George Lucas Altered Version
(regarding the blu-ray) Come on, Sheldon, it's Star Wars! Howard:
I'm pressing play, I mean it! You know, if we don't start soon George Lucas
is gonna change it again!
Sometimes film directors are not fully satisfied with their movies, and want to go back and reedit them, sometimes taking out scenes that they don't like and added scenes that were originally cut from the film. More recently, studios have produced "extended" or "unrated" versions of movies that the directors were already satisfied with, as a promotional gimmick to attract potential DVD buyers. (For instance, Bad Santa
has both a Director's Cut and an Extended/Unrated Version.) This is generally considered a Re Cut
THIS trope goes one step past that, where a work is drastically changed by its creators (and sometimes not even them
) to update the work with modern technology or new footage that was not available or recorded at the time the work was originally created. Film Purists (both critics and directors) sometimes take issue with it, believing that altering the original film is diluting the charm of the original or, worse, altering the context of scenes in how they played out originally (Similar complaints are leveled towards a Re Cut
in general, believing a theatrical release should be the end of editing). These changes include:
Named for George Lucas
- "Surround sound" mixes of films originally released with mono soundtracks.
- A black and white film being colorized.
- Replacing what was originally a Special Effect Failure (sometimes producing an irony in that the replacement is equally bad).
- Adding new effects to existing scenes.
- Newly recorded dialogue/shots.
- Color, hue and saturation changes to take advantage of newer formats. note
, who did this to a few of his films, most notably the first three Star Wars
films (A New Hope
, The Empire Strikes Back
and Return of the Jedi
). Fans have widely criticized the reissues of the original Star Wars
series, which makes a very strange contrast with films otherwise clearly
made between 1977-1983 but having bits and pieces of modern CG tacked on. See the film examples for more on this and Lucas.
Many times in the case of sequels and otherwise expanded franchises, these new versions are meant to help the franchise align better both visually and potentially fix Continuity Snarls
This process is sometimes mistaken for a Remaster
. In actuality, film restoration involves preserving the original as much as possible. Colorization has a similar negative effect on people. People like Ted Turner restored the films in his library prior to colorizing them, and simultaneously released the restored black and white films alongside the colorized versions. This helped preserve
black and white films for future generations. Nevertheless, most criticism comes from the fact that many believe colorization shouldn't have been done at all, and they are perhaps justified in their anger when one sees how predominant the colorized version often is when attempting to purchase a film.
See also Orwellian Retcon
, where the work is altered to fit with later works in the same story, and Digital Destruction
, which is a milder and often ignorant/nonmalicious version of the same effect.
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Anime and Manga
- Sometimes the artwork in manga originally published in magazines will be redrawn for the compilation volumes or tankoubon.
- Likewise, it's pretty standard for anime episodes to be retouched or modified for reruns/home video, sometimes with more obscene content. The retouched versions are usually brought over to the states, but sometimes the broadcast versions are accidentally given to the US publishers.
- The 1995 movie adaptation of Ghost in the Shell was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2008 as Ghost in the Shell 2.0, with added CGI, modified scenes, and rearranged and re-recorded soundtrack and dialogue with a key character being voiced by another actor.
- At least in the Japanese version. The English version retained the original voice track, but re-mixed the audio and replaced the sound effects.
- The 1985-86 series Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam was turned into a 2005-06 movie trilogy called Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation, which mixed remastered and redone animation while also changing parts of the storyline.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz was originally released as a three part OAV where some video releases had options of being linked together (skipping the opening and ending sequences) forming a near feature length film. Several years later a new movie version was released for Gundam's 20th Anniversary that adds over 20 minutes of footage and key musical compositions rewritten. With the exception of a more elaborate and expanded "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, all original footage is accounted for and the new footage is seamlessly integrated in between, fleshing out bits of the story along with more character pieces and extended action sequences. The new version has Dorothy make a cameo and factor into a major plot point while Heero's triumphant return to the battle is given a new scene showing his Heroic Resolve.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena's remastered release featured some new animation touch-ups and some creative changes like adding bodies to the coffins shown in the Black Rose arc. The audio was also remixed with new sound effects (although the English audio was untouched).
- It used to be very standard for anime series to be re-edited when exported to other countries to remove obscene content. 4Kids and Saban were notorious for practicing this. This is rare now, especially on home video, but still occasionally happens to get a series shown on TV.
