on July 12, 2004
One of my favorite movies (animated or nonanimated). THere is a quality and rich story that seems lacking in so many of todays movies (Disney movies included). The music just lifts you up and carries you into the Princess's world, and the ending leaves you with a pleasant sigh without being totally predictable. If you liked the Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast, you'll love this.
I have been trying to remember the first time I saw Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty," and I cannot remember if I ever saw it in a theater, caught it on television some time, or never sat down to watch it until it came out on videotape. What I did remember is not being particularly impressed by the movie. Certainly I did not consider it to be a classic Disney animated film like "Bambi" or "Cinderella," which is a way of saying that it was not on my "must have" list of Disney movies. Then I watched this 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition of "Sleeping Beauty" and all I can say is that however I saw this film for the first time it was NOT in this expanded version that has restored the original Super Technirama 70 dimensions of the film. I would have remembered a film that had art this gorgeous, even when it is this stylized and even when the music is classical high brow stuff. In the final analysis, "Sleeping Beauty" is clearly like no other Disney animated film, and that is a good thing.
Disc 1 includes "Grand Canyon," a contemporaneous Disney feature (1958) that combines photography of the national park with Ferde Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite," and it would be the classical music that is the common denominator to the main feature. Disc 2 has Games & Activities over in the Cottage, while the Castle is devoted to the Backstage Disney special features. The games are pretty much geared for younger children (e.g., see "mop" and click on the item the word represents), so most of the goodies on the second disc are for the adults. There is a new documentary on "The Making of 'Sleeping Beauty,'" which combines archival footage with contemporary interviews. The "Never-Before-Seen Alternate Opening" and "Deleted Songs" are not animated but storyboard drawings accompanying the original, more traditional Disney-like, songs that were written for the film before Walt decided to go primarily with a score based on Tchaikovsky's ballet version of the fairy tale.
If you have picked up any of these platinum editions, then you should be well versed in the sort of extras you can expect here in terms of storyboards, artwork, live-action reference footing, music video by some teenage singer, etc. The other one that stands out here is the fully immersive virtual tour of the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough, a Disneyland attraction that actually existed before the part opened and years before the movie was released.
Besides reminding us again that Walt Disney was a true visionary, the special features highlight the pivotal role of Eyvind Earle, the film's production designer. It was Earle who was given an amazing amount of freedom by Walt to design the settings and to paint most of the film's elaborate background paintings (which usually took a week to do, rather than a single day like in most animated films). The interviews with surviving members of the studio make it clear that Earle did not play well with others, but he was fully committed to creating a unique animated film and now that we can see the expanded version, there is no denying that is exactly what they accomplished. Consequently, I am confident I can remember in the future that "Sleeping Beauty" is a beautifully stylized animated film that is a unique jewel in the Disney crown.
on November 24, 2007
This film is another Disney Masterpiece - I really enjoyed it. I've always love fairy tales and even as an adult, I still love them. "Sleeping Beauty" is one of my favorite fairy tales from Charles Perrault, along with "Cinderella" and "Puss n' Boots."
I'd love the scenery, it's like stepping through a magic tapestry and going back in time to the Middle Ages. I'd also love the color-styling of Eyvind Earle, and this film was the reason Eyvind Earle became one of my favorite artists. This film has an excellent soundtrack with additional music from Peter Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty" ballet - I have the WHOLE score on LPs, and if there's one I love in a movie is a very,very good soundtrack. This film has a top-notch voice acting like :
· Mary Costa...Princess Aurora/Briar Rose,
· Bill Shirley...Prince Phillip,
· Eleanor Audley...Maleficent,
· Barbara Luddy...Merryweather, the blue fairy, and...
· Bill Thompson...King Hubert (Philip's Dad)
So watching this movie is definitely worth watching; I give Sleeping Beauty two BIG thumbs up!
on June 22, 2004
Sleeping Beauty is one of the most ambitious animated films ever made. It's a gorgeous, elegant, and absolutely amazing landmark in animation; a film so charming, memorable, and beautiful that it has been hailed as the most incomparable film in the animated genre, and with good reason. Detailed backgrounds, glorious colors, outstanding visuals and beautiful music are all contributing factors to the grandeur pageantry that "Sleeping Beauty" enthralls on its audience.
