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Heralded by audiences and critics alike, SLEEPING BEAUTY was the final fairy tale to be produced by Walt Disney himself. Now fully restored with revolutionary digital technology, its dazzling colors, rich backgrounds, and Academy Award(R)-nominated orchestrations shine brighter than ever. When an enchanted kingdom and the most fair princess in the land fall prey to the ultimate mistress of evil, the fate of the empire rests in the hands of three small fairies and a courageous prince's magic kiss. Their quest is fraught with peril as the fellowship must battle the evil witch and a fire-breathing dragon if they are to set the Beauty free. From spectacular action to the breathtaking pageantry of the princess and her kingdom, SLEEPING BEAUTY has something to charm every member of your family.
Most of the beauty of Disney's Sleeping Beauty DVD comes from the dazzling restored picture that looks as sharp and vivid as films produced decades later. You can watch it in its 70mm widescreen anamorphic glory or in pan-and-scan format, but if you think you'll prefer the latter, a widescreen-to-fullscreen comparison of the "Once Upon a Dream" scene will show you how much you're missing. There's a bevy of historical material: a commentary track that includes art director Eyvind Earle, Mary Costa (the voice of Aurora), and supervising animator Ollie Johnston; a 1997 16-minute documentary that covers various aspects of production, especially the film's distinctive animation style; shorter featurettes that expand upon the documentary; art galleries; and three vintage short films related to Sleeping Beauty--"4 Artists Paint 1 Tree," in which the animators demonstrate their craft, the biopic "The Peter Tchaikovsky Story," and "Grand Canyon," the CinemaScope depiction of Ferde Grofé's famous suite. Kid fare includes the usual trivia game, art projects, a sing-along, a No Secrets music video, and a mistake-proof coloring game. --David Horiuchi
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This is my absolute favorite of the Disney classics. The art direction is simply superb, many scenes present themselves as multi-layered moving story books. It not only is an interesting direction, but is entirely complimentary to the midieval fairy tale setting of the movie.
The story is wonderfully and efficiently written, and includes Disney's most memorable villian. This movie truly is a stylistic classic, a giant among it's peers.
Per this blu-ray speicfically, this movie looks like it could have been produced yesterday. The absolute crispness of the backgrounds, especially forgrounds during closeups is stunning. I will say I did notice some softness of character in mid-ground shots, but what could you expect of a movie of this vintage. Even the live action shots of the story book opening is extrodinarily detailed.
And it sounds great, 7.1 surround sound in hi-def DTS-HD MA audio. For a movie that was originally recorded in hi-tech (at the time) stereophonic sound, the surround effects and "presence" and superb. Another masterful job by Disney.
This 2 disc set includes an exhaustive set of bonus features, in line with high profile Disney releases. These include, numerous making of and historical bits, the standard interactive game and next-gen features such as BD-live and Picture-in-Picture "Cine-explore". Additionally included is a limited time pack-in of a standard DVD disc. Personally, I find the BD-live features are of limited value but many might find the opportunity to send piture mail to friends over the Disney BD-live system fun. I do think the limited time DVD pack-in is a great bonus for those that have portable regular DVD players such as in-car models. Why buy 2 discs if you have kids and are interested in making sure your movie purchases work with mobile needs.
All, in all, this edition including the extensive bonus features make this movie a nobrainer as a first purchase or an upgrade from VHS and a highly recommend for people upgrading from DVD.