- When Batton Lash's comic strip Supernatural Law was released in collected form, several early strips were redrawn to improve the quality of the artwork.
- When Marvel Comics reprinted the original series of ElfQuest new pages had to be added by Wendy Pini to fit the total page count. Some of these were new episode titles and recaps, while others were new or expanded story pages. Most of the latter were included in subsequent reprints; due to Art Evolution it's usually not too hard to tell which. A few of the new episode titles were also included, causing some disruption to the original chaptering. Controversially, the series was also re-lettered with bigger ballons which obscured more of the original art and removed some special formatting. This was not corrected until the art was finally "remastered" with computer lettering and coloring, which is the version currently available on the official website.
- Another reformatting took place when DC Comics reprinted the series in Manga-style volumes, requiring Pini to expand, contract or extend existing comic panels to fit the new page size. This version also included most of the additional art drawn for the Marvel version.
- The Killing Joke was recolored for the 20th anniversary edition, making the scenes darker and more muted, in contrast to its original, more garish colors. Almost inarguably an example of how Tropes Are Not Bad. One striking change is turning the Joker's tears red so it appears he's weeping blood.
- The Absolute edition of The Sandman featured re-done colours (and for one issue, even completely re-inked linework) for some of the issues, which had been let down originally by time pressures or technical limitations.
- Some Astérix comics have had their art reworked, often to deal with foreign markets. Perhaps the most obvious example occurs in Asterix in Switzerland, in which Asterix and Obelix get the wheel of their chariot repaired by a man resembling the Antar service station mascot. As Antar is not very well known outside of France, this was replaced with the Michelin Man in English editions.
- The early Tintin albums were redrawn, in some cases to remove Unfortunate Implications.
- Some early Suske en Wiske albums were redrawn to remove some of the Early-Installment Weirdness, such as the radically different art style and some of the topical humor that was quickly phased out. When fans complained, further re-releases retained the original art with only a new coloring job—for the most part. While for some time, the first page claimed that the story was "reprinted with the original art from many years ago by popular demand," some stories would still have redrawn elements. On top of that, the stories that were redrawn in the first place have remained so, making the only way to see the original versions to collect the original printings or catch one of the limited edition "classic" reprints whenever they happen.
- George Lucas is hugely famous for constant tweaking of his films after they're "finished", starting all the way back to a 1981 re-release of A New Hope where it got its current name (Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope), Star Wars was its original name and was eventually backpedaled into becoming the title of the franchise. He has said the reasons behind some of the changes were based on things they wanted to do but were unable to visualize with the budget or technology of the time, although fans have misrepresented it as Lucas claiming every change was what he originally intended.
- The 20th Anniversary re-releases to theaters were billed as having newly included scenes, an additional 5 million dollars was spent on the new features. There are actually dozens, if not hundreds, of little changes made, most of which fans were ambivalent about (most are seamless unless doing an actual frame-by-frame comparison). The most infamous one was Han shooting Greedo in the cantina after a tense standoff which was altered to have Han dodge a "warning shot" by Greedo and return fire; it changes Han from a Nominal Hero into a Pragmatic Hero. This led to the internet meme of "Han Shot First!"
- The DVD release of the original trilogy included new changes to better align with the prequels, including an image of Naboo in the Nations of the World Montage at the end of Return of the Jedi. As well, some changes were made to fix the new Special Effects Failures that happened with the alteration, including a less Off Model CG Jabba the Hutt in a scene added in the 20th anniversary, and improving the matte lines of the rancor. They even cleaned up the "Han Shot First" scene by making it more of a simultaneous action (it's rumored the change only took place because of differing standards with the ratings board and PG movies, PG-13 didn't exist at the time of the original). Another change that didn't get criticized was changing the original Emperor hologram from The Empire Strikes Back with one played by Ian Mc Diarmid, making sure Palpatine remains consistent through all films.
- A good deal of the enduring backlash comes with that Lucas has also been pretty apathetic about releasing the originals in their unaltered form. The limited DVD release was a Vanilla Edition based off a quick transfer from the laserdisc print made in the early 90's.
