Monday, January 24, 2011

Waking Sleeping Beauty


In the early 1980’s the once infallible Walt Disney animation studio produced one flop after another, hitting rock bottom with the release of ‘The Black Cauldron’ which was embarrassingly surpassed at the box office by the Care Bears movie.  And with growing competition in the animation world by the likes of Steven Spielberg, the future looked bleak for Disney animation, which was considered the heart and soul of The Walt Disney Company.  But a triumvirate of men saved the day.  This documentary tells the story of how Roy E. Disney (nephew of Walt), Michael Eisner, and Jeffrey Katzenberg reinvented Disney animation in the late 80’s and early 90’s with new classics like ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Aladdin’, and ‘The Lion King’.  Of course, behind the scenes, there was plenty of conflict despite their successes.  And you get to see it all from actual archival footage from that era.  The film is directed by Don Hahn, who was there to witness it all as a producer on films like ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Lion King’.   So for anyone who loves Disney (and I certainly fall into that category) this is a must see behind the scenes documentary, now available on DVD.

Grade:  B+

7 comments:

  1. I grew up with this Renaissance of Disney, so it never occurred to me that there was a time that Disney animation was not on top of the world. I can still remember going to see Aladdin in the theater and The Lion King will always make me cry no matter how many times I see it.

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  2. I cannot wait to see this. Disneyphiles R Us! This is our kind of film. Thanks for reviewing it, Bri. Never even heard of this till now!

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  3. ooohhh this is sitting at my house right now via netflix to watch. cant wait!

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  4. Thanks for all the comments. I think you'll all love the film as much as I did. It made me wish I worked there back in the day. Oh, and if you want more behind the scenes of Disney animation, check out 'The Pixar Story' which is an excellent documentary that you can find as one of the extras on the 'Wall-E' special edition DVD.

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  5. Finally saw this & thought it was boring. I think this type of doc is for die hard Disney Fans, which although I love Disney, cannot describe myself as die hard.

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  6. Will definitely watch The Pixar Story with David! Thanks for the tip. :)

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