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Super Mario Bros. - The Great Rescue of Princess Peach

 
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Carnivol
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:07 pm    Post subject: Super Mario Bros. - The Great Rescue of Princess Peach Reply with quote

People who either know me or have been part of the same circles as me for a while probably know that I've been tinkering on and off with a restoration project of this old gaming history curiosity.

I believe I started it in like 2005 or something, when I acquired two VHS copies of the movie, and a bunch of random tie-in products, and ended up buying a workstation and digitizing equipment for the sole purpose of digitizing old analog stuff. At that point in time, I believe the only commonly available copy of this movie online was a really poor VHS transfer in the resolution of 320x288 or something, at roughly 300mb and encoded with the old DivX 3.11 codec or something.

These days, it's easier to stumble upon a more typical VHS quality transfer of it, in a typical 640x480 or anamorphic 720x480 resolution. While I'm sure others have done their own transfers of it since, I know that some of the more commonly circulated transfers that started popping up nearly a decade ago of this comes from an early stage of my own restoration efforts at the time. Sadly, the VHS transfer of this movie is absolutely god awful, even by VHS standards. So unless you've been planning on redrawing countless individual frames ... you can't really work wonders with that VHS source.

So... last year I ended up blowing a small fortune on an actual 16mm print of this movie. I comissioned a digital transfer of it from a studio that does commercial and preservational transfers for movie studios, distributors, libraries and museums. I moved all my notes and do-dads into a new project structured around a 250gb++ project size, rather than the old project which was roughly 10gb. Recently changed portions of my audio setup to soon do a new transfer of the movie's soundtrack from a vinyl record (already had one transfer done a decade ago, but wasn't quite happy with the limited range of the equipment used at the time)

As I've sort of had a small amount of hope of seeing this thing see a legit release at some point, Frank suggested I'd contact a guy he knew, but I don't really have high hopes of seeing the potential legal mess surrounding this movie ever getting sorted.


As far as technical specs goes,
the print itself was on two reels (30 min each), with god awful splicing at roughly each 15 min mark.

The transfer was done at a 2,7k resolution. As far as I've understood, 16mm, depending on the mastering process, can be good for anything between Full HD(1080) to UHD (4K), but in most cases lingers around a picture quality of 1,5k).
Idea was to take the 2,7k scan, work "down" to a 2K master that can be either used to upscale to 4k or downscale to Full HD. Utilize vinyl soundtrack to remaster the music score. Color correct things based on roughly on the cell based manga they released. Wrap it all up in a package consisting of 3 "variations" of the movie and include a small variety of different bonus junk;

1. Just all the assets as-is. No clean up, no fiddling. Just the straight up transfer. Archival purposes.

2. A typical restoration. Same as you'd expect from any other movie that gets some proper love and attention. For general viewing pleasure.

3. A sort of (horrible to purists) "fixed/modernized" version, where some of the obvious coloring and animation mistakes in the movie are fixed, ending credits are reconstructed in English, opening title cards done in English, etc. (with raw assets available for other languages to easily be done)


Anyway, click on pictures for horrifyingly re-compressed images (courtesy of imgur) taken of one of the two transfers that were comissioned for the reels.










Anyway, reason I'm breaking my own public silence on this is that I've been at this project for over a decade now, and motivation is always a bit of a rollercoaster (Mainly 'cause I work two jobs and lately have started to value my time off more than I ever did before). I'd like to get some general input on things, thoughts and wishes(?), maybe even someone knows someone who's able to make magic happen in terms of seeing this thing reach a first official international (and re-)release of some sort.


(And, oh, for anyone who've spoken to me about other VHS stuff; I'm still slaving my way through my pile of promo junk whenever I have the time to shuffle them in.)
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Johnny Undaunted



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish you the best of luck on this endeavor. The restoration looks pretty promising thus far and seeing how Nintendo seems intend on leaving this buried in VHS-only limbo for some reason, someone's gonna do it.
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togemet2



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to see you've finally decided to reveal it! Now we need to get back to working away at it. Very Happy
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aoiahoy



Joined: 20 Feb 2018
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,
Today i stumble upon this on twitter and was curious on how far you gotten and really impressed on how far you've gotten. Anyways, I was wonder if you could at least upload a snip it of the film. really excited on this. please reply back and thank you.
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KingMike



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnny Undaunted wrote:
I wish you the best of luck on this endeavor. The restoration looks pretty promising thus far and seeing how Nintendo seems intend on leaving this buried in VHS-only limbo for some reason, someone's gonna do it.

