Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

“Waking Sleeping Beauty” dazzles and enchants

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“Waking Sleeping Beauty” is a documentary that gives you a look into what happened behind the scenes of animated Disney movies, as they made their comeback from the late 80’s to the early 90’s.

The film, which is directed by Don Hahn, is about the failing legacy of Walt Disney and how it all got turned around. A lot of people remember the joyful animated Disney films from the past, but what we don’t know is the hard work, turmoil and stress that went into creating each and every one of those films.

In this documentary you can glance into the very lives of the people that made all of the films possible. You get to look at not only the directors and chairmen, but the animators and songwriters that provide the true essence of the films. You get to look at the people that never really got the credit for what they had achieved. Most importantly, you get to see the relationships all of these people had with each other. You get to see the ups and downs of creating an award-winning animated motion picture.

It is important to understand the vast amount of work and resources that went into making an animated film back then. You needed hundreds of artists that would work day in and day out creating each and every frame of the movie. These movies took years to produce, as well as millions of dollars. While they eventually became wildly popular, there were many flops in the process. You get a look at what happened as they were first shown.

Back in 1984, it was uncertain whether there really would be a Disney Animation Studio anymore. The older generation that had made the first ever animated movies was now just a little too old and the younger generation didn’t yet have any credibility. Everything seemed to be at a standstill, and nobody really knew where to go. Eventually it all worked out, but those years were filled with much uncertainty.

There was a lot of change happening at Disney in the business sense, as well. New people were being brought in, as the old were stepping down. Some thought that the film aspect of Disney would vanish after the company’s other successes. A lot of other people were springing up that quite simply seemed to be doing a better job.

This film will bring up nostalgia in a lot of people. The stories behind the creation of films turn out to be as fascinating and enjoyable as the films themselves. You get to see original story boards and primary sketches for movies such as “Oliver and Company,” “The Beauty and The Beast” and “The Lion King.”

If the process of filmmaking and animation fascinates you, than “Waking Sleeping Beauty” is without question a film to see. It will make you smile and laugh, but it will also make you think about these people and wonder how it really was to be apart of something that phenomenal.

Ian Winship can be reached at [email protected].

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