We interrupt the vintage to share a movie review and a glimpse into the AR as a child.
As a child born in 1988 I grew up in the throng of the Disney Renaissance. The Little Mermaid, the film that kicked off Disney’s animation comeback was released in 1989, and with the invention of the VCR, children of the 1990s grew up on a steady diet of Disney fantasies, for they could now experience the old classics such as Cinderella and Snow White too. Waking Sleeping Beauty, now showing at The Hollywood, tells the house of cards like story of the Disney animation department, which was actually kicked out of the original animation building and moved to a much less glamorous location after the dismal reception to the 1985 film The Black Cauldron.The documentary chronicles the trials and rough patches that the animators had to sit through as Michael Eisner, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy E. Disney spared over film titles, budgets and methods of animation. Covering the span of films from The Black Cauldron to The Lion King, Waking Sleeping Beauty dives into the technical innovation of the sequel The Rescuers Down Under, which was done all in the computer, and the classical Broadway musical approach that was first used in The Little Mermaid. Beauty and the Beast, my favorite, was also the pinnacle of this period, earning the Golden Globe for Best Picture Musical or Comedy, and earning an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, the first animated film to do so, and the only until Up last year. The film however ends on a sour note, since Disney has somewhat reached the same point it was in 1980, and has let Pixar take over the genre of good family films.Let’s face it, Emperor’s New Groove was pathetic to say the least, and The Princess and the Frog was no where near capturing the magic that The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast did.
I was obsessed to say the least with Beauty and the Beast as a child, seeing it five times in cinemas (a sixth later in life when it was re-released with its missing song “Human Again”) and watched it repeatedly on VHS while playing with B&B toys, wearing B&B t-shirts and sleeping under a B&B comforter. But I was also a lover of the other films to come out of the Disney Renaissance, such as The Rescuers Down Under, Aladdin, The Lion King and Pocahontas.
For me, this film is of great importance, as it should be for many my age. It dives into the heart and soul of our childhood films and what it took to produce such excellent and heartfelt films. Check out the film’s website to see where the film is showing and more info. If there is no cinema showing it near you, just wait until November 30th, when it will be released on DVD.