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Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009)

Don Hahn  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: Don Hahn
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,963 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Waking Sleeping Beauty" on IMDb

Special Features

• Why Wake Sleeping Beauty? – Overview featurette
• Untold Bedtime Stories – Deleted scenes from the feature
• The Sailor, the Mountain Climber, the Artist and the Poet – Celebrating Roy Disney, Frank Wells, Joe Ranft, and Howard Ashman
• Studio Tours – Randy’s tours, Roger Rabbit studio, Oliver studio, and the tour we shot at ARL
• A Reunion – Rob Minkoff and Kirk Wise
• Walt - What would Walt do AND compare Walt’s era and this era
• 3 webisode shorts
• Gallery – Photos, caricatures, and art from the era

Editorial Reviews

By the mid-1980s, the fabled animation studios of Walt Disney had fallen on hard times. The artists were polarized between newcomers hungry to innovate and old timers not yet ready to relinquish control. These conditions produced a series of box-office flops and pessimistic forecasts - maybe the best days of animation were over. Maybe the public didn't care. Only a miracle or a magic spell could produce a happy ending. Waking Sleeping Beauty is no fairy tale. It's the true story of how Disney regained its magic with a staggering output of hits - "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "The Lion King," and more - over a 10-year period.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Insight in Disney's History July 22, 2010
I had the great opportunity to see this at a screening in NYC followed by a Q&A with the directors. It was a great look back at a bit of Disney history many people might not be familiar with. The behind the scenes turmoil, management style, and creative process, especially during the making of such great classics as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, make it very interesting. As an animator myself, I truly enjoyed this film. Highly recommended.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waking Sleeping Beauty Is Eye Opening August 11, 2010
By Robert
I was one of the folks lucky enough to see Waking Sleeping Beauty during its limited theatrical run. I must say I was bowled over by how good it is. I was not expecting a film produced by the studio that was also its subject to be unbiased, but this film does an amazing job of giving you all sides of the story. I am kind of a Disney nut. I've read many, many books on the era this film documents, including "Disney War," and this film made that period more real to me than any of them. I felt like I was a fly on the wall during those days, and that's saying a lot. Where the filmmakers found all of the great historical footage, most of which seems like someone's home movies, is something I'm sure took a lot of doing and I often wonder about. Where did it all come from? And to hear Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg's actual voices discussing that period made it that much more real for me. That is something I've NEVER seen, or rather heard, before. This film is quite an accomplishment and something I think all companies should show to their employees. It's as much about Disney in the 80's and 90's as it is about ego, internal conflict and learning how to share the credit and spotlight. I recommend this film to everyone, whether you're a Disney animation fan or not.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended - Great Documentary August 5, 2010
I got to see this doc at the Toronto Film Festival. It played to a packed house and a standing ovation afterwards. The movie is not just for Disney or animation fans, it also has great insight into what it takes to turn a business around, how to reinvent a creative business or corporation. I can see it being useful for business students to see. But its not just instructional, its really entertaining and emotional as well. It's full of hilarious caricatures that the animator did to poke fun at themselves and the executives. Especially moving was the section on Howard Ashman and his enormous contribution to the animated films and his far too early death. I highly recommend it! Can't wait to see the DVD extras with my family!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Documentary - a Must See August 5, 2010
By B.
This picture is both charming and profound. The documentary perfectly shows how it is that a group of talented people can come together and create something wonderful and inspiring - and then how they can destroy it through ego and selfishness. The whole thing was very Shakespearean to me - and the honesty and insight with which the inside story is revealed is unheard of in Hollywood. This is not a fluff piece. I recommend this film to anyone who is interested in how Hollywood or any business involving creativity works - or doesn't work. I've seen it twice and I was moved and enlightened both times.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-see for and Walt Disney fan! July 30, 2010
I went to a screening of this film in Atlanta followed by a Q&A with Peter Schneider. The film is a fantastic insight into the Disney studio and all those behind the scenes things that you wouldn't normally get the opportunity to witness. It's very well done, packed full of fun stories, and entertaining from start to finish. I can't wait to get the DVD and see all the bonus features!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story of Disney Animation's Rebirth, 1984-1994 November 27, 2010
"Waking Sleeping Beauty", is one of three Disney History DVD's released in November 2010, along with "The Boys, The Sherman Brothers' Story" and "Walt & El Grupo". All three are excellent chronicles of Disney History and worth a watch.

"Waking Sleeping Beauty" is about Disney Animation, from their low point right after Black Cauldron to their long string of hits from Roger Rabbit to the Lion King and ends with the resignation of Jeffery Katzenberg. It's pretty much the story of Katzenberg, Roy Disney, Frank Wells and Michael Eisner, principally told by Don Hahn and Peter Schneider, with extensive interviews by all the players during the 70's, 80's and 90's. As to why the documentary, as Schneider put it, "...there was no reason not to tell the truth."

It's not a documentary in the way you think of it. It's a story told of the revival of Disney Animation by the personalities that were actually there, with the artists and animators that never got the recognition they should have. They've been able to dig up an amazing amount of archival footage from that time that tells the story itself. As Hahn put it, "No talking heads," so the interviews are almost always over photos or archival footage, with a balloon at the bottom of the screen indicating who's talking. So instead of watching someone's face, you're watching something in context of what the person is saying. Very different, more entertaining.

If you're a Disney fan like me, you've seen bits and pieces of this documentary in the bonus features of the films involved (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, etc.), but this movie isn't about a movie, but all the movies, events, personalities and politics of the Disney Animation Studio during that time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brief and Thrilling History of Disney Animation
This movie is phenomenal. "Waking Sleeping Beauty" shows just how much the Disney animators and creative artists really put into their story lines and plots and how... Read more
Published 25 days ago by honey and the moon
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Defining Moments in the Future of Disney Animation
If you're a fan of the behind the scenes side of the Disney magic than this is an absolute must see!
Published 1 month ago by Eric Merz
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film overall
Good film overall. Highly insightful on the happening behind the scenes for the low and high points of Disney animation in the 80s and 90s.
Published 2 months ago by G. Snyder
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Documentry of the Disney company after Walt.
I found this very interesting. I like to see how things go on behind the scene in this case it was great to see the back story of the Disney company after Walt had pass on.
Published 2 months ago by Charity Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
Great doc
Published 3 months ago by Casey M. St. Clair
4.0 out of 5 stars Just about Perfect
Overall the documentary was well done. My only complaint was for each powerhouse early 90s film done, not enough of the accolades were discussed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Taurus
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not quite what I expected
I really enjoyed this documentary about disney, it didn't quite cover topics that I thought it might but being a huge fan of disney, it was still very interesting. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jodie
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful chance to watch the Phoenix rise from the ashes!
This is a wonderful look at the lean years at Disney animation, and how they were turned around. Nostalgia and lack of leadership caused a once proud part of the Disney Empire to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Prospero
4.0 out of 5 stars review
The DVD was what I ordered but skipped in a few places. Am using this as classroom supplement so was not particularly happy with the fact that it was not great quality.
Published 5 months ago by Tonia R. Helton
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Companion to "Dream on Silly Dreamer"
While DoSD shows the story from the perspective of the artists WSP takes the perspective of the execs and producers showing that there are multiple sides to the story of Disney's... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Nicholas Collins
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