Digital Destruction
The Predator Ultimate Hunter Edition Blu-Ray: Now with a waxier Ahnold.

"Don't fucking bullshit people like that; don't pretend it's the same movie. It's not the same movie! You made a new movie! You made a new movie using the film from an older movie. Fuck you!"

Ah, digital restoration and remastering — a wonderful thing, really. It cleans up the picture quality, restores faded colors, gets the hisses and pops out of the soundtrack, oversaturates the colors, erases or thins out lines...

Wait, what?! Digital restoration tampering with the original footage? Blatant Lies, you say?

Well, yeah, no, it's actually pretty true. Digital restoration is an expensive, time-consuming process. It's expensive, takes a long time, requires careful attention and care... and did we mention it was expensive?

Digital destruction is often the result of people in general having the tendency to want to just get the stuff out as quickly as possible, all with a "digitally restored/digitally remastered" label stamped on it to maximize profits. That, or They Just Didn't Care. Or worse, they didn't even know what harm they were doing to begin with. Or in some cases, the available tech is very difficult to get good results from (ask a Photoshop or video pro and they'll tell you things like noise reduction are hard to do without loss of detail).

Digital Destruction comes in several forms and can vary-from oversharpening to flat-out erasing lines of artwork in cartoons, removing whole sounds or dialogue, oversaturating the colors, patterns (fuzzy electrical patterns scattering around an image or drawing), increasing the contrast, overzealous grain-smoothing that unintentionally gives the picture a synthetic looking appearance, etc.

All the same, stuff like this happens a lot with restored older films and especially older cartoons... and on occasion, this even happens (or happened) to newer cartoons (as mentioned by Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy creator Danny Antonucci here).

This happens with digital remasters of music as well. The most commonly known phenomenon is mastering at the volume levels of modern music, creating excess limiting and distortion that sacrifice the cleanliness, clarity and overall dynamics of the sound, but there are plenty of other destructive practices used as well. These include drastic alterations of the frequency equalizationnote  that don't suit the source material, excessive noise reduction that sucks much of the detail and life out of the recording, and overuse of synthesized harmonicsnote  which replace the organic feel of the original recording with a cold, mechanical one.

Naturally, this is a great source of contempt for collectors, purists, and even the common customer alike (the ones that are savvy enough to be aware of it, anyways). It's the total opposite of a "great" restoration, in a nutshell.

The Trope Namer is this article from John Kricfalusi's blog, in which he feels the restorations of old cartoons are actually ruining them, rather than making them better. (The specific issues he complains about result from over-zealous application of certain adjustments, namely color saturation and sharpening.)

Also see They Just Didn't Care. Compare Remaster. For the video game equivalent of this trope, see Porting Disaster. In particularly bad instances of this, to preserve the way the footage originally looked you gotta Keep Circulating the Tapes. Also see Visual Compression, George Lucas Altered Version.

Not to be confused with destruction caused by digital entities.