- The restorations and resulting transfers also suffer from Digital Destruction, with lost color depth and the like from turning the contrast knob way up and other inept use of settings. It's unlikely the original, already bold and colorful, palette will ever return. The limited DVD based on the laserdisc transfer is more faithful but still washed out and has plenty of compression artifacts on fast motion.
- With the backlash of the re-edits of Star Wars and Steven Spielberg's similar changes to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, when it came to releasing the Indiana Jones movies on DVD they announced they would not make any changes. This was, in part, due to the South Park episode (listed below) mocking and condemning the practice. There is a minor edit in Raiders of the Lost Ark - when Indy falls into the cobra pit, in the theatrical cut it was extremely obvious that there was a pane of glass between Harrison Ford and the snake. The DVD version removes the reflection. Similarly, Last Crusade seems to still keep the line about the gold donated by finest Jewish families in Germany muted.
- Some recent airings of Raiders of the Lost Ark alter the scene where Gobler's car falls down the cliff. In the original film, it's done using a model of the car and a matte painting of a cliff and as the car falls it doesn't cast a shadow against the cliff, but for the TV airing, they digitally replaced everything - the cliff which now looks different and the car which is now in sharper focus and casts a shadow. Bizarrely, this version of the scene is only used for the TV airings. It hasn't turned up on any of the DVD and Blu-Ray editions of the film (which do contain the altered snake pit scene to remove the cobra's reflection).
- In the 1970s Wade Williams reshot the special effects for the 1950s sci-fi movie Rocketship XM in order to improve the film's visual continuity; the VHS tape, laser disc, and DVD releases of RX-M incorporate this re-shot footage.
- Dark Star was originally a 68-minute student short film. When it was acquired for distribution, new footage was added by the producer. Later, John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon re-edited the film into a "director's cut", removing much of the footage shot for the theatrical release and adding new special effects.
- This trope is the basis of controversy whenever a black and white film is colorized.
- The first major controversy involving this trope occurred in the 1980s, when some library management companies such as Hal Roach Studios and Ted Turner's holdings started using the then-new colorization technology to alter black and white films like Miracle on 34th Street, King Kong, and most infamously, Casablanca. In the case of Roach, not only were his classic films colorized, but films such as It's a Wonderful Life got the same treatment because they were in the public domain and were free to license and alter. Many film purists and actors such as Jimmy Stewart complained, claiming that the films were being vandalized (In actuality, the restoration process applied to the original black and white prints helped preserve the original films). Particularly controversial was when Turner joked about colorizing Citizen Kane. Orson Welles allegedly told Turner to "keep his crayons" away from Kane. This was before the internet, so many feared that the colorized versions would "replace" the original black and white versions forever. The process fell out of favor after a few years, not because of film purism being widely accepted, but because the technology was not good enough at the time to produce color that did not look artificial.
- The second wave of controversy over colorization occurred when Columbia released a series of newly colorized The Three Stooges DVDs. However, the process is more accepted nowadays because of the improved technology, and the fact that DVD/Blu-Ray format allows both colorized and black and white versions to appear on the same medium. Film purists also now understand better that the restoration process for the original black and white prints does help preserve the original films, and some industry veterans like Shirley Temple even assisted in the colorizations of their own films. Also, odd cult film colorizations that played up the camp value of the original work, such as Legend Films' colorization of Reefer Madness, helped win over some skeptics and critics of the process.
- Night of the Living Dead deserves a mention. It's been colorized three times with varying results. It can be interesting comparing the different versions. In the 1986 colorization from Hal Roach Studios, Barbra and Johnny's car was yellow, in the 1997 version from Anchor Bay, it was blue, and in the 2005 version from Legend Films, it's red. The real color of the car? Green.
- The process is fairly rare now though, mostly because of how expensive it can be.
- In addition to the Star Wars alterations, Lucas made similar modifications to his first film, THX 1138, shooting new footage and using CGI to modify scenes by expanding crowds, settings and backgrounds and adding digital characters.
- Producer/cowriter John A. Russo decided to release a "30th Anniversary Edition" of Night of the Living Dead, with no involvement from George A. Romero, the director and Russo's writing partner. The reissued version added a new score, newly filmed scenes, and altered sound effects. Harry Knowles threatened to ban anyone from Ain't It Cool News if they defended or complimented this version of the film.
