Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Waking Sleeping Beauty is no fairytale. It is a story of clashing egos, out of control budgets, escalating tensions... and one of the most extraordinary creative periods in animation history. Director Don Hahn and producer Peter Schneider, key players at Walt Disney Studios Feature Animation department during the mid-1980s, offer a behind-the-magic glimpse of the turbulent times the Animation Studio was going through and the staggering output of hits that followed over the next ten years. Artists polarized between the hungry young innovators and the old guard who refused to relinquish control, mounting tensions due to a string of box office flops, and warring studio heads create the backdrop for this fascinating story told with a unique and candid perspective from those that were there. Through interviews, internal memos, home movies, and a cast of characters, Waking Sleeping Beauty shines a light on Disney Animation's darkest hours, greatest joys and its improbable renaissance. (Walt Disney Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 91
    A surprisingly intimate behind-the-scenes documentary.
  2. The joy of cartoons meets the agony of office politics in this fascinating, inside- Hollywood-baseball documentary.
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    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.
  5. 63
    Doesn't have as much behind-the-scenes juice as you'd hope.
  6. Watch for a cameo by young animator Tim Burton.
  7. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    50
    The documentary has but one revelatory insight -- that "The Lion King" can be read as an allegory of the territorial peeing match between big cats Michael Eisner, Roy Disney and, least flatteringly, Katzenberg.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Dec 11, 2010
    8
    A 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. Collapse