    open/close all folders 

  • The Dragon Ball Z "orange brick" season sets by Funimation. They were "restored" by cropping, oversaturating, and using too much Digital Video Noise Reduction (DVNR); while leaving all the dust and scratches on the film intact. FUNimation's marketing even lied about some of the changes, like representing the original footage on the DVD extras using some of the remastered footage with artificial grain added; they also were convinced that viewers would enjoy 10% of overscan instead of 25% of the original image. Fans were outraged because not only were Japanese DVDs remastered frame by frame from first generation masters, but this was the first consistent video release by FUNimation (FUNi had actually cancelled the final releases of the previous DVDs to make way for the new remastered sets).
    • The Dragon Ball season sets also had some DVNR and saturation problems, as well as the picture being zoomed in to remove damage to the bottom of the film print (albeit it none of it was anywhere near as bad as the DBZ problems). Also, for some reason Funimation decided to half the frame rate of Dragon Ball movie 2 for the remastered box set release, resulting in an incredibly jumpy picture.
    • Funimation later subverted this trope by bringing out the actual restored Dragon Box versions as well. Sadly, the Dragon Boxes were limited edition and are now out of print and the movies never released despite being announced, while the above-described sets are still kicking.
    • For a little while it looked like FUNimation were finally going to release a lasting remastered version of the series with their surprisingly well transfered blu-ray 'Level' releases, but these were put on hold after just two volumes. Two years later FUNimation once again began releasing Dragon ball Z on Blu-ray. This time with cropped video, over-saturated colors and noise reduction. It's worth noting that on both DVD and BD, the uncropped releases were significantly more expensive than their inexpensive cropped replacements.
  • AKIRA seems to have made it out alright with the DVD releases, though the versions sold by Pioneer have a few scenes where the DVNR is obvious.
  • Some of their early BD upscales of newer digitally animated anime suffered from loss of detail due to heavy-handed DVNR. The poster child for this is Samurai Champloo, which FUNimation tacitly admitted to when it was re-mastered for a later re-release (this new version was good enough that is was also used on the Japanese BDs).
  • When FUNimation rereleased Tenchi Muyo! in Love as part of a box set with the other two Tenchi films on Blu-ray and DVD, they ended up releasing a version of the film that has horrific color-correction issues. All of the blues have been turned green (which also affects Sasami and Kiyone's hair colors; Lord knows how FUNimation overlooked that), the sepia-toned scene near the start of the film has been turned piss yellow, and somebody seems to have punched up the color quite a considerable amount, making the whole film eye-gougingly bright. The original 1997 DVD release from Pioneer Home Entertainment, however, had none of these issues, being a direct transfer from the original film negatives. For those interested, here are some comparisons.
  • In 2014, Viz Media announced that they would become the first studio worldwide to release Sailor Moon on Blu-Ray. Since the film elements for at least two seasons no longer exist, they had to work with the same masters used for 2009 Japanese DVDs. Unfortunately, comparisons between the first set of Blu-Ray Discs and these DVDs reveal the former to have more DNR and ghosting. Additionally, Viz's DVDs encoded the 4:3 picture into 16:9 with black bars on the left and right sides, making it appear low-quality by even DVD standards. (Viewers with 4:3 TVs will see a windowboxed presentation, instead of one that fills the screen.)
    • Viz claims that the original film no longer exists, but the plausibility of that has been called into question by a lot of people, some of whom work in the restoration business themselves. Does it make sense that Toei, a company that still has the original film for its series going back at least to the 80s, would have lost the film for one of its most iconic franchises? Especially considering that many countries have great-looking Sailor Moon sets on the market? Was Viz lying? Was Toei lying? Or was there a miscommunication between the two companies? No one really knows for sure. Later on it was revealed in an interview with Towers Entertainment, the company that produced the (Very good) Mexican Sailor Moon sets, that Toei actually has two masters, one of which is nice and remastered (And expensive) and one of which is old and deteriorated (And not so expensive). In the end it seems that Viz cheaped out and licensed the inferior master, then told the American fans that it was the best one available (at least for the moment). Not only that, but it seems that they went with an inexperienced company (Subatomic Digital, Inc.) for the IVTC and upscale work, most likely to save money. In addition, the German DVD sets, which interestingly contain the German broadcast version and original version of each episode, look pretty stunning video-wise (partly due to the fact that it wasn't upscaled for BD). It's telling that unlike KAZÉ Anime, which is far smaller and on a tighter budget, Viz was not exactly willing paying for the other master. And to make things more complicated, it was later announced in February that Toei is actually doing an HD transfer of Sailor Moon that is airing in Japan in April of 2015 (though that is also upscaled and is only a marginal improvement). Only time will tell if Viz will pull off what Funimation did when it brought out the actual restored Dragon Ball Z Dragon Box versions as well after the initial release.
    • Fortunately, later seasons of the Viz release boasted less ghosting issues, as seen in this preview clip of Chibi-Usa's first appearance in Sailor Moon R.
    • Early pressings of the second half of Sailor Moon R did jumble around some of the animation of episode #80, causing it to briefly go out of sync with the audio. Fortunately, Viz set up an exchange program for those who purchased the defective version to replace the faulty discs.
  • Most season 1 videos of Corrector Yui circulating today are unfortunately derived from rebroadcast prints that are cropped to 16:9 from the original 4:3.
  • 8th Man had the same problems that effected both Transformers (Unnecessary 5.1 sound effects) and Dragon Ball ("restored" picture) when the English dub was released on DVD.
  • The English dub of Speed Racer suffers this since Speed Racer Enterprises took over the rights in America. Basically, the footage in some of the episodes are rendered in PAL format and the audio itself can sound slightly pitched shifted. The only episodes that don't have this issue are the ones included in the 1993 "Speed Racer: The Movie". note ]]
  • Kiki's Delivery Service had its 1998 dub tweaked for its 2010 North American DVD re-release, reverting the music to match the Japanese version, and removing some dialogue that created Lull Destruction. Unfortunately, what dialogue does remain now sounds as hard-to-hear as if the characters spoke through a fan.

  • A related phenomenon in the comic book industry was Theakstonization. To do reprints of pre-computer comics, you needed the original monochrome lineart so you can recolor using modern techniques. For many old comics, that art no longer exists — the only thing available is the actual comics. Therefore, you have to copy one of the comics and remove the color. Prior to the 1990s, the only economic way of doing this was to cut the pages out of an original comic, and bleach the color out, thus producing monochrome art. This process actually destroyed the originals, and could apparently reduce grown men to tears. In many cases, though, the cheap paper the books were printed on was crumbling away due to age, it was a rock and a hard place situation; destroy the physical book or risk the content being lost forever.
  • Another way of digitally destroying old comics is to scan them at an inadequate resolution - that way lines will become pixellated and jagged when printed. Ironically, the problem becomes worse the better paper you print on, as a hard, high quality paper soaks up the ink less than a pulpy one. Some of this occurred in the Finnish completed works of Carl Barks.
  • EC Comics: Some of the color reprints of the horror comics tended to completely alter the original colors and add elements that clearly weren't in the original comic art, such as photoshop gradients. They wised up and started using the original colors in later reprints.

    Film - Animated 

Non-Disney Examples

  • The Yellow Submarine "director's cut" restoration by Miramax, like many modern Disney-related restorations, tries to lighten, brighten, or saturate colors; after all, if you're trying to clean up a color cartoon, you don't want dingy colors, do you? This would be a minor problem, except that it was done everywhere — including scenes in Meanie-occupied Pepperland. Yes, "faded color = grey" is starting to become a film convention; but it wasn't one back then, and even the hints of medium pastel are somewhat distracting to anyone who doesn't yet accept the convention.
  • The 70th anniversary DVD and Blu-Ray release of Max Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels was "restored" by not only cropping the footage into widescreen note  but also using a muddy, blurry, badly DVNRed transfer! The 60th-Anniversary Winstar DVD release uses a far better transfer, but that version suffers from digital interlacing.
    • The Winstar DVD also had a "restored" version that was aurally altered, with a new stereophonic soundtrack. The sound effects were redone, and the results were not seamless that one can painfully tell the difference between the mono and stereo versions without comparison!
    • Averted with Thunderbean's 2014 Blu-ray release, which is restored from a 35mm print to faithfully resemble its original theatrical release, such as keeping dust prints in shots, keeping the colors bright and even retaining rounded corners on the edge of the frame. See for yourself.
  • The "Bugville" DVD release of Mr. Bug Goes to Town was apparently a raw transfer from an old laserdisc of the film, and it shows; marred by atrocious digital compression that makes it painful to even look at—you would think you were watching a bootleg of it, and it's supposed to be a official release! Fortunately, there is no interlacing and dvnr issues otherwise.
  • The DVD release of An American Tail was horribly tampered with. Background music and sound effects were changed or added, new voice-overs were inserted (which wasn't the bad part, since they seem to have come from the original recording sessions), and the orphans who bully Fievel near the end had their voices re-dubbed for unknown reasons.
  • The DVD release of the English dub of Pokιmon Heroes was given an intense blue tint, which made all the colours darker.