- Writer and producer William Peter Blatty produced a recut of The Exorcist, creating "The Version You've Never Seen". This version added some CGI fixes to certain scenes, added subliminal imagery, restored a scene where the possessed Regan carries out a contorted "spider-walk," and features a longer ending which sets up the events of The Exorcist III. In this case all the added footage had in fact been shot with the rest of the film back in 1973, but the director, William Friedkin simply didn't want to use it. Blatty did, and eventually got the chance to create his own edit.
- Halloween (1978) has an alternate extended version with 12 minutes of additional scenes shot in 1981 for television during Halloween II's production. These scenes do little to advance the plot, and John Carpenter prefers viewers view the film without them, but they do tie some things together with the sequel, and some fans insist on watching the movie with them intact.
- Halloween II (1981) also has an alternate version that was shown on television. Unlike the above example, this alternate cut was almost completely different from the theatrical version as it featured many bits of scenes added in or taken out, and many scenes were re-arranged, resulting in noticeably different pacing. It also arguably featured better character development. Unfortunately, this cut only exists with cable TV censorships, even as an extra feature on the DVD release.
- A lot of fans objected to Universal's Blu-ray release that replaced the "Moustapha Akkad Presents" title card with "Universal, An MCA Company, Presents." This was apparently an accident, as the fans complained loud enough for Universal to fix this.
- There was an alternate cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1996) called the "Producer's Cut." It's technically the original cut of the film before the Weinsteins ordered re-shoots. It's often seen as superior to the theatrical version for having better character development and making more sense. It also was completed before Donald Pleasence's death, meaning his character originally survived film. The theatrical version was completed after he died, and his character was killed off in that cut. This is also the version the originally sceenplay writer prefers (although he admits he's not a big fan of either one). Despite fans' insistence, the Producers Cut has never been legally available on home video with it only surviving through bootlegs. Fortunately, an official release is planned as a part of the upcoming complete franchise boxset from Anchor Bay and Shout! Factory.
- There's also a "Director's Cut" shown on television which is basically the theatrical version with some scenes from the Producer's Cut spliced in.
- Both Rob Zombie films have theatrical and extended unrated director's cuts with alternate endings.
- Steven Spielberg was the first person to make a special edition, for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Due to the original production running over time and budget, many scenes had to be cut from shooting. But due to the success of the film, Spielberg managed to convince Columbia to allow him to film these sequences (like the ship in the desert) and release a new version (called the Special Edition) in 1980. . However, there was one gripe: He also had to shoot a new ending inside the spaceship (something Spielberg never wanted to show) and it was of course this part that the studio wanted to focus on. This version also had many scenes from the theatrical cut, but with new ones instead. Then in 1997 he released a Director's Cut: Essentially the 1977 cut (though with some scenes, like the power station and a scene with a pre-Rocky Carl Weathers as a soldier cut) with most of the new sequences (besides the inside of the spaceship of course) inserted. All three are included in the Blu-Ray.
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial had quite a few for it's 20th anniversary release. In addition to a few new scenes with a CG E.T., it had a scene in which the FBI agents' shotguns were digitally replaced with Walkie-Talkies, which was particularly derided by fans. Lewis Black jibed that the FBI agents were using the Walkie-Talkies to ask each other, "Where the hell are our guns?!? We're trying to stop an alien from escaping!" Unlike Lucas, Spielberg later regretted the changes and now only the original 1982 version is available on Blu-Ray.
- The Director's Cut of Donnie Darko greatly alters the pacing of the film, adding deleted scenes and new special effects, and switching the soundtrack of the movie around. Author Richard Kelly regards this version not as a director's cut (this title was the publisher's idea) as he considers the theatrical version just fine in its own right. Instead, to him the new version is a special edition of sorts. Notably, many critics, including Roger Ebert, preferred the director's cut.
- Happy Birthday to Me's original DVD release from Columbia featured a different musical score. This version was actually taken from an old work print that had a temporary musical score (in other words They Just Didn't Care). Anchor Bay's re-release featured the proper score, as does Mill Creek's Blu-ray.
- Return of the Living Dead has a version that altered the voice of the zombie who says "Send more paramedics!" The zombie had a shriller, higher voice in the earlier version of the film, and lower voice in the newer version of the film. The result isn't as funny as the original scene was.
- TV versions give the Tar Man a much higher-pitched voice.
