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Waking Sleeping Beauty -- A Review

Behind the scenes of Disney animation's return to glory.By Steve Walker

Waking Sleeping Beauty (PG)

For a documentary about the Walt Disney company's animation wing, Don Hahn's film isn't a complete valentine to one of the most powerful media forces in the world. The film focuses on the years 1984-1994, a decade that opens with Disney about to fold its animation branch on the heels of disastrous flops and ends with the triumph of The Lion King.

To flesh out the backstage gossip and infighting between such titans as Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Walt's nephew, Roy Disney, Hahn is privy to tons of footage of films like The Little Mermaid in their infancy i.e. crude, pencil-drawn images that eventually become the lush color spectaculars they were. A vital primer toward understanding the big chunk of American entertainment dollars that goes toward animated films. - Steve Walker

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