Reframing is a technique used on most of Disney/Pixar's home releases of its earliest films, seperate from the original widescreen release. Unlike other full screen presentations of animated films, which often infamously used "pan-and-scan", where huge portions of entire scenes are cropped off so that it would fit on a smaller screen, Pixar does the exact opposite, where instead entire scenes had to be completely reanimated or slightly edited to preserve the original widescreen version's quality. This would include expanding the screen vertically and slightly tweaking and moving certain characters, background props, and/or entire scenes so that everything still appears all at once at any given time.
The first Pixar film to use this method was 1998's A Bug's Life, and this continued until 2006's Cars when the introduction of widescreen TVs had expanded the scene and therefore making this process obsolete. From Ratatouille onwards, all future Pixar films are and will be shown only in widescreen, since there's little point. Conversely, all future re-releases of past Pixar films (with the exception of A Bug's Life) on home media and streaming are left only in their widescreen versions. Even so, the reframed version was exclusive only to the original US versions, as all international versions only show the film in widescreen. It should also be noted that reframing can only work on the earliest CGI animated films because of the ability to move and even alter characters, props, and entire backgrounds and scenes with ease. Here are all of the examples of reframing in the following films:
Reframing examples in A Bug's Life
Here are all the examples of reframing in A Bug's Life:
- A wide view of Ant Island is cropped off on the sides, but expanded vertically.
- The scene where the ants are celebrating the "warrior bugs" for saving them from a bird has two young ants looking down from a leaf moved closer together.
- A scene in the ant hospital where Flik and the Blueberry scouts visit Francis after breaking his leg while fighting the bird has the scene expanded to show the Blueberries' bandannas.
- A wide shot of the ant colony thanking the circus bugs is expanded to show the rest of the ants' bodies.
- A scene where Atta is talking to Flik and then walking past some circus bugs and offscreen has Tuck and Roll's upper torsos revealed but Dim cut off.
- A scene where the grasshopper swarm is chased off by the rebelling ants, the burning fake "bird" prop is cut off.
- A scene where Francis is holding up Slim in the tin can restaurant is cut off at the sides.
- A wide view of the canyon showing Slim holding up Heimlich to distract the bird is cropped.
- A scene where Manny shows Gypsy flying into the Chinese food takeout box is cut off at the sides, but slightly jiggles when Gypsy enters the box.
- A scene where the camera pans down from Dot on a clover to show two young male ants now moves toward the right on the way down.
- A shot of Flik talking to the Circus Bugs is expanded vertically, but Tuck and Roll are both cut off.
- A scene where Flik and Atta is expanded vertically, so that we can see their legs (similar to an example from Finding Nemo below), but cropped horizontally meaning that some of the upright leaves in the background are all cut off.
- A scene where Atta is talking to her mother, Queen Ant is expanded vertically so that we can see their legs (again, similar to that example from Finding Nemo below).
- The scene where Flik, Atta, and Dot are saying goodbye to the circus bugs at the end of the film is expanded vertically, so that we can see the ground underneath.
- A scene showing the grasshoppers in mid-flight has the scene expanded vertically so that we can see a tree branch underneath, but cropped horizontally meaning that the grasshoppers in the back are all cut off.
- The scene where the Blueberry Scouts are all running to their underground hideout is expanded vertically, but cropped horizontally, meaning that some ants in the back are cut off.
- When the Blueberry Scouts unveil their mural of the "warrior bugs" fighting off the grasshoppers, Flik is moved closer to the camera, but Dot is obscured by his musical instrument.
Reframing Examples in Toy Story 2
Here are all the examples of reframing in Toy Story 2:
- Throughout the film, various toy characters and props are moved toward the center of the screen to accommodate a smaller picture. For example, if Woody and Buzz Lightyear are talking, but are on the far opposite sides of the screen, then they will both be moved closer in in the full screen version so that both are still visible.
