Friday, March 26, 2010

Waking Sleeping Beauty Disney Animation

“Waking Sleeping Beauty” is a moderately engaging documentary about the renaissance of Disney animation during the golden decade (1984-94) that yielded.

Hard as it is to believe today, it was not so long ago that animation in general and Disney animation in particular were art forms given up for dead. Things got so bad that in 1984 the studio, which had been kick-started into success by "Snow White" almost half a century earlier, ungraciously booted its beleaguered artists off the lot and onto bleak rented premises.

But, as it happened, the glories of the world were not yet ready to depart the stage. As detailed in the fascinating new documentary "Waking Sleeping Beauty," an unlikely combination of personalities and circumstances came together in the next decade to create a run of animation successes “The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and "The Lion King" that exploded into unprecedented profitability.

This tale of artistic reincarnation is a classic show business story, not lacking in temper tantrums and clashing egos, and as told in "Waking Sleeping Beauty" it's got a terrific inside Hollywood sensibility plus an unblinking candor that lets the chips fall where they should. Which, given who made it, is something of a pleasant surprise.

Waking Sleeping Beauty is Directed and narrated by Don Hahn; written by Patrick Pacheco; edited by Ellen Keneshea, Vartan Nazarian and John Damien Ryan; music by Chris Bacon; produced by Peter Schneider and Mr. Hahn; released by Stone Circle Pictures and Red Shoes Productions.


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