WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTYYou can watch the trailer here
I had been searching high and low for a way to watch Waking Sleeping Beauty since the moment I heard of it, but I could never find it online (not that I ever divulge in the illegal), and it hadn't yet been released on DVD. However, as I perused the World of Disney store outside Disneyland, I noticed it sitting on the shelf and, on a whim, purchased it (I usually don't buy movies unless I've seen them). After just finishing the film, I can safely say that it was an excellent purchase.
Waking Sleeping Beauty is a documentary directed by Don Hahn that tells the real-life story of the animators, artists and executives involved with Disney's animation studio from 1984 to 1994. After a bit of a drought that was accentuated by the box-office flop The Black Cauldron, Roy Disney hired Michael Eisner and Frank Wells to help right the ship. The film follows the struggles of the animation studio in the mid-1980s, ultimately leading to its return to renaissance with films like 1989's The Little Mermaid, 1991's Beauty and the Beast and 1994's The Lion King.
There isn't too much I can actually say about the movie other than I absolutely loved it. It's extremely informative, giving a true insight into the hard work and dedication that it took for so many people to bring Disney back to its former glory. It's also intensely emotional, highlighting the struggles that it took to get through all the hard times that Disney Animation faced.
However, I feel as though there is a select group of people who will both enjoy and appreciate what this movie has to offer. I myself am a Disney fanatic, and although I'm not the most well-versed one in the world, I know and love the studio and its works as much as anyone else. Because of this adoration, I feel as though I was more connected and more easily hooked into Waking Sleeping Beauty, but that's not to say that someone who is less obsessed would not have the same reaction. I'm just saying that there are certain people who will appreciate this film more than others.
To sum things up, I'd like to present a quote from the trailer (and I believe from the film, if I remember correctly): "At the Walt Disney studios from 1984 to 1994, a perfect storm of people and circumstances changed the face of animation forever. But it almost never happened." If that line left you craving more, then find this movie. It's officially one of my favorites, and I'm so glad I took the chance and bought it today.
Movie Review Summary:
Current All-Time Rank: Best - #61
2010: 2 nominations, 1 win