Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Waking Sleeping Beauty" on DVD

"Waking Sleeping Beauty" was finally released on DVD this past Tuesday. It tells the story of the Disney Animation Studio from 1984 to 1994. It starts off with the entrance of Michael Eisner and Jeffery Katzenberg into the Disney studio and the coming of the second Renaissance of Disney animation. It is so interesting to hear the story behind the story. From the outside, everything seemed so great and amazing. This finally reveals all the hard work that turmoil that went on behind closed doors. The long hours the animators put in, the early Sunday morning meetings, the hirings and firings that happened in an instant.

The great thing for me is to hear from the people themselves their love for animation. These artist worked day in and day out to create something wonderful. Unfortunately, there was a price they were paying. Many of them had to put their families and lives outside of the studio on hold in order to keep working. But they managed to make it all work, and for that I thank you.

This film is very special to me because it was during this time that I discovered I wanted to be an animator. I followed Disney animation before this but not an intently as I do now. I remember hearing about the title change of "Basil of Bakerstreet" to "The Great Mouse Detective." I remember wanting to see "The Rescuers Down Under" in the theaters, but never did. Didn't see "The Black Cauldron" in theaters but did see "The Care Bear Movie" and "An American Tail." (Not proud to admit that). It wasn't until I saw "The Little Mermaid" on VHS. I may have heard of it but don't recall wanting to go see it in the theaters. I was at home with my parents and a couple of friends and we sat down and watched "The Little Mermaid." I just remember  after watching it that THIS is what I want to do. I was completely blown away by it all. The story was amazing, the songs were incredible, and the animation was out of this world. From then on I started buying any and every book I could find on animation. I bought an auction catalog from a comic book store that had reprints of original art work from "The Little Mermaid." I filled my sketchbook with drawings of Ariel, Flounder and Sebastian. I bought the Preston Blair books on animation and built my first drawing table. From there I started making my own animated test of simple walk and run cycles. Several flipbooks, animation tests and hundreds of "art of" books later, I still have the same passion and enthusiasm for animation as I did right after watching "The Little Mermaid."

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