Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18

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Critic Reviews

  1. 91
    A surprisingly intimate behind-the-scenes documentary.
  2. 88
    The most fascinating scenes in Waking Sleeping Beauty involve the infamous Disney work ethic. Friends of mine at the studio said the unofficial motto was, "If you didn't come in on Saturday, don't even bother to come in on Sunday."
  3. The joy of cartoons meets the agony of office politics in this fascinating, inside- Hollywood-baseball documentary.
  4. 80
    Even in its sanitized state, this movie about the generational revolt that reinvigorated Disney’s animation department in the 1980s and ’90s is fascinating, thick with studio intrigue and lavishly illustrated with archival sketches and test animations.
  5. It's got a terrific inside Hollywood sensibility plus an unblinking candor that lets the chips fall where they should. Which, given who made it, is something of a pleasant surprise.
  6. 75
    Vividly captures a period of movie history. It’s just that the period seems less vital -- sleepier, if you will -- than it once did.
  7. The movie turns from good to great as the layers are peeled away and director Hahn provides an insider's look at the creative epicenter of the studio.
  8. A fascinating, albeit self-congratulatory, account of how Disney's fabled animation department was reenergized and reimagined between 1984 and 1994.
  9. Surprisingly hard-hitting and revealing. The topic is a bit specialized to draw a wide audience, but those who see the movie will definitely enjoy the intrigue depicted.
  10. 70
    Tying it all together is Hahn's transparent love for the art of animation and for Disney--its history and once geek-heavy in-house culture. Hahn balances that love with a critical eye that allows him to sing the praises of unsung heroes while letting the a--holes hang themselves.
  11. Objectivity is impossible under the best circumstances, and perhaps Hahn comes as close to "fair and balanced" as possible. But unavoidably there's a sense of untold stories and elided details lurking right beneath the surface.
  12. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    It could have delved a little deeper to keep us wide-eyed and engaged.
  13. 63
    Doesn't have as much behind-the-scenes juice as you'd hope.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Dec 11, 2010
    A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Disney as the films that defined my childhood were created, which brought the studio back to lifeA fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Disney as the films that defined my childhood were created, which brought the studio back to life despite a clear power struggle at the top. Full Review »