Sleeping Beauty (Diamond Edition)
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Fall under the glorious spell of Disney's ultimate princess fairy tale! The magic is real as you experience all the pageantry and power on Blu-ray -- and for the first time ever on Digital HD -- with incredible high-definition picture and thrilling, soaring sound! Beauty, wonder and adventure spin together in a grand legend that transcends time as Maleficent, one of animation's most spectacular villains, sends the kingdom's beloved Princess Aurora into an enchanted sleep. In a majestic story that awakens all your senses, Good Fairies arm brave Prince Phillip to defeat a fearsome fire-breathing dragon and rescue Aurora. But success in battle may not be enough, for the only way to awaken the Princess is with true love's kiss! Create memories that will last a lifetime with Disney's illustrious SLEEPING BEAUTY -- a must-own for every family's classic collection!|In the original story, Princess Aurora sleeps for 100 years before being awakened by a prince's kiss. In the Disney version, Prince Philip comes to her rescue much sooner.|George Brun's orchestral score, which was nominated for an Academy Award-, expertly blended famous themes from Tchaikovsky's ballet.|With a budget that exceeded $6 million in 1959, this was Walt Disney's most lavish and expensive animated feature to date.|Determined to make the characters as realistic as possible, Disney had a live action film shot with actors posing as Sleeping Beauty, the Prince, and Maleficent, for the animators to use.|New York Times critic Bosley Crowther called the fight between Prince Philip and Maleficent "the noisiest and scariest go-round he [Disney] has ever put into one of his films."
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Top Customer Reviews
Animation has changed quite a bit in the ensuing years, but even today Sleeping Beauty is a towering achievement. Now I'm more sensitive to the tricks of the art and can see the masterful use of perspective that made the scenes leap out at you. When I first picked up this DVD I half expected to be disappointed, to find it really wasn't so glorious in retrospect. This is hardly the case - this film is just as vibrant and alive as it was in 1959.
The added dimension now is that I can see how Disney's work was a formative influence on animation even today. Artist/Directors like Miyazaki owe much to this film and its predecessor Snow White. And they freely admit it. As a production, Sleeping Beauty created a sense of legitimacy for animation that proved that high quality animation was something well beyond the Saturday morning funnies.
Disney took a great risk when creating this film, pouring a tremendous amount of resources in making it something as perfect as was possible for his time. While the studio reaped the financial benefits, the audience was the real winner, as a whole genre exploded before our eyes. Even now, with anime rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with, this film stands out for story, art, and music.
The additional features, especially those that retell the making of the film, are excellent as well. All captures in fine detail on this DVD. This is a must see for anyone who still loves a fairy tale.
As with Disney's other classics, some liberties were taken with the original story of Sleeping Beauty. Disney took the classic story and made it unique and special. In some ways the story is less violent and dark than the original fairy tale. In other ways, such as the portrayal of Maleficent, the movie is dark and forbidding. While the movie is generally a children's movie, Maleficent's dragon and her general demeanor can be somewhat frightening for some in the pre-school and younger set.
Aurora was the first love for many a young boy, and was also the model for the aspirations of millions of girls. The romantic love story of Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip enchanted would-be princesses everywhere, and in some cases became the measure by which future spouses were measured (and many of us struggled to meet the ideal).
Of course, the romantic story and the evil of Maleficent were balanced by the comedy of the animal characters and the three bumbling, good-hearted fairy godmothers. While their goodness may appear a bit too vanilla and sweet for some, it is perfect for those longing for the innocence of their youth.
While the movie is the most important part of the DVD, this two CD set contains a phenomenal number of extras. I found the audio commentary by various key individuals to be absolutely fascinating. I planned to listen to portions of the commentary in preparation for my review, and instead found myself listening to the entire thing because it was so incredibly fascinating. Mary Costa (Princess Aurora) and others provide their perspective on the creation of the movie, as well as personal memories of Walt Disney and his influence on the film. The audio commentary by itself is worth replacing your VHS tape, particularly for aficionados of Disney movies.
In addition to the audio commentary are numerous, emphasize numerous, other bonus features. Some I felt were less than worthwhile, others, such as the shorts "Grand Canyon" and "The Peter Tchaikovsky Story," were excellent bonuses. The number of bonuses on this two disc set was so large that there is a navigational overview included in the DVD that categorizes 38 features found on the second disc.
With the movie and the wealth of bonuses, this movie is a must-buy for those who have yet to have "Sleeping Beauty." For those who have the VHS, the bonus material is nearly worth the cost of the DVD. Certainly those who are collectors of Disney memorabilia and historians of Disney will find the DVD to be a concise compendium of some of the best information available regarding this film. I highly recommend this DVD!
I had to give it four stars as I am not a fan of FastPlay. It is used as an excuse to run all the previews/advertisements. I'd rather have the menu at the start that allows one to choose to go right to the movie.
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