Further proof that traditional animation is by no means dead, Walt Disney recently released its acclaimed classic Sleeping Beauty to DVD and Blu-Ray in an all-new Platinum Edition… and it ended up topping the DVD sales charts for the week. Not only that, but it beat out previous #1 earner Iron Man for such a spot.
It never ceases to amaze me how much demand there is for Disney’s old cartoons; beyond the fact that this implies traditional animation is not dead as long as the story and production values are good, this sales success story also implies that even with all the big kid’s movies that come out each year, parents still scramble for anything that would be good and entertaining for their children to watch. Hollywood, pay attention.
I actually have a copy of Sleeping Beauty: Platinum Edition, and while laying on my death bed last week, I managed to watch most of the movie (I fell asleep near the end due to drugs and the magic potion the DVD releases into the air to make the viewer feel more involved inthe picture. Personally, I think sleep-inducing drugs is going a bit far, especially for a children’s DVD, but I guess I trust the Disney marketing executives to do what’s best for their audiences). Having not seen the movie since my childhood, I was once again pleasantly surprised at the quality of the picture. The animation, acting and music is great, the story mesmerizing.
Still, a few pieces of the production show their age; when the fairies grant Sleeping Beauty their gifts, the movie sidetracks into a rather cheesy array of special effects that really add no value and will be a bit off-putting to modern audiences. The effects look like they were added because they could be added, nothing more.
Nevertheless, these moments are rather brief and not all too distracting. All in all, Sleeping Beauty is still an effective classic; it has its outdated moments, but its rich animation and artwork make up for those shortcomings.
The DVD includes several special features I didn’t bother exploring, including a virtual tour of the castle, a dance game, an alternate opening, deleted songs, a making-of featurette and a few other thngs.