Friday, January 15, 2010

Waking Sleeping Beauty – Disney Documentary and Talk

film screening February 12th at 7:00 at The Church,
BIFF’s newest venue, First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce St., just north of Boulder Theater.
Feature Film Here’s a rare treat: to have Disney wunderkind, director Don Hahn present for the screening of his documentary, Waking Sleeping Beauty, which reveals the perfect storm behind the scenes at Disney during the renaissance of animation.

From 1984 to 1994, a perfect storm changed the face of animation forever.

Speaker Don Hahn
This is the true story of how Disney regained its magic with a staggering output of hits—The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King—over a wild decade. The documentary was conceived by twoinsiders over a latte, when they recalled the euphoria and horror of that time.

By the mid-1980s, the fabled animation studios of Walt Disney had fallen on hard times. The artists were polarized between newcomers (the likes of Tim Burton and John Lasseter) hungry to innovate and old timers not yet ready to relinquish control. This produced a series of box office flops and pessimistic forecasts: maybe the best days of animation were over. Only a miracle or a magic spell could produce a happy ending.

Director Don Hahn was one of the Young Turks at Disney who produced some of its biggest sensations. Producer Peter Schneider led the animation group during this amazing renaissance and later became studio chairman. Their film offers a fascinating and candid perspective of what happened in the creative ranks set against the dynamic tensions among the top leadership, Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Roy Disney (Walt’s nephew). Using rare “outlaw” footage shot by a young John Lasseter despite strict Disney rules, Hahn explains “I wanted to transport the audience into the ... eye of the storm. We see these guys – Tim Burton, Ron Clements, John Lasseter, Glen Keane – operating at the very beginning of their careers.”
One of the most successful filmmakers working in Hollywood today, Don Hahn’s achievements
with Disney and beyond could fill pages. Here are a few highlights:

• Producer of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, the first animated film to receive a Best Picture Oscar® nomination and to win a Golden Globe® for Best Picture.
• Producer of The Lion King, which broke box office records all over the world to become the top-grossing traditionally animated film in Disney history.
• Associate producer on the landmark motion picture Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
• Currently developing the stop-motion animated feature Frankenweenie with director Tim Burton, and directing and producing several documentary projects.
• Author of three books on the art of animation, including The Alchemy of Animation, a definitive account of how animated films are created in the modern age.