50th Anniversary Edition
Features: DTS-HD MA soundtrack, new widescreen version of the film which reveals more screen never seen before, a bonus disc dedicated to extras, and a much-appreciated Bonus DVD Movie Disc, which contains the SD DVD version of the film.
Movie Release: January 29, 1959
This Release: October 7, 2008
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Current Price: Check Price / Purchase
Cons / Disadvantages
- A wonderful Disney Classic seen for the first time as it should be
- Colors really jump off the screen
- DTS-HD 7.1 audio is pretty good
- Blu-ray version is significantly better than the included SD DVD version
- Bountiful collection of extras, including two versions of The Peter Tchaikovsky Story
- This Blu-ray edition also includes an SD DVD version
- None observed, but the several promos and trailers on the Blu-ray and SD DVD discs could be viewed as a disadvantage. However, Disney does provide a menu escape.
The audio on Sleeping Beauty: 50th Anniversary Edition is pretty good. Disney provides a DTS-HD Master 7.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack, along with the original 4.0 theatrical mix which was in theaters. I did notice more spacial feeling to the 7.1 mix, and during scenes such as Aurora's forest walk and Prince Phillip's battle with Maleficent, it was particularly better than the standard 4.0 track. However, I have to say overall, I'm not so impressed.
I think the 7.1 audio could probably have been avoided altogether for a 4.0 higher bitrate mix, because the original source material is the problem, as the quality could be better. I suspect the soundtrack could have been processed for a more pleasing experience, but this would have taken a certainly long time to do, and it's apparent Disney was more concerned with image quality, rather than a super-strong audio mix. What we are left with, is still reasonable, considering the source.
The picture quality is excellent on this MPEG-4 AVC transfer. Colors are rich and bold and thick. I absolutely love animated films because they look so darn good on my HDTV and really bring out an extensive palette of colors. This Blu-ray version of Sleeping Beauty was a treat to watch. The DVD version, I noticed colors which bled into each other due to compression. In HD, no such compression issues were observed as contrasting colors next to each other were displayed perfectly.
You can't really go wrong with a Disney tale. Sleeping Beauty took almost a decade to produce, which shows the amount of dedication Disney had at the time for this feature. Even though Sleeping Beauty is only 75-minutes, it's a solid tale of Good vs. Cranky.
It's almost impossible to not include a comparison or likeness to Snow White, as we have a few characters which parallel those in this film, but Sleeping Beauty has it's own peculiar elements. For example, Aurora, "The Sleeping Beauty", is only in the film for about 20-minutes total.
If you're not familiar with any of Eyvind Earle's work, please do a little research on him. He was a great artist. There is still controversy over Disney allowing him have free reign over Sleeping Beauty due to Earle being rather new at animation, but viewing Sleeping Beauty a few times, you'll understand what Disney was trying to accomplish, which was bringing a more traditional medieval atmosphere to the film. It also brought, maybe coincidentally, a more adult atmosphere as well. Eyvind Earle also had an amazing eye for colors and how certain themes could stand out and look so real, but yet surreal.
This edition of Sleeping Beauty is packed with features, games, documentaries, and more. This is certainly a worthy compilation and I don't remember such an amount of extras available for a movie since Blade Runner's massive collection of extras on the 5-Disc Complete Collector's Edition. Of course, it's not as extensive, but a good collection of extras nonetheless.
There are three games also included which offer some additional entertainment. Nothing spectacular, but something to do when you're bored after the movie, and don't want to get up out of your comfortable chair just yet.
Sleeping Beauty, while only 75-minutes in length, still delivers. You won't need two-hours or even longer considering today's epic dramas, which makes Sleeping Beauty a really great quick-fix for a time where you want to view something just over an hour, with the added enjoyment of High-Def adding to the picture's presentation.
Of course, I did notice one disadvantage. Disney packed the beginning of the movie with several promos and trailers. I shouldn't need this diversion on the Blu-ray disc. I wold compromise for all the useless info on the SD DVD disc version. Other than this little peeve of mine, there were no other issues or playability problems I noticed or experienced.
Sleeping Beauty as presented in this 50th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray, is a must-purchase, in my opinion. A solid Highly Recommended.