Waking Sleeping Beauty, a documentary directed by Disney producer Don Hahn, is about the hard times that Disney’s Animation Department faced in the mid ‘80s. Certainly these hard times were unseen by the children who enjoyed their succeeding glory—I was the five year old who played the mermaid game in the pool, the ten year old who sang “Part of Your World ” for community theatre auditions. Disney generally wrapped up my childhood in delicious tunes and romantic characters. I couldn’t decide who I wanted to be when I grew up: Mulan, Pocahontas, Belle, or if I lay out in the sun enough, the exotic Jasmine.
The documentary will play in New York until April 1st. For those of us who feel slightly defined by these movies, the film would be a wonderful reminder of them, while also an interesting look at the animation studio’s history, the clashes between the art and the production. We learn, through personal, archival footage, that the Studio was almost shut down; if it had been, where would Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King be? And, subsequently, where would I be?
Bio: Kristen Brunelli is an intern at Guernica. Read her last recommendation of the film Exit 117 here.