Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

Waking Sleeping Beauty

Given my darker sensibilities and vocal disapproval of their sanitisation of older fairytales, people are often surprised to hear me talk fervently about what I deem Disney’s golden era: 1989-1994, a period of resurgence that encompassed the releases of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. I was excited to discover the recently announced Waking Sleeping Beauty, a documentary covering specifically the development of these four films and the team that turned around the company’s ailing animation fortunes. It will also be interesting to see how they handle Tim Burton’s presence since by all accounts he felt largely stifled as an animator at Disney, but began developing a little project called The Nightmare Before Christmas. Meanwhile Multiplex’s suggested sequel would not be inaccurate.

3D cinema has obviously taken the big screen by storm and last month’s CES 2010 suggests TV and camera manufacturers are hoping to push the same tech into consumers hands too. But I discovered that last year YouTube started experimenting with supporting indie 3D video. They noticed that several users were uploading 3D video but the problem was that unless the user has the corresponding coloured glasses, they were out of luck. Instead stereoscopic videos with the “YT3D” tag will allow users to select the glasses they have (including polarised if they have one of the few screens supporting it) and YouTube will present the video accordingly. Testing it out with some travel footage and the digital animation PANGEA trailer in HD on the living room TV was rather astounding. The downside is, of course, that most glasses will still destroy colour in these videos. At least until polarised screens become prevalent, this tech isn’t going to become more than a gimmick in the home environment.

And finally, crucial tips on how to tie your shoelaces: balanced knots and the speedy Ian knot. Seriously.


  1. The pillars of Disney. CGI has undoubtedly brought children’s films a long way, but with it you lose the childish immaturity and what now seems animated amateurism that made the likes of Aladdin.

  2. I agree. I’m pleased to see that The Princess and The Frog seems to have been well received by both critics and cinema-goers. Disney deserves to be rewarded for a strong return to traditional hand-drawn animation.

    I think Disney was of the opinion that their last string have been comparative failures due to people’s preference for CGI, not because the films themselves were a lacking. Hopefully this will prove otherwise, although, like stop-motion, it may now be a dying art.

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"Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has."

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