Sleeping Beauty: The Signature Collection (1959) Available for Preorder

3 Stars

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Ronald Epstein

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54 Comments

  1. Considering that this was filmed in 70mm and is probably the most visually stunning film of the Walt era, I'm a bit surprised Disney isn't using this to test the waters in regards to how a Walt-era film will sell on 4K.

    That being said, I think I'm good with the earlier Platinum Edition release.

  2. Ronald Epstein

    While we appreciate our readers using the widget links to preorder titles, we are not certain that anyone buying a Disney title will actually receive it on time or at all via Amazon.

    is amazon having a tiff with Disney?

  3. Jake Lipson

    Considering that this was filmed in 70mm and is probably the most visually stunning film of the Walt era, I'm a bit surprised Disney isn't using this to test the waters in regards to how a Walt-era film will sell on 4K.

    That being said, I think I'm good with the earlier Platinum Edition release.

    I too am not keen on repurchasing this (even if it is my favorite Disney film), though I will admit it’s surprising that they’re not using it to test out vintage Disney on 4K, especially since they were extremely quick to use this film to test out the Blu-ray format (before even the Renaissance films).

    Oh, and a slight correction, Sleeping Beauty was actually shot in Technirama (horizontal 35mm), then printed to 70mm.

  4. Ronald Epstein

    Last I read, yes.

    Warner too.

    But Amazon continues to list their products and one doesn't really know if preordered titles will actually arrive on release day or not.

    I've noticed this occurs more often with new releases than with re-issued catalog.

    I've had a theory as to what this is all about, and it has to do with Redbox, believe it or not, although Disney has allowed Redbox to purchase discs from them again despite the still on-going legal battle over the resale of digital codes. When Redbox can't obtain copies (or enough copies) to rent out at their kiosks, they send out employees to retailers like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Amazon, to name just a few to purchase multiple copies of the same title. Most retailers, as part of their resale agreement with the studios, are restricted to selling no more than three copies of a particular movie to a customer. Having worked at Best Buy, the registers will not allow the scanning of more than 3 of the same movie UPC codes on a single transaction, and their website works the same way. Both Target and Walmart follow this rule, too. But not Amazon. You can pre-order large quantities (well over 3) of pretty much any movie they sell on DVD, Blu-ray, etc. Most studios probably don't care what Redbox does, but apparently Disney does, as they want Redbox to only purchase directly from them. And since Redbox rarely carries older Disney movies to rent in their kiosks, most catalog titles are readily available from Amazon.

    Again, this is just a theory, but when you think about it, it does make a lot of sense.

  5. Lord Dalek

    …Another one?

    Yes. I don't think Disney really expects people to double or triple dip on this title. This release is a courtesy for those who haven't bought it yet because the other versions are out of print. Also, it probably represents the last opportunity for Disney to make any money on it on the Blu-ray format because they've already said that all of their Signature Collection titles will be on Disney+ at launch. This is obviously why they are releasing Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians in such a short span of time. Presumably The Jungle Book will follow soon too, plus whatever they are going to do with Fantasia.

  6. Sleeping Beauty become unique in being the only classic having 3 separate Named Bluray releases — Platinum, Diamond, and Signature.
    Barring some bizarre event that Jungle Book escapes a Signature Release, it also appears to be the only Named Cycle that will have all 13 Vault Titles in the same cycle/format and hopefully eventually Fantasia whether it's officially labelled Signature or not (they withheld Platinum and Diamond status)

    Pinocchio skipped from Platinum to Signature and was the only title that didn't get a Diamond Release

  7. Jake Lipson

    Also…what awful cover art.

    Agreed. All that I can say to sum up my opinion about it is YIKES, that’s bad, and I usually don’t care about cover art.

    Also, Darkrock, that last cover in your post is actually a repurposing of the Deluxe Edition laserdisc cover from the 90’s.

    [​IMG]

  8. Cover art sucks, but who looks at it aside from the person who takes it off the shelf to run it on a display? Personally, I would not be interested in these new re-issues. Call them Diamond or Platinum or whatever, I would call them Kryptonite. Each time these goddam "upgrades" hit the market, special features from previous editions magically disappear. The most egregious example of this (offhand) is the fact that, not one, but both of the two audio commentaries from animators and other personnel have been unceremoniously dropped for the Blu-ray. WTF? How much effort would have been involved in porting these audio tracks over? God, I hate Disney now.