So my friend tells me that movies were usually made with licensing agreements that give them permanent ownership of the content, rather than video games and TV shows usually made with limited-time content licensing.
(that is the infamous Mario movie can be re-released as much as the film studio wants to and Nintendo can't stop it)
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Johnny Undaunted



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt anyone other than Nintendo holds the rights to this movie, considering Grouper Production (the company who made this) went of business in 1996 and all of their other movies with Sanrio characters have been released on DVD by Sanrio themselves. I think Nintendo simply has no interest in re-releasing it. It's a nice curiosity for Mario fans, but as an anime by itself it's pretty unremarkable and it doesn't even fit in with the current Mario canon.

Seriously, what the hell were the writers thinking of pairing Peach with a random OC? I'm guessing they assumed Peach would just be a one-off character like Lady was in Donkey Kong at the time.
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togemet2



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnny Undaunted wrote:
Seriously, what the hell were the writers thinking of pairing Peach with a random OC? I'm guessing they assumed Peach would just be a one-off character like Lady was in Donkey Kong at the time.


I kind of enjoy the film more because of this ending. It's sort of bittersweet, but at the same time carries the message that you can't always get what you want. A friend of mine found this about a year ago:

You know what really makes me feel like this wasn't the originally intended ending? In Japanese, besides Haru barely saying anything in that last scene when they're saying goodbye, Peach says very specifically that she will be lonely without Mario being there. (For those who don't know, 寂しい sabishii can mean sad, but it has a connotation of a feeling of being lonely). And yet Haru is there.

Another thing to note, in the original storyboards if I remember correctly, Haru can't even be seen anywhere. Infact, the ending in there is completely different.
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Sgt Nate V



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

togemet2 wrote:

You know what really makes me feel like this wasn't the originally intended ending? In Japanese, besides Haru barely saying anything in that last scene when they're saying goodbye, Peach says very specifically that she will be lonely without Mario being there. (For those who don't know, 寂しい sabishii can mean sad, but it has a connotation of a feeling of being lonely). And yet Haru is there.

Another thing to note, in the original storyboards if I remember correctly, Haru can't even be seen anywhere. Infact, the ending in there is completely different.

I was gonna say that, contributing to how they probably thought Peach would be a one-off, that the manual for Lost Levels literally stated it was an alternate universe version of Mario 1.

But then I saw that last paragraph in this post, which makes me think that either some asshole put that in there as a joke and it actually got animated and voice acted like my theory for the ending for the Transformers G1 episode "B.O.T.", or someone really didn't want Peach to be with Mario.
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togemet2



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sgt Nate V wrote:

But then I saw that last paragraph in this post, which makes me think that either some asshole put that in there as a joke and it actually got animated and voice acted like my theory for the ending for the Transformers G1 episode "B.O.T.", or someone really didn't want Peach to be with Mario.


Who really knows where they got Haru from. He wasn't even in the original game. His inclusion always felt strange.
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Johnny Undaunted



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe Haru was one of the writer's self-insert. :P
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ICEknight



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome! Just make sure that no DVNR is used, so that the quality won't go to waste!
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Carnivol
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ICEknight wrote:
Awesome! Just make sure that no DVNR is used, so that the quality won't go to waste!


That stuff's poison. Some of the Disney HD releases bothers me to no end due to the way they've applied it. I think my biggest struggle so far is figuring out on a final solution to how to deal with the framing. I'm not doing any type forced widescreen cropping or anything like that, but some scenes utilize more frame space than others and some scenes for some reason have rounded off black corners, the latter which might explain why the VHS release has such a high amount of cropping for something that already was in the correct aspect ratio.

Probably just have to go on a scene-by-scene basis for these things. For point 1 and 2, I probably wont do anything about it, whilst in 3 I might see if I can "fill" the blank somehow. (But without it ending up like the Caprino Company's efforts for the weirdo widescreen HD re-release Flåklypa Grand Prix / Pinchcliffe Grand Prix -- Where widescreen was achieved through a mix of digital expansion of the frame in some scenes and pan&scan cropping in other shots)
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ICEknight



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... Maybe you should get in touch with Steve Stanchfield, from Cartoon Research and Thunderbean Animation.

He's a real expert in this kind of restorations, and may be able to give you a hint or two.
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Carnivol
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll see if I can shoot him a mail later on. Thanks! :)
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Richter Belmont



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:05 am    Post subject: Re: Super Mario Bros. - The Great Rescue of Princess Peach Reply with quote

Carnivol, I just wanted to say, that's quite awesome of you. Especially the consideration going into remastering multiple versions of it.

I've never seen this movie, and I look forward to checking it out sometime. Thanks for all your hard work! Very Happy
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