierd attempt to (over)compensate for a phenomenon that is real in the still photo world - popualr images and the characteristics of print film make for much stronger red in U.S. film (e.g. Kodak especially when used in people shots) and much stronger blue in Japan.

    Maybe it's a massive screwup (no kidding)

    Maybe it's an attempt by Disney to hurt Ghibli (wouldn't put it past them)

    Maybe it was made with a cutting edge "superior" technology that unfortunately looks like utter crap on most sets and nobody every tried it at home before going to print

    At any rate those screenshots look like utter crap in comparison to the original film and what is considered reasonable in Japan.
  • DVD screen capture (Score:3, Informative)

    by Spire ( 101081 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @08:49AM (#4826148)
    In anticipation of it getting Slashdotted, I have made available a reduced-size copy [photoisland.com] of a DVD screen capture [nausicaa.net] that shows the reddish tint.
  • I was looking for this, but found the link to the game girls first - hope I didn't distract anyone :)

    Disney red-faced over 'faulty' DVD [mainichi.co.jp]
  • The Matrix (Score:3, Funny)

    by Stavr0 ( 35032 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @09:40AM (#4826410) Homepage Journal
    Does that mean we can go ahead and sue WB for the faulty green tint on The Matrix DVD?
  • by YoshiR ( 516680 )
    I own the Japanese version of the DVD and if I hadn't seen the screenshot comparisions, I would have NEVER noticed the red tint. In Japan, Spirited Away is the highest grossing film ever, so everyone's seen the movie in the the theatre and that's from where they've probably noticed the difference. Are they right in getting upset?? I would think if the same sort of thing happened here, we'd have a similiar reaction from our own "movie purists".
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @10:20AM (#4826664) Homepage
    Whether you like Disney or not, you have to admit that for many decades they were a quality brand. This showed up in many ways. They have been far more punctilious than other studios about preserving their films (sure, it's paid off in endless re-releases, but it's still a "quality" move).

    Richard Schickel, in "The Disney Version," says that even in the forties Disney kept a tight rein on Disney-character-merchandise licensees. Many parents have observed that--whether or not you think the stuff is any good, anything with Mickey Mouse on it has always been durable and well-made. (In the seventies when the kids were little the "word" was that "that Winnie-the-Pooh stuff (from Sears) wears like iron.")

    The theme parks are, or used to be, so well maintained that after a day in one you started to ache for the sight of mashed chewing-gum or a candy wrapper. Perfect paint jobs on all the rides, painted scenery in the rides with dozens of subtle pastels like the background paintings in a classic Disney cartoon...

    And the home videos were always of good quality, too. Not that you noticed it much--it's the sort of thing that you don't notice unless there's a problem.

    This is very, very strange. It doesn't sound like Disney at all. They used to be very careful stewards of their brand.
  • If the people in charge of the mastering process say that the end result DVD is exactly what they were making, could it possibly be that they're not lying? Maybe (for some odd reason) they chose to make things more red for a "warmer" glow to the picture? They are, after all, the only ones who have the authority to say what's true and what is not; any one else who argues with them therefore must be wrong. It's either that, or they just expect you to turn down the red hue on your TV, which is silly.
  • I don't think Disney will try to pull this stunt on us for the eventual Region 1 DVD release of Spirited Away that will probably come some time in 2003.

    Mostly because here in the USA we have a huge number of folks with 32" or larger CRT televisions and an increasing number of folks with projection TV sets--any hint of a reddish tint on the Region 1 DVD release of Spirited Away will cause Disney to be read the riot act in a New York minute and then some.
  • by toren ( 202921 ) on Friday December 06, 2002 @01:04PM (#4827915)
    I picked up the DVD in question from Amazon, as I'm a serious Ghibli fan. My usual routine is to get the R2 DVD, decrypt it to my computer, and then burn a new DVD with (often corrected) subtitles and translated menus. I do this for my own use, because I am a Freak. Yes, it's legal.

    Anyway, I had heard that there was a slight red tint before I got the disc, but HOLY COW was it noticeable. I don't buy for a second that it was intentional, for two reasons:

    1) The "balanced for Plasma and LCD screens" excuse is bullshit. If Plasma and LCD screens displayed a different white balance or color gamut than CRTs, then no one would want them. I'm tempted to make an unaltered DVD-R of the film and take it over to the Fry's and try it out on their big Plasma TVs, but I know what the outcome would be.

    2) The "we wanted a warmer look for the film" excuse doesn't fly, either. This is because even the Studio Ghibli logo at the beginning of the feature is way off. The other six Ghibli DVDs I have all have the same, pure blue Ghibli logo at the beginning. This one was more of a coral color; it's clearly a different color. After adjusting the color balance in the rest of the film back to Earth standards, surprise -- the logo looked normal.

    So, in case anybody else is as much of a freak, here's how I corrected the color on my copy, using TMPGEnc:

    Using TMPGEnc's "Custom Color Correction":

    RGB Brightness (0, 28, 46)
    RGB Contrast (0, 71, 134)
    RGB Contrast 0 base (-10, 0, 0)
    Basic Setting (0, 0, -10, 0, 0)
    YUV Saturation (18)

    That gets the picture very close to the original, as compared to the non-red-shifted trailer included on the Spirited Away DVD and Kiki's Delivery Service DVD.

    Hey, there's another thought: maybe there's nothing wrong with the color -- maybe we're all just moving away from the TV really fast.

    I wonder whether the lawsuit will do anything for non-Japanese residents...

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? -- Charlie McCarthy

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