Up until the last few years, "Sleeping Beauty" was actually considered one of the few Disney 'failures.' That means, a poor box-office success. But that was 1959. Since then, the film, like "Pinocchio" and "Fantasia," has returned to theaters many times and made way on video for new generations to enjoy, earning large estimates of money and critical praise, not to mention being the most requested Disney film on video after "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs" and "The Lion King."
It was finally re-released in a fantastic Special Edition DVD, and looking back, I can't believe this was once considered a failure. As if! This is not just a timeless tale of good and evil; the plot is elegantly portrayed with rich textures and stunning animation.
Sleeping Beauty is one of Disney's best animated films, EVER, and a must-own DVD for any collection. If only Disney still made films like this. I don't think we could be so lucky. Don't delay, get this before time runs out!!!
on February 11, 2014
This Film was made when Disney Still had a hand on approach to his animated films. This was one of the last pictures where each cell was hand drawn and pated. The Blu-Ray brings this classic to life in such a way that I almost felt like my home experience was BETTER than back in the day. The bonus disc is a true bonus ad it gives you history galore I am glad I picked it up verses waiting 10 years
I realize that this DVD was expensive but I felt that I'd take my chances this time. I thought that because it was around my birthday, that I'd like to have this one and was glad that it finally came out on DVD. It was still a very good movie, I thought. It brought back many memories for me when I was growing up and now that I have it, I can enjoy for a long time and watch it whenever I want!
It seems that things in DVD are getting more and more expensive especially for these "classic Walt Disney movies" but I guess a person -- if they want it bad enough, like anything else -- has to just 'bite the bullet' as you might say, and just look at the fact that it is the type of movie -- if you like it, you will get to enjoy it more and more BECAUSE of the fact that you can watch over and over again if you choose to.
Going out to movies theatres these days are most likely more expensive to do these days too, so if you have a limited income, it to me, makes more sense to invest in the DVD's for your own enjoyment because you can see it as much as you'd like to, and WHENEVER you'd like to. When you have that privilege, the movies you buy, pay for themselves! I also feel that if you can at least have that kind of 'control' over what the media gives out these days on TV, it makes it more worth your while in doing so. Like my other DVD's of this same "Walt Disney classic's" genre -- like Aristocats etc. I have been able to enjoy watching those too more than once since I bought them, and have had just as much enjoyment out of them as this one and some of the other new DVD's I just bought. Since I got rid of the 'basic cable' that we had for TV, I have had NO REGRETS as I can now watch 'what I want - when I want' and not have to put up with what the cable companies have to offer these days. If you still have to put up with that, then we all know WHO has control of the media!
This is a new release of a Disney classic that first appeared in 1959. As is my custom, I much prefer to watch an animated feature film with several of my younger grandchildren (ages 3-7) and did so again with Sleeping Beauty on its 50th anniversary. Once again, they were engrossed in the story line whereas I was somewhat more interested in how the quality of animation measures up (after 59 years) when compared and contrasted with recent films such as Toy Story and Toy Story 2, the three Shreks, Ratatouille, Cars, and Wall-E. It measures up remarkably well. Just as there is a certain charm in black-and-white classic films from the 1930's and 40's (e.g. Casablanca, The Little Shop Around the Corner, and It Happened One Night), the same is true of older Disney features (e.g. Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Pinocchio) despite relatively less sophisticated animation.
There were also generational differences when my companions and I examined the special features that include "Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough (a fully immersive virtual tour), an all-new "Enchanted Dance Game," the "Dragon Encounter Audio Sensory Experience," and an all-new "Making of Sleeping beauty." Predictably, my grandchildren much preferred the supplementary games whereas I was (as always) intrigued by the "behind the screen" material such as a discussion of the film by John Lasseter of Pixar, the film critic Leonard Maltin, and the Disney animator Andreas Deja. The production values in this new edition are superb, especially in the Blu-ray version. The running time of 75 minutes seems just about right. Whatever the ages of those who see this film and one or more of its numerous special features, they will find much to enjoy and appreciate.
The story line is strikingly similar to the one in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A daughter named Aurora is born to royal parents and then cursed to die by her 16th birthday by an evil fairy, Malificent. To protect her, three good fairies take her away, re-name her Briar Rose, and raise her themselves. A handsome prince meets her by chance, they fall in love, and agree to meet again soon. However, on the night of her 16th birthday, as she prepares to return to her parents and be crowned a princess, the evil fairy locates her and then.... Fortunately, everything eventually works out for Aurora as it also does for Snow White, Belle, and other Disney heroines.
