Waking Sleeping Beauty
Our next Rialto Recommends takes us back to the Spring of 2010 when we presented the wonderful documentary WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY and the former head of Disney Feature Animation Peter Schneider joined us one evening for a fascinating Q&A about the film and the golden renaissance of Disney feature animation. By the mid-1980s, the fabled animation studios of Walt Disney had fallen on hard times. The artists were polarized between newcomers hungry to innovate and old timers not yet ready to relinquish control. These conditions produced a series of box-office flops and pessimistic forecasts: maybe the best days of animation were over. Maybe the public didn't care. Only a miracle or a magic spell could produce a happy ending. Waking Sleeping Beauty is no fairy tale. It's the true story of how Disney regained its magic with a staggering output of hits - "Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast ," "Aladdin," "The Lion King," and more - over a 10-year period. The San Francisco Chronicle raved "The movie turns from good to great as the layers are peeled away and director Hahn provides an insider's look at the creative epicenter of the studio." While the Los Angeles Times said "It's got a terrific inside Hollywood sensibility plus an unblinking candor that lets the chips fall where they should. Which, given who made it, is something of a pleasant surprise." Time Out said "The film's tendency to wax sentimental occasionally undermines its authority, but you won't find better behind-the-scenes looks at the era's mouse-eared power struggles or at the making of modern Disney classics." WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY is streaming exclusively on Disney+ or available to rent for a modest fee from Amazon, GooglePlay, Apple, YouTube, and Vudu HERE.