Monday, November 23, 2009

Wake Up Call

Got an invitation to the El Cap tonight, for to see Waking Sleeping Beauty.

If you want to know what it was like to work at Disney Feature Animation in the eighties or early nineties, this film will show you the reality of that time...

[Waking Sleeping Beauty] covers a world that seems like we know it, but really don’t. It moves beyond the celebrity-driven coverage of million-dollar catfights between Michael Eisner [and] Jeffrey Katzenberg. ... It focuses on and captures the heat and the hilarity of an office where dancing in the halls was normal, every meeting seems to have been made into a home movie, and work took place ’round the clock, with meetings called regularly at 8 a.m.—on a Sunday ...

The film covers fifteen years of Walt Disney Feature Animation -- 1980 to 1994 -- with the sharpest focus on the last half of the eighties, first half of the nineties. (And I had no idea that Super Eight would translate to a large theater screen so damn well.)

The points of Disney Feature Animation's low, low morale are shown with wry humor, along with the moments of triumph and the point at which it all unraveled. (You'll have to see the doc to discover the magical moment.) What's amazing is that the glory years arrived, flashed by, and vanished so quickly. At the time, they seemed as though they would go on forever.

I must say I liked WSL, but viewing the film caused those old Roger Miller lyrics to echo in my head:

... But everything changes a little and it should.

Good ain't forever and Bad ain't for Good.

(The L.A. Times' Ben Fritz predicts massive grosses for the two theaters showing The Princess and the Frog during its early rollout here.)


Floyd Norman said...

I laughed, and I cried. I'm serious.

Peter and Don, you've done it again. Damn good film!

Sappy Fillmore said...

Are you ever going to announce that project you're working on for John, Floyd?

I've been waiting for months since I heard you tease about it.

Details please!

Floyd Norman said...

Not a chance.

I got in enough trouble at Pixar a few weeks ago when I was cruising in the "closed set" area.

Sheriff Woody said...

So does this mean you're working for Pixar again, Floyd?

Paul Naas said...

Floyd, if you're up this way working, don't forget that I owe you a lunch!

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