Disney Examples:

  • Pinocchio:
    • Curiously, in the 2009 DVD, Jiminy's lines "Right!" (just after the "If your whistles weak" line) and "Look out, Pinoc!" from the end of the "Give a Little Whistle" song have been edited out—apparently this was the result of a sound mixing error, as the line can still be heard in the film's mono soundtrack, but not the remastered stereo soundtrack. Not an atrocity by any means, but anyone who has seen earlier prints of the film will take notice of this. Fortunately, as of April 2011, Disney started allowing owners of the Blu-Ray to exchange their discs for copies with the line restored. (Owners of the DVD, however, are shit-outta-luck.)
    • Additionally, the team restoring Pinocchio for its 1992 theatrical re-release used a print generations removed from the original camera negative. This resulted in the movie having an earthy color scheme, which carried on to all the home video releases of The '90s. When scanning the original negative for later DVD and Blu-Ray releases, Disney reportedly found the picture to have a pastel appearance, which those releases more faithfully portrayed.
  • When The Lion King was re-released for IMAX theaters, several scenes were altered and/or reanimated for unknown reasons. The later DVD releases promised to include a remastered version, which would include the reanimated scenes from the IMAX release and add a new song imported from the stage adaptation, and the original 1994 version... except the "original version" is identical to the remastered cut, though with "Morning Report" removed. Not really that big of a deal, but naturally, it drove the purists insane.
    • For the Blu-Ray, not only did they retain the reanimated scenes, but in the scene where Simba begs his father's ghost not to leave him, the giant cloud formation caused by Mufasa's leaving has disappeared. Records claim this flaw also existed in the IMAX version, but Disney corrected it for the original DVD.
    • The cloud was also absent from the 2011 theatrical re-release and subsequent Blu-Ray edition.
  • In the original Cinderella, the titular character had orange hair and a silver dress. The DVD and Blu-Ray versions, however, have blatantly altered the colors to look a little closer to the Disney Princess merchandise (blonde hair and blue dress). And also, a little bit of the fairy dust and fabric creases disappeared from her gown (to be fair though, the line work such as the fabric creases didn't really disappear, just more or less hidden by the brighter colors).
  • In the Blu-Ray release of Fantasia, many colors look drastically different from the original DVD, often using Orange/Blue Contrast. Compare the DVD version of "Night On Bald Mountain" with the Blu-Ray version and you'll see that, among other things, Chernabog has been changed from black all over to purplish-blue and faint orange. These comparisons suggest that for at least one segment, the DVD's color scheme deviates farther away from that used in 1940.
  • The Blu-Ray of Beauty and the Beast has an unusual glitch altering the ending of the "There's Something There" number. Originally, it ended with the objects watching Belle and the Beast read by the fireplace. Since the extended version follows this song with a scene of the objects cleaning the castle, it now closed with the objects in the hallway, closing the doors to give Belle and the Beast some alone time. Selecting the "Original Theatrical Version" on the Blu-Ray changes the ending of the song to the objects about to close the doors, but abruptly cuts to a different scene before they shut. Frustratingly, the corrected transition currently appears only on the 3-D Blu-Ray.
    • The Platinum Edition DVD and the Diamond Edition 2-D Blu-Ray and DVD all have different color schemes than the Walt Disney Classics VHS and laserdisc before them, making fans fear that Disney tampered with the picture. The tones of the 3-D Blu-Ray hew most closely to the Classics releases.
    • The restoration for the Platinum Edition removed a credit before the prologue for Silver Screen Partners IV, and some stuttering from the scene where Beast asks Belle, "You wan-you wanna stay in the tower?" The restoration for the Diamond Edition put both of these back in.
  • On early pressings of The Little Mermaid 's Diamond Edition Blu-Ray, the ending of the "Part of Your World" sequence plays differently than it originally did. Originally, after cutting from Ariel reaching her hand out towards the surface, it cut to her floating back down onto a rock, to Flounder looking sad. The early D.E. releases switch the latter two scenes' positions, resulting in an audio sync issue. Also, the scene transition when Ariel and Flounder go to visit Scuttle has changed from a dissolve to a cut. When Disney fixed these mistakes, they only did so on the Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital download copies, not the 3-D Blu-Ray Discs. A disc replacement program similar to Pinocchio's was also offered for Blu-Ray and DVD copies of the film.
    • The Diamond Edition also makes some intentional but ill-advised changes, such as using at least the fourth different set of end credits the movie has seen, and changing the opening credits with drastically different timing, a new font, and the card reading, "In Association With Silver Screen Partners IV" absent. Like the Platinum Edition DVD before it, it also censors the minister's knee, which some viewers thought looked like a boner.
      • Some details about the end credits for readers who aren't in the know: For the 1997 theatrical re-release, Disney replaced the "Part of Your World" instrumental with the normal version of the song, and changed the Dolby Stereo logo to ones for Dolby Digital, DTS, and Sony Dynamic Digital Sound. In 2006, Disney restored the original music, but not the Dolby Stereo logo. As of 2013, credits for the 3-D conversion appear even on 2-D prints.
    • The 2006 Platinum Edition DVD has a few unique instances of Digital Destruction (which have actually been undone on the Diamond restoration): the clamshells the sisters came out of were changed to green interiors, and Grimsby's hand at the start of the tour of the kingdom was removed.
  • The 2013 Blu-Ray release of The Sword in the Stone snuffs out all the detail with the film looking like it has been rendered under a Photoshop Blur tool, completely killing the look of the drawings and line quality.

