Review: “Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition” Blu-ray

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I want to start the review in an unusual way: run, don’t walk, to get your copy of the Diamond Edition of “Sleeping Beauty” especially if you are a Disney collector. The Platinum Edition of “Sleeping Beauty” disappeared from the shelves quickly, and I’m equally certain this one will too. Once it becomes scarce, you won’t be able to find a copy anywhere, and because “Sleeping Beauty” is a classic, you’ll want to add it to your home entertainment collection while you can.

Now, with that obvious “announcement” out of the way, we can look at the Blu-ray, although I’m sure all of you already know the story. “Sleeping Beauty” centers around a princess cursed by an evil fairy. She’s protected by three loving fairies and eventually, saved by “true love’s kiss.” This is classic Disney. Visually striking, and beautiful animation. The film’s amazing visuals were created by a team that included Milt Kahl and Ollie Johnston (two of Disney’s legendary Nine Old Men), and with the help of the restoration, the colors absolutely pop. Everything is crisp and bright, and the film has such gorgeous details throughout with certain scenes really standing out such as the climactic battle between the prince and Maleficent. I could go on and on about the visuals, but I’m sure you get the point. They are awesome!

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The 7.1 audio upgrade is very noticeable and with a movie that features the amazing voice talents of renowned opera singer Mary Costa as Sleeping Beauty and Eleanor Audley as Maleficent, the evil fairy, there was already so much too work with. “Sleeping Beauty” has an Academy Award nominated score that was adapted from the music of Peter Tchaikovsky and greatly benefited from the upgrade as well. “Sleeping Beauty” was the last animated feature that was produced by Walt Disney that was based on a fairy tale, and was the sixteenth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. It is also now the tenth film of the Disney classics that have been in digitally restored and released as part of Disney’s prestigious Blu-ray Diamond Collection. Again, while I could go on and on, I’m sure you get the point yet again, the audio is fantastic!
Created by RAYZ

“Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition” has some great Bonus materials. There are several featurettes focusing on the making of the movie which are interesting. “Beauty-Oke” is the karaoke aspect of the Blu-ray and provides children of all ages an opportunity to sing along with their favorite songs from the movie. There is an “Art of Evil” bonus on the Blu-ray that details how the best Disney villains have been crafted, and it was definitely an interesting watch. However, my favorite was the deleted scenes, one of which had never been released. The scene is a version of the story where Aurora doesn’t live with the fairies in the woods. Instead, they place a protective spell around the castle. Another highlight from the Blu-ray bonus materials is the in-depth look at some of our fave villains in “Art of Evil: Generations Of Disney Villains,” it doesn’t matter what you think of her, Maleficent is a pretty amazing character and this bonus feature goes into how the best Disney villains have been crafted.

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“Sleeping Beauty” was one of the most difficult features that Disney ever made. It took nearly a decade to bring the Brothers Grim/Charles Perrault tale to the big screen, and the end result was fantastic. With the success of “Maleficent” at the box office, I’m sure the “Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition” Blu-ray will fly off the shelves very quickly.

 

Bonus Materials Overview for These Products:

2-Disc Blu-ray Superset with Digital Copy (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) and select Digital Retailers

Includes:

