Actors: Mary Costa, Eleanor Audley, Barbara Jo Allen, Verna Felton, Barbara Luddy
Directors: Clyde Geronimi
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Run Time: 75 minutes
Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars
Timed slightly ahead of the Blu-ray release of Disney’s live-action smash hit “Maleficent”, which is set to be released on November 4th, Disney’s 16th animated classic returns to Blu-ray in an all new Diamond Edition. Personally, I would have waited until November to release this to get parents to pick up both films in one shot. Listen, this is a definitely a cash-in release, especially since this was just released on Blu-ray in 2008 but there are some new extras included as well as a digital copy. So it isn’t just a new box and nothing new. Having a two year old at home, even though some parts a little scary, I am excited to be able to share this film with her because she absolutely loves the character Aurora already.
Official Premise: Fall under the glorious spell of Disney’s Ultimate Princess Fairy Tale! The magic is real as you experience all the pageantry and power on Blu-ray — and for the first time ever on Digital HD — with incredible high-definition picture and thrilling, soaring sound! Beauty, wonder and adventure spin together in a grand legend that transcends time as Maleficent, one of animation’s most spectacular villains, sends the kingdom’s beloved Princess Aurora into an enchanted sleep. In a majestic story that awakens all your senses, Good Fairies arm brave Prince Phillip to defeat a fearsome fire-breathing dragon and rescue Aurora. But success in battle may not be enough, for the only way to awaken the Princess is with True Love’s kiss!
This Diamond Edition of “Sleeping Beauty” includes a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Digital Copy. This is the first time that film has been released digitally, so that is a nice bonus. The 1080p transfer and DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track are literally perfect for an animated film that is 55 years old. The colors are just so vibrant and literally jump off the screen. I am not sure if the transfer has been upgraded since the 2008 release but it is still outstanding. The songs are perfectly balanced as well and sound amazing in their 7.1 surround track. If you love the original track, also included is the original Dolby Digital 4.0 stereophonic track for those Disney purists.
There are tons of great special features included. The new extras include “Once Upon A Parade, Starring Sarah Hyland ” which takes us behind-the-scenes with Sarah Hyland from ABC’s Modern Family at Magic Kingdom. “Art of Evil: Generations Of Disney Villains” focuses on Disney’s favorite villain animator, Marc Davis and his influences. “DisneyAnimation: Artists in Motion, Extended Edition” features Walt Disney Animation Visual Development artist Brittney Lee as she develops a three dimensional sculpture of Maleficent, completely out of paper. “Beauty-Oke: Once Upon A Dream” is a Sing-along tfor Aurora’s signature song. There are three brand new, never before seen deleted scenes.
Other Classic DVD Bonus Features include “The Sound Of Beauty: Restoring A Classic”, which looks into restoring the film and focuses on its 7.1 mix. “Picture Perfect: The Making Of Sleeping Beauty” shows us the behind-the-scenes magic that took place to place this film with Legendary Animators, actors and film historians. “Eyvind Earle: A Man And His Art ” focuses on the career of background painter and renowned American Artist. There is also an audio commentary track with John Lasseter, Andreas Deja and Leonard Maltin and believe it or not there is still much more included.