Platinum Edition, Special Edition
Awaken your senses to the majesty of SLEEPING BEAUTY, Walt Disney's classic 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. SLEEPING BEAUTY will transform your home into a fantastic world your family will want to experience again and again.
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.
All-New Digital Restoration With Enhanced Picture And Sound
All-New 5.1 Disney Enhanced Home Theater Surround Sound
All-New Once Upon A Dream Music Video, Performed By HANNAH MONTANA'S Emily Osment
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough A Fully Immersive Virtual Tour
All-New Enhanced Dance Game With Help From Briar Rose's Forest Friends, You Can Learn How To Dance
Never-Before-Seen Alternate Opening
All-New Making Of SLEEPING BEAUTY Featurette
And Much, Much More
Disney's 1959 animated effort was the studio's most ambitious to date, a widescreen spectacle boasting a gorgeous waltz-filled score adapting Tchaikovsky. In the 14th century, the malevolent Maleficent (not dissimilar to the wicked Queen in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs taunts a king that his infant Aurora will fatally prick her finger on a spinning wheel before sundown on her 16th birthday. This, of course, would deny her a happily-ever-after with her true love. Things almost but not quite turn out that way, thanks to the assistance of some bubbly, bumbling fairies named Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. It's not really all that much about the title character--how interesting can someone in the middle of a long nap be, anyway? Instead, those fairies carry the day, as well as, of course, good Prince Phillip, whose battle with the malevolent Maleficent in the guise of a dragon has been co-opted by any number of animated films since. See it in its original glory here. And Malificent's castle, filled with warthogs and demonic imps in a macabre dance celebrating their evil ways, manages a certain creepy grandeur. --David Kronke
On the DVD
Sleeping Beauty was the last and most lavish of Walt Disney's animated fairy tales. He told the artists not to hurry and to give him "a moving illustration": The film required almost four and one-half years and one million finished drawings. Instead of the 19th century storybook illustrations that had influenced the look of Snow White and Pinocchio, the artists adapted the flattened perspective and jewel-like colors of 15th century French illuminated manuscripts. The results remain unmatched for sheer visual opulence. However, Sleeping Beauty suffers from a weak story: the vision of an ageless princess slumbering in a vine-shrouded tower was replaced with elements of Snow White and a boy-meets-girl musical. The evil Maleficent and the three Good Fairies (Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather) dominate the film, rather than Princess Aurora and Prince Philip. Sleeping Beauty was originally released in 70mm, and the Blu-ray edition restores the film to its original splendor. (Many earlier releases trimmed the wide-screen images and/or muted the glowing palatte.) The Bonus DVD looks good on a flat screen monitor, but it pales in comparison to the richness of the Blu-ray. In addition to the commentaries and a making-of documentary, the set includes myriad extras that vary widely in quality. Nostalgia buffs will enjoy the recreation of the old Sleeping Beauty's Castle attraction in Disneyland, and the TV program "Four Artists Paint One Tree" provides a welcome showcase for key talents from the film. But the CG animation of the dragon and the voice imitations of the Good Fairies fail to capture the magic of the originals in the "Dragon Encounter"; the "Maleficent's Challenge Game"--a hi-tech Twenty Questions--sounds only vaguely like the redoubtable sorceress. (Rated G: violence) --Charles Solomon
Stills from Sleeping Beauty (Click for larger image)
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Top customer reviews
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Amazon Digital is wonderful--it's nice to have this movie there in my forever library so I can watch it whenever and wherever I wish. The process was simple--press buy and viola! It showed up in my library.
The film looks and sounds spectacular. Shot in Super Technirama 70, the widescreen (2.55:1 enhanced for 16x9 TVs) film has been restored using state-of-the-art technology, and will fill up your speakers with its 5.1 enhanced home theater mix. For purists, the restored original theater track is also included. Either way you choose, Mary Costa (the voice of Aurora) sounds incredible. It would be hard to imagine anyone else vocalizing the Princess with such warmth and beauty. Eleanor Audley also deserves kudos for her vocalization of the evil Maleficent. She is definitely one of the most scary and memorable Disney characters.
This project was special to Walt; it was the last feature based on a fairy-tale (until 1989's "Little Mermaid"). Since the studio had already done a similar tale with "Snow White," Walt wanted to make it different by adding a classical music inspired Tchaikovsky score and giving the film a less cartoony and more artistic visual representation. Breaking all box-office records, this film succeeded on all levels.
And the extras...wow! On Disc One, in addition to the feature, you get:
*Music & More: "Once Upon A Dream" music video performed by Hannah Montana's Emily Osment, who updates the song with a pop rock beat
* Disney Song Selection: Instantly access your favorite songs from the movie
* Backstage Disney includes audio commentary for the film (John Lasseter, film critic Leonard Maltin, and Disney animator Andreas Déja), Princess Fun Facts (pop-up trivia fact option while watching the movie), "Grand Canyon" short (1959 Oscar winner for best short subject film and features the music of Ferde Grof's "Grand Canyon Suite"), and The Peter Tchaikovsky Story. The Peter Tchaikovsky story was featured on the 1959 Walt Disney Presents anthology. It was a historic telecast due to the fact that home viewers could listen in true-stereophonic sound, by turning on two additional radios with ABC simulcast of the necessary stereophonic channels. Disney explains the process at the beginning of the featurette. You can choose between this version and the version that replaces Disney's explanation. Although the featurette was first broadcast in black and white, it was shot in color. The remaining color footage is here on this DVD set.
