Sleeping Beauty Kids Movie DVD (AU $17.49 Free Shipping)
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Sleeping Beauty was the last and most lavish of Walt Disney’s animated fairy tales. He told the artists not to hurry and to give him “a moving illustration”: The film required almost four and one-half years and one million finished drawings. Instead of the 19th century storybook illustrations that had influenced the look of Snow White and Pinocchio, the artists adapted the flattened perspective and jewel-like colors of 15th century French illuminated manuscripts. The results remain unmatched for sheer visual opulence. However, Sleeping Beauty suffers from a weak story: the vision of an ageless princess slumbering in a vine-shrouded tower was replaced with elements of Snow White and a boy-meets-girl musical. The evil Maleficent and the three Good Fairies (Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather) dominate the film, rather than Princess Aurora and Prince Philip. Sleeping Beauty was originally released in 70mm, and the Blu-ray edition restores the film to its original splendor. (Many earlier releases trimmed the wide-screen images and/or muted the glowing palatte.) The Bonus DVD looks good on a flat screen monitor, but it pales in comparison to the richness of the Blu-ray. In addition to the commentaries and a making-of documentary, the set includes myriad extras that vary widely in quality. Nostalgia buffs will enjoy the recreation of the old Sleeping Beauty’s Castle attraction in Disneyland, and the TV program “Four Artists Paint One Tree” provides a welcome showcase for key talents from the film. But the CG animation of the dragon and the voice imitations of the Good Fairies fail to capture the magic of the originals in the “Dragon Encounter”; the “Maleficent’s Challenge Game”–a hi-tech Twenty Questions–sounds only vaguely like the redoubtable sorceress. (Rated G: violence)
Actors: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley
Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen, PAL
Region: Region 4 for Australia
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
DVD Release in: 2008
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