Waking Sleeping Beauty trailer

Don Hahn’s documentary on the Disney Animation renaissance of the 1990s is opening on March 26th in LA, NY, San Francisco and Chicago. I’m looking forward to seeing it. Here’s the trailer:

  • There seem to be loads of great trailers for Disney films recently, I just wish there was some way for me to see the full things in the UK!

  • killskerry

    the preview made me tear up a bit.

    Its so heartbreaking seeing where the company’s animation is now compared to where it was then. I was born the year this revolution started and my childhood was filled with some of the greatest animated movies Disney has ever made.

    Now the company itself seems lost and desperately in need of another renaissance like this one. The princess and the frog was nice but it did not have the impact or the beauty of a film like beauty and the beast or the lion king.

  • Tedzey

    OMG! I have to see this!!!!!! The 90s’ disney renaissance is a great subject matter for a documentary!

  • It’s hard not to be skeptical and wonder if this is just a feature length Disney promo.

    But it’s even harder not to get drawn in by the history, nostalgia and curiosity of a defining decade in the life of such a great studio.

  • Thomas Dee

    I’m…not a fan of any of the films they put out during their comeback. I guess I like Aladdin okay, and The Lion King sure has its moments.

    I just don’t care for the style of BRAAAADWAAAAY music they used back then, and using early 80’s pop stars like Phil Collins to write scores instead of composers trained to write film music was another screw up, in my opinion.

    There was a lot of beautiful work, and there is every reason for other people to love these films, but I’m just not among them.

    Any others like me out there? I’m just curious.

  • I don’t care one way or the other about the subject matter of the doc, but man, do I ever love seeing old footage of animation being made. Any kind of footage at all, of anyone. I just freaking love it and I don’t really know why. I will be seeing this movie.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I remember that 60 Minutes interview when Eisner said they couldn’t afford to do animation but they had to because it’s their legacy.

  • doop

    One can only dream an era like that occurs again.

  • Tsimone Tse Tse

    Wow. Like or Dislike, if it wasn’t for the successes (artistically & financially) of that period, you wouldn’t be reading this – or much of anything else about the animation industry.

    To anyone who had a hand – or three fingers – in that “animation renaissance,”

    thank you.

  • Paul N

    Don Hahn screened this film at the CTN Expo on Saturday night. It was well-done, and an excellent look at 1984-94 at the Mouse House.

  • A remarkable film. I was lucky enough to share two eras. First with Walt Disney in the fifties and sixties – and then this incredible period with a brilliant new team.

    The animation business doesn’t get much better than this.

  • Wow!!!!!!!

  • Kate

    Killskerry – Yeah, I got a little misty eyed too when Mr. Disney showed up. Easy money says I’ll be a mess through the whole thing.

    A thousand and one thank yous to everyone who fought to preserve Disney’s legacy and did it all over again ten years later. I’m in your debt.

  • It will be interesting to see that period told through Don Hahn. He is a very creative Producer. I think he is the perfect in between to tell the story through. Don saw a lot of both sides of that era. The financial and the Creative.

  • I agree with Andrew Smith. I just wish there was some way for people in the UK to see it.

  • This looks great. While Waking Sleeping Beauty probably won’t get a wide release, I’m sure it will be available on on-demand services.

  • I’m no Disney fan, although I do like some of the films from this era. I’ll be curious to see how deep into corporate politics they will go in the film.

  • purin

    I’m quite excited. This is the stuff I grew up with, the movies whose audio cues are ingrained in my mind. I assumed Disney naturally worked this way as a result. Now, particularly after seeing a downfall myself, I know that this isn’t the case at all. This isn’t just the story of Disney. This is the origins of my childhood and possibly my cartoon obsession to begin with. Now why can’t there be a date attached to this?

    This inspired me to go to our friend Youtube and look up varying documentaries and specials. First there’s The Illusion of Life from 1981: The animation laurels to sit on were old, and the current animation was sinking into a low point: The Black Cauldron is in production. There is much spotlight on The Fox and the Hound, but the program was probably more about getting a word out of aging animators than anything else.

    Then there’s Best of Disney: 50 Years of Magic. The Little Mermaid has come out at this point, the budget is high, the show is star-studded and the tone is triumphant, with much patting of the self on the back. Chernabog cowers before Michael Eisner. Little did they know that Eisner would give him reason to cower in the upcoming years.

  • Smith

    This should be on a double bill with “The Sweatbox”, the film made by Ms. Styler, Sting’s documentary film making spouse.

  • Dan P

    Saw this at the Toronto Film Festival, Don Hahn and Pete Schneider took questions afterwards.

