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Review: Waking Sleeping Beauty

Disney-produced documentary on Disney criticizes ex-Disney employees
By BRETT MICHEL  |  July 6, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars


"It was the spring of 1994, and we were just finishing The LionKing, which would go on to earn great reviews and about three-quarters of a billion dollars at the box office," begins Don Hahn, that film's producer, in the fascinating documentary he directed and narrates.

"Not bad for a group of artists who were kicked off the Disney lot, and an art form that was given up for dead just 10 years earlier."

This is a somewhat biased (Disney produced it) look at Disney animation's last golden era, when a group of overworked young CalArts graduates (Tim Burton appears, circa '84) took the reins from the famed "Nine Old Men" and produced work from The Little Mermaid to Beauty and the Beast, all while a battle brewed among Walt Disney's nephew Roy, then-CEO Michael Eisner, and pre-DreamWorks/then-animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, who receives the Lion King's share (ahem) of criticism.

Related: Review: Ponyo, Review: The Lion King inspires at PPAC, Review: Oceans, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Disney, Roy Disney, Little Mermaid,  More more >
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 See all articles by: BRETT MICHEL