- There's a very bizarre DVD edition of Ulli Lommel's 1983 film Boogeyman 2. The original version of the film wasn't very good by any stretch of the imagination, but it is unanimously preferred over what Lommel claimed was a "Director's Cut". This version consists of cheaply shot footage of Lommel being interrogated by off-camera police officers, and "flashbacks" that are 90% derived from Lommel's 1980 film The Boogeyman, which Boogeyman II was a sequel to. The original version of Boogeyman II did consist of a lot of flashback footage from the first film, but it did have some new content, whereas the 2003 version of Boogeyman II is 90% footage from The Boogeyman, 10% newly filmed content. So fans of the original version of the film were not at all pleased by this version, invoking the George Lucas Altered Version trope.
- The Charlie Chaplin classic film The Gold Rush was re-released by Chaplin himself in the 40's with some edits, instrumental music and replaced the title cards of the original silent film with his own narration. Thus making this Older than Television.
- From the '80s until its first DVD release in 2005, the English-dubbed release of Danger: Diabolik suffered from this; the original track was presumed lost, and the recordings that existed were mixed with new voices of an inferior quality; also, a reference to Robin Hood was removed, possibly in order to avoid the ire of Disney (who made an animated movie about the legend) or Warner Bros. (who had just come out with their own Robin Hood movie around the time the VHS and Laserdisc of Diabolik was released). It wasn't until 2005 that a DVD was released with the original English track as heard in theatres.
- In the case of the Orson Welles adaptation of Othello, this trope is legally in play thanks to the egotistic efforts of his daughter Beatrice, who claimed that her restoration was her father's original vision. The lack of Gregorian chanting at the start of the restoration is an early clue that nothing could've been any further from the truth.
- Towards the end of Titanic, a shot of the Milky Way in the night sky was rather lazily mirrored. Neil deGrasse Tyson pointed this out to Jim Cameron, who initially laughed him off but later enlisted him to provide an accurate star map, which was included in the 10th Anniversary DVD and blu-ray.
- Originally, in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, when Dr. Evil, after being shot down from his plan to blackmail the Royal Family and threaten to force Prince Charles to divorce, because Prince Charles already had a divorce, plots to use a laser to drill a hole in the ozone layer and increase the risk of skin cancer. But Number Two tells him, "That also has already been done." Later, when Austin is in a bathroom looking for Number Two, he is attacked by Irish assassin Paddy O'Brien, and in the struggle groans, DO! YOU! WORK! FOR! NUMBER! TWO?! DO! YOU! WORK! FOR NUMBER! TWO?!". The Texan in the toilet next to him thinks he's warming up to take a crap. ("Yeah, you show that turd who's boss!") In later current pressings of the DVD, the former quote is replaced by a variation undoubtedly filmed separate on the same day: "That also already has happened." The latter is replaced by "WHO! DOES! NUMBER! TWO! WORK! FOR?! WHO! DOES! NUMBER! TWO! WORK! FOR?!"
- When Ayn Rand wrote We The Living, she was not yet proficient at the English language, and she hadn't yet developed her philosophy, so when the book was reissued, she decided to rewrite several parts that were inconsistent with her philosophy.
- For its 2013 re-release, Aaron Allston rewrote Doc Sidhe slightly to more closely match his current prose style.
- As The Lord of the Rings was being written, Tolkien rewrote parts of The Hobbit to clean up bits of dialogue and plot holes that might have occurred when moving on with the sequel. Originally Gollum offered the One Ring to Bilbo freely, which doesn't work when you learned the Artifact of Doom is also an Artifact of Attraction.
- Orson Scott Card changed a few parts of Ender’s Game in later editions to show an impact of The Great Politics Mess-Up.
- Talking to Dragons was written before the rest of Enchanted Forest Chronicles and underwent several changes to bring it in line with the rest of the books when it was rereleased after the other three. A summary of alterations is at The Other Wiki.
- Terry Pratchett reissued his first novel The Carpet People because of public interest, but only after extensively rewriting it. He described the process as being a collaboration with his younger self, and he didn't have to give his co-writer any of the royalties.
- Stephen King massively rewrote the first book of The Dark Tower to bring it aesthetically in line with later books and clean up the odd Continuity Snarl. The fanbase is divided on this, as some of the Early-Installment Weirdness was part of the book's charm.
