Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Waking Sleeping Beauty (2009) is a documentary about Disney Animation's ascent from the worst of times to their zenith in 1994. The film starts in 1984 and recalls how hard Disney Animation hit rock bottom. Disney's latest gamble, The Black Cauldron, failed to produce. After losing money, the company had to make tough choices to change the culture in the Mouse House.
From there, Roy Disney (senior executive at Disney) hires Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg to run Disney and Disney Animation respectively. These moves will eventually shake both the company and the division to their cores because Eisner started to diversify the company's interests, and Katzenberg creates conflict in Disney Animation by taking an extremely hands-on role in the creative process from the start.
Under their leadership, their success was initially slow. However, once the new culture took root, they had an unprecedented run. Oliver and Company was the first hit and Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Little Mermaid followed. From there, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and the Lion King followed. The film also discusses the unintended consequences of both Disney Animation's rock bottom and box office and critical successes.
Waking Sleeping Beauty also covers the new expectations with the consistent successes of the new films. The film answers if the leadership was able to effectively share the adulation. They also chronicle a tragic event that causes major upheaval in Disney's executive structure. The film also discusses technological advances that help write even more Disney history. You may have heard of a little company called Pixar.
Waking Sleeping Beauty was an effective film. For Disney fans who crave history to business majors who want to hear a cautionary tale, there is plenty of material for both. The early history is not the only thin times in the film. There are slow spots throughout. Some interesting people show up throughout like Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg, and John Lasseter. Overall, this was a good film with plenty of Disney magic and information.
3 stars out of 5
Be sure to rent or own Waking Sleeping Beauty for only $1.99 through our Amazon link