In Sleeping Beauty, the powers of love are pitted against those of evil. The birth of Aurora brought the kingdom of King Stefan great joy. As with so many things, evil had to invade happiness and Maleficent places a curse on the young princess. The good fairies Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather attempt to save Aurora’s life but good intentions can never replace true love. And only true love is the only way to guarantee to overcome pure evil.
Sleeping Beauty is one of the great Disney classics that continues to delight young and old nearly 60 years later.
Sleeping Beauty:Diamond Edition looks and sounds better than ever before. Through the years I’ve been reviewing movies for DAPs Magic, this isn’t the first time that this movie has appeared on my TV screen. However, this is definitely the clearest, most vibrant, and most beautiful presentation of Sleeping Beauty to date. It looks absolutely stunning and both the light and dark colors do not disappoint. The sound the accompanies this beautiful movie is equally impressive. In fact, I almost feel like it is more dramatically improved than the visual improvements. The music sounded simply beautiful. In many respects, watching the blu-ray is very much like watching a new movie. Even the surround sound was surprisingly well utilized throughout the movie.
The bonus features for Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition included a very nice collection of extras that could fill up an evening easily. They include:
- ‘Once Upon A Parade’ (Starring Sarah Hyland) – Behind every attraction, event and parade at the Magic Kingdom is a unique story. Join Sarah Hyland from ABC’s “Modern Family” as she tells us the tale of Walt Disney World’s new Festival Of Fantasy Parade. This magical “in world” short film goes behind the scenes of the new parade and shows how the residents and characters of Fantasyland created this parade to tell their stories.
- Art of Evil: Generations Of Disney Villains – This legacy piece spotlights Disney’s favorite villain animator, Marc Davis and his infamous creations of characters such as Maleficent and Cruella. Throughout the piece, we will talk to modern day animators like Andreas Deja and also the new generation of Animators (Lino DiSalvo Animation Director of FROZEN) on how Marc’s designs and characters influenced what they do today.
- @DisneyAnimation: ARTISTS IN MOTION (Extended Edition) – Join Walt Disney Animation Visual Development artist Brittney Lee as she goes through the process of creating a three dimensional sculpture of Maleficent, completely out of paper. In this extended edition, go deeper into Britney’s process
- Never Before Seen Deleted Scenes:
- The Fair (With Deleted Character – The Vulture) – In this version of the story, the fairies do not take the Princess to live with them in the forest. Convinced that King Stefan’s order to burn all the spinning wheels in the kingdom will not prevent Maleficent’s curse, the good fairies put a magic circle around the castle and cast a spell: “No evil thing that walks or flies or creeps or crawls can ever pass these castle walls.”
- The Curse is Fulfilled – The three good fairies have just returned Aurora to the castle and give her a crown. They leave the room to give Aurora some time alone…but Maleficent pays her a visit.
- Arrival Of Maleficent (Alternate Scene) – Maleficent arrives uninvited to the christening of the Princess Aurora.
- BEAUTY-OKE “Once Upon A Dream” – Sing along to this kinetic text video of Aurora’s signature song.
- Classic DVD Bonus Features Include:
- The Sound Of Beauty: Restoring A Classic – This featurette covers the creation of the 7.1 mix of the score of Sleeping Beauty that was done for Blu-ray, using the source tapes from the original recording sessions resulting in an audio experience of superior quality with greater detail and fidelity that you have ever heard before.
- Picture Perfect: The Making Of Sleeping Beauty – Discover the behind-the-scenes magic that transformed a beloved fairy tale into a cinematic work of art. Legendary Animators, actors and film historians reveal the secrets behind Disney’s masterpiece.
- Eyvind Earle: A Man And His Art – Early in his career, renowned American Artist Eyvind Earle worked as a background painter at the Walt Disney Studio. Walt Disney liked his work so much that he entrusted him with the assignment to be the Art Director for Sleeping Beauty. This was the first time that one artist was given the responsibility for the entire look on one of Disney’s animated features. This piece follows Earle’s development as an artist and his years at the Studio.
- Audio Commentary by John Lasseter, Andreas Deja and Leonard Maltin
Overall, this is a good collection of bonus features that make purchasing this blu-ray more worthwhile. Both new and old bonus features were quite enjoyable and engaging. They offered a wonderful glimpse of history from multiple generations of Disney experts and legends which added to the depth of these features.
Sleeping Beauty truly is a masterpiece. Over half a century later, it is still a beautiful film. This restoration really is impressive and a lot of fun to watch. It is a classic tale of good versus evil. The music is iconic and sounds better than ever. And the animation… beautiful just doesn’t do it justice. It really is a pleasure to watch and to review. Having not watched this movie for a few years, it really was an enjoyable blu-ray to review. This is a definite must for every Disney fan’s movie library. It easily gets a hat tip.