    Film - Live Action 
  • The Evil Dead (1981) BluRay has several of the original campy filming mistakes that resulted from the low budget (one of the crew hiding in the bushes, one of the blood-spurting tubes noticeable on a face wound, a shot of the mat painting cutout of the moon, etc.) all digitally edited out. On top of that, the original audio commentaries that draw attention to these mistakes were scrapped in favor of a new one that doesn't mention them. As seen in YourMovieSucks' video on it, these changes angered many of the fans of the original, who loved it for what it was, campiness and all.
  • The 2004 Star Wars DVDs, despite being billed as digitally restored, received terrible color correction, de-saturating the soft colors of the original films into darker, more realistic lighting, and much of the clarity and detail of the original prints is lost in the process. A comparison on YouTube that is no longer available claims this was the result of Lucasfilm ordering the color correction of the films to be done in a breakneck pace of 30 days. Darth Vader's lightsaber becoming pink is a particular standout for ridicule.
    • To make matters worse, the only DVD release of the original theatrical cuts (released as limited edition extras) were completely phoned in, raw transfers off of old laserdiscs of the films, which had excessive grain, low contrast, serious aliasing, and motion smearing.note .
  • Citizen Kane got an accidental taste of this. In one scene, out the window there was supposed to be rain; the person in charge of the film's restoration thought it was excessive film grain, so it was digitally edited out of the restored print. Later, the Blu-ray boasted a new restoration, which brought back such details as the aforementioned rain.
  • The original Bela Lugosi Dracula film has an odd one — at one point when Dracula throws Renfield from the stairs, in the original he's supposed to scream. On some VHS copies (or laserdisc?), the scream is either intact or removed, but on the 75th Anniversary DVD release the scream was once again cut out.
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the mock-Scandinavian subtitle for the movie's title was missing in some DVD releases. (Thankfully, the rest of the subtitles during the opening were still there.)
  • A Hard Day's Night has gone through at least two of these:
    • The first was more Analog Destruction as it happened in 1982, back when film restoration was a new idea. Universal wanted to spruce the film up for a U.S. theatrical re-release that year, and those handling the transfer elected to convert the entire soundtrack to stereo on the theory that stereo is better than mono. (Modern fans of The Beatles strongly disagree, but the fandom was still redeveloping back then.) To cap it off, the restorers then threw out the original soundtrack, making a legit restoration impossible.
    • There were then two further attempts to restore the film, in 1996 and 2001. The 2001 restoration by Miramax deliberately tried to "improve" on the theatrical release. While the use of a modern theatrical aspect is understandable (the film did briefly air in modern theaters), they could've made the original aspect available on the DVD. It used the controversial 5.1 speech/mono song soundtrack (by this time, stereo would've been the best quality possible due to the 1982 restoration). And while we can't be sure that 2001's picture is less faithful than 1996's (if we could, then we wouldn't need film restoration as much), it's clear that they're using different greyscale keys. The 1996 edition frequently has what looks like light reflecting off smoke in the air (which may or may not have been in the original); the 2001 edition removes that and deliberately goes for chiaroscuro.
    • Thankfully, The Criterion Collection came to the rescue in 2014, releasing a 4K restoration approved by director Richard Lester on both DVD and Blu-ray. Not only did the release restore the film's original aspect ratio, it also contained a mono soundtrack.
  • As seen in the picture above, the second Blu-Ray release of the original Predator (from around the time Predators came out in theaters) relied so heavily on DNR, the movie boasts no grain, and Arnold Schwarzenegger looks more like a wax statue than a human soldier.
  • West Side Story suffered this a few times. The first DVDs released changed one of the color shifts in the overture from red to blue, to red to green to blue, and also lost the whistles that played after the Quintet. The latter change made the part where the screen changed from intense shades of red and black, to normal colors, in time with the whistling, look even stranger than it originally did. On the Special Edition DVD, the whistles returned, but the "Tonight" sequence plays with the audio out of sync. The 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray featured a restoration which corrected the syncing, but also has a flaw in which the screen briefly turns black during the red-to-blue color shift of the overture. The distributors of the Blu-Ray announced that they would fix this flaw in the near future, but their "fix" also leaves some people unsatisfied; the color change doesn't look as smooth as those that occurred during the rest of the overture. This video shows how smoothly the colors changed on one of the laserdiscs, while this showcases the transitions featured on the successive DVD and Blu-Ray versions.
  • The 2004 DVD release of Mary Poppins featured an "Enhanced Home Theater Mix" audio track, which tampered the audio quite a bit, with nearly all of the sound effects replaced, and a few bits of new music added where there originally wasn't any. (Obvious examples include the wind when Mary Poppins is sitting on a cloud, the "Poof!" noise when Mary, Jane, Michael and Bert jump into the chalk drawing, the thunder and lightning before it starts raining on the chalk drawing, and the fireworks following the "Step in Time" number.) Sadly, this version was also used whenever ABC Family would air the movie. Fortunately, Disney released a new DVD in 2009 with the new sound effects gone, and ABC Family's subsequent airings also use the original sound track, also the 50th Anniversary Edition has an "Enhanced Home Theater Mix" that resembles the original sound track.
  • Vertigo fell victim to something similar for its 1996 restoration. Universal had the audio remixed into six-channel DTS by dubbing new sound effects into the original music and dialogue. note  However, by the time Universal decided to restore the movie again, for its 2012 re-release and Blu-Ray debut, technology had evolved to a point where they could remix the soundtrack while keeping the original sound effects.
