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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "A Journey to the Beginning of Time" or "Journey to the Beginning of Time")

 

Directed by Karel Zeman
Czechoslovakia 1955

 

Presented from a glorious new 4K restoration, Second Run are delighted to follow their hugely popular releases of The Fabulous Baron Munchausen and Invention for Destruction by the visionary Czech animator and filmmaker Karel Zeman, with his groundbreaking work of fantasy Journey to the Beginning of Time.

A joyous adventure that celebrates science and nature, Journey to the Beginning of Time sends four schoolboys on an epic and perilous voyage through prehistory encountering mammoths, monsters and dinosaurs along the way. Using a variety of innovative techniques (cell animation, stop-motion, puppetry and animatronics) Zeman evokes worlds of wonder and discovery to produce his most beguiling work.

Described as the Czech Méliès , Zeman has been a profound influence on generations of film artists from Jan vankmajer to Tim Burton, the Quay Brothers to Terry Gilliam and Wes Anderson. His innovations in the use of live-action and animation mark him as one of the great masters of 20th Century fantasy cinema, alongside his more celebrated Western counterparts Willis O Brien, George Pal and Ray Harryhausen.

An opportunity to succumb to the unique enchantment of Zeman s purity of spirit, his boundless imagination and artistic vision Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

***

Karel Zeman, the original director, is rightly credited as pilot of the present version because of his deft, imaginative use of the large, bizarre animals, which are nothing more than electronic puppets. And certainly the museum rates a hand for lending its facilities and for checking the movie's lost-world authenticity. Finally, there is the distributional banner of New Trends, headed by Edward Anthony Myerberg, which has already evinced concern for tasteful children's movies, of which there are precious few. "Journey to the Beginning of Time" is simple, straightforward and attractive. Young explorers, climb aboard.

Excerpt from theNYTimes located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 5th, 1955

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Also available on DVD from Second Run:

Distribution Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:25:51.000 / Eng DUB'ed version: 1:23:09.017        
Video

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,969,377,877 bytes

Feature: 24,761,393,664 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

English DUB'ed version: 14,446,202,880 bytes/ 20.03 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Czech 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Second Run

 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,969,377,877 bytes

Feature: 24,761,393,664 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

English DUB'ed version: 14,446,202,880 bytes/ 20.03 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

The alternative English-dubbed version: a feature-length reconstruction of the US release cut with different opening and end sequences.
A new filmed appreciation by John Stevenson, director of Kung-Fu Panda and Sherlock Gnomes. (22:59)
The Making of Journey to the Beginning of Time (9:08)
Restoring the World of Fantasy featurette (2:10)
Image gallery.
Trailers (Restoration - 1:46 / US - 1:26)
Karel Zeman Museum Promo (1:22)
Booklet featuring new writing on the film by film historian Michael Brooke


Blu-ray Release Date:
October 7th, 2019
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Second Run Blu-ray (October 2019): Second Run have transferred Karel Zeman's Journey to the Beginning of Time (aka "Cesta do praveku") to Blu-ray. It is described as a "new 4K restoration". There is a restoration featurette as part of the extras and you can see the vast improvement over the poor quality of the source prior to restoration. This is rendered to a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. The overall image can be a bit green and grey but I thought it looked wonderful in-motion. I was so pleased to see it in 1080P.

On their Blu-ray, Second Run use a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (16-bit) in the original Czech language. There is music credited to E.F. Burian, Vlastimil Pinkas and Frantisek Strangmüller. The audio is imperfect but services the film presentation considerably - flat but with depth augmenting the visual effects. Second Run offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

Second Run add quite a few supplements which include the alternative English-dubbed version: a feature-length reconstruction (by Derrick Davis) of the US release cut with different opening and end sequences. It is pretty weak a/v (modest transfer) but interesting to have as a curiosity. I enjoyed the 23-minute new filmed appreciation by director John Stevenson, to see how much it impacted him as a child and beyond. There is a 10-minute The Making of Journey to the Beginning of Time and a short split-screen on Restoring the World of Fantasy featurette. We also get an image gallery of posters and behind the scenes pictures, trailers for both the restoration and US versions, plus a short, but child-affirming, 'Karel Zeman Museum' promo. Lastly, the package contains a 20-page liner notes booklet featuring new writing on the film by film historian, and Czech-film go-to guy, Michael Brooke and some black and white photos, plus credits.

Journey to the Beginning of Time has Karel Zeman's imaginative and joyous fantasy expression - fulfilling childhood dreams with adventure and dinosaurs. It is so pleasurable and I only wish there were dozens more, exactly like it, to indulge in for the rest of my days. Thanks so much to Second Run for releasing this on Region FREE Blu-ray and DVD for mass consumption.  This should be a part of everyone's digital library. Our highest recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:



Also available on DVD from Second Run:

Distribution Second Run - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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