BLU-RAY REVIEW: Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty (Diamond Edition) @ 22 October 2014 07:03 PM

Sleeping Beauty is a landmark film in Disney history. Beyond its bold, distinctive look, which has already received due praise and discussion, it came along when Walt Disney Productions had fully transformed from primarily a movie-making studio to a multi-faceted company with its own theme park, publishing, record labels and other interests that interwove each other in a process Roy Disney called "cross-pollination" but today we call synergy.

During its six-year production period leading to its much-heralded release in 1959, fourteen different recording releases (one featuring Broadway star Mary Martin and another with Mouseketeer Darlene Gillespie), countless comics, coloring books, toys and other merchandise, and perhaps most significantly, promoted on television from Walt's very first Disneyland show in 1954 to the Mickey Mouse Club.

While these elements existed for Disney in one form or another before Sleeping Beauty, never before had they been so homegrown.

Sleeping Beauty was not the success Walt had hoped for in its initial release, but it was reissued to theaters and became ubiquitous on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray (this edition is the second Blu-ray). It's status as a Disney Princess film makes it part of the pantheon of pix for kids.

But it's also a treat for adults, especially those who appreciate just how difficult this film was to make. The rich detail is well suited to home watching, as one can pause or go back to see some of the breathtaking artwork if desired. And with high-def, large screen screens, the film has really found a good home at your home.

The only thing to note about this release is that, while it has a few new bonus features, there are fewer included than on the 2008 Blu-ray -- and there are also several that did not make it from the 2003 DVD. If you still have those and you love such things (like me), save them (like me). If these kind of things are not a big deal, you've still got one of the most satisfactory Blu-ray transfer of any film.

For more details about the transfer and previous bonus features, take a look at this article.

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