Sleeping Beauty was meant for blu-ray

December 4th, 2009

sleeping beauty blu ray
Why? Because DVD doesn’t have the resolution to do this film justice!

I recently watched Sleeping Beauty on blu-ray and it’s magnificent in it’s originally 1:2.85 dimensions. I don’t care if the colors don’t match the colors of the original 70mm print 100% or not. I know — blasphemy. Some have done comparisons in their reviews, but the color was amazing regardless. It’s truly dazzling.  I also think this is better than the DVD because DVD doesn’t have enough resolution to show all the detail in the the backgrounds. and if you letterboxed a DVD to match the original dimensions, you would lose even more. But wait… there’s more.
Eyvind Earle was the production designer and background painter on this film.
His website has a great quicktime with him narrating his life story:
watching it I discovered I share the same birthday as Earle’s mother. She was a concert pianist. — September 21st!

This was the first time Walt had put someone in charge of the whole look of the entire movie. Ironically, Earle had applied to Disney 10 years earlier and was not hired.There is a lot to put here about Eyvind Earle. He passed away in 2000 at 84 years of age but his work is even better toward the end of his life. but I’ll tell you…
How do I know all this trivia? Because of a great blu-ray feature called, Cine-Explore. it’s like a commentary, but with video inserts.  John Lasseter, Andreas Deja, and Leonard Maltin explain all the ins and outs of this movie with never-before-seen documentary film and images from the Disney archives.. Lasseter and Deja both work/ed at Disney as animators and knew many of the animators who worked on this film. Deja lived a few doors down from one of Disney’s favorite voice actresses, the one who voiced the Malificent (Lady Tremaine in Cinderella), Eleanor Audley and she told him stories about how she first declined the role because of health concerns… etc.
In the Bob Thomas book, The History of Disney Animation, he only had a small 1 pager on Sleeping Beauty and how it was a financial debacle at 6 years and $6million to make. And considered a flop. Very little was discussed about the film in terms of the animation process. Sleeping Beauty was the last hand-inked film they made. Would you believe it took a whole day to ink a single frame?!? That’s why after Sleeping Beauty they went to the Xerox method, see 101 Dalmations. So this blu-ray was a wonderful historical peek into what I think was the most beautiful of the classic Disney masterpieces.

Everything I put in this post is in the Cine-Explore commentary. Just go get the blu-ray and watch it! Especially if you’re an animation geek like me.

Entry Filed under: Animation, Art

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