You think Spock was the same at the end of TMP as he was in the beginning or even during the series run?
No, but I wasn't saying why TMP was a good film or how TWOK compares to it. Just why I don't feel TWOK is overrated.
The TV series Spock changed as they got a handle on his character. That's not character growth, that's an actor getting comfortable with his role. This happens on TV all the time. Otherwise, as per the TV series rules of the day, the status quo was maintained throughout 79 episodes. Spock grew in TMP but only because he was OUT of character in the beginning of the film. By the time the film ended - Spock was back. More at ease with his heritage perhaps, but still the Spock we wanted to see from the beginning. And that growth wasn't as obvious in the theatrical version since the one of the key scenes depicting his revelation was cut (the weeping).
The Motion Picture footage serves the purpose it was intended to. Remember, the home video era hadn't taken off yet so I doubt anyone actually remembered those shots even being in TMP. And why would you ditch the amazing model work done by ILM?
Oh, sure we did. There was no attempt to hide it and since many fans saw the first film multiple times in the theater, it was recognized. It's just that very few people cared and many people felt it worked better in TWOK. It was shorter.