  • The Back to the Future Trilogy had scenes that did not require special effects filmed in 1.37:1, and matted to 1.85:1 for theatrical and laserdisc release. Unfortunately, the initial batch of DVDs for Back to the Future Part II and Part III matted some of these scenes in a manner that cropped out important details (such as the size-adjustment button and retractable sleeves on Marty's 2015 jacket). Thankfully, Universal began a disc replacement program that addressed the framing errors, and later pressings used the fixed prints.
  • A mild example with E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial on Blu-ray that exposes some Special Effects Failure. The movie looks great but in some wide shots, like when Elliot introduces E.T. to Michael, you can tell it's a guy in a costume. It's apparent because in the next shot it's the expressive E.T. puppet, and the costume has a mask with a blank stare.
  • The Little Shop of Horrors Director's Cut DVD lacks audio of the Greek Chorus singing the word, "Da-doo!" during Seymour's radio interview, as well as Orin wheezing before he dies. Plus, a dissolve after Seymour feeds Orin to Audrey II plays faster than before. None of these alterations occur on the Blu-Ray.
  • Shock Treatment has soundtrack issues on its DVD. In the original cut, the end credits are underscored by a reprise of the overture, and once they've rolled the screen goes to black for several additional minutes while the single version of "Shock Treatment" plays (inspiring a stretch of jokes about the void in Audience Participation showings). This was preserved for the original VHS release through Key Video (a sub-division of Fox's video arm in the 80s that mainly released cult films like this one, as well as newer titles, 40's films, drive-in movies, etc.), though they stuck in the standard FBI warning image before going to black, while Fox Movie Channel airings just cut the music-only stretch. The DVD release's soundtrack jumps ahead to the second half of the overture when the credits start, so the single version of the song starts up midway through them and fades out as they end, meaning that neither is heard at their original length. Making matters worse, the end credits — particularly the photos of the actors — are clearly timed to the overture in the original cut, so an amusing touch is lost on the DVD.
  • The Extended Cut Blu-ray of Fellowship of the Ring ended up having slight green tint added to the film. There's been massive debates over whether this it was Jackson's intent or not, or if the tint was actually even noticeable. For what it's worth, neither Peter Jackson nor Warner Bros. have actually addressed the topic.
  • The King and I has a bluer tint on its 2014 Blu-Ray compared to previous home video releases.
  • The 2008 release of Patton on Blu-Ray had a smudgy look to the picture, caused by overuse of DVNR. A remastered version appeared in 2012, which fixed the problem.
  • Gladiator's original Blu-Ray release was overly sharpened, with very inaccurate colors. A remastered version was released in 2010, which managed to fix these problems.
  • When the Police Academy film series was prepared for Blu-Ray, it proved to be a huge challenge to improve the picture quality, which up to then had been horrendous. They actually did manage to make huge improvements by accessing the original negatives and the movies do look a lot better. However, the BIG exception is the third part. Even though it originally didn't look worse than the third, the movie was put through a horrible DNR-orgy. The end result is as disastrous as it is amazing; everything now looks like a huge watercolor painting with next to no detail left.
  • The Godzilla films have gotten hit with this at times:
    • Classic Media's 2002 DVDs of some of the older films featured "5.1 surround sound'' audio tracks in addition to the original mono versions. The 5.1 tracks turned out to just be the mono tracks blasted out of all five speakers at slightly different times, created a headache-inducing echo as though the movies were recorded inside a garbage can. The company's later releases of those films wisely just included the mono tracks.
    • Most of the TriStar-issued Godzilla DVDs feature new, digitally-created title cards, which vary tremendously in quality. The older films generally have digital reconstructions of the English title cards with a bunch of new copyright information crammed beneath them, which is annoying but forgivable, but the newer films have new, very dull English title cards awkwardly plastered directly over the Japanese titles, which are often much more elaborate and beautiful. This one takes the cake.
    • The transfer of Godzilla (2014) used for the DVD and standard Blu-ray is, for reasons that remain unclear, much darker and murkier than the way the film looked in theaters, rendering many of the nighttime scenes nearly indecipherable. The most infuriating thing about it is that the ads for the DVD and even the clips of the movie shown in the special features on the disc look fine, as does the transfer used for the 3D Blu-ray, yet Warner Bros is doing nothing to fix the problem.
  • The 2003 DVD of Halloween "fixed" cinematographer Dean Cundey's original color timing, making the colors appear more bold and natural (Cundey intentionally wanted the daytime scenes to have a brownish tint, and the nighttime scenes to have a bluish one). The original 2006 Blu-ray was also sourced from this transfer. The 2013 Blu-ray fixed this problem by doing a whole new telecine and restoration approved by Cundey. The 1998 THX DVD also has Cundey's proper color-timing.
  • Criterion's first print release of the Dressed to Kill Blu-Ray/DVD in August of 2015 was met with scathing criticism. De Palma asked the film restorers to fix what he thought were some minor distortion issues and in the process the frame became vertically stretched. Criterion apologized for the error, sent replacement copies to those with the first edition, and eventually released a second printing in October 2015.
  • The DVDs and Blu-rays for the films of Stanley Kubrick are the subject of a very long debate regarding what aspect ratios the films should be seen in. Barry Lyndon is the worst example, as Kubrick was very adamant that the film always be projected in theaters at his intended ratio of 1.66:1. Naturally the Blu-ray crops it to get a 1.78:1 ratio which fills an HDTV completely rather than having minor pillar-boxing. It's not a huge change, but considering how obsessively detail-oriented Kubrick was, ignoring his preferred ratio seems pointless and arguably insulting. His final three films, The Shining, Fullmetal Jacket, and Eyes Wide Shut were all cropped to 1.85:1 for American theaters and 1.66:1 in European theaters, but the DVD releases all used "open-matte" presentation, meaning the entire, full-frame negative was used. This was done according to Kubrick's wishes, but it was more to prevent letterboxing than for compositional reasons. The Blu-rays all also use 1.78:1, same as Barry Lyndon, again completely disregarding the ratios that he actually intended in favor of filling the screen a little more, even though it means actually losing part of the picture. There's really no winning.
