Disney is Preserving Song of the South

Over at CartoonBrew.com, editor Jerry Beck has posted on his blog “‘Song of the South’ can be yours –  for $1,499“, in reference to an auction on eBay for a 16mm IB Technicolor print of the film. The opening bid was $1,499. (Update: It ended up selling for $2,750 with 8 bids.)

But perhaps even more interesting is a post left in the comments section of the article, in which reader Egbert Souse states that “Disney is remastering Song of the South from the original negatives in 4K resolution. It’s not in the immediate pipeline for a Snow White or Bambi level restoration, but they’ll have complete digital files by the end of next year.”

Update (10/1/2011): As confirmation for the above comment that Disney is working on preserving Song of the South, Merlin Jones has pointed me to the following article over at the Home Theater Forum, which discusses Disney’s restoration of Dumbo and the efforts they are currently putting forth to preserve their entire library of volatile nitrate film negatives (which Disney used for all films prior to 1955):

“Since 2004 Disney has undertaken a huge scanning project with the Library of Congress.  They ship large chunks of their library across the country in refrigerated trucks to MPI at Warner Brothers and make 4K digital scans, verifying that every frame was scanned successfully.  They aren’t stopping with digital.  Due to the volatility of the nitrate stock and that fact that regardless of what they try to do they can’t prevent the eventual decay, Joe Jiuliano and his team are making new black and white successive exposure negatives designed to preserve the films for another 100 years.  The project is almost complete and when they are finished they will have re-preserved their entire nitrate library: 16,500,000 frames.

“And it’s not just animation.  This project has been used to get 4K scans and new prints to preserve live action classics like Song of the South (no plans to release) and just this year Parent Trap, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Old Yeller, The Absent-Minded Professor and Pollyanna (I encouraged them to start releasing these live action classics to Blu-ray).”

This is just a small excerpt of what is an excellent article, including restoration photos and interviews with Disney’s Sarah Duran-Singer (Senior V.P. of Post Production), Dave Bossert (Creative Director and Artistic Supervisor of the Restoration and Preservation Team), and Joe Jiuliano (Director of Film and Video Services, and Technical Advisor for the Restoration Committee.) Check it out!


Posted in Collectibles, Rumors, Song of the South | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Disney is Preserving Song of the South

  1. jeff hietala says:

    If Disney claims they want to “hide” the film from the public then why are they restoring it? Could Iger and his executive may be secretly planning to release it to the public in the future? Hey, it took until 1992 or 1993 to release “Snow White”. And then they released “Victory Through Air Power”(a WWII era documentary film) Don’t buy into what Iger says at shareholder’s meetings. What is said publicly is not necessarily what is really going on behind closed doors!!

  2. Miss Shad says:

    I think this is a good sign. I mean if Disney is really so hell-bent on keeping this film away from the general public, why would they bother restoring it?

  3. Brian says:

    Great to hear… hopefully this leads to good things!

  4. sean says:

    i think they must be doing some thing with that film if they are going to restore it because i would say that would cost millions and i hope they put it on DVD because i am sick of watching Disney movies like hanna montana and i do have song of the south on a VHS
    but it wount last for ever and i hope they put Disney sing along songs of zip a dee doo dah on dvd because they would make millions and make people happy.
    p.s have a zip a dee doo dah day.

  5. Kevin says:

    well, even if this isn’t the proper restoration that should be like the previous restorations, and even if a proper re-release is still easier said than done, I’d say that this is somehow the next best thing.

    I wonder how it will look by the end of year.