Appellate Judge Mac McEntire can't wait for them to release Sleeping Beauties Gone Wild.
Once upon a dream.
What can be said about Disney's Sleeping Beauty that hasn't already been said? Made under the supervision of Walt himself, the film broke new ground in the art of animation, while telling a simple tale of young love and good versus evil. It gave us playful music, eye-popping visuals, and an action packed finale that still thrills today.
This two-disc, 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition comes with all the bells and whistles. Not that bells and whistles could wake up the titular beauty. The only thing that can revive her is…well, you know.
Facts of the Case
In a faraway kingdom, a king and queen welcome their new baby, Princess Aurora, with a lavish party. The child's three fairy godmothers bestow on her gifts of beauty and song. Then, the sinister Maleficent arrives, cursing the girl to death when she turns 16. There's still one fairy gift to give, though, so it's decided that Aurora will not die, only sleep.
Still, great measures are taken to protect the girl, with the fairy godmothers taking her away from the castle and raising her in secret, in a secluded cabin in the woods. Years pass, and just before Aurora turns 16, she meets the handsome Prince Phillip, not realizing that he's a prince, or that he's the one she's destined to marry.
Maleficent, meanwhile, hasn't forgotten her curse, and manipulates events in her favor, so that Aurora does come under the spell and falls asleep. It seems that she will never wake, unless of course, there is still some magic at work…
Seven reasons why this movie is awesome:
1: A sense of style
2: The real heroes
3: Those woodland critters
4: What a villain!
5: Music from the source
6: Comic relief that doesn't overdo it
Sleeping Beauty was previously released in a slick, extras-laden special edition, so why upgrade to this one? To begin, the picture has been upgraded to a super-wide 2.55:1 aspect ratio, and the entire film has undergone yet another digital restoration to match. The packaging alleges that this aspect ratio is the one Walt originally intended. The sound, in "Disney enhanced" 5.1 surround, has also received a new digital upgrading, and it fills the room with classical music and roaring dragons in a truly immersive sound experience.
Most of the extras have been brought over from the previous edition, with a few notable new ones, especially a never-before-seen alternate opening sequence. It's presented in a rough form, but that's good, to a get a glimpse at the raw work of the Disney artists of the time. A little less notable is a new music video by Emily Osment of Hanna Montana, based on the movie's signature "Once Upon a Dream" ballad.
As for the rest of the extras, there's a "cut and paste" commentary compiled of interview snippets of various performers, and a text commentary filled with amusing and interesting facts about the film. The "Picture Perfect" documentary is a good one, as are the featurettes about Tchaikovsky and Earle. "Grand Canyon" and "Four Artists Paint One Tree" are short films in the old-school Disney style. There are also some more deleted songs, storyboards and other art galleries, and theatrical trailers for the film. For younger viewers, there are a couple of interactive games and an interactive "walkthough" of Sleeping Beauty's castle.
It's one of the best movies ever made and an excellent DVD presentation. Quit reading this and go buy it already.
Not guilty. Skumps!
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