Waking Sleeping Beauty

Synopsis: The story of the Disney Renaissance, an incredibly prolific, successful and prestigious decade lasting from 1984 to 1994 that saw the fallen Walt Disney Animation Studios' unexpected progressive triumphant return to excellence.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Don Hahn
Production: Walt Disney Pictures
  2 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
86 min


Elton John, up at Pinewood on--

What's the date?

The 12th of--


Twelfth of March.

It's me, split track, 20--

Thirty-frame center track.

There's the tone.


Quiet, please.


Here we go.

It was the spring of 1994

and we were just finishing The Lion King,

which would go on

to earn great reviews

and about three-quarters

of a billion dollars at the box office.

Not bad for a group of artists

who were kicked off the Disney lot

and an art form that was given up for dead

just ten years earlier.


I produced The Lion King

and the cast-and-crew premiere

was coming up fast.

It was tradition for all of us

to get up on-stage

and give warm thank-you speeches.

But this time

I decided to film all the speeches instead.

Whenever you're comfortable.

You are rolling?



With all the many varied businesses

this company is in, it is clear--

It becomes clearer every day

that animation is its soul, heart,

and most of its body parts.

You guys have done an unbelievable job

over the last decade,

culminating in Lion King,

in pushing forward the company,

the culture and the quality of artistry.

Congratulations from me,

from anybody who is not on this tape,

from our board, our shareholders

and my children.


Thank you.

Thanks, everybody.

Thank you to everybody

for another absolutely incredible job

on another marvelous movie on the way

to the next great movie.

To an outsider,

it looked like a perfect world.

Thank you.

But backstage,

the tension had reached a peak.

Thank you.


That was it?

Yeah, perfect.

Even though it was the moment

of our greatest success,

the wheels were coming off the car.

This is the story of how we got there.


Let's back up to the early '80s

on the Disney Studio lot

in Burbank, California.

The animation band is spreading

its holiday cheer to the employees

with banjos and jew's harps,

as was the tradition.

And that's me on the right,

trying to play"Jingle Bells" on the bass.

Like so many of us,

I grew up on a diet of Disney films.

And every four years,

I'd make a pilgrimage

to the drive-in theater

to see their latest animated masterpiece.

When I was 20, I got a job at the studio

delivering artwork and coffee

to the animators

and I felt like I won the lottery.


This was the house that Walt built.

Walt Disney, the toast of Hollywood,

the genius behind Disneyland

and the producer behind the first

animated feature, Snow White.

By the 1950s,

Walt was losing interest in animation

and his attention turned

to live-action films,

the new medium of television,

and building the first theme park,


and planning futuristic cities

of tomorrow.

By far, the most important part

of our Florida Project,

in fact, the heart of everything

we'll be doing in Disney World,

will be our Experimental Prototype City

of Tomorrow, Epcot.

Walt died in 1966,

but the studio still made sweet, harmless,

animated comedies for kids,

supervised by his master animators,

the Nine Old Men,

and produced by Walt's son-in-law,

studio head Ron Miller.

I'm Randy Cartwright

and this is Ron Miller.

How are you?

How are you?

Good to see you. This is Randy.

Great way to start the film.

Is this a new--? Your first commercial?

Ha, ha. Yup.

What is this for?

Just home movie.

It's a documentary.

Home movie?

Documentary of the animation studio.

Hi, Mom.

Well, we're off to a good start.

Here it is, April 9th, 1980.

This is the past

to all you folks out there.

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    "Waking Sleeping Beauty" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Nov. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/waking_sleeping_beauty_23001>.

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