SLEEPING BEAUTY COLLECTOR'S EDITION & PLATINUM EDITION: DVD
Once upon a time in a kingdom far away, a beautiful princess was born. The three Good fairies Flora (voice of Verna Felton), Merryweather (voice of Barbara Luddy) and Fauna (voice of Barabara Jo Allen) were bestowing magical gifts upon Princess Aurora (voice of Mary Costa), when the evil witch Maleficent (voice of Eleanor Audley) cast a wicked curse on the sleeping infant, predicting that before her 16th birthday she would prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. The fairies, however, were able to modify the curse, so that the Princess would not die, but fall into a deep slumber until awakened by the kiss of true love.
Review by Louise Keller:
An enchanting classic tale of good versus evil, Sleeping Beauty is a magical film filled with colourful characters, haunting music and a heart-warming story. This third animated feature from the Walt Disney Studios (following Snow White and Cinderella), stands out as being different from its predecessors with its gothic-inspired designs that could have been taken straight from the textured strands of a medieval tapestry. The spectacular look of the film in glorious 70mm offers every opportunity to showcase its exquisite production. But of course the story itself is timeless: filled with charm, humour and romance. A beautiful Princess with blonde flowing locks, a tall and handsome Prince, three quaint fairies and an evil witch with horns and a black and red flowing cape capture our imagination as we become immersed in this wondrous world where birds, rabbits and squirrels play joyously in the forests.
The use of Tchaikowsky’s glorious music from his Sleeping Beauty ballet is a masterstroke, and who can forget the delightful ‘Once Upon A Dream’ forest sequence when Princess Aurora sings and dances with her animal friends who have donned the Prince’s cloak, hat and boots. As the owl, rabbits and squirrel scurry away, the real Prince takes their place and Aurora suddenly finds herself in the arms of the man of the dreams. It’s the ultimate romantic scene and executed to perfection. Much of the humour evolves from the three fairies in their bid to abstain from using their magic, but find that making a cake and designing a beautiful dress are difficult tasks indeed without the help of their magic wands. Maleficent makes a magnificent adversary with dramatic wardrobe and striking features: she is indeed a gothic version of Dodie Smith’s Dalmatian fur-loving Cruella DeVille. Even the most hardened cynic will soften as the handsome Prince places the kiss of true love on the sleeping princess and they live happily ever after. After all, isn’t that what fairy tales are all about?
This two-disc DVD is a treat with an in-depth selection of special features to satisfy every palate irrespective of age. Once Upon a Dream (The Making Of) feature is the undisputed highlight, recounting the challenge of bringing the story to the screen. From footage of Walt Disney himself and interviews with people involved in the creative process (who are still alive today), we clearly get a feel for the enormity of the project. When Production Designer Eyvind Earle (credited as Colour Stylist) created the unique look for the film, he used as reference illustrations from medieval and gothic artists. Boundaries were pushed to outer limits and the 70mm format required not only double-sized drawings, but an abundance of additional detail.
The Widescreen versus Pan and Scan comparison on Disc Two is an amazing feature in which we see the animated film on two screens, one in the 70mm version the other in the diminutive Pan and Scan format. Watching the comparisons of the opening procession sequence in full, as well as the forest ‘Once Upon A Dream’ sequence and the final dramatic fire-breathing dragon battle scene is nothing short of a revelation.
The restoration feature is fascinating for how each of the 180,320 frames were individually restored by a team of 35-40 people who worked 48,000 man hours to meticulously cut away each character from its backgrounds as it was cleaned and scratches removed.
There are features on the music plus information about the history of the story - and the young will enjoy the interactive games, such as the Ink And Paint Studio, which invites you to make a selection from the artist’s colour palette to colour their favourite characters (with the entertaining and encouraging audio commentary from one of the fairies).
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2010 RELEASE
The two-disc bonus features include alternate opening, deleted songs, The Making of Sleeping Beauty, Art Gallery, Sleeping Beauty castle walk-through attraction and Briar Rose’s waltz game. Blu-ray special features also include Customisable Living Menu, Cine-explore, Dungeon Escape, Maleficent’s Challenge and 1 disc DVD fo9rmat of Sleeping Beauty full-length feature film.
Sleeping Beauty was one of Disney’s crowning achievements – and it’s still one of the biggest jewels in the company’s crown.
Published August 28, 2003; re-published July 1, 2010
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SLEEPING BEAUTY COLLECTOR'S EDITION: DVD (G)
(US) - 1959
VOICES: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Barbara Luddy
PRODUCER: Walt Disney
SCRIPT: Milt Banta, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Erdman Penner,Joe Rinaldi, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright (story - Charles Perrault)
RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9 transfer; dual layered format
SPECIAL FEATURES: 2003 RELEASE: Disc One: (includes the feature) Making of Sleeping Beauty; Rescue Aurora Adventure Game; Ink & Paint Studio and Art Attack; How to Make a Magic Castle;
Disc Two: The History of the Story; The 1951 Outline and Storyboard Sequences; Production – music of Sleeping Beauty; The Design; Creating the Backgrounds; Live action reference; The Restoration and Widescreen to Pan and Scan Comparison; Sleeping Beauty Galleries; Layouts and Backgrounds; The Sleeping Beauty Storybook; Posters; Disneyland Walk-through; Concept Art; Character Design and Storyboards
SPECIAL FEATURES: 2010 RELEASE: The two-disc bonus features include alternate opening, deleted songs, The Making of Sleeping Beauty, Art Gallery, Sleeping Beauty castle walk-through attraction and Briar Rose’s waltz game. Blu-ray special features also include Customisable Living Menu, Cine-explore, Dungeon Escape, Maleficent’s Challenge and 1 disc DVD fo9rmat of Sleeping Beauty full-length feature film.
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: BVHE
DVD RELEASE: August 20, 2003; June 30, 2010