Ever wonder what it was actually like to make a Disney animated film? Or even the wonderful music? Well then you are in luck. Three new documentaries have been released that give an eye-opening look behind the scenes.
Waking Sleeping Beauty
Many people have their opinions of what a Disney artist must be like. However, do we really ever get a chance to go inside and see the joys and struggles of this amazing group of people? Luckily, Waking Sleeping Beauty offers us a glimpse into this amazing, difficult world.
Told during the second wave of great animation from Disney (The Little Mermaid, The Lion King,) Waking Sleeping Beauty offers a chance to see how the Disney artists struggled to revive what was seen as a dying art. Politics, in-fighting, and a generation gap all played a part in what was essentially a new era.
Naturally, a film centered on animation, especially one from Disney, would be expected to be very visual in nature, and Waking Sleeping Beauty does not disappoint. Instead of talking heads, the audience is treated to home movies, interviews, and animation that accompany the voice overs. This adds a nice effect, especially during one remarkable scene involving Beauty and the Beast as the narrator discusses the death of lyricist Howard Ashman.
The best part of this DVD is that it shows that animation is not all fun and games. The men and woman put in long hours to bring this kind of magic to life, and the road to success is not always smooth.
Extras include “Why Wake Sleeping Beauty,” and explanation of the motives behind the film, as well as some of the creative decisions; “The Sailor, The Mountain Climber, The Artist and the Poet” is a touching tribute to some key figures who are no longer with us; deleted scenes; audio commentary; studio tours; a Reunion; and "Walt," a comparison of the era of Walt Disney, and of today.
Walt & El Grupo
During World War II, Walt Disney was asked to travel to South America as an Ambassador for the United States. Walt & El Grupo tells the story of his three months there, and how many lives were affected.
Told in a more traditional talking-head format than Waking Sleeping Beauty, Walt & El Grupo is both an intriguing story and a visual feast. Each part is told through words, letters, pictures, home movies and most importantly, animation. All provide a fabulous glance into this most amazing trip, which instantly pulls you in and holds your interest until the very end. The photos themselves seem to move on their own, as an extension of a home movie. The music is also thrilling, and adds to the overall effect of the film.