If you’re a fan of Walt Disney animated movies – specifically the ones made from 1984 to 1994 – you’re going to love the new documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty. Directed by Don Hahn and produced by Peter Schneider, both key players at Walt Disney Studios Feature Animation department during the mid1980s, the film offers an amazing behind the scenes look at what was really going on at Disney during that era.
What many forget is back in 1984, animated movies were a dying art form. They were expensive. They were creatively bankrupt. And they weren’t making nearly enough money to justify the costs. It wasn’t until a girl named Ariel came along (The Little Mermaid) that Disney remembered what great animated movies can do for the studio. After Little Mermaid, the studio produced three of the biggest animated hits of all time: Aladdin, The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.
More after the jump:
What Waking Sleeping Beauty does is follow the people and the studio from 1984 to 1994. From the synopsis:
Waking Sleeping Beauty is no fairytale. It is a story of clashing egos, out of control budgets, escalating tensions… and one of the most extraordinary creative periods in animation history. The film covers the talented people behind the movies of the 1980s and ’90s, charting the success of such filmmakers as John Lasseter, Brad Bird, John Musker, Ron Clements, Glen Keane, Henry Selick, Tim Burton, and Don Bluth from their time at CalArts in the ’70s through the early ’90s boom that culminated with Hahn’s record-setting hit, The Lion King.
The movie also features new interviews with Jeffrey Katzenberg, Roy Disney and Michael Eisner, and they each have a lot to say.
While many of you have seen the movies produced during the amazing 10 year period at Disney, I promise you truly don’t know the real story of how everything happened. Again, if you’re a fan of Disney animated movies, this is a must see movie.
To help promote the film, I recently got to speak with Don Hahn and Peter Schneider. They talked about how the film got made, did they encounter a lot of resistance at the studio, how they got all the footage, 3D versions of part Disney movies, and a lot more. It’s a great interview so take a look:
Don Hahn and Peter Schneider
- What has this journey been like for them – they talk about how the movie got made, their collaboration, how Don Hahn decided to direct the film
- Were there moments from the past that they wished they had or moments they remembered that they had no footage for – they talked about footage they found that they didn’t know they had
- How difficult was it to get the film made from Disney and the different participants
- 5:40 – The interview that Roy Disney and Jeffrey Katzenberg did back in 1988 which had them announce this was the beginning of one animated movie a year from now on and now we’re up to 3 animated movie a year
- 7:15 – 3D Beauty and the Beast talk – how do they feel about their classic animated movies going 3D
- 8:30 – Technology talk
- 9:30 – How difficult is it to make an older movie go 3D. Don Hahn talks about how they are converting Beauty and the Beast
- 11:15 – What else are they working on – Don Hahn talks about Oceans, Frankenwenie and Peter Schneider talks about Theater stuff
- 12:05 – What are their thoughts on Marvel/Disney/Pixar merging and possibly making movies together
- 13:10 – Did anything change after making Waking Sleeping Beauty for either of them after making the movie