- When we first see the three Squeeze Toy Aliens when they are shown tied to the Pizza Planet Truck's rear-view mirror, all three of said aliens are completely seen, while in the widescreen version only showed either one or two of them at a time. This was even lampshaded in the outtakes during the end credits when one of the aliens comments if he was accidentally left out of the camera's frame during shooting.
Reframing examples in Monsters, Inc.
Here are all the examples of reframing in Monsters, Inc:
- Throughout the film, some scenes are either expanded vertically, cropped horizontally, or left unchanged, with some background characters and props being moved closer to the center of the screen.
- The scene where Sulley and Mike are in the Yeti's cave after he rescues them from the cold after being banished by Waternoose is slightly distorted at the edges.
- The scene where Mike is training Sulley by making him exercise before leaving for work is expanded vertically (the widesceen/full screen option menu is incorrectly the opposite).
- Conversely, the scene at the end where Roz is revealed to be the head of the CDA is cropped at the sides, so that some CDA agents are missing from view.
- A scene where Sulley and Mike are coming up with ideas to hide Boo from everyone else while inside their apartment has the right edge cut off, but everywhere else expanded, revealing a poster at the left edge.
- When the CDA have Boo's door shredded at the end of the film, the CDA agents and their door shredder are moved closer to the screen.
- A shot of Mike and Sulley in the locker room is expanded vertically.
Reframing examples in Finding Nemo
Here are all the examples of reframing in Finding Nemo:
- Throughout the film, some scenes are either expanded vertically, cropped horizontally, neither, or both. Some background fish characters and props like corals and aquarium decorations are moved toward the center of the screen so that they are all still visible.
- A shot of various sea creatures in the Great Barrier Reef (when they show a Spanish dancer sea slug) is expanded vertically.
- When the Tank Gang watch Dr. Sherman give Mr. Tucker his checkup, scenery above the aquarium is seen, but scenery on the sides are cut off.
- In some wide shots inside Dr. Sherman's. office, more of the ceiling and floor are seen, but most of the aquarium on the left side is cut off.
- When Gurgle yells at the Aquascum for foiling the Tank Gang's escape plan, we get to see scenery in the aquarium just above Bloat.
- When a boy and his mother enter the waiting room on the day Darla is supposed to have her dental appointment, for a split second, the mother's skirt billows upward, revealing the visible portion of her legs underneath (the widescreen version had the bottom of the screen cut off where the hem of her skirt would be) . However, we still see the mother's legs in the widescreen version, but she and her son were sitting.
- Also her legs are seen when the Tank Gang notice Dr. Sherman removing Nemo from the aquarium.
- When the same boy and mother are sitting in the waiting room during the commotion between Dr. Sherman, Darla, Nigel, Marlin, Dory, and the Tank Gang, (and the boy to become surprised) more of the shoe worn on the mother's right leg is shown (excluding a later scene where the mother too becomes surprised along with several other patients).
Reframing examples in The Incredibles
Here are all the examples of reframing in The Incredibles:
None known, the full screen version (a separate DVD and the VHS release) is now almost out-of-print and therefore very hard to find. Curiously enough, some people that have watched this version pointed out that the full screen version of this film had reverted back to using the traditional pan-and-scan format.
Reframing examples in Cars
The epilogue and montage shown during the credits is moved from the left side of the screen to the top of the screen to accommodate a smaller screen.
Reframing examples in Ratatouille
Although the DVD and Blu-ray release of this film ensured that all future Pixar films will shown only in widescreen from now on, it was claimed that when this film was shown on TV for the first time, the film was in full screen (now very rare) and used the pan-and-scan technique (Remy is absent in some shots, the ending shot showed only the Le Ratatouille sign with the Eiffel Tower cut off, etc.). Subsequent airings on TV long since now use the widescreen version.
- This technique was also used by Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Animation Group for creating the Spherical (1.37:1/1.85:1) version of The Lego Movie. To make the version, they not only cropped the animations to 16:9 (1.78:1), but afterwards they also used the Hor+ aspect ratio scaling program to open the animations into the 1.37:1 (Academy ratio) frame.