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"Sleeping Beauty" 50th anniversary edition


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Just wanted to check if there were any fans of Disney animation who have had a chance to check out the new 50th anniversary edition of *Sleeping Beauty* which came out this week (on DVD and Blu-Ray).

 

The best bonus feature so far has probably been the audio commentary, featuring John Lassater of Pixar, Disney animator Andres Deja and Leonard Maltin. I don't think I'd ever fully appreciated how much effort went into this film, which took 6 years to make and cost a then-astronomical $6 million dollars.

 

The point is made that in many ways, it represents the apex of classical Disney animation, being the only Disney animated feature ever made in the Technirama 70 process and also the last one to be completely hand-drawn. (They started using the Xerox process with their next movie, *101 Dalmatians* and never went back, according to the commentators).

 

sleeping-beauty-4.jpg

 

There's also a lot of information about the actors who lent their voices and also the ones who did live-action reference, which would be used by the animators to give more verisimilitude to their drawings.

 

All in all, it's a very interesting audio commentary, and one which any fan of classic Disney animation is almost certain to enjoy.

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Yes, I got it yesterday (the Blu version) and think it is great. I've watched the film, started to watch it again with the video commentary, started in on Grand Canyon, plus the other extras...and that's just disc 1. Still have disc 2 to go!

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Thanks for sharing these good reviews. Would love to hear the thoughts of others who have seen it.

 

My copy just arrived yesterday, and I haven't opened it yet. SLEEPING BEAUTY is my favorite Disney cartoon. I also own the Special Edition; most of the extras (other than GRAND CANYON) are very different, including completely different commentary tracks, so it seemed worth the "double-dip" since it's my favorite. Looking forward to hearing the new track.

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I find it interesting that Disney is releasing it letterboxed, but making a big deal calling it a "new expanded version". Now, if they would just release "new expanded versions" of all the films that they released in P&S.

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> {quote:title=markfp2 wrote:}{quote}

> I find it interesting that Disney is releasing it letterboxed, but making a big deal calling it a "new expanded version". Now, if they would just release "new expanded versions" of all the films that they released in P&S.

 

Absolutely!

 

Disney and Columbia are the worst!

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> {quote:title=markfp2 wrote:}{quote}

> I find it interesting that Disney is releasing it letterboxed, but making a big deal calling it a "new expanded version". Now, if they would just release "new expanded versions" of all the films that they released in P&S.

 

What made you think that calling it a "new expanded version" referred simply to the fact that it was letterboxed?

 

I'd agree that perhaps Disney should have been a bit more clear about what they meant to indicate with that term.

 

However, it appears that it refers not to the letterboxing itself, but that it is the first time it has been letterboxed in its original aspect ratio. The 2003 DVD also had a letterboxed version, but it was done with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The new DVD and Blu-Ray is correctly letterboxed at the aspect ratio for Technirama, which is 2.55:1.

 

The commentators in the audio commentary make a point to note that it is the first time that it has been _fully_ letterboxed, and that thanks to this you can see a bit more of the image on the sides than had previously been possible in home video presentations. So I guess it is accurate to say that the image you see has been expanded to the sides to present all of the original Technirama frame.

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When I posted this, I should have said "expanded picture" not just expanded version. The commercial I saw, several times, showed a standard ratio picture (smaller than the full tv screen) "expand" into a letterbox ratio as the announcer was saying something about seeing more picture than ever before. In fact, it reminded me of that short TCM shows on the difference between pan and scan and letterbox.

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{quote:title=Film_Fatale wrote:} What made you think that calling it a "new expanded version" referred simply to the fact that it was letterboxed?

 

I'd agree that perhaps Disney should have been a bit more clear about what they meant to indicate with that term.

 

However, it appears that it refers not to the letterboxing itself, but that it is the first time it has been letterboxed in its original aspect ratio. The 2003 DVD also had a letterboxed version, but it was done with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The new DVD and Blu-Ray is correctly letterboxed at the aspect ratio for Technirama, which is 2.55:1.

