your senses to the majesty of SLEEPING BEAUTY, Walt Disney's
ultimate fairy tale. See more than you've ever seen before through
the magic of state-of-the-art technology and experience this
groundbreaking film restored beyond its original brilliance,
in the way Walt envisioned it -- pristine, beautiful, utterly
breathtaking. From the grand celebration of Princess Aurora's
birth to the fateful day when she pricks her finger on a spinning
wheel and falls under Malificent's evil curse to Prince Philip's
courageous battle against a fire-breathing dragon, the stunning
artistry and spine-tingling sounds will transform your home
into a fantastic world. The adventures continue as you are immersed
into a wonderful world of bonus features.
In one scene in this classic Disney movie, we hear
the handsome prince (his official name is "Prince Phillip")
telling the king: "Now, father, you're living in the
past. This is the 14th century!" We found this quote
very apt to begin this review because for a film that was
released almost 50 years ago in 1959, we though that is one
intelligent line to incorporate into the screenplay. Now that
we are in the 21st century, this is still one evergreen classic
animated feature that you’d want to share with your
loved ones, both young and old.
from the fairy tale of the same name, we have one of Disney’s
celebrated princesses, Aurora, being cursed by an evil witch
who wasn’t invited to her birthday party – what
soreness, we say. Anyway, the terrible curse will have Aurora
dead if she touches a spinning wheel before her 16th birthday.
Her father then decides to hide her in the forest with three
friendly fairies, so that she can make friends with animals
and sing about meeting her prince charming in her dreams.
And as the title will tell you, Aurora will soon suffer the
curse that will result in her sleeping forever unless her
true love’s kiss wakes her up.
this is your typical 'true love will come to you if you dare
dream about it' story. While cynics and feminists will tell
you otherwise, we think that there are some moments like this
which we should retain in these confusing times we live in.
Academic discussions aside, this movie is indeed a feat in
many ways during its time, considering how the background
paintings are elaborately painted, the art direction is influenced
by a magnificent European medieval architecture, the villainous
Maleficent is one of the scariest Disney baddie ever created
and how this movie is first Disney animated feature to be
created for the 70mm format.
a lot of accomplishments for a 1959 feature, we’d say.
achievements aside, like many other Disney productions, we
love the strong characterizations in this 75 minute movie.
First, we have the three fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather:
the three kind ladies each has a unique personality characterized
by colour, voice and body movements. Then there is Princess
Aurora and Prince Phillip. The scene where the lovebirds meet
and sing the duet "Once Upon A Dream" in the forest
immediately and evidently symbolizes their love for each other.
And who can get the menacing image of Maleficent’s towering
fire breathing dragon out of his mind? That is something you
want to have appearing in your dreams on a dark and stormy
many ways, classic movies like this can be accessed in many
sophisticated angles, and watching it another 50 years down
the road will provide you with more pleasant surprises.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 Platinum Edition is loaded with heaps
of extras (two discs worth of them!) celebrates the 50th anniversary
of the movie and every self proclaimed Disney fan would want
to include it in his DVD collection.
Commentary by John Lasseter, critic Leonard Maltin
and lead animator Andreas Déja – In
this very informative feature length commentary, you’d
hear the trio gets excited by the magnificence of this classic
movie and thanks to technology, we get to hear the creators
of the film explain the conceptualization of the artworks
and styles of the picture.
and More – There is Emily Osment’s (from
Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana) contemporary version
of “Once Upon A Dream”, an eight minutes “Disney
Song Selection” featuring the five songs in the movie.
Disney – In “Disney Fun Facts”,
you get pop up screens while watching the movie telling you
tidbits like how a Disney princess is always kind to animals,
how princesses slept on several layers of mattresses, and
how if you are a princess, you should curtsey if you are a
girl and bow if you are a boy. “Grand Canyon”
is a breathtaking 29 minute short film which incorporates
shots of the magnificent Grand Canyon with Ferde Grofé's
"Grand Canyon Suite”. The beautifully shot short
won an Oscar in the “Best Short Subject, Live Action
Subjects” during the 1959 Academy Awards. The 49 minute
“The Peter Tchaikovsky Story” reenacts the composer’s
coming of age story, and has Walt Disney explaining to you
what you must do to hear the stereo simulcast of the movie.