  • The Blu-ray release of Selma came under fire by over its "pale and fatigued" color. Some of the shots in the movie have smudges on the edges and the color in most scenes is a poor blend of light sepia and pale blacks, all flat. Many were baffled that a 2014 film shot digitally be released with such mediocre video quality.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The "Remastered" versions of the first three seasons of Red Dwarf suffered from horrific picture quality, due to a combination of low-quality source material, widescreen cropping, and a nascent "filmizing" process being applied to footage that wasn't shot with filmization in mind. For good measure, the restoration artists also wildly oversaturated the colour levels.
  • The BBC DVD releases of the original Doctor Who have been criticized for this. Among the things that have been missed out during the restoration process on various stories are sound cues, music cues, certain special effect shots, and major hiccups with colour regrading. The team that does the restoration, when asked about these various mistakes, commented that because of the grueling release schedule set for them by the BBC they simply don't have the time to make sure everything is 100% okay, and so the mistakes simply have to be accepted by the buying public. Aside from genuine mistakes made by the restoration team, the Doctor Who restorations are considered excellent.
    • Fortunately, the most notable restoration errors have now been re-released with the errors corrected.
    • A fault in the conversion process from PAL to NTSC caused the second disc of Patrick Troughton's "The Invasion" to look jittery and soft on Region 1 discs; As far as it is known this has never been corrected. The US DVD release of the TV Movie also had an odd error whereby the original NTSC master was converted to PAL (which involved speeding it up slightly due to the frame-rate difference), restored for the PAL UK release, then converted back to NTSC for the US version; this caused unnecessary problems with ghosting and motion judder.
  • Generally, any show featuring music most likely taken from an old 78 RPM record (such as anything from the History Channel about the 1920s) might have gone overboard with the noise reduction on the music. If an 80-year-old performance sounds like it was recorded in the past 30 years, chances are half the band has been erased from the recording.
  • Classic WWII documentary series The World at War was reissued on DVD and Blu-Ray in an "Ultimate Restored Edition". On the plus side, most of the archival war footage is remastered from the surviving 35mm or 16mm originals, descratched, stabilised and re-graded. What kills it for some viewers is that the image is cropped and scanned into widescreen. This restored version was rather controversial due to being in widescreen and despite the fact it was made for fullscreen transmission and is not allowed to be shown in its widescreen restored form, so the unrestored fullscreen edition with 90s Thames logos (before they lost their franchise to Carlton) is shown instead for reruns
  • The Ultra Seven DVD set by Shout! Factory has a redone soundtrack, with reverb added to most explosions, new sound effects created in some cases and the BGM volume screwed with.
  • Babylon 5 was filmed at an Aspect Ratio of 16:9, at a time when most shows were filmed in 4:3, with an eye towards future home video release on the newer wide-screen HDT Vs that were beginning to become popular. However, the CGI could be expensive and time-consuming to produce, so it was decided to render it in 4:3 and crop the live action footage to match for broadcast (especially given that much of the scenes in the show were Chroma Key composited shots with CGI backgrounds). The intent was to re-render all of the CGI for the eventual widescreen release, but for various reasons, by the time the DVD sets were eventually released, it was instead decided to crop the CGI scenes from 4:3 to 16:9, effectively a reverse-Pan and Scan, reducing their resolution and making the CGI look pixelated, particularly in the Chroma Key shots where the actors were shown in native 16:9.
  • HD release of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a host of problems, including changing the aspect ratio from the original 4:3 to widescreen, and new color filters which completely ruins the effect of the show's many day-for-night shots.
  • Poirot (Series 1-Series 8) and Jeeves and Wooster have been horribly tampered with on their recent DV Ds. Because ITV Studios Home Entertainment released them through themselves instead of Granada Ventures and Network, the 2011 restoration of Jeeves and Wooster suffers slight cropping (even though it is in its original aspect ratio), an edit to the final episode and the end caps changed (a copyright change and the ITV Studios logo plastering the Granada ones), while Poirot had two Granada logos plaster over the original LWT logos and the use of the original intro and closing credits in The ABC Murders, Death in the Clouds and One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (they originally had no intro and different credits which was retained through the early DVD prints from VCI). Taken to extreme for the JCA TV restorations of Poirot (Series 1-Series 8) were the copyright has been changed. Averted for many Network DVD releases of Granada and LWT shows which retain the respective endboard and copyright.
  • Sharpe (the episodes from 1993 to 1997) had a bit of this for its recent DVD release, it may have a copyright change, a logo plaster on the 1st episode, released through ITV Studios Home Entertainment only, becomes Widescreen (though its a aversion because it was filmed in Widescreen (which could have meant that the early Sharpe series had an aspect ratio in mind for being films for cinema), and was shown in fullscreen for earlier TV transmissions and was presented that way for early DVD releases), gains ITV Studios logos, though it retained the Central endboards for episode 2 to episode 13 and has a beautiful restoration, but theirs a side-effect for Central endboards with color backgrounds and they become pseudo-widescreen, but is still a beautiful restoration in merit unlike Poirot and Jeeves and Wooster.
  • It seems that during the restoring of Jeremy Brett version of Sherlock Holmes for their reruns on the BBC during 2003 to 2005 and their 2005 Region 2 complete collection DVD boxset, had resulted in the lost of the old Granada logos (even the ones at the beginning) and ended up getting plastered over by the same Granada logo that plastered the LWT logo on the Series 1-Series 6 of Poirot, even the JCA restoration of Granada Holmes made it even worse with changed copyright and ITV Studios logos. Averted by the Region 1 DVD release of that series due to being sourced from the original negatives.

