Afterwards there was a half-hour discussion with Frank Oz, Alan Menken and Ellen Greene, plus one of the program directors from the NY Film Festival, and the film restorer, Kurt Galvao. After the talk, Alan Menken sang a Little Shop medley, and Ellen Greene gave a heartbreaking rendition of "Somewhere That's Green." Then we got to hear the late author Howard Ashman singing the demo for "Crystal, Ronette & Chiffon" which was meant to play over the end credits, but was dropped.
Video of the panel discussion: Part One. Part Two. Part Three.
And the film itself? First, the movie looks gorgeous. The colors are lush and rich, the shadows painterly, and the details are very fine. I noticed little speckles and details on Audrey II's skin that were never quite visible before, and little things like being able to read some of the labels on the cans in Seymour's basement, etc. If the movie looks that great digitally projected onto a full-sized screen, it should look even better compressed into home HD dimensions.
The 5.1 remix sounds excellent, and the sound system at Walter Reade really showed it off to great advantage. I'm glad they didn't change the very well-done soundscapes and room-tone ambiances - one of the best things about Little Shop is that the songs generally sound as if they are being sung in the environments they were shot in, and they still do. One hopes a remastered & expanded soundtrack CD is in the works.
The scenes of people flocking to buy little Audrey IIs (what happened to all those props, I wonder?) look great, and the scene of the couple in bed being attacked is actually pretty creepy. I love the news flash from Cleveland, with the frantic reporter and firefighters facing down a rampaging "Mean Green" sized plant. The discotheque scene has really bright, vibrant colors - and white brick behind the bar. Galvao said they had to scour film archives all over the country to find the original color negatives of the ending, and very nearly had to release the film with the discotheque sequence in B&W, until the negative turned up just a week before the deadline.
UPDATE: Having seen the Blu-Ray, I am glad to report that the two missing sound effects are present, though the "Da Doo" has less reverb than previously. However, the dissolve from the feeding scene to Seymour's bedspread is sadly fouled up. I am also told that the DVD version of the film IS missing those two sound effects. In the Lincoln Center screening copy of the film there were some odd errors which I really hope don't show up on the Blu-Ray. The single "Da Doo!" heard when Seymour tells Wink Wilkinson about the total eclipse was gone, and the little wheeze Orin's gas mask makes as he dies was also MIA. Worse for me, the long slow dissolve from Audrey II's mouth to Seymour's bedspread (after Seymour feeds him the chopped-up dentist) was instead a very fast transition and not nearly as effective. Those are all disappointing, and kept this from feeling like a "definitive" cut to me, but I can live with it if they are, indeed, on the discs.
My video of Ellen Greene singing "Somewhere That's Green" didn't record properly, so do enjoy this version by YouTube user Joshheartstheater.