Stan Freberg and SLEEPING BEAUTY @ 20 July 2008 10:51 PM
Living 3,000 miles from California, I'm always missing out on cool Disney/cartoon/TV/etc. events (though I did shake hands with TV's Skipper Chuck and Scrubby once in Miami, so there) but as luck would have it, I able to be in LA for the Motion Picture Academy screening of the restored wide screen version of Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty. It's not like I'm some kind of VIP or something -- it only cost five bucks.



The film naturally was impressive. It's the only way to see Sleeping Beauty as it was meant to be seen (there's another screening at Hollywood's El Capitan in a few weeks). I've always thought Princess Aurora resembled Donna Reed, but none of my friends share the opinion, though they nod politely. It was followed by a panel discussion hosted by Leonard Maltin/ Animation giant Andreas Deja showed development art, including a character design clean-up sketch of Aurora by the great Iwao Takamoto, who designed countless characters for Hanna-Barbera -- and Aurora really does have a HB look. Actually much of the entire film seems to have influenced the HB house style of the mid-60s to mid-70s, since so many Disney artists emigrated there.

I can die happy because I was able to give a copy of Mouse Tracks to the one and only Stan Freberg, who was in attendance along with a lot of industry notables. He mentioned  that we had him to thank for the music in Sleeping Beauty because he got musical director George Bruns his job at Disney. He said that George, having composed the uberhit "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," was concerned that he would be remembered only for writing such a big standard, but clearly that was not the case, since he did so much more throughout the next two decades.

The upcoming Sleeping Beauty DVD is reportedly going to have quite a few new bonus features, including a new audio commentary (yabba dabba doo)!

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