* Naturally, there are trailers/promos for other Disney films, including the upcoming theatrical release "Princess & The Frog" and the next Platinum Edition DVD release, "Pinocchio."
Extras on Disc 2:
Games & Activities:
* Briar Rose's Enchanted Dance Game: Learn to Waltz, taking on the role of Princess Aurora or Prince Phillip.
* "Sleeping Beauty" Fun With Language Game. This one is definitely for VERY young children who must identify the most basic of words using visuals from the film.
* Picture Pefect: The Making Of "Sleeping Beauty" (43:32) A wonderful documentary detailing the making of the movie. Features interviews with animators and Mary Costa, who is still beautiful today. Watching this will definitely enhance your appreciation for this movie as the artistic masterpiece that it is.
* Eyvind Earle: The Man and His Art (7:33) is about the man responsible for the artistic backgrounds and overall look of the film. Disney stepped up everyone's game at the animation studio by having Earle oversee the design. Features interviews with Alice Davis and John Canemaker.
* Alternate Opening (3:28) is recreated with storyboards and sketches. After viewing this, I'd say they made the right decision, as the music intended for this sequence was more pop-oriented and not fitting the classical Tchaikovsky score.
* 3 Deleted Songs
* 8 Art Galleries, including visual design, character development, storyboards, publicity, and a detailed look at the Storybook featured in the film's opening,
* Original Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough attraction, unseen for years, presented in a virtual digital recreation which is BREATHTAKING. Almost like being at Disneyland. "Tour" it yourself, or with host Tony Baxter explaining your tour as you go through. There is also a featurette explaining the history of the walkthrough.
* Sequence 8 (Forest Scene) (5:30) is a featurette that shows the detail and labor that went into this sequence put together by Disney's famous "Nine Old Men." This sequence alone cost the studio over $10,000. It is also interesting to note that only about 8 drawings were able to be done per day because of the precision required; considering it takes 24 to make a second of film, well...you do the math.
* Publicity features 3 trailers (teaser, original 1959, and 1995 re-release)
* "Four Artists Paint One Tree" (16:08) is a 1958 featurette that has four Disney artists (Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, Joshua Meador, and Walt Peregoy) painting the same tree, each showing their own personal style. Walt Disney himself encourages each to "be themselves." An excellent lesson for budding young artists.
* Storyboard sequences
* Live-action reference footage. See three of the black and white films that were shot to aid the animators. Especially fun to watch is the sequence where Prince Phillip fights the dragon.
For those wanting the Blu-ray, here is the exclusive content:
* Maleficent's Challenge - Go head to head with one of Disney's most infamous villains. Think of anything in the world and Maleficent will read your mind.
*Dragon Encounter - The ultimate audio experience utilizing Blu-ray high-definition 7.1 or 5.1 audio quality. Explore Maleficent's dungeon in a fully-immersive audio sensory adventure like you've never experienced before. Deep in the bowels of Maleficent's dungeon a dragon encounter awaits.
*Cine-Explore - An all new Cine-Explore experience with full motion Picture-in-Picture featuring commentary by John Lasseter, Andreas Deja & Leonard Maltin.
*Restoring The Sound Track - This featurette covers the creation of the all new 7.1 mix of the score of Sleeping Beauty that was done exclusively for this Blu-ray release using the source tapes from the original recording sessions resulting in an audio experience of superior quality with greater detail and fidelity than before.
*Customized Living Menu - This menu is exclusive to Sleeping Beauty Blu-ray Disc owners only. It is a "real time" virtual castle that magically changes based on the viewer's location, time of day and current weather forecast (requires Live enabled players). If preferred, viewers will also have the ability to manually change the castle's weather to match any of the Magic Kingdom Castles around the world.
*Disney BD-Live Network - The Disney BD-Live Network is just one of the many ways viewers can continue to stay connected and engage in their favorite movies.
*Movie Chat - Communicate with your remote friends on-screen while in a synchronized viewing party using your remote control or any text enabled device such as a laptop, desk top or any PDA device such as a Blackberry, iPhone or most other regular cell phones. Your chat session will appear over the movie and occur in real-time while watching the movie together.
*Movie Mail - Record a personalized video message of themselves, superimpose that capture onto one of many pre-selected clips of the movie, and send it off to a friend, colleague, or relative. This specific feature enables the Sleeping Beauty Blu-ray Disc owner to personalize a special greeting.
*Movie Challenge - Test your skills against other players in a synchronized, real-time, online trivia game while watching Sleeping Beauty with anyone online. Movie Challenge is always active no matter what time of the day it is, and there will always be a game in progress.
*Disney Movie Rewards Live - Accumulate Disney Movie Reward Points by participating in many Disney BD-Live Network activities. Viewers can redeem points for exclusive content such as Avatars, downloadable extras and more.
*A DVD of Sleeping Beauty -Blu-ray owners will also receive a special bonus DVD of the movie!
What a set! Definitely not to be missed for your Disney home movie collection.