- Bits of Judy Blume's Fudge books from the 70s were updated in 2002 with then-current terminology. For instance, Record players were replaced with CD players and mimeograph machines were replaced with photocopiers.
- The early Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books were completely re-written beginning in 1959 in shorter, condensed form, with updated plots, faster-moving action, toned down violence, and most infamously, white washing the characters to avoid perceived Unfortunate Implications, even ones NOT presented as stereotypes. These "new" versions completely replaced the originals and remain in print to this day while diehard fans of the originals need to search for older printings of these books or track down facsimile copies from the early 90s.
Live Action TV
- The original Star Trek series has been reissued with CGI special effects that were obviously not an option during production in The Sixties, replacing the original production models and matte paintings that were used at the time (though in the latter cases, mostly to make the planets more realistic and fix when the Alien Sky behind the characters doesn't look like the planet from the space scenes). On the original Blu-ray release, only the "remastered" version was available at first, causing purists to accuse CBS Paramount of pulling a Lucas; however, subsequent releases have included the original versions, though not as the default option (you have to change from the "remastered" versions to watch them). CBS Paramount has also been doing their best to show only the "remastered" versions in syndication, at least in certain markets.
- The TNG Blu-ray release also updated the special effects in certain places, where showing the original in hi-def would only make it look worse. Unique for this trope is many people actually applaud the work, saying it breathes new life into the show by making it feel recent and not forcing you to enjoy it as a relic of the past.
- A few DVD releases of Doctor Who (Including "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" and "The Ark in Space") have had new special effect sequences inserted, better than what was available with the technology (and budget) of the time. However, in all cases, the original broadcast version is also included and the viewer can choose if they want to watch the original or the 'improved' version.
- The first three series of Red Dwarf were re-released with updated special effects with an eye towards an international release. The CGI they used seems even more dated than the high-quality models of the original and, in any case, fans were not thrilled by how their inclusion led to the modification and even removal of dialogue sections.
- There is a colored version of the classic sketch Dinner for One, which was not received too well by fans.
- The first two seasons of Bewitched, which were filmed in black-and-white instead of color like the rest of the series, were released to DVD in two versions: the original B&W and colorized, however, only the colorized versions are available overseas and in the complete series boxset. However, when Mill Creek Entertainment got the sub-license to release the series to DVD, their releases only include the black-and-white versions of those seasons.
- The same can be said word-for-word for I Dream of Jeannie, although only it's first season was filmed in black-and-white.
- Averted with The Andy Griffith Show, where only it's final two seasons were filmed in color. Those seasons aren't very fondly remembered anyway, and the original black and white episodes haven't been touched.
- Likewise, a couple episodes of I Love Lucy have been colorized, though surprisingly, it's never been attempted with the whole series. Notable is the Christmas special, which aired on CBS in 2013 colorized, however it's flashback sequences were interestingly presented in their original black and white. The episode where Lucy dreams of going to Scotland was also colorized, however, the episode was originally supposed to be partially filmed in color, but the studio couldn't afford it, so the dream sequence was colorized based on the color home movies shot by Desi Arnez. The non-dream sequence scenes were left in their original B&W, creating an interesting effect ala The Wizard of Oz.
- Many of these classic TV series contain small alterations even if they're not colorized. For instance, they often contain syndicated openings/endings since it used to be standard for them to feature their sponsors in their sequences. Clearing the rights to use these sponsors is usually expensive (if the company even exists anymore).
- Babylon 5:
- When the show was picked up for a fifth season by TNT, the pilot was reworked considerably, including redoing some effects shots, replacing the soundtrack, and dealing with various editing and pacing issues. The redone version was titled Babylon 5: The Gathering, and aired as part of the show's fifth season.
- The show as a whole is a massive subversion: it was filmed in widescreen and cropped to 4:3, but the CG effects were only animated in 4:3. The assumption was that advances in special effects would render it trivial to re-do the effects when it came time for a widescreen, higher-definition remaster. It wasn't, the show has only ever been released in 4:3 or a 16:9 format created by cropping even more footage from the top and bottom, and the low-resolution CG models, especially in the first season, have aged terribly, especially compared to contemporaries which used practical effects.
- Some episodes of LOST were altered for their first re-airing, which is the version on DVD. For instance, "Adrift" added a shot of the World Trade Center towers to better establish the time frame of the flashbacks. Another episode removed a white car that was visible in the background during a scene on the Island.
