SLEEPING BEAUTY Disney's ambitious fairy tale spectacle from 1959 - the first animated feature drawn and photographed in Technirama 70mm -- arrives on DVD Sept. 9, 2003 in a lavish two-disc special edition (Walt Disney Home Video, $29.99). The movie looks stunning with the entire digital cleanup, though some preservationists and historians may argue about the accuracy of the colors and precision of the aspect ratio (it should be 2.2:1, not 2.35:1). The romantic love story of Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip may lack spark, yet Maleficent is one of the great Disney villains of all time and Flora, Fauna and Merryweather are absolutely delightful as the three good fairies. But where the movie uniquely shines is in its lush surroundings, making excellent use of the large canvas.
The set is invaluable for animation fans and historians alike. Commentary by Mary Costa (Princess Aurora), Leonard Maltin and others on the creation of the movie, the music, its design and memories of Walt is instructive. There's a restoration featurette, two story reels: ("The Capture of the Prince" and "The Fairies Put the Castle to Sleep"), a section devoted to creating the backgrounds, live action references and THE GRAND CANYON widescreen short.