celestineangel (celestineangel) wrote in worldofdisney,
celestineangel
celestineangel
worldofdisney

Waking Sleeping Beauty

So one of the questions I asked on that fateful original thread was "Is this documentary film worth watching, and worth the money I paid for it?"

The overwhelming response was "YES YES YES WATCH IT NOW."

So I have.



I just finished watching it and all of the bonus material, and while I think I'll have to watch it several more times to be able to really put it all into a coherent bit of information in my head, I can already see why the response was so overwhelmingly positive. It's a beautiful film just from a visual and auditory standpoint.

But I'm not a film student, so that's all I'll say about that.

What I really want to talk about is the emotion that went behind every bit of it, from the love for the films they made at the time, to the love they had for each other. I nearly teared up myself watching Michael Eisner speak at Frank Wells' memorial service, and then again during the bonus scene "Losing Howard." I never even knew Howard Ashman was dead before watching this, and to be introduced to this fact by watching people who worked with and basically adored him talk about how brilliant and dedicated he was... to say it was "moving" would be probably the biggest understatement of my life.

(In my defense, sort of, I've only recently become interested in Disney history, and I was young when Ashman died, eleven years old. So no stoning?)

I came away from this film wishing someone at the current Disney company would have the faith Roy E. Disney had in the animation department, and the attitude Eisner had when he told Barbara Walters "No [we can't afford to do this], but we're doing it anyway [...] because we have to."

Tags: -waking sleeping beauty, don hann, howard ashman, michael eisner, peter schneider, renaissance, roy e. disney
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  • 16 comments
I had very similar reactions to you. I teared up for the two deaths that were mentioned for the longest portions of the documentary. Also, I feel like I fell in love with Disney even more by watching it, like I went from loving the front stage to what happens behind the scenes in just one documentary-length of time. I have always felt guilty for loving all of Disney, with all of the negative commentary I've heard growing up, but this film showed me that I'm not crazy. Disney can be loved from every angle!
I have always felt guilty for loving all of Disney, with all of the negative commentary I've heard growing up,

The way I look at it is... you can love the ideas Walt Disney worked from, and the environment and atmosphere he wanted to create, and you can love it when it works and the people he left behind succeed in creating something in that vein. And you can love it when the people try but don't quite succeed, but love them for trying anyway. And you can learn about the times when people have been absolutely un-Disneyish in their approach, and wish they would have thought a little more about the ideals that built the company....

But you don't have to only love the company when it gets things right, and hate it when it gets things wrong. It's possible to love all the positive and appreciate the negative as part of the history and learning experience.
Amen. Could not have said it better myself if I tried. :)
::takes a bow:: ;)
I agree with this. But I also believe in making a distinction between hating the company when it goes wrong, and speaking up about those things.
I love Disney with all my heart and soul, they have changed my life and I have never hated anything that came from them. But I also don't feel like that means I never speak up about the bad things, the mediocre things and the really unimpressive things.
There is hating, but there is also a lot of talking because you care. I talk a lot about Disney and sometimes I talk about a lot about the bad things, but it's because I care and because I believe that being critical is an important part of caring.

If no one had ever spoken up about the flaws of the films in the early 80's, the Renaissance would've never happened, yk? Criticism is an important part of progress and growth, and I do think we all should want the company and the studios to grow.
I really liked Waking Sleeping Beauty. It was beautiful and emotional. The only thing I didn't really like was the way they kind of turned people like Bluth into "villains," so to speak, but I guess that is to be expected.
Yeah, I definitely understand what you're saying. The documentary didn't have anything nice to say about Bluth... but working from a loyalty to the Disney Company, they wouldn't.

I would like to see a documentary like this made by someone who doesn't already work for Disney, so there would be a more objective viewpoint.
I don't understand.
Whatever the animator he may be outside of Disney, the truth is he did nothing for Disney so how else was he going to be portrayed?
He did work for Disney for quite a while and genuinely wanted to produce better movies with them. But eventually, they just clashed too much and he left. He became their competitor. I'm not saying that he was blameless in the situation—far from it—but he wasn't the villain they made him out to be.
Idk, I feel like they said exactly that. That there were mixed opinions on him and the fact was that he left and took a bunch of people with him in the middle of a major production so ofc that was difficult for the studio.
Maybe I interpreted it differently, but I didn't feel like they said anything about Bluth other than that he kicked them when they were down and caused more trouble for them.
The only thing I didn't really like was the way they kind of turned people like Bluth into "villains," so to speak

I agree. IDK, I feel weird saying this because most people seem to think this documentary is amazing but the way they villainized Katzenberg especially made the whole thing seem kind of cheap and petty. And that's not really that bad but I definitely would have appreciated this documentary more if they had gone with a more balanced portrayal. There are two sides to every story.
Exactly. I still liked the documentary, but I was a bit put off by all the bias against those who left them. :/
But, Jeffrey was a part of the documentary. He didn't produce it but he was interviewed by Don and he even said he had gotten to watch an advance of it, and he had been very happy and satisfied with the result.
I'm replying to this comment really late because I only just watched the documentary, but to be honest I thought this was one of the fairer portrayals of Katzenberg I've seen!
I honestly think the documentary is brilliant (if a little challenged on the visual side). I love the openness with which Don and Peter made it, and how they weren't afraid to point fingers and say where some people made bad decisions and where they behaved badly. I love that they were unapologetic about what they shared, and how they made a point to give credit to everyone who deserved it.

I also love the way in which they talk about Howard and Alan, and the way they expose the work Roy and Peter did, because I much like Peter said, I kinda thought of Roy as the "idiot nephew" like most people, and they really made a point to show how hard he worked for animation and for the preservation and the evolution of the medium. And I also think it's interesting that so many people, Michael and Jeffrey especially, shared stuff about their time there and what they went through; with such honesty and that the story didn't end up being about just one person's point of view.

But ultimately, I love it because it's such a universal story about coming through bad times, about surviving with pride and creativity and inspiration. About overcoming adversity and making fantastic work in spite of whatever bad circumstances you may be put in. That last shot, when they compose little scenes from the movies and the Part of Your World encore is playing... it's heartbreaking and tearjerking because it is so inspiring to think that these people were put in the worst positions, thrown out of their building, treated like the scum of their company and their medium and were reborn from those ashes and made all of those stunning films.