Screen Time Images restores ‘Animals with the Tollkeeper’ for ‘re-premiere’

A surreal romantic fantasy that never enjoyed wide release has been restored for "re-premiere" by Screen Time Images with the help of a da Vinci Systems Revival image restoration suite.

While “Animals With the Tollkeeper” won many awards and earned great reviews when it debuted at festivals 10 years ago, it subsequently became burdened by legal issues and disappeared into obscurity. Now, Screen Time Images, a post-production company in Schaumburg, IL, has acquired distribution rights.

The movie will be shown at the Palm Beach International Film Festival on April 14, with a North American theatrical release to follow. Mickey Rooney will be present at the screening and will be receiving honors for his career. As a special feature at the festival, selected scenes from "Animals" and other examples will be shown in 3-D using new technology that requires no special 3-D glasses.

Time was not kind to the original negatives of "Animals With the Tollkeeper." To prepare it for rerelease, Screen Time Images performed six months of exhaustive and meticulous restoration ordinarily reserved for A-list movies with guaranteed revenue potential.

To restore the film, Screen Time Images first scanned it at 4K resolution and then deployed the da Vinci Revival. Each frame was manually reviewed using the Revival operating in interactive mode to remove dirt and dust; repair splices and vertical scratches; and to de-warp and stabilize images.

For these operations, Screen Time used Region of Interest (ROI) tools and also used Revival's processing and machine-vision algorithms. For color grading, Screen Time gained access to the original film lab's printer lights timing settings, which da Vinci's color enhancement systems were configured to emulate. Technology has improved since the film was made, and these settings were used as a baseline starting point for the improved color enhancement. The result was a deepening of the film's visual, emotional power.

For the showing at the Palm Beach Film Festival, Screen Time Images has partnered with Xtreme Electronics Systems (XES), maker of autostereo 3-D displays and software, to bring to life several scenes from "Animals" in 3-D.

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