The Bottom Line
If you’ve ever wondered just what goes into making a feature-length animated movie, Waking Sleeping Beauty is definitely the movie for you. Director Don Hahn provides the viewer with an intimate behind-the-scenes glimpse of the filmmaking process at Walt Disney’s animation studios, which ensures that animation buffs and casual viewers alike will find plenty here worth embracing and getting excited about.
- An eye-opening look at a pivotal period in Disney’s history
- Rare look at famous filmmakers like John Lasseter and Tim Burton in their youth
- Continued emphasis on Disney’s executives adversely impacts movie’s flow
- Commentary track feels unnecessary
- Featuring appearances by Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Don Bluth, Glen Keane, Joe Ranft, Roy Disney, and Howard Ashman
- Directed by Don Hahn
- Rated PG for some thematic elements and brief mild language
- DVD Release Date: November 30, 2010
Guide Review – ‘Waking Sleeping Beauty’ DVD Review
It seems almost impossible to imagine now, but there was a time when Disney’s animation department was in very real danger of being shut down. In Waking Sleeping Beauty, Don Hahn documents the period in which the Walt Disney studio was rejuvenated by the arrival of several new executives and scores of up-and-coming animators. The film specifically covers the creation and production of the movies that are now considered a part of Disney’s Renaissance – including 1989’s The Little Mermaid, 1991’s Beauty and the Beast, and 1994’s The Lion King.
The Bonus Features
Waking Sleeping Beauty arrives on DVD armed with a crisp anamorphic transfer and a decent selection of bonus materials, including a commentary track featuring director Don Hahn and producer Peter Schneider which also features additional input from some of the film’s other participants (including the late Roy Disney). In a similar vein is a short featurette called “Why Wake Sleeping Beauty,” which is devoted to Hahn and Schneider’s explanation of why they wanted to make the film in the first place. In "The Sailor, The Mountain Climber, The Artist & The Poet," we learn about the lives and careers of the four men to whom the film has been dedicated: Joe Ranft, Howard Ashman, Roy Disney, and Frank Wells. “Walt” covers Walt Disney’s legacy and his impact on the animation scene, while “The Disney Studio Tours” follows animator Randy Cartwright as he takes viewers on a tour of the animation department. The disc also includes over half an hour of deleted scenes and a short piece documenting the reunion between directors Kirk Wise and Rob Minkoff.
Finally, each copy of Waking Sleeping Beauty comes with a piece of collectible art.