Peeks – Trailers of theatrical releases like
Wall.E and Bolt, as well as home entertainment titles like
TInkerBell, Pinocchio and The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s
Beginning are included.
Briar Rose’s Enchanted Dance Game –
This section is produced not only for pre school kids, but
for dance floor idiots as well. In the game segment, follow
a simple sequence where the forest animals will “teach”
you how to dance. In the dance training segment, you can learn
how to dance the waltz with slow, normal or fast accompanying
music. Both boys and girls can learn because you can choose
to be either Briar Rose or Prince Phillip. What you’d
need, however, is a floor area big enough to correspond with
the footsteps diagram on the screen.
Beauty Fun With Language Game – The slow narration
in these Disney DVD games section gets to us every time. Okay,
we get it, these games are meant for pre-school kids. Here,
players need to understand words like “broom”,
“bucket” and “mop” and identify the
objects in the picture.
Perfect: The Making of Sleeping Beauty – The
44 minute featurette shows how the movie has a different look
from other Disney classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,
Lady and the Tramp and Peter Pan. The filmmakers had to produce
a feature film out of four to five paragraphs of the original
story and add conflict and tension to make it interesting.
You’ll also get to see the 78 year old Mary Costa, who
voiced Princess Aurora.
Earle: The Man and his Art – This eight minute
feature focuses on Eyvind Earle, a color stylist on the film
who had a tragic childhood and passed away in 2000. His artistic
vision for the film is still much celebrated today.
8 – Disney’s legendary core animators,
who are better known as nine old men worked on Sequence 8,
which is the beautifully animated forest scene where Briar
Rose dances with Prince Phillip in the forest. The six minute
clip explains why famous sequence took four years to complete,
and cost the studio so much money.
Opening – In this three minute storyboard presentation,
you’ll see an opening sequence where townsfolk sing
along to the joy and elation when the christening of Princess
Aurora is announced.
Songs – Three deleted songs “It Happens
I Have A Picture”, “Riddle Diddle” and “Go
To Sleep” are included in this section. The first is
a tune sung by the two kings, the second is a quirkily cute
composition performed by the three kind fairies, while the
third is a somewhat somber song sung when the whole kingdom
is put to sleep.
Sequences – The scenes where “The Fairies
Put The Castle To Sleep” and “The Capture Of The
Prince” are presented in storyboards in this section.
Andreas Déja explains how storyboards are conceptualized
and eventually materialized in the motion picture.
Action Reference – Three sequences are presented
here: “Briar Rose Dances”, “Prince Phillip
Fights The Dragon” and “The Queen And A Good Fairy”.
The two minute clip takes you behind the scenes where actors
acted the scenes for the animators’ reference. The actors
are even dressed for the parts – such professionalism.
Beauty Art Galleries – Artworks in visual development,
character design, layouts and backgrounds are presented in
this extensive section. You’ll also get to see production
photos and publicity materials of the animated film here.
Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough Attraction
– You need not be in Disneyland to experience the magic
of the Sleeping Beauty Walkthrough Attraction. Follow the
camera as it brings you through the interiors of the majestic
castle in seven minutes. You can choose whether you want to
listen to a guide explain how each scene was recreated. Wow,
such convenience, considering you don’t even need to
line up with the crowd. Apologies, we take our words back,
you NEED to be in Disneyland to experience the magic. Watch
this as a research video if you are visiting the happiest
place on earth any time soon. Also included in this section
is a 10 minute feature which chronicles the history of the
– A teaser trailer (just a textual slideshow actually),
a 1959 original theatrical trailer (quite a lot of text in
this one too, thankfully with narration and singing) and a
1995 re-release trailer (a more contemporary take on the promotional
campaign, obviously) are featured in this section.
Artists Paint One Tree – This 16 minute featurette
has four Disney artists painting their own interpretations
of a tree, and somehow expressing the theme of “being
yourself”. A very apt symbolism done in wholesome and
education Disney fashion – something we should adopt
in today’s meddling time and age.
The disc’s visual transfer features
wonderfully restored images from the 1959 film, and what originally
looked magnificent looks even better now. There are Dolby
Digital 5.1 English, Mandarin and Korean, as well as 2.0 Thai
and Cantonese audio tracks to choose from.
DVD RATING :
by John Li