     Western Animation 
It bears noting that DVNR (Digital Video Noise Reduction) line damage is a very common problem among cartoon DVD releases. The reason for this is because the program was designed to remove scratches and dirt from older films by comparing adjacent frames and taking elements from another frame to remove damage. While this works fine for a live action film, in animation (especially animation shot on ones, or one new drawing per frame) the DVNR process can easily mistake details or linework as dirt or scratches, and can accidentally delete whole details from the drawings as a result if the process isn't properly used. Grain Smoothing is also considered to be a serious liability in restoring old cartoons, since it can likewise snuff out details or linework if used carelessly.

  • Happy about your Looney Tunes Golden Collection sets and Walt Disney Treasures stuff, as well as Disney's restorations of their films? If you're a hardcore animation fan, you probably aren't. The short collections by both studios frequently abuse the infamous DVNR process, which either thins out or erases lines of artwork, and oversaturates the colors to the point where they lose their original contrast and/or start bleeding into each other. And while Disney's films don't use the DVNR process, they do have many noticeable problems — Bambi in particular has had the dark pumped up considerably, which destroys much of the original color contrasts. The blu-ray release also has some bizarre color alterations, and some shots have obvious grain-smoothing problems.
    • The Looney Tunes Golden Collection sets have a lot of issues with line thinning and even full blown art erasing (Elmer's Candid Camera on vol. 1 has some really bad examples of this that you don't even need to still frame to notice) and the colors are way too saturated. The few shorts that seemed to remotely escape this are "Transylvania 6-5000" and "What's Opera, Doc?" (and the latter still suffers from line thinning and horribly compressed sound). Vol. 1 and 2 in particular suffer from digital compression issues, particularly during a crowd shot in One Froggy Evening. Vol. 2 also used digital interlacing for a handful of shorts on disc 4, resulting in very flickery picture. Fortunately, a replacement program was issued for that particular disc. Fortunately, the Blu-Ray Platinum Collection sets manage to rectify the DVNR (save with one of the Road Runner shorts on the first set, which is inexplicably DVN Red like crazy), compression issues and oversaturated colors, but the contrast is still pumped up higher than normal on occasion, and some of the cartoons on disc 2 of the vol. 2 Platinum Collection DVD have issues with digital interlacing.
    • The first two of the single-disc "Looney Tunes Super Stars" DVDs include cropped widescreen versions of shorts originally animated in the squarish aspect ratio of 1.37:1. However, Warner Bros. got word of this and promised that the Super Stars releases would now contain an option to switch between full-screen and widescreen.
    • The Disney Oswald the Lucky Rabbit DVD set has fine restorations for the most part, but DVNR issues pop up in "Oh, What A Knight!", and "Bright Lights" had a missing part of its transfer found and spliced into the collection at the 11th hour, which resulted in a shaky, jumpy picture with interlacing during part of it.
  • The Woody Woodpecker DVD collections (the two official sets) got a very nasty case of DVNR treatment, terrible color correction and blatant digital compression issues — the ones that get hit the worst are the shorts directed by Dick Lundy (i.e., "the best shorts"). Curiously, the earlier, sloppier shorts were considerably less ravaged. The unofficial Columbia House mail-order DVD sets use the unaltered prints, however. The B&W bonus cartoons got hit with this too; while the Oswald Rabbit shorts "Hells Heels" and "Spooks" only has it in only minor form, "Grandma's Pet" has some really bad line and art erasing issues.
  • A stunning aversion of this trope would be the first official Popeye The Sailor DVD set, almost completely averting this Trope. Yes, almost — if one looks very carefully in certain bits of the shorts, there is some very mild line thinning and/or erasing that you would usually need to purposely look for in order to spot. The only short that seemed to suffer obvious DVNR problems was "I Like Babies and Infinks", where problems with artwork erasing pop up very frequently. And as John K. pointed out in his blog, the color specials have had some bizarre altering — "Popeye Meets Sindbad" has had the pink, purple and turquoise turned up considerably, and while "Popeye Meets Ali Baba" is very close to actual 1930s colors, the purple bits in the cave have been pulled up into a bluish look. Also, when the Vol. 2 DVD set was released, they goofed up on recreating some of the title cards, and some of the shorts suffered from digital interlacing. This seems to have been rectified by a disc replacement program, thankfully.
  • One particularly notorious example of Digital Destruction would be the infamous Betty Boop: The Definitive Collection series of VHS tapes and Laserdiscs. In every single short there is blatantly obvious, horrendous line thinning and erasing. Fortunately, Olive Films came to the rescue in late 2013 by re-releasing Betty Boop shorts with exquisite restorations that are completely devoid of DVNR—the only downside being that some of the pre-1933 shorts have their aspect ratio slightly cropped.
  • Another infamous case of DVNR would be the Eastern-only DVD release of "The Complete Tex Avery" — almost all of the shorts have been ravaged with horrible line thinning and erasing, almost making one wonder if the price of this import-only set is worth it, especially when it costs more than just getting a laserdisc player and a laserdisc copy of the released-in-America, un-DVNRed "Compleat Tex Avery" set.
