Sleeping Beauty: 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition (1959)

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Released 14-Oct-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Animation & Audio
Music Video
Informational Subtitles
Audio Commentary
Short Film
Featurette-Making Of
Storyboard Comparisons
Additional Footage
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Teaser Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1959
Running Time 72:10
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (44:49)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Clyde Geronimi

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Mary Costa
Bill Shirley
Eleanor Audley
Verna Felton
Barbara Luddy
Barbara Jo Allen
Taylor Holmes
Bill Thompson
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Arabic Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.55:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.55:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Sleeping Beauty is one of the great animated films produced during the heyday of the Walt Disney animation studios. It was in production during most of the 1950s and was finally released in 1959. It was, of course, based on the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and also incorporates music from the Tchaikovsky ballet based on the same fairy tale. Sleeping Beauty has previously been released on local DVD, our site review of that release can be found here. The changes here are quite significant and this 50th anniversary Platinum Edition is certainly an excellent release. Having said that though, the extras here are quite different to those on the previous release and big fans of the film may want to own both versions. Here is an overview comparison of the two releases, details can be found below.

  Original R4 Release 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition
Video 2.35:1 (Aspect ratio for most cinemas that showed the film originally). High quality video 2.55:1 (Original negative aspect ratio - Super Technirama 70 - shown in this aspect ratio in cinemas which had equipment to do so). Newly remastered version - Magnificent video quality
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s), DTS 5.1 (768 Kb/s) + Audio Descriptive track Dolby Digital 5.1 Disney Home Theatre Enhanced (448 Kb/s) in English, Czech, Hungarian, Arabic + Commentary
Extras Large collection of quality extras (no commentary) A different and updated large collection of quality extras including a newly recorded audio commentary

    Unfortunately, I am not in a position to directly compare the two releases, however, I do believe that this new edition is a step forward in video quality terms (see more below), the dropping of the DTS track is disappointing, however the new Dolby Digital mix is excellent and the extras are very hard to compare due to the huge difference between the two sets of extras. As I mentioned above I think fans of the film or Disney Animation in general will want both versions.

    Highly Recommended.This 50th anniversary edition will also be released on Blu-ray locally during November.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is magnificent.

    The feature is presented in a 2.55:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original  negative aspect ratio. This was Disney's first film in Technirama 70 and was shown at this aspect ratio in cinemas which could handle it. Many cinemas at the time however could not handle this very wide aspect ratio and accordingly showed the film at 2.35:1 which is the aspect ratio of the previous DVD edition. I for one am certainly glad to see the film in this its intended aspect ratio.

    The picture was wonderfully clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise or grain of any description.

    The colour was fantastic with incredible richness and depth of colour. There were no colour blemishes of any kind. Scenes such as Princess Aurora ascending the staircase through the darkness showed how deep and blemish free the blacks were as you could not tell the difference between the black parts of the screen and the black bars surrounding them.

    There were not noticeable artefacts.

    There are 22 subtitle streams in total on this disc. These include six subtitle streams for the main feature in English, English for the Hearing Impaired and four other European languages. Others include subtitles for the commentary and some streams of trivia (see extras).

    The layer change occurs at 44:49 and is not noticeable.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is excellent.

    This DVD contains five audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 Enhanced Disney Home Theatre Mix soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s, a Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 384 Kb/s, a Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 384 Kb/s, an Arabic Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 384 Kb/s and an English Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s. Th soundtrack is somewhat soft compared to other DVDs and I needed to turn my amp up. Once done however, the soundtrack was very impressive indeed. Some may be annoyed by the lack of the original stereo mix, however, it does not bother me.

    Dialogue was very clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by George Bruns is based on the ballet by Tchaikovsky and is a huge part of the appeal of this movie. This music on this transfer sounds magnificent with depth and warmth you would not normally expect from a film of this age.

    The surround speakers were very well used providing significant surround presence such as bird sounds, music and especially during the big action set piece with the dragon.

    The subwoofer is also well used adding bass to the music and also to thunder & the battle scene.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There is a large selection of extras included. I will mention for each one whether it is new or an updated version of an extra on the previous edition. Many extras which were included on the previous edition have not been replicated here.


    The menu design is very good, simple to operate, uses the excellent score throughout (and not the same music on each screen either).

Disc 1

Music Video - Once Upon A Dream - Emily Osment (3:39) **NEW**

    An 'updated' version of a song from the film which left me very cold indeed. 16x9 enhanced with 2.0 sound.

Disney Song Selection **NEW**

    The songs from the movie presented together with optional song lyrics for your next Karaoke Party! Presented 16x9 enhanced.

