BUENA VISTA has released the long-awaited, animation classic “SLEEPING BEAUTY”, and it’s well worth the wait! While “SLEEPING BEAUTY” is a fairy tale, it’s far different in tone than “SNOW WHITE” and many of the other DISNEY classics. It also lacks the over-the-top antics of the Seven Dwarfs for comical relief. Even the animation style is different than most DISNEY classics. The imagery is more portrait-like here, offering a freshly painted atmosphere to the film.
BUENA VISTA has released this film as a two-disc set. The films’ original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement, is intact. But, BUENA VISTA has also included a full-frame pan & scan version as well. While we hate pan & scan as a rule, “both” presentations look marvelous! The colors are incredibly rich and vibrant, without a hint of oversaturation, and completely well balanced throughout. The contrast is also excellent, offering wonderful detail within darker designed scenes. It’s really dazzling!
BUENA VISTA has also released a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. While fidelity is somewhat limited, the overall atmosphere is enhanced by the separation. Surrounds kick in at perfect moments for added pleasure, and the bass succeeds in creating an interactive feel to the film. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
BUENA VISTA has included a running commentary for the film, with Disney historian Keff Jurtti, and various animators. Those whom already appreciate the technical aspects of the animation process will be even more appreciative after listening to this, however, the regular masses and “children” will be bored.
BUENA VISTA has also included a variety of “SNEAK PEEKS”, including “THE LION KING SPECIAL EDITION, LITTLE NEMO” and more!
A THX optimizer segment is also offered on the first disc.
The 2nd disc offers a variety of supplements, including “GAMES, MUSIC AND FUN”! This section consists of directions for kids in building several characters from the film with safe items around the house. A “sing-along” segment to “Once Upon a Dream” and other games are also offered.
A “HISTORY AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES” section offers storyboard to film comparisons, and a text essay with voice over concerning the original fairy tale.
There are still galleries and several featurettes, some of which(GRAND CANYON” are outstanding!
Our favorite section, however, is the widescreen to pan & scan section, in which the 2.35:1 ratio is compared to the pan & scan version, and should settle the debate between the two camps pretty easily!