  • ‘Once Upon A Parade’ (Starring Sarah Hyland) – Behind every attraction, event and parade at the Magic Kingdom is a unique story.  Join Sarah Hyland from ABC’s “Modern Family” as she tells us the tale of Walt Disney World’s new Festival Of Fantasy Parade.  This magical “in world” short film goes behind the scenes of the new parade and shows how the residents and characters of Fantasyland created this parade to tell their stories.
  • Art of Evil: Generations Of Disney Villains – This legacy piece spotlights Disney’s favorite villain animator, Marc Davis and his infamous creations of characters such as Maleficent and Cruella.  Throughout the piece, we will talk to modern day animators like Andreas Deja and also the new generation of Animators (Lino DiSalvo Animation Director of FROZEN) on how Marc’s designs and characters influenced what they do today.
  • @DisneyAnimation: ARTISTS IN MOTION (Extended Edition) – Join Walt Disney Animation Visual Development artist Brittney Lee as she goes through the process of creating a three dimensional sculpture of Maleficent, completely out of paper. In this extended edition, go deeper into Britney’s process
  • Never Before Seen Deleted Scenes: The Fair (With Deleted Character – The Vulture) – In this version of the story, the fairies do not take the Princess to live with them in the forest.  Convinced that King Stefan’s order to burn all the spinning wheels in the kingdom will not prevent Maleficent’s curse, the good fairies put a magic circle around the castle and cast a spell:  “No evil thing that walks or flies or creeps or crawls can ever pass these castle walls.”
  • The Curse is Fulfilled – The three good fairies have just returned Aurora to the castle and give her a crown.  They leave the room to give Aurora some time alone…but Maleficent pays her a visit.
  • Arrival Of Maleficent (Alternate Scene) – Maleficent arrives uninvited to the christening of the Princess Aurora.
  • BEAUTY-OKE “Once Upon A Dream” – Sing along to this kinetic text video of Aurora’s signature song.

Classic DVD Bonus Features Include:

  • The Sound Of Beauty: Restoring A Classic – This featurette covers the creation of the 7.1 mix of the score of Sleeping Beauty that was done for Blu-ray, using the source tapes from the original recording sessions resulting in an audio experience of superior quality with greater detail and fidelity that you have ever heard before.
  • Picture Perfect: The Making Of Sleeping Beauty – Discover the behind-the-scenes magic that transformed a beloved fairy tale into a cinematic work of art. Legendary Animators, actors and film historians reveal the secrets behind Disney’s masterpiece.
  • Eyvind Earle: A Man And His Art – Early in his career, renowned American Artist Eyvind Earle worked as a background painter at the Walt Disney Studio. Walt Disney liked his work so much that he entrusted him with the assignment to be the Art Director for Sleeping Beauty. This was the first time that one artist was given the responsibility for the entire look on one of Disney’s animated features. This piece follows Earle’s development as an artist and his years at the Studio.
  • Audio Commentary by John Lasseter, Andreas Deja and Leonard Maltin

Bonus Materials Overview for These Products:

DVD

Includes:

Never Before Seen Deleted Scenes:

  • The Fair (With Deleted Character – The Vulture) – In this version of the story, the fairies do not take the Princess to live with them in the forest.  Convinced that King Stefan’s order to burn all the spinning wheels in the kingdom will not prevent Maleficent’s curse, the good fairies put a magic circle around the castle and cast a spell:  “No evil thing that walks or flies or creeps or crawls can ever pass these castle walls.”
  • The Curse is Fulfilled – The three good fairies have just returned Aurora to the castle and give her a crown.  They leave the room to give Aurora some time alone…but Maleficent pays her a visit.
  • Arrival Of Maleficent (Alternate Scene) – Maleficent arrives uninvited to the christening of the Princess Aurora.

Disney Movies Anywhere

Includes:

  • Artists In Motion – Join Walt Disney Animation Visual Development artist Brittney Lee as she goes through the process of creating a three dimensional sculpture of Maleficent, completely out of paper.
  • Classic DVD Bonus Features : Alternate Opening, Live Action Reference, and 4 Deleted Songs.

Disc Specifications:

Street Date: October 7, 2014 (Direct Prebook: 8/12/14; Distributor Prebook: 8/26/14)

Suggested Retail Pricing:   2-Disc Blu-ray Superset with Digital Copy (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) = $36.99 US / $40.99 CAN

DVD = $29.99 US / $32.99 CAN

Digital HD & SD = please check with your television provider or favorite digital retailer for pricing

Feature Run Time: Approximately 75 minutes

Rated: G in U.S. & Canada (Bonus materials are not rated)

Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1 formatted for 16×9 TV screens

Sound: Blu-ray: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (English); 5.1 Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix, Dolby® Digital 5.1 Surround Sound

Languages: English, French and Spanish

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this movie. All opinions are our own.

Bryan Moore

Bryan is a theme park and coaster enthusiast. He enjoys spending time at his favorite parks in Central Florida: Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. In addition to theme parks, Bryan enjoys movies and gaming.

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