- An updated version of the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers aired in 2010 on ABC Family with updated special effects and comic book-inspired graphics.
- The musical version of this trope is The Not Remix.
- When Frank Zappa started reissuing his catalog on compact disc, he decided to completely revamp many of his albums. In particular, entries like Were Only In It For The Money, Cruisin' with Ruben & the Jets and Hot Rats were completely different from their original vinyl incarnations. Zappa added newly recorded instrumentation to Money, Jets and a few other albums, like Sleep Dirt (originally an instrumental album, the CD featured newly recorded vocals by Thana Harris, with lyrics derived from the unproduced musical Hunchentoot, where many of that albums songs originated), which featured newly recorded drumming and bass guitar tracks by then-current musicians like Chad Wackerman and Arthur Barrow. Reportedly, the new instrumentation on these albums was because many of the original band members on the recordings, including drummer Jimmy Carl Black, were suing him over unpaid royalties. Hot Rats did not feature any new instrumentation, being that all of the material was recorded at the original sessions, however, the original recordings were sequenced, mixed and edited in a way that made the exact same recordings sound drastically different from the original album.
- Jimi Hendrix was working on an album at the time of his death, to be titled First Rays of the New Rising Sun. It was never completed as intended, due to his death. The recordings were subsequently scattered across several different contractual obligation albums released by his label, with various alterations made after his death to complete the unfinished recordings. Producer Allan Douglas decided to alter these recordings further by releasing Voodoo Soup, which Douglas alleged presented the album as Hendrix would have intended, which is subjectively untrue, as there was no telling as to how Hendrix would have completed the album if he had lived. One of Douglas' alterations was to add newly recorded drum tracks played by Bruce Gary, of The Knack, a band that formed in 1978, several years after Hendrix died. After the Hendrix family gained the rights to his compositions and purchased the master tapes for his recordings, Voodoo Soup was pulled off the market and replaced by First Rays of the New Rising Sun, a purist-friendly reconstruction of the unfinished Hendrix album, which presented the songs in the versions that were most complete by the time of Hendrix' death, plus minimal overdubs in accordance with Hendrix's wishes (the vibraphone on "Drifting"), compiled and sequenced by Eddie Kramer and Mitch Mitchell.
- In 2002, Ozzy Osbourne decided to re-record aspects of some of his earliest albums after his original drummer and bassist sued him, to have their instrumentation replaced with newly recorded instrumentation by his current drummer and bassist. Ozzy later changed his mind about these reissues, and had the original albums reissued in remastered versions, restoring all of the original instrumentation, causing much rejoicing among Ozzy's fans.
- On the Geto Boys' Self-Titled Album, "Gangsta of Love" was originally built around a sample of the Steve Miller Band's "The Joker". However, the sample was not properly cleared, and it was subsequently replaced with a remixed version that instead samples Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama". The remixed version isn't as effective.
- In 1996, guitarist Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath fame made some solo recordings featuring the drum work of Dave Holland, formerly of Judas Priest, but didn't consider them fit to release at the time (it was subsequently bootlegged). When Iommi was finally convinced to release the EP, Holland had been convicted of attempted rape, and Iommi decided to have his drumming re-recorded, as he did not want the album to be associated with a sex offender. The 2004 EP release The 1996 DEP Sessions therefore consists of 1996 recordings with 2004 drums (played this time by Jimmy Copley).
- Dark Lotus' Tales from the Lotus Pod was altered to remove the vocals of former member Marz. Violent J explained that he wasn't satisfied with the album as it was originally released, as he found Marz' raps to be too dark and morbid. Thus, it was reissued with newly recorded vocals by Psychopathic Records artist Anybody Killa.
- In 1970, on the precipice of the band's break-up, The Beatles released their 12th studio album "Let It Be", essentially cobbled together by producer Phil Spector from various studio recordings and out-takes. In 2003, Paul [McCartney] would release "Let It Be... Naked", a remixed version of the album that stripped out Phil Spector's choral and orchestral overdubs (which were probably necessary at the time to salvage parts of the material), and digitally cleaning tracks using technology not available at the time.