Commentary **NEW**

    This commentary is a newly recorded commentary featuring John Lasseter (Current Disney director), Andreas Deja (Disney animator) & Leonard Maltin (Film Critic). It also features excepts of dialogue by people involved in the original production. It is certainly an interesting listen.

Princess Fun Facts **NEW**

    This is a subtitle track of trivia which is a little tedious.

Grand Canyon (27:44) **Updated Version**

    This is the short which was originally shown in the cinemas with the movie and won an Academy Award itself. This would seem to be a newly mastered version of the film and runs a minute or so shorter here than on the previous release. I would guess the previous version was an NTSC conversion and this one has been created directly for PAL. It does not exhibit the same quality issues noted in the previous review.

The Peter Tchaikovsky Story (47:25, 47:25) **Updated Version**

    This short film was included in the previous release however it only ran for less than 30 minutes. This time there are two different version both running to nearly fifty minutes. The first version includes a black & white intro by Walt Disney where he explains how television viewers can get a stereo simulcast by turning on their TV sound and a strategically placed AM radio. You can even add an FM radio for a 'third dimension'. The second version was changed for subsequent TV presentation without the simulcast bit. When originally shown on TV it was a world first widescreen on TV presentation and a world first stereo simulcast.

Disc 2

Disc 2 starts with a language selection (which strangely has more options than the film itself) and then has a menu which allows you to choose either Cottage or Castle without really explaining the difference.


Game - Briar Rose's Enchanted Dance Game **NEW**

    This is actually two different activities. The first is a game where you have to memorise a dancing pattern and then repeat it using the remote. Decent without being overly exciting. The second activity is a dancing lesson which teaches you how to waltz.

Game - Sleeping Beauty Fun with Language Game **NEW**

    Oh, my god. This is incredibly painful to sit through. The designers would argue that it is made for very young children, however, they are spoken down to so badly that they would have to be half-witted as well as very young. The spoken words are repeated endlessly and very slowly and there is no way to skip forward. My five year old (who loves DVD games) was very bored very quickly. There are three different versions all just as painful.


Picture Perfect : The Making of Sleeping Beauty (43:34) **NEW**

    A new and comprehensive making of which replaces the much shorter one on the previous release. It includes interview material with various cast and crew along with animators and historians and discusses topics such as the overall design of the film, story development, the development of the project and various technical topics. Interesting.

Eyvind Earle : The Man & His Art (7:15) **NEW**

    A short feature on the main designer of this film's look covering his bizarre childhood, illness and his work history. Good stuff but a little short.

Sequence 8 (5:32) **NEW**

    The difficulties of making the dance in the forest sequence are covered in this featurette. 3 days of work to make one second of screen time!

Alternate Opening (3:17) **NEW**

    A different proposed opening shown in storyboards.

Deleted Songs (3:35, 2:48, 2:40, 2:41) **NEW**

    Three songs written for the film but not included have been created here using recordings either made for demos or new recordings and storyboards. Two versions are included of It Happens I Have a Picture (one in song and one using the same words in dialogue) and one version each of Riddle Diddle & Go To Sleep. Interesting without being essential.

Storyboard Sequences (1:51, 2:18) **Updated Version**

    As before but now with an intro by Andreas Deja.

Live Action Reference (2:14) **Updated Version**

    Slightly longer than before.

Art Galleries **Updated Version**

    Comprehensive Gallery of stills broken down into various sections. I would guess there would be a lot of crossover to the previous version.

Original Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough Attraction (7:41) **NEW**

    A fairly bizarre extra which is a re-enactment of an attraction at Disneyland focused on Sleeping Beauty castle which is the castle featured in the Disney logo. There is an automatic mode and then a mode with a commentary. It probably makes more sense if you have been to Disneyland.

 History of Original Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough Attraction (9:54) **NEW**

    A short featurette telling the history of the attraction at Disneyland.

Original Teaser Trailer (1:43) **NEW**

Original Theatrical Trailer (3:12) **NEW**

Re-release Trailer (1:27) **NEW**

Four Artists Paint One Tree (15:29)

    The only extra which seems to be exactly the same on the two versions although this may also be a direct PAL transfer rather than an NTSC to PAL conversion based on a reduced runtime..


R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The only real difference between the regions in terms of this Platinum Edition are in different language and subtitle options. On this basis lets just call it a draw.


    A classic animated movie from the golden age of Disney re-released in an even better edition.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The set has an incredible array of mostly excellent, well made extra features.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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