No frame left untouched

This project remasters every aspect of the show, one frame at a time. Environments, objects, and articles of clothing are each handled with love and care with a focus on enhancing each element to bring out the best in each shot, while still staying true to the original artwork.

The original series aired on television back in 2003. Most people watched it on a CRT TV at 480p and the quality of the content wasn't all that great. Today, high resolution TV's and monitors allow for a higher quality viewing experience. The Blu-ray release, while 1080p, isn't particularly good, with lots of upscaling artifacts and odd color grading that leaves much to be desired by fans of the series.

Project Back to the Past is an attempt of a proper remaster of Genndy Tartakovsky's original series. Each frame is sourced both from the original 480p footage and the 1080p Blu-ray for reference, before being upscaled to 4320p (8K) over several iterations. At this resolution, each individual frame is curated and re-drawn using the original 480p frames as reference to match the tone, color and artistic intent of the original, without having to sacrife color and quality. The finished frames are then encoded at a high-bitrate (120Mbs) 2160p (4K) resolution.


Jack versus Aku - S01E01

Witness Jack and Aku's first encounter like never before

1080p Blu-ray

4k Remaster

This version includes interpolation for demo purposes.
A version without will also be available for those who want to watch the series at its original frame rate.

The Legacy of Samurai Jack

This series was a staple of my childhood. I still remember the days when I would rush home from school, throw my snow boots off and toss my winter jacket to the side, only to hop in front of the television and watch my favorite show. Each and every episode lives rent free as vivid memories of a time spent captivated by a series unlike anything I had ever seen before.

Much time has passed since then, and a new Blu-ray release of the show was just on the horizon. I was thrilled to once more dive into Tartakovsky's animated series, now with an entirely new appreciation and understanding of animation and storytelling. It was like I was transported back in time; an experience I am sure many fans of the series felt upon re-watching the show. But as time went on, somethings did not fare as well over time.

A few more years have passed since the re-release of the series. I am now older, more perceptive and a bit more cinical. I am also a father – one that would love to share his love for this show with his son. Watching it for the first time with my boy, it was like looking into a timeless mirror. He reminded me of myself when I first watched 'Samurai Jack', on our old CRT, only something was different this time...

I developed a sense of melancholy, thinking about whether or not this show would still have the lasting impact it had on my generation. If this style of animation could compete against the more vivid, more aesthetically modern and dopaminergic driven content that occupies the world of TV and streaming today. Could the series stand the flood of high-quality productions of tomorrow? Will it still have a place in its current state, or will it fade into obscurity the way the original series did before the Blu-ray release?

That question is what lead me down this path. It is the reason why I am developing this project. I'm not remastering the series simply because I like it — I'm doing it because I believe that it deserves it.

Whether it reaches a fan and inspires a re-watch, or somehow catches the attention of someone new to the series, this is my way of fanning the flame that kept me warm through cold Scandinavian winters all those years ago; and perhaps I can contribute to providing the same experience to someone else in the future.