The inside scoop on the Disney difficulties in the years of The Little Mermaid and Aladdin from those that were there like Michael Eisner and Roy Disney.
Film making 18/25
Bonus Features 18/25
Don Hahn and Peter Schneider produce this inside look at the Disney conflict that stops just short of pointing fingers but also does not give a final conclusion that is so well known. The main conflict that everyone knows is between the Disney and Jeffrey Katzenberg but includes the inside scoop on some of the animators and executives.
Roy Disney started the problems with being at odds with everyone else on the board of directors and unselfishly stepped down to avoid further problems. When Michael Eisner stepped in as head of Disney Jeffrey Katzenberg was assigned as head of the animation department.
This was an odd and tension filled time when the animators were shoved out of their offices and work rooms to an old warehouse. The workspace that Walt Disney created the first classic animated films and those historical Mickey Mouse cartoons now was relegated to offices.
The documentary chronicles these turbulent times from about the beginning of the problems right up to the end with Katzenberg’s leaving. What they do not continue with is that Katzenberg left to run DreamWorks with their own slew of successful films.
Taking Sleeping Beauty does a good job of showing not only the obvious conflicts but the stuff that Disney may not be proud of. The documentary does a good job of being less one sided on the part of Disney but of course being a Disney production does side with the company for the most part.
This is about the most honest telling I would expect and does a good job of showing what was going on and what happened during the troubled years of a major corporation. The documentary includes plenty of interviews, video and audio commentary of the time and plenty of personal takes on what was going on.
I think this was a great look at the events and shows that even though things were troublesome on more than one side Disney can buck up and take whatever comes their way. The documentary does a great job of showing most of the sides even though it does portray Katzenberg as the bad guy a bit too much.
The documentary is a mixed bag of video and audio as any type of film like this would be so it is hard to judge and rate the quality of both. You do get a lot of older film and the variety of handheld video along with the more professional camera shots.
The documentary includes some extras and they did a good job of including a nice bit of bonus content that adds to the film and gives it a rounded feel. Extras include studio tours, a look at the top Disney people of the time and audio commentary by Don Hahn and Peter Schneider.
The bonus content is a nice mix of interesting and entertaining content that really does a good job of adding to the movie. Waking Sleeping Beauty is exactly that, the story behind the sleepy years of Disney and the attempt to revive a struggling giant back to its former greatness.
I highly recommend Waking Sleeping Beauty for a good look at the controversy behind the Disney struggle during a low spot in Disney history.