Waking Sleeping Beauty

Rated 3.0

The title intrigues. It’s sort of mordantly amusing, as in Waking Ned Devine, and sort of improbably ominous, as in bombing Pearl Harbor and waking the sleeping giant. Splitting that difference is a fair enough way to characterize the Disney animation empire’s painful but profitable late-'80s transition from a shallow pool of “kindly old men with cardigan sweaters,” as one worker recalls, into a tank full of execusharks like Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg. People in this corner of the movie business sure do love to commemorate themselves, and longtime Disney producer Don Hahn’s documentary does feel like just another vanity project—a sort of archival retirement home for all that footage he gathered over the years of himself and fellow cartoon-geek colleagues hamming it up for posterity. Hahn’s project benefits from an abundance of the artists’ skilled and savage caricatures of their ego-battling bosses, but on the whole tends to lack those images’ expressive economy. Not to mention the movies'.