Don Hahn Talks Beauty and the Beast Going Blu
Our good friend Don Hahn tells us all about the new Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray, which streets today from Walt Disney Home Ent., and confirms something about Tim Burton's upcoming stop-motion Frankenweenie.
Bill Desowitz: What were your impressions watching this on Blu-ray?
Don Hahn: Back then you went through all these processes of digital intermediates and cobbling prints and by the time it gets to the theater it looks a little muddy and scratchy. I think what's fun about having it on Blu-ray is you get this pristine image that looks exactly as it looked when we were sitting at these CAPS monitors seeing the movie and making it. So we involved Kirk [Wise] and Gary [Trousdale] and as many of the original collaborators as we could to help get the movie ready for this release.
BD: What sort of digital tweaking was involved?
DH: We went through that whole process and part of it is going to the original digital files and bringing those back online and re-timing it all and remembering what the movie looked like. But it's great: It's devoid of any dust or scratches and then Terry Porter, who did the original sound mix, came back in and did a great sound clean-up and home theater mix for this release [in 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio].
BD: What are we going to notice on Blu-ray in particular?
DH: We color corrected the red tunic because it was intended to be this apple red and in the movie it came out rusty colored. So a lot of times we were able to go back to the original intent of the movie because you have to compromise when you go to film. It looks great on film, but this gives us the option to go back to the original color palette.
DH: It's funny, I see it both ways: parts of it from a quality standpoint could've been done better. Those drawings are a little off model and could've been better; we could've cleaned that up. So I tend to see more of the mistakes. But, thankfully, it's about that willful suspension of disbelief. What's surprising to me is how animation works and how people are able to overlook a million errors and problems and shaky camera moves. But the power of animation that's hand-drawn like that is so personal and you can feel the presence of the artists: You can see James Baxter and Glen Keane and Andreas [Deja] and Nik [Ranieri] and all those guys in the work, which I love.
BD: And the story guys as well.