 

The commentators in the audio commentary make a point to note that it is the first time that it has been _fully_ letterboxed, and that thanks to this you can see a bit more of the image on the sides than had previously been possible in home video presentations. So I guess it is accurate to say that the image you see has been expanded to the sides to present all of the original Technirama frame.{quote}

 

"Expanded" has come to mean a longer version of a film (or, say, a soundtrack album), not a wider screen. Disney has muddied the waters with their misuse of this term, and it'll probably have more unfortunate ramifications in the future.

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> {quote:title=CineSage_jr wrote:}{quote}

> "Expanded" has come to mean a longer version of a film (or, say, a soundtrack album), not a wider screen. Disney has muddied the waters with their misuse of this term, and it'll probably have more unfortunate ramifications in the future.

 

Yes, I agree.

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Per DVD Fanatic.com

 

*SOUND + VISION:*

 

 

*Here's an interesting one: Sleeping Beauty comes in a 2.55:1 Anamorphic Widescreen aspect ratio. This is incredibly neat for fans. See, the movie was originally shot in the large Super Technirama 70 Widescreen format. A 35mm print was also generated and, due to the natural flow of cinema, that became the main print for later theatrical and home video releases. Thus, the 70mm print has all but been discarded forgotten. Until now. For many fans, this is the first time you will see the "full" picture. Oh, and of course, as with all Disney Platinum Editions, the print itself has been meticulously cleaned up and restored. The result is a picture that is brighter, cleaner, better-looking and bigger (wider) than ever. It's beautiful.*

 

*ONCE UPON A DVD:*

 

 

Disney classic Sleeping Beauty has made its way to DVD for a second round, but this time it's the next title in the studio's infamous Platinum Edition line. Aside from the ridiculous amount of bonus features, the film is also being presented in its originally-intended full 70mm print size, which translates to a unique 2.55:1 aspect ratio. On top of that, beautiful restoration of the print and original soundtrack brings the film to life like never before. If you're a fan of the movie, and Disney films in general, this should no doubt be your next purchase. If you bought the Sleeping Beauty Special Edition in 2003, you may want to seriously consider giving that one to a friend or selling it and making the upgrade. The Sleeping Beauty 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition is a solid, grade-A DVD!

 

 

*FILM SCORE: A*

 

*DVD SOUND VISION SCORE: A*

 

*DVD PACKAGING/ LAYOUT SCORE: B+*

 

*DVD SPECIAL FEATURES SCORE: A*

 

*DVD OVERALL SCORE: A*

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{quote:title=CelluloidKid wrote:} Disney classic Sleeping Beauty has made its way to DVD for a second round, but this time it's the next title in the studio's infamous Platinum Edition line. Aside from the ridiculous amount of bonus features, the film is also being presented in its originally-intended full 70mm print size, which translates to a unique 2.55:1 aspect ratio.{quote}

 

There's nothing "unique" about this aspect ratio: CinemaScope with stereo magnetic tracks was designed to be shown at 2.55 :1, as was CinemaScope 55.

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> {quote:title=CineSage_jr wrote:}{quote}

> There's nothing "unique" about this aspect ratio: CinemaScope with stereo magnetic tracks was designed to be shown at 2.55 :1, as was CinemaScope 55.

 

I checked the 2003 DVD of *Sleeping Beauty* and in that version, the movie had been letterboxed to an aspect ratio of approximately 2:35:1. The new DVD is letterboxed to show the full Technirama image, at 2.55:1.

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Maltin's included a brief write-up in his website:

 

*SLEEPING BEAUTY* (Walt Disney Home Entertainment) ? Walt Disney envisioned Sleeping Beauty as his chef d?oeuvre, the ultimate animated feature. It may not have the simple charm of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or the emotional resonance of Cinderella, but it?s still a very entertaining film and, in terms of animation, an awe-inspiring achievement. This new two-disc presentation is superb in every respect, and represents a high-water mark in film restoration for the Disney company. Filmed in Technirama 70, a horizontal film process (like VistaVision), it was created in an extra-wide ratio of 2:55:1, but most people saw it in 35mm prints that cut off some of the sides to a more conventional CinemaScope frame of 2:35:1. This marks the first time the entire picture has been captured on video. Its meticulously-recorded stereophonic soundtrack has also been handled with tender loving care.

