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Restored Films (58)

I felt bad the other night when I got everyone psyched up for new film restoration - specifically I've been much like Paul Revere in recent weeks..."The Swan Boats are coming, the Swan boats are coming!" I wasn't joking around, the transfer was complete last week and when the hard drive arrived it turned out everything on it was corrupt. To make some amends, and to prove that I'm not trying to turn this into some cruel joke - I felt I needed to make it up to our readers. Unbeknownst to most people, I actually have two, yes two, pieces of on board footage of the swan boats. This film was going to be the second of the two to be release, however now with those plans foiled, it rockets to the #1 spot.

A few weeks back we presented some home movies filmed by David Coolidge (https://www.retrodisneyworld.com/retrodisneyworld/imageworks-film-restoration-blog/1973-magic-kingdom-super8-with-sound-mickey-mouse-review-and-more). David was impressed with our restoration work and as a result submitted an additional few films for us to restore.

This particular film is from March 1975 - David did his own editing and added a soundtrack to his home movies; a task that at the time was daunting to say the least. After the opening shot we are treated to a ride on the Swan Boats, deep into Adventureland and around Cinderella's castle. Some shots of the train pulling into the Frontierland station are next along with the Pearly Band just off the side of Main Street as the day time parade starts up. Some character entertainment featuring Mickey Mouse, Pooh and the cats from the Aristocats round out the first half while the Adventureland steel drum band and the fife and drum bring us to the end.

Technical Notes:  Decent film quality, the exposure did have quite a bit of range in each scene. The sound was single channel monaural, we have duplicated the audio track to the second channel.

Receive 40% off your digital transfers and free restoration of your films! retrodisneyworld.com/imageworks

A few weeks back we presented some home movies filmed by David Coolidge (https://www.retrodisneyworld.com/retrodisneyworld/imageworks-film-restoration-blog/1973-magic-kingdom-super8-with-sound-mickey-mouse-review-and-more). David was impressed with our restoration work and as a result submitted an additional few films for us to restore.

This particular film is from March 25, 1975. After the band opens and the crowd dances; Shari Lewis and Lambchops take the stage... Yes, that is right.. Shari Lewis and other big name headliners would perform at the Contemporary...

Technical Notes:  The sound was single channel monaural, we have duplicated the audio track to the second channel.

Receive 40% off your digital transfers and free restoration of your films! retrodisneyworld.com/imageworks
 

Learn how to get 40% off your digital transfers and FREE restoration of your films! retrodisneyworld.com/imageworks

Back when film was expensive and a low percentage of the population actually had a movie camera, Walt Disney World sold souvenir films for you to purchase, take home and watch at your leisure. If your friends happened to be visiting while you enjoyed these films, Disney considered it a win. They were betting that you would take the time to set up the projector, pull down the screen, make popcorn, dim the lights and show off your trip to WDW with a grainy poor quality film. Sure they were "souvenir" films, but lets look at reality here, Disney wanted your friends and family to see it, have an eureka moment, pack up the kids in the metallic pea Family Truckster and make a pilgrimage to WDW. Souvenir Film? No..future money grab film? Why yes...

If you saw our first souvenir restoration ("The Magic of WDW" from 1974") you'll remember that it was an overview of all of WDW from 1974. Today's film is titled Attraction Highlights #2 and is quite the departure from the other. Instead of seeing a little bit of everything, we are treated to ten minutes of footage from only five attractions: Country Bear Jamboree, Carousel of Progress, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain. That alone sounds very interesting, but then you realize that the film is silent, despite the wonderful visuals, some parts just don't work with out sound - Big Al for instance, what is enjoyable about a bear with a guitar when you can't hear him? I digress.