- As part of an agreement to get out of his contract, Dave Mustaine ended up "remastering" all of Megadeth's catalogue at Capitol Records (basically all their albums up to Risk minus the first one.) However, his idea of remastering involved creating completely new mixes of everything. The result is interesting, but fans still overwhelmingly prefer the original versions, especially as some of the master recordings were supposedly lost and had to be re-recorded.
- Mustaine also completely reworked MD.45's album The Craving, removing the input of Lee Ving (vocals and harmonica) entirely, and adding his own vocals and extra guitar. Mustaine initially claimed that Ving's parts were lost, but later said that he did it because he was disappointed in the failure of the original version, and thus effectively made it a Megadeth album.
- Mustaine also provided a totally different covers for Killing Is My Business and Risk, a modified one for Cryptic Writings, and changed the color saturation and logo sizes on the others.
- David Sylvian finally released the Japan outtake "Some Kind Of Fool" on his 2002 collection Everything And Nothing...but added new vocals to the original instrumental. Whilst Sylvian's singing had definitely improved, the vocals were incongruous with the older music. He did similar versions of Ghosts and solo track Brilliant Trees, the former also on Everything And Nothing, and the latter on a limited 3CD edition of it.
- in 2009 Kraftwerk released remastered versions of all their albums, save their first three which they've more or less disowned. Among other changes, the album Electric Cafe was changed to Techno Pop, and the cover of Trans Europe Express was changed to a simple train logo rather than a portrait of the four band members (possibly because two of them had long since split from the band, and not exactly on good terms either).
- Cirque du Soleil did this with the Saltimbanco soundtrack in 2005 — along with adding two songs that hadn't appeared on the original 1992 album, all of the original release's songs either had re-recorded portions or were new recordings, reflecting the significant changes made to the show's orchestrations over the years to sound less like products of The Nineties.
- The Extended Cut DLC for Mass Effect 3 either expands on or retcons elements of the original ending to clear up a lot of issues produced, it's believed, by Executive Meddling. For example, instead of the mass relays being destroyed and the Normandy's engines wrecked, both are only damaged.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd, much like in South Park, decided to get in on the fun of mocking this practice in his Back to the Future Trilogy. He starts out by claiming he always wanted random dance scenes and effects in his videos but couldn't afford them, then claims he is changing his Friday the 13th video so that Jason shoots first.
- Darths & Droids references this trope at the end of the A New Hope adaptation. Corey wants to replay the game as Darth Vader, but the GM refuses and Annie insists that "The original version is always the best."
- Walt Disney's Fantasia was altered in its reissue to delete Uncle Tomfoolery. A digital alteration of the film appeared more recently, retaining the scenes, but simply deleting the blackface character Sunflower.
- Similarly, the Disney short The Three Little Pigs was retroactively redubbed to avoid unfortunate implications that the original cartoon had presented, particularly a scene where the wolf portrays a stereotypical Jewish peddler in order to gain access to the house.
- The Lion King boasted some new animation and remixed audio during its 2002 IMAX release. The visual changes made their way to every home video release that followed.
- Aladdin also received this treatment, but the low gross of the Lion King IMAX engagements compelled Disney to release this print directly to DVD.
- Several Tom and Jerry cartoons have been altered by reanimating Mammy Two Shoes as a slim white woman◊ and redubbing her voice.
- Those edits have been rarely seen since the early 90s when Mammy Two-Shoes was reinstated, but her voice redubbed with a more realistic African American voice instead of the stereotypical dumb-sounding black voice she had in the 40s/50s. The DVDs have a mix of both voices, depending on the cartoon, but the new Blu-rays retain the original voice for every cartoon.
- Both discussed an parodied in an episode of South Park. The plot of the episode concerns the boys' attempt to get Lucas & Speilberg to stop changing their films. A Parody Commercial in the middle features Live Action Trey Stone & Matt Parker, creators of South Park, offering for sale an altered version of the pilot episode of South Park featuring all-new CGI.
Announcer: Yes, all the charm of a simple little cartoon will melt before your eyes as it is replaced by newer and more standardized animation!
Parker: In the scene at the bus stop, we always meant to have Imperial walkers and giant dewback lizards in the background, but simply couldn't afford it.
- Also, when the boys break into the video library of George Lucas himself, they find not only home videos, but altered versions of them as well (e.g. "Kids First Swimming Lesson w/ Digitally Enhanced Weather").