"Waking Sleeping Beauty," Documenting New Age of Disney Animation, Opens in Select Cities

News   "Waking Sleeping Beauty," Documenting New Age of Disney Animation, Opens in Select Cities
The new documentary "Waking Sleeping Beauty," which traces the rebirth – labor pains and all – of the Disney animated feature, opens in select U.S. cities March 26.
Peter Schneider and Don Hahn
Peter Schneider and Don Hahn

The film, created by Peter Schneider and Don Hahn, shines a candid light on the years of Disney animation from 1984-1994, when it seemed the public had lost interest in the company's films and a group of fresh talent struggled to renew the Disney name. "Waking Sleeping Beauty" opens in New York, San Francisco, Chicago; and Century City and Burbank, CA. Further dates will be announced shortly.

The 90-minute documentary offers an insider look at Disney executives Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Roy Disney, as well as former Disney creators Don Bluth, John Lasseter and Tim Burton.

The film's happy ending comes with the creation of such Disney hits as “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin" and “The Lion King." Those films also changed the face of Broadway when Beauty and the Beast marked the dawn of Disney's stage presence in 1994.

"The articles and books that have been written never captured the whole story because they were told from an outsider’s point of view," Schneider said in a statement. "They didn’t capture the joy of a group of creative people firing on all pistons or the unique drama among the key players as they clashed over who would take credit for the renaissance of the animation department.

"Once animation became the 'heart and soul' of the company again, everybody started vying for a piece of it," he said. "Feature Animation was central to the drama."

Visit WakingSleepingBeauty. The New York screenings take place at the Landmark's Sunshine Cinema (143 East Houston Street).

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