  9. Dick

    Cover art sucks, but who looks at it aside from the person who takes it off the shelf to run it on a display? Personally, I would not be interested in these new re-issues. Call them Diamond or Platinum or whatever, I would call them Kryptonite. Each time these goddam "upgrades" hit the market, special features from previous editions magically disappear. The most egregious example of this (offhand) is the fact that, not one, but both of the two audio commentaries from animators and other personnel have been unceremoniously dropped for the Blu-ray. WTF? How much effort would have been involved in porting these audio tracks over? God, I hate Disney now.

    I didn't know the DVD originally had an audio commentary, just checked my copy of the 50th Anniversary and it's listed in the DVD guide booklet.

  10. Traveling Matt

    That's the John Lasseter/Leonard Maltin track. There's another one with Eyvind Earle, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis, Mary Costa and others that to my knowledge was only on the very first DVD from 2003.

    Correct which is the reason why I placed those DVD discs into my 2008 BD case.

  11. Sleeping Beauty is my favorite classic under Walt's aegis. That said, this will be a pass for me as I already own 3 separate copies of this – the DVD, original deluxe Diamond Blu and Platinum, plus, have hung on to my LaserDisc, for pure nostalgia (no longer own an LD player). Would love a 4K, with deluxe red velvet packaging or some such like they did for the original roll out of Snow White.

  12. Dick

    I have the Diamond edition. Can't find it.

    This all the features included. This is from blu-ray.com's review.

    New Supplemental Features

    • Deleted Scenes (HD, 13 minutes): "No evil thing that walks or flies or creeps or crawls can ever pass these castle walls!" Three new, never before seen deleted scenes — "The Curse is Fulfilled," "The Arrival of Maleficent: Alternate Scene" and "The Fair" — are presented by way of original storyboards, narration and newly recorded voicework.
    • The Art of Evil: Generations Of Disney Villains (HD, 10 minutes): Animators Lino DiSalvo (Frozen) and Andreas Deja (Aladdin, The Lion King) share memories of their favorite Disney villains and discuss the keys to creating memorable antagonists, all while looking back at the career, contributions and iconic characters of classic Disney animator, Marc Davis (Sleeping Beauty, among many others), who appears via vintage interview snippets.
    • DisneyAnimation: Artists in Motion (HD, 4 minutes): This extended version of the previously released featurette follows Disney visual development artist Brittney Lee (Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen) as she constructs a paper sculpture of Maleficent.
    • Once Upon a Parade (HD, 9 minutes): Modern Family's Sarah Hyland shares the fairy tale "history" of Walt Disney World's new Festival of Fantasy parade with a small group of young Disney tourists.
    • Beauty-Oke: Once Upon A Dream (HD, 3 minutes): A dynamic sing-along for "Once Upon a Dream."

    Previously Released Bonus Features

    • Audio Commentary: Film historian and longtime Disney collaborator Leonard Maltin, supervising animator Andreas Deja and John Lasseter cover the art and legacy of Sleeping Beauty. The three share personal anecdotes and experiences around the film, from childhood impressions to conversations with its original animators. (Lindsay Mayer)
    • The Sound Of Beauty: Restoring A Classic (HD, 11 minutes): Presented in AVC with DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio, this featurette sits down with Randy Thornton and Terry Porter, the sound restoration technicians that worked on the film's [2008 50th Anniversary Edition] lossless mix. As the men point out with "before and after" comparisons, the lack of compression has yielded hidden intricacies of the soundtrack that have been lost for decades. As Walt Disney Music President Chris Montan makes clear, the difference is quite audible, and it makes the luscious experience of the film that much better, with sound and music to match the picture. (LM)
    • Picture Perfect: The Making Of Sleeping Beauty (HD, 44 minutes): Historians and former and current Disney employees alike reminisce on the film's production and cover everything from its music to its many talented animators. One really gets a feel for how painstaking a creation this film was, when the high design standards only allowed for one to three finished drawings a day. Given that 24 drawings are needed for a single second of footage, it's safe to say the film took quite a while to fully animate. (LM)
    • Eyvind Earle: A Man And His Art (HD, 8 minutes): Focuses squarely on the life and career of Sleeping Beauty's talented art director. Earle directly painted or at least supervised the production of every single background seen in the film, with incredible amounts of detail crammed into every angle. (LM)
  13. darkrock17

    This all the features included. This is from blu-ray.com's review.

