72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
A Restored Disney Classic with Bonuses,
This review is from: Sleeping Beauty (Special Edition) (DVD)
This movie is one of the great classics of animation, especially for Disney. The DVD version is significantly improved compared to the previous VHS tape. The picture and sound were both greatly enhanced for this release. Furthermore, both widescreen and full screen versions are available in this package.
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!