Happy Friday, folks!
I happened to stumble upon the Waking Sleeping Beauty documentary last night and I just had to share. I’ve always been a fan of all the Disney’s animated features ever since I was little. Say what you will about the company, but one can’t deny their place in animation history. To this day, I still love all the Disney’s princesses (my bath towel I use every day has The Little Mermaid‘s Ariel on it!), as well as other classics like Bambi and The Lion King. So, no doubt I’m intrigued to see what really went on behind the scenes to bring those masterpieces to life.
From 1984 to 1994, a perfect storm of people and circumstances changed the face of animation forever. Waking Sleeping Beauty is no fairytale. It is a story of clashing egos, out of control budgets, escalating tensions… and one of the most extraordinary creative periods in animation history. Director Don Hahn and producer Peter Schneider, key players at Walt Disney Studios Feature Animation department during the mid1980s, offer a behind—the—magic glimpse of the turbulent times the Animation Studio was going through and the staggering output of hits that followed over the next ten years. Artists polarized between the hungry young innovators and the old guard who refused to relinquish control, mounting tensions due to a string of box office flops, and warring studio heads create the backdrop for this fascinating story told with a unique and candid perspective from those that were there. Through interviews, internal memos, home movies, and a cast of characters featuring Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Roy Disney, alongside an amazing array of talented artists that includes Don Bluth, John Lasseter, and Tim Burton, Waking Sleeping Beauty shines a light on Disney Animation’s darkest hours, greatest joys and its improbable renaissance.
With Alice in Wonderland being released the first weekend in March – which is three weeks before this doc’s arrival – it’s fun to see Tim Burton working at a drawing board in his early days. I didn’t even know he used to work at Disney before, interesting stuff.
In the mid 90s, 1995 to be exact, the first Pixar feature film Toy Story was released, distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. I had no idea Joss Whedon – the creative guy behind Buffy & Firefly series – was one of the writers for that film! Fast forward to 2010, we’re awaiting the release of Toy Story 3 this Summer. Can you believe it the second sequel was a decade ago? Time flies, man! Well, the trailer looks good, as Toy Story 2 was even better than the first one, we’ll see if this one is even better yet!
Rex the goofy dino is still my favorite, but the new toys look like fun. The Ken-Barbie snippet gets a giggle every time… can’t get any more cheesy than that ‘Take My Breath Away’ song! I guess they’re going pop-culture with having Barbie and Ken in there, but who knows, the geniuses at Pixar can make it work somehow. I love it when Ken protests adamantly, “I’m not a girl’s toy. I’m not!” Ha!
But, but… where is Timothy Dalton’s voice?? Apparently Mr. Pricklepants – the hedgehog toy with thespian tendencies – has yet to be released on the Disney site, as well as a few other new toys. Perhaps the next trailer will feature his silky smooth voice :) Anyway, a Pixar-fanatic at SlashFilm posted a whole list of all the little easter eggs that the animators/designers hide in the films. It’s really quite fascinating.
What do you think, folks? Are you pumped to see either one of these?