    New Supplemental Features

    • Deleted Scenes (HD, 13 minutes): "No evil thing that walks or flies or creeps or crawls can ever pass these castle walls!" Three new, never before seen deleted scenes — "The Curse is Fulfilled," "The Arrival of Maleficent: Alternate Scene" and "The Fair" — are presented by way of original storyboards, narration and newly recorded voicework.
    • The Art of Evil: Generations Of Disney Villains (HD, 10 minutes): Animators Lino DiSalvo (Frozen) and Andreas Deja (Aladdin, The Lion King) share memories of their favorite Disney villains and discuss the keys to creating memorable antagonists, all while looking back at the career, contributions and iconic characters of classic Disney animator, Marc Davis (Sleeping Beauty, among many others), who appears via vintage interview snippets.
    • DisneyAnimation: Artists in Motion (HD, 4 minutes): This extended version of the previously released featurette follows Disney visual development artist Brittney Lee (Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen) as she constructs a paper sculpture of Maleficent.
    • Once Upon a Parade (HD, 9 minutes): Modern Family's Sarah Hyland shares the fairy tale "history" of Walt Disney World's new Festival of Fantasy parade with a small group of young Disney tourists.
    • Beauty-Oke: Once Upon A Dream (HD, 3 minutes): A dynamic sing-along for "Once Upon a Dream."

    Previously Released Bonus Features

    • Audio Commentary: Film historian and longtime Disney collaborator Leonard Maltin, supervising animator Andreas Deja and John Lasseter cover the art and legacy of Sleeping Beauty. The three share personal anecdotes and experiences around the film, from childhood impressions to conversations with its original animators. (Lindsay Mayer)
    • The Sound Of Beauty: Restoring A Classic (HD, 11 minutes): Presented in AVC with DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio, this featurette sits down with Randy Thornton and Terry Porter, the sound restoration technicians that worked on the film's [2008 50th Anniversary Edition] lossless mix. As the men point out with "before and after" comparisons, the lack of compression has yielded hidden intricacies of the soundtrack that have been lost for decades. As Walt Disney Music President Chris Montan makes clear, the difference is quite audible, and it makes the luscious experience of the film that much better, with sound and music to match the picture. (LM)
    • Picture Perfect: The Making Of Sleeping Beauty (HD, 44 minutes): Historians and former and current Disney employees alike reminisce on the film's production and cover everything from its music to its many talented animators. One really gets a feel for how painstaking a creation this film was, when the high design standards only allowed for one to three finished drawings a day. Given that 24 drawings are needed for a single second of footage, it's safe to say the film took quite a while to fully animate. (LM)
    • Eyvind Earle: A Man And His Art (HD, 8 minutes): Focuses squarely on the life and career of Sleeping Beauty's talented art director. Earle directly painted or at least supervised the production of every single background seen in the film, with incredible amounts of detail crammed into every angle. (LM)

    Yup, found them, so I was wrong. Took me long enough to navigate to them, but there are two commentaries.

  14. Lord Dalek

    So far there hasn't been any real benefit to animation in 4k.

    I agree with you 100%:roll:

    Looks like the only the top tier animated classics (biggest money makers) get the 4K treatment. Well I would say I'm surprised, but this is Disney. The only real concern for them is the almighty dollar, which I'm sure is worshipped and praised.

  15. 4K advantage: 10 bit format, not restricted to BT.709 colour, and a modest HDR pass. Most of all, preserving the texture of film grain this movie would have, scanned from the best film element. HD Blu-ray just can’t reproduce it well enough. I’d hope for a 4K edition of this, one of my favourite Disney animations.

  16. Is this the exact same transfer over the last whatever years the keep re-churning out on Blu?

    Also what’s up with that cover-is Aurora sleep walking?

  17. noel aguirre

    Is this the exact same transfer over the last whatever years the keep re-churning out on Blu?