I highly recommend this 50th anniversary celebration of one of Disney's most delightful animated films. Under-appreciated when first released, I think it will now receive the praise it so clearly deserves. Bravo!
on May 24, 2004
Sleeping Beauty is Disney's retelling of the fairy tale of the same name. This DVD release of Disney's 75 minute movie features options to view it in either the original 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio, or in a "pan and scan" 1.33:1 aspect ratio version that captures most of the action while using the full height of a standard television screen. A second DVD includes supplemental material on the history and making of the film.
The story itself departs somewhat from the traditional fairy tale version, with a story line that provides a little more scope for character exposition and interaction. The result still retains a fairy tale feel, and the plot remains simpler than most of Disney's other animated features.
The biggest strengths of the movie are in its wonderful animation, artwork, and music.
The animation is perhaps the best of any Disney movie. The animators were exceptionally good at using facial expressions to help tell the story - Maleficent's face perfectly expresses her smug satisfaction when something goes her way, and Princess Aurora's expression when she first meets Prince Phillip by surprise perfectly communicates the various emotions that are running through her. The animation of the action is also wonderful, with some of the best moments being Aurora's dancing and Phillip's battle with the dragon.
The background artwork is terrific. Each background is really a high quality painting, full of scene specific detail and yet all coordinating to give the picture overall artistic unity and medieval feel. And yet, all this beautiful background coordinates with the characters in a way that avoids overpowering them.
Unlike some of Disney's other animated classics, this film did not use original music, but instead wisely went with Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty ballet music. Tchaikovsky's beautiful classic music perfectly complements the beautiful, artistic nature of everything else in the film.
All the attention to artistry and detail made the film too expensive to be a commercial success in 1959, but it also made the film a timeless classic that can continue to be enjoyed today and far into the future. Get it now, or you may have to wait seven years for Disney's next rerelease.
on May 11, 2004
One of Disney's best animated films has to be Sleeping Beauty. The story of Princess Aurora who is taken away from the kingdom by the three good fairies in order to protect her from the curse of the wicked fairy Maleficent. The film looks just like a medieval tapestry and the scenery is amazing. Disney's Sleeping Beauty has some of the best animation ever seen on film.
It is wonderful that Disney has been releasing these restored versions on DVD of their classic films and adding some wonderful documentaries and behind the scenes.
Sleeping Beauty contains some of the most widely recognized Disney characters: Princess Aurora(Briar Rose), The three good fairies Fauna, Flora and Merryweather and the most notoriously diabolical villain Maleficent.
While being an animated film, that doesn't make it any less thrilling, suspensful or exciting. I recommend seeing this movie just to see Maleficent. She appears in flames at Aurora's christening and she goes out with a bang as a ferocious fire breathing dragon. This movie is truly an epic in every sense of the word: from the wicked fairy's curse, to the princess hiding out in a cottage with the three good fairies, to the princess meeting her fate atop the castle to Prince philip slaying the dragon and running up the stairs to find the Sleeping Beauty. This is one film that both adult and child can truly enjoy.
The Perfect Disney Film!!!!
on May 10, 2004
This is my favorite of all the animated Disney films..... and I have reasons... it was the first to be filmed in wide screen.... it was also made with a stereophonic score and it was stylish and artistic, not "cartoon-like"...... this Disney restoration is amazing however, and the film looks like I remember it when I saw it in 1959. The colors are brilliant and clear.... the blue is sky blue and the pink is true rose pink.... and every color has the subtile shades that they should have... obviously reproduced from the exsisting cells and background art in the Disney archives. The additional features are plentiful and fun, and the menus are consistant with the look of the film. There is a game section that uses rock and roll music for an intro and there is a modern interpretation of the main song by a pop group, but these are very minor concessions to modern maids..... on the whole, this is an incredible 2 disc package for anyone who loves the painstaking and time consuming art that these pre-computer animations now use.
There are several short subjects, including a biography of Tchaikovsky, "Four Artists Paint a Tree" and "Grand Canyon" which are all pluses and fun to see and take us back to 1959.