The most interesting part of this film is that other than the exterior shots, the Pirates of the Caribbean footage is from Disneyland - despite this film coming out in 1979 the riders are clearly dressed in 1960s fashion, not to mention the obvious age of the film, the scenes from Disneyland's version and the different style boats. PoC opened at WDW in late 1973, why they couldn't film the correct attraction in the 6 years prior to this film being released is beyond us...possibly just to save a few dollars and figured the average person would never be the wiser. Disney used the Disneyland footage years prior to the attraction opening at WDW in other promotional films and continued to use it into the early 1980s. The Space Mountain footage is notable as it seems to be actually taken while on the ride - a refreshing departure from the footage that came a few years later that was obviously created on a sound stage.

Technical Notes: This is another of Disney's mass produced souvenir films so its not surprise that the prints were done poorly and haven't aged well over time. The film has been copied and copied again, loosing detail and fidelity with each successive pass. Regardless, we were able to take each attraction and restore those parts individually - doing the best we could to match the color.

 

@BrianPMiles was nice enough to send me a reel of film that he obtained from a garage sale. The film canister said "Florida November '71" and he took the chance that there was some WDW footage on it. Well his curiosity paid off, sandwiched between visits to Silver Springs and other Florida attractions was pristine footage of the Magic Kingdom in November 1971 - at this point this is the earliest post-opening film of WDW that I've ever seen.

After the obligatory pan of Main Street USA, we can see the Christmas decorations are up for the holiday season. A view from the Plaza restaurant shows construction just beyond Tomorrowland and the original yellow Swan Boat landing. From there, the film dives into a world of scenery and landscape - beautifully showing how the park was just after opening. Incredible shots of 20k, Fantasyland, and the Sunshine Tree Terrace. The now famous Jungle Cruise Frogs make their appearance at the 3:17 mark followed by the remainder of the attraction, sans any dense foliage. Shots from the Seven Seas Lagoon and Main Street round out the day followed by some wonderful shots of Liberty Square, Frontierland and Tomorrowland all lit by twilight. The film ends at sunset, panning over from one of the bridges on the hub with just a hint of the castle in silhouette.

Enjoy and be sure to say thanks to @BrianPMiles via twitter!

Technical Notes: The film was in incredible shape, we literally didn't do much to it other than some grain reduction, sharpening and some minor color tweaks. There was some in-attraction footage, specifically Mickey Mouse Review, Small World, Tiki Birds and Country Bears - we left this footage on the cutting room floor as most of it was very dark and grainy. We have better footage of those attractions coming in the next few weeks.

 

Learn how to get 40% off your digital transfers and FREE restoration of your films! retrodisneyworld.com/imageworks

The Walt Disney Company produced this film in 1974 and sold it on Super8 reels in the park. With a runtime just short of 12 minutes we are first taken on an aerial tour of the Magic Kingdom and we visit each land in overview and detail fashion. While silent, the film doesn't need sound to show how wonderful the park was 40 years ago.

Technical Points - The cyan dyes on the film have faded over time and the color changes through the reel. You can also tell what side of the film was stored up; as the right side of the film has more fading than the left due to light exposure. We've restored the color to a baseline that works well for most scenes.

Learn how to get 40% off your digital transfers and FREE restoration of your films! retrodisneyworld.com/imageworks

First before we get started, we all need to thank David Coolidge for this fantastic Super8 sound footage from March 1974. David is a client of ours, entrusting Pixcel and our ImageWorks department to transfer and restore his home movies. Along with his wife and two kids, the Coolidge family trekked to Orlando on the Amtrak Autotrain, spent their nights at the Polynesian Village and days at the Magic Kingdom.

This is our second film from David Coolidge and our first parade with Sound! This is a very short film, but really shows how the parade was way back then. Short, simple, and sweet. (if you missed our first film restoration for David, check it out here: https://www.retrodisneyworld.com/retrodisneyworld/imageworks-film-restoration-blog/1973-magic-kingdom-super8-with-sound-mickey-mouse-review-and-more)


 


Learn how to get 40% off your digital transfers and FREE restoration of your film! retrodisneyworld.com/imageworks

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