    Since they are not doing a 4K release and therefore don't need to do a new 4K master, I would assume it's probably the same transfer.

    The Little Mermaid Signature Blu-ray got a new transfer, but they also did a 4K version of it, so that makes sense. Since this is just a standard Blu-ray double dip, I don't see any real reason to think they would bother updating the transfer they've already released twice.

  18. Michael Osadciw

    4K advantage: 10 bit format, not restricted to BT.709 colour, and a modest HDR pass. Most of all, preserving the texture of film grain this movie would have, scanned from the best film element. HD Blu-ray just can't reproduce it well enough. I'd hope for a 4K edition of this, one of my favourite Disney animations.

    Especially since this was shot in Technirama which offered twice as much actual picture information per frame as CinemaScope in which Lady and the Tramp was filmed. It wasn't until I finally saw the film in widescreen on that CAV laserdisc box set displayed upthread that I managed to appreciate its amazing visual artistry of a kind you may likely never see again. Its disappointing initial box office performance compared to that same year's The Shaggy Dog had huge repercussions for the future of Disney and animation itself, even when Walt was still alive.

  19. Don’t tell me they left off GRAND CANYON SUITE again? That piece has always been a companion piece to SLEEPING BEAUTY. I believe they were originally shown together at the first release. And yeah, why isn’t this going 4k this time? This is the umpteenth time it’s been released and it seems to be missing more and more each time.

  20. warnerbro

    Don't tell me they left off GRAND CANYON SUITE again? That piece has always been a companion piece to SLEEPING BEAUTY. I believe they were originally shown together at the first release. And yeah, why isn't this going 4k this time? This is the umpteenth time it's been released and it seems to be missing more and more each time.

    The original Blu-ray release also had The Peter Tchaikovsky Story, which was a Disney TV episode, and a very cool recreation of the original Sleeping Beauty walkthrough at Disneyland. Let's face it, the folks who are currently in charge of Disney Home Video aren't a patch on the folks who put together the releases during the last few years of Laserdisc up through the heyday of DVD and the early years of Blu-ray. Back then, Disney releases were often truly special. Anything we get now is either recycled (if they choose to still include it) or promotional fluff. Truly "special" features are limited these days to boutique labels.

  21. Brian Kidd

    The original Blu-ray release also had The Peter Tchaikovsky Story, which was a Disney TV episode, and a very cool recreation of the original Sleeping Beauty walkthrough at Disneyland. Let's face it, the folks who are currently in charge of Disney Home Video aren't a patch on the folks who put together the releases during the last few years of Laserdisc up through the heyday of DVD and the early years of Blu-ray. Back then, Disney releases were often truly special. Anything we get now is either recycled (if they choose to still include it) or promotional fluff. Truly "special" features are limited these days to boutique labels.

    Yet another reason why my opinion of Disney has taken a big nosedive in recent years.

  22. The back cover has been posted online, and if it’s anything to go by, it looks as though they’re dropping the original 4.0 sound mix, which would make one more reason not to pick this up. While the remix is pretty decent, there are too many discrepancies between it and the original mix (which is what I grew up hearing) to really like it such sound effects mistimed or missing and some cases alternate takes used on the music (the opening fanfare over the Buena Vista logo being the most obvious example). Here’s the back cover for those who are interested:

    [​IMG]

  23. richardburton84

    The back cover has been posted online, and if it’s anything to go by, it looks as though they’re dropping the original 4.0 sound mix, which would make one more reason not to pick this up. While the remix is pretty decent, there are too many discrepancies between it and the original mix (which is what I grew up hearing) to really like it such sound effects mistimed or missing and some cases alternate takes used on the music (the opening fanfare over the Buena Vista logo being the most obvious example). Here’s the back cover for those who are interested:

    [​IMG]

    With that long Movie Rewards spiel, that big ass bar code, and all the other crap about digital and iTunes; what's the point of even having a synopsis about the film and the technical information if it's going to be that short and that small?

  24. Another extra from the first blu-ray release that doesn't appear to be included is the virtual tour of the castle at Disneyland, which as a kid of 60s, was very nostalgic for me and I am so glad I have that first blu.