    • On a side note, the Tex Avery's Droopy DVD set has a lot of nasty DVNR damage in four shorts ("Wags to Riches", "Daredevil Droopy", "Droopy's Good Deed" and "The Three Little Pups"). Shorts like "Wags" get hit with it so badly all over the film, that it's borderline unwatchable as a result.
  • The TV print of MGM Oneshot Cartoon "Tom Turkey" has blatant DVNR damage at several points in the film.
  • Even John K. apparently couldn't avoid DVNR completely with the DVD release of The Ren & Stimpy Show, as there's some noticeable line thinning and art erasing in bits of the episodes. This may have been why John K. got on this soapbox in the first place.
  • In the late 1980s, all of the classic Gumby episodes had their sound tracks completely redone, with new synthesizer music, Stock Sound Effects and voices to match up with the 1988 Gumby Adventures revival series. When the shorts were initially released to DVD in 2002 by Rhino, these late 1980s masters were used, to the disappointment of many fans. More recent DVD releases by Classic Media retain the original soundtracks, however.
  • The 2008 UK Blu-Ray release of Thunderbirds cropped the episodes into widescreen. This only serves to exaggerate picture shake and grain, which are very noticeable in the VFX shots.
    • Averted in the 50th Anniversary US Blu-Ray by Shout Factory, which not only uses fullscreen masters, but the original mono audio instead of the lazily remastered stereo track with added sounds done in the 1990's (though it still is an option on the discs).
  • Warner's DVD of the Superman Theatrical Cartoons claims to include transfers from the original masters, boasting sharp colors and no dvnr or interlacing, but they still includes some changes. These include plastered end logos for several shorts, missing sound effects from two cartoons' opening credits, and an audible jump during the prologue of The Mad Scientist.
    • An unauthorized blu-ray set of the series plays this much straighter, with terrible picture quality, watermarks on every cartoon, and an excessive amount of grain smoothing, making the cartoons look like they were dipped in Vaseline.
  • Rhino's original DVD releases of Jem suffered from an interesting case of this - they were taken from 35mm film sources, so they were sharp and detailed. Unfortunately, only the rough, uncorrected versions were on film, so the episodes on Rhino DVD have more animation errors than the TV broadcasts. They also redid the color timing, turning Pizzazz's neon green hair into an ugly "moldy mustard" green/yellow. The new release from Shout! Factory used the broadcast masters of the final episodes, so the color is more accurate and many animation errors are fixed, but because these were tape masters the video is less sharp.
  • Like Jem, Rhino's DVDs of The Transformers utilized film sources containing sharp picture, but also some animation errors. Some episodes even ran shorter than originally broadcast because of Rhino's dependence on the filmed versions. On top of that, the soundtracks received 5.1 "remixes" containing additional sound effects. Shout! Factory decided to rectify this by releasing DVDs containing footage from the broadcast tapes spliced into the filmed episodes, which also play synced with the original soundtracks. The picture quality of these versions fluctuates between looking sharp and looking soft.
  • The original DVDs of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! starred a Grinch with an unexpected mustard-yellow skin tone. When the special later turned 40, a new restoration tuned the Grinch's fur back to its original green.
  • Universal's DVD of the 1972 Animated Adaptation of The Lorax gave the Lorax brown fur for half of the cartoon, as opposed to orange. Warner eventually rectified this by releasing a Blu-Ray where the Lorax's fur has a consistent shade of orange.
    • Likewise, for the DVD release, the smog-polluted skies throughout the cartoon became soft and bluish, as opposed to originally have a more convincing plum colored hue.
  • Many South Park DVD collections add motion blur which, given the show's animation style, is especially noticeable.
  • The 2013 Blu-Ray release of Mickey's Christmas Carol, like that mentioned in the Film-Animated folder for The Sword in the Stone, snuffs out all the detail with the film looking like it has been rendered under a Photoshop Blur tool, completely killing the look of the drawings and line quality.
  • Many 2000s DVD releases of Filmation cartoons have the sound higher pitched. This was because, when they owned the rights to the library in the 90s, Hallmark (the card company) deliberately threw out the original masters (as well as sound masters and other important archival material) and made new ones- but only for international distribution, apparently because they hated Filmation's library; this was discovered when Entertainment Rights (which has, though various mergers, been absorbed into Dreamworks Animation) bought it off Hallmark. Hence, the majority of the library is now high-pitched, due to being in PAL format as compared to NTSC. Some of the lucky few to escape this included Filmation's Ghostbusters (both the live action and animated versions), several of their little-known live action series like Ark II, and Star Trek: The Animated Series (the latter being held by Paramount, then CBS).
  • As of late 2015, Sky 1 in the UK have began airing remastered episodes of The Simpsons starting from the 8th season. In this case, the episodes have been upscaled to HD, and the picture has been cropped to fit the screen better, resulting in numerous instances of pan and scan. In the US, FXX has given this treatment to all the episodes preceding the show's switch to HD, although their website also allows visitors to watch them uncropped.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had Yukon Cornelius' coat look green instead of blue in early pressings of the Blu-Ray. Thankfully, the 50th Anniversary Edition has it changed back to blue.