    It’s far from a cheesy, varnished studio promo. It’s the story as told from the managers and producers and executives point of view, and doesn’t skimp on all the ambition, infighting, and jockeying for position that went on. It’s a well-made and fascinating film.

  • So interesting to see this. This period was the time in my life when i wanted to be an animator and nothing else would satisfy me other than being a disney animator. So interesting how things turn out.

  • Bill Turner

    Mike Dobbs – The corporate infighting is definitely covered. Katzenberg is especially candid on what went wrong.

    Smith – WSB reminds me of Star Wars in that this film is a good, self-contained story with a happy ending. But we know there is much more to follow. That is seen in The Sweatbox and Dream On, Silly Dreamer (Disney’s Empire Strikes Back period). I just don’t know if Disney is still in that dark period or has entered the Return of the Jedi phase.

    In any case, Waking Sleeping Beauty is an exciting, emotional must see for animation fans and professionals.

  • Don Hahn showed this at work while I was on “Princess and the Frog”. It was well done and it was awesome to watch it with the people who are in the movie itself. It has some amazing parts to it. The Eisner scene at Frank Wells memorial is uncomfortable to watch. After watching this movie it would be best to watch Dan Lund’s “Dream on Silly Dreamer”.

  • Diz Gruntled

    I worked at the studio during some of the time covered in the documentary. It was a good time in some ways and a bad time in others. The bottom line was, nobody knew anything. The executive class at Disney then was full of bumbling incompetence as well as creative daring. For an artist, the atmosphere could be charged with creative electricity, then blast apart in mean-spirited one-upsmanship among the artists, which was actually ENCOURAGED by management. A lot of good work was thrown away, because Jeffrey or Roy couldn’t read a story sketch or evaluate a pencil test. When finished color work is thrown out, that’s an expensive mistake. Waiting for my “employee evaluation” was the most harrowing experience I’ve ever had. It made me feel as worthless as a piece of used toilet paper, especially when they handed the evaluation of my performance to me and it was missing the last page! It cut off right in the middle of a particularly critical paragraph, too. Another thing they put us through was “Baseball Trading”. You finish working on a picture, then they leave you in suspense about your next job, as a “sample reel” of your work supposedly circulated throughout the company to see if your “option” would be picked up. I can’t bear to see pictures of Peter Schneider or Tom Schumacher ever again, the lies they told us about the company’s bright future to get us to work faster and cheaper would fill a bookshelf. There is a heartrending scene in the trailer of my late friend, Joe Ranft, almost cheerfully throwing hundreds of his great story sketches into the trash. He had such a great attitude about story sketch, one of the most harrowing jobs in animation. I just can’t stand a lot of the memories of those years working on Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. At the time they were being made, they sure didn’t feel like immortal classics to a lot of the people working on them. It’s good for the Disney company that they found their audience. The best memories I have of working there were the wonderful drawing classes we had at noon each day, many taught by Walt Stanchfield. I never appreciated how valuable they were until I found out how much models want per hour to pose for a drawing class! Disney company picked up all those charges for us, the best thing they ever did for the artists over there, in hindsight. I hope you enjoy watching the documentary, I for one, will be content with my memories.

  • Kirk Wise

    Having been both participant and eyewitness to that crazy, wonderful, turbulent decade at WDFA, I’m amazed how well the doc captures the feeling of the studio back then. Despite whatever bickering went on behind the scenes, I still remember looking forward to going to work every single day.

  • I saw this when Don Hahn and Peter Schneider came to the Toronto International Film Fest. It was super inspiring, but a heavy film. It’s a lot about the troubles going on at the studio underneath the public mask of Disney. A lot about Eisner, Katzenberg and Roy Disney. A must see. Katzenbeg and Eisner both said they were ok with the film. I wish another renaissance strikes soon.

  • While the Renaissance was no doubt a great time for animation I’m not particularly fond of it. Though I do like Beauty and the Beast. But I’ll be seeing this anyway, Disney of any kind reminds me of youth. Great trailer, and I love seeing the artists and animators at work.

  • This film will be shown at the Museum of Modern Art on Monday, March 15, at 7:30 P.M. with a live Q & A with Don Hahn, Patrick Pacheco and Peter Schneider.

    I intend to go to that screening.

  • Scott Johnson

    This film will also be shown at the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, MO this weekend. There are 3 screenings scheduled: Thursday night, Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. http://truefalse.org/

    I’ll be working sound at one of the venues this weekend. I hope to sneak into the Saturday morning show and see the film myself.

  • Dan

    Disney animation hasn’t been good since the original 9 left the studio.