  25. KPmusmag

    Another extra from the first blu-ray release that doesn't appear to be included is the virtual tour of the castle at Disneyland, which as a kid of 60s, was very nostalgic for me and I am so glad I have that first blu.

    The walk-through attraction was is only on the 2003 Special Edition, here are all the extras that weren't included on the Diamond Edition. This is taken from blu-ray.com review.

    The following is a list of missing extras, the vast majority of which were presented in high definition:

    • Cine-Explore In-Movie Experience: Featuring original concept art, production photos and other materials
    • Grand Canyon: Short film shown before Sleeping Beauty during its original theatrical release
    • Original Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Walkthrough Attraction
    • History of the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough Attraction
    • Sequence 8: A closer look at a particularly difficult scene that was in production for 2 years
    • Sleeping Beauty Deleted Songs: "It Happens I Have A Picture," "Riddle Diddle," "Go To Sleep"
    • Sleeping Beauty Alternate Opening
    • Storyboard Sequences (SD): "The Fairies Put The Castle To Sleep," "The Capture Of The Prince"
    • Original Live-Action Reference Film Footage (SD)
    • The Peter Tchaikovsky Story: 49-minute dramatization
    • Four Artists Paint One Tree: Featuring Walt Peregoy, Josh Meador, Eyvind Earle and Marc Davis
    • Sleeping Beauty Art Galleries: Which featured hundreds of images
    • Publicity: Which housed three theatrical trailers
    • 4 BD Games: Dragon Encounter, Maleficent's Challenge, Briar Rose's Enchanted Dance, Fun with Language
    • Princess Fun Facts: Trivia Track
    • Music Video: Once Upon a Dream
    • Disney Song Selection Suite
    • Song Lyrics Subtitle Track
  26. David Norman

    Barring some bizarre event that Jungle Book escapes a Signature Release

    Given Disney's predisposition to releasing things in large quantities of related titles, I would not be surprised at all if The Jungle Book Signature gets released the same day as The Lion King remake. Even if Jungle Signature ends up being Blu-ray only, it's a nice tie-in to give the Favreau version a warranted 4K upgrade on the same day as his Lion King and just makes sense within Disney's recent practices. (See: Maleficent gets a 4K upgrade on the same day as Sleeping Beauty Signature even though the latter is Blu-ray only.)

    The other thing I have been wondering about is Beauty and the Beast. Disney's clear pattern with the Signature titles is that the more modern films (The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin) get 4K releases while the Walt-era films are reissued in 1080p Blu-ray only. That would suggest that eventually, Beauty and the Beast is owed a 4K release, because if it doesn't get one it would be the only modern Signature title lacking one. Its original Signature Collection Blu-ray double dip arrived in September 2016, which was about 11 months before Disney began 4K support with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as their first title. So I don't think its omission means Disney doesn't believe a 4K version of that film would sell. I think it just means they weren't ready to support 4K at the time of that Signature release (which is probably also why The Lion King 4K release was later than its 1080p Signature counterpart — Lion King Signature came out one week after Guardians 2, and I suspect they just weren't ready to put out a crown jewel title like that yet, but corrected that once they had had more experience releasing titles on the 4K format.)

    However, if they are going to do a 4K release for Beauty and the Beast, it would be wise to do it sooner rather than later, because once Disney+ launches and begins getting adopted by consumers en masse, the market for such a release is bound to decrease. I spent $38 each on the 4K steelbooks for The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, which together is more money than one year of Disney+. So it would seem that giving Beauty and the Beast a 4K upgrade would be a smart thing to do sooner rather than later. (Presumably, if this does happen, the 2017 live-action version would be upgraded simultaneously, as it just barely missed getting 4K support on its original release two months or so before Guardians.)

  27. richardburton84

    The back cover has been posted online, and if it’s anything to go by, it looks as though they’re dropping the original 4.0 sound mix, which would make one more reason not to pick this up. While the remix is pretty decent, there are too many discrepancies between it and the original mix (which is what I grew up hearing) to really like it such sound effects mistimed or missing and some cases alternate takes used on the music (the opening fanfare over the Buena Vista logo being the most obvious example). Here’s the back cover for those who are interested:

    Was that how the sound was recorded? I know it premiered in 70mm and I thought 6-track sound – but that could have been derived from 4.0.

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