 

As for bonus features, there are games and activities for the kids, but for Disney aficionados there is a cornucopia of material. (It does not include an excellent commentary track prepared for its last DVD release, with comments from a variety of Disney artists; if you?re compulsive, like me, you?ll want to hold on to that disc.) A new making-of documentary by EMC West tells the story of this ambitious film?s gestation, blending interviews old and new. A separate featurette pays tribute to Eyvind Earle, the brilliant artist who was chosen by Walt to ?style? the entire film. Several deleted scenes, including an alternate opening, are brought back to life using storyboards and preliminary voice tracks featuring such talents as Hans Conried and Bill Thompson. We also get to hear a few of the many songs that were written for the film and then discarded. (I can?t for the life of me understand why Walt decided to excise the Fairy Godmothers? song ?Riddle Diddle,? which is charming, or the lyrics for ?Good Night,? when Flora, Fauna and Meriwether put the kingdom under their spell.)

 

These and other features (yes, there are more!) represent the highest level of Disney scholarship.

 

Finally, I participate in a commentary track along with Pixar?s John Lasseter and Disney animator extraordinaire Andreas Deja. We had a great time talking about this film and the people who made it, and I hope that comes across.

 

http://leonardmaltin.com/Picks.htm#NewDVDReleases

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Per Movie Database:

 

*The first Disney animated feature to be created for the 70mm format.*

 

*The first feature film released in Super Technirama 70.*

 

 

 

*Per Wikipedia:*

 

*The sixteenth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon, it was the last animated feature produced by Walt Disney to be based upon a fairy tale (after his death, the studio returned to the genre with 1989's _The Little Mermaid_). In addition, _Sleeping Beauty_ was the first animated feature to be shot in Super Technirama 70, one of many large-format widescreen processes. Only one more animated film, _The Black Cauldron_, was ever shot in Super Technirama 70.*

 

*_Theatrical release_*

 

Disney's distribution arm, Buena Vista Distribution, originally released _Sleeping Beauty_ to theaters in both standard 35mm prints and large-format 70mm prints. The Super Technirama 70mm prints were equipped with six-track stereophonic sound; some CinemaScope-compatible 35mm Technirama prints were released in 4 channel stereo, and others had monaural soundtracks.

 

*During its original release, _Sleeping Beauty_ returned only half the invested sum of $6,000,000, nearly bankrupting the Disney studio. It was mainly criticized as being slowly paced and having little character development (which is a debatable point, since this was a differently formulated film than other classic Disney fare). Since then, the film has gained a following and is today hailed as one of the best animated features ever made, thanks to its stylized designs by painter Eyvind Earle who also was the art director for the movie, its lush music score and its large-format widescreen and stereophonic sound presentation.*

 

*The film was re-released theatrically in 1970, 1979 (in 70mm 6 channel stereo, as well as in 35 mm stereo and mono),1986, 1993, and will have a limited release in 2008. When adjusted for ticket price inflation, the domestic total gross comes out to $478.22 million, placing it in the top 30 of adjusted films.*

 

 

*A 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition release of _Sleeping Beauty_, as a 2-disc DVD & Blu-ray Disc, was released on October 7, 2008, making _Sleeping Beauty_ the first entry in the Platinum Edition line to be released in high definition video. This release is based upon a new 2007 restoration of Sleeping Beauty from the original Technicolor negatives (intrapositives several generations removed from the original negative were used for other home video releases). The new restoration features the film in its full negative aspect ratio of 2.55:1, wider than both the prints shown at the film's original limited Technirama engagements in 2.20:1 and the CinemaScope-compatible reduction prints for general release at 2.35:1. The Blu-ray set features BD-Live, an online feature, and the extras include a virtual castle and multi-player games.*

*The Blu-Ray release also include a standard-definition DVD of the film in addition to the two Blu-Ray discs*

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