Three must-have Disney documentaries make their DVD debut on Tuesday, Nov. 30: The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story (watch this blog for an upcoming interview with the Sherman cousins), Walt and el Grupo (more about that on my Nov. 21 blog) and Waking Sleeping Beauty, the story of the tumultuous though successful second golden age of Disney animation.

Waking Sleeping Beauty, of the three films, has received the most notice in the press because it involves the most current high-profile films and some of the highest rollers in entertainment. It is a major work, not only because it reveals more about the goings-on behind the Disney scenes, good and bad, than any Disney-released film before it, but also because it shows what it was like to have those "dream jobs" of being a Disney animator during it most explosive period since Walt's days.

The DVD adds a detailed audio commentary by filmmakers Don Hahn and Peter Schneider and a generous supply of bonus features like deleted scenes and informative segments that build on the film itself. I wish the film could have continued the story beyond the resignation of Jeffrey Katzenburg, but as one animator in a deleted scene does comment, things were never the same when Katzenburg left. The same is said for Howard Ashman, Frank Wells, Joe Ranft and most recently, Roy E. Disney. History has proved it true in the ensuing years though things are certainly looking up since the end of the contentious period described in the book "Disney Wars".

Take a look at the Waking Sleeping Beauty Bonus Features, and in a section called Studio Tours, you'll enjoy three informal romps through the animation halls with animator/director Randy Cartwright (filmed by none other than John Lasseter, just before he started doing that "computer stuff.") A young Tim Burton appears in the 1980 segment, but that's not the surprise.

In the 1990 segment, Randy visits director John Musker's office as he is reading the latest Animation Magazine. John holds up the magazine and there is the great big name of renowned animation historian JIM KORKIS right in our astonished faces!
Imagine that!

Jim was a regular columnist for Animation and his exquisite anecdotes, little-known and never-known facts helped him amass his legion of fans worldwide.

You probably know that Jim's latest book, The Vault of Walt, is the talk of every animation enthusiast, Disney fan and noted expert this season. It's probably on your amazon wish list. Jim took his columns and blogs and updated them with even more information. It's a treasure trove. No one could possibly read this and say, "Oh I already knew everything in there!" Even Diane Disney Miller herself, who wrote the forward.

And with all that Jim has done for Disney executives, cast members, enthusiasts and friends on both coasts, surely no one person will be able to forever keep him from continuing to inspire and help others in his neverending quest to unearth more knowledge and share it with a wider audience than ever before.

Hey if it's good enough for John Musker, right? After all, he co-wrote and co-directed The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Princess and the Frog and lots more. You ain't never had an expert like Jim, nor a book like The Vault of Walt.

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