This evening I saw Waking Sleeping Beauty, (review by Animation Magazine) a documentary by Don Hahn about the era from 1984-1994 at Disney. The film is quite honest and was so inspirational for me. Being in the theater, there was that magic- I was remembering my own childhood experiences of seeing Disney flicks on the big screen. I think I really feel at home, in the theater. The animators are not really the core focus of the film, rather the film provides a look behind the mask of the face of Disney animation. But the animators are still very much there and the footage of them is great stuff. A lot of artists stuck it out at Disney during those times when they could have left.
There was a good deal of focus on Jeffrey Katzenberg and it was new for me... I listened to a lecture by Katzenberg at Sheridan in 2005 and I've seen bits and pieces of him here and there in 'making of' segments accompanying animated flicks. It's very interesting (and nice) to see him react to situations and try to make things work for the studio and himself in this film. There's lots to learn about Peter Schneider as well. I knew less about Schneider than Katzenberg and he's a pretty key player.
After the screening I shook hands with Don and Peter- telling them both thank you for making the doc and that I enjoyed it and threatening Don that I would be seeing him the next day at his lecture at Sheridan College armed with my copy of Drawn to Life ready for an autograph.
Waking Sleeping Beauty is hoping for an April 2010 wider theatrical release. Don and Peter will continue to show it at festivals and push for some buzz in January/February by showing it as many places as they can.