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post #1 of 9 Old 10-02-2014, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

Check out our review of this Diamond Edition Disney classic that tells the tale of a vengeful malevolent fairy who after being snubbed by a royal family, places a curse on a princess which can only be broken by love's first kiss (along with the help of three good fairies).

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )



Studio and Year: Disney - 1959
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 75 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.55:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French DTS-HD High Resolution, Spanish/Portuguese/Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 4.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian
Directed by: Clyde Geronimi
Written by: Erdman Penner
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date:

"A Sparkling Diamond"

My Take:

When an enchanted kingdom and the most fair princess in the land falls prey to the ultimate mistress of evil, the fate of the empire rests in the hands of three small fairies and a courageous prince's magic kiss. Their quest is fraught with peril as the fellowship must battle the evil witch and a fire breathing dragon if they are to set the Beauty free. Sleeping Beauty tells the wondrous tale of a princess cursed by an evil witch, protected by three loving fairies and, ultimately, saved by a “true love’s kiss.” Featuring the voice talents of renowned opera singer Mary Costa (as Sleeping Beauty) and Disney stalwart Eleanor Audley (as the evil fairy, Maleficent), the film’s vibrant visuals were created by a team that included Milt Kahl and Ollie Johnston, John Lounsbery, Frank Thomas and Marc Davis (of Disney’s legendary Nine Old Men), and an Academy Award® nominated score adapted from the incandescent music of Peter Tchaikovsky.

Sleeping Beauty is a classic fairytale that is among the early stories that I recall from my childhood. Back then there was no home video (late sixties) and the only way to see films was to go to the theater. Disney’s Sleeping Beauty was also one of my first movie going experiences and I remember it well. Its positive message of hope, belief in dreams as well as the fairytale romance shaped our perspectives and desire for the “feel good” ending. It’s whimsical, adventurous and uplifting story is complimented by memorable music and endearing characters.

Like many of Disney’s classic animated features Sleeping Beauty has easily stood the test of time and continues to touch generations of viewers. Disney is a class act with an impeccable track record for wonderful family oriented films. This Diamond Edition home video release is another example of their fervent commitment to the Blu-ray format as their high definition presentations have consistently yielded technically impressive results along with fan friendly supplemental material. Their willingness to digitally restore their films while carefully preserving the original source elements allows fans and newcomers alike to experience them looking and sounding better than ever.

Parental Guide:

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

Sleeping Beauty comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.5 Mbps.

For the 2008 Platinum Blu-ray release this film underwent a restorative process and this appears to be the same encoding which yields the same impressive results. Colors shine brilliantly with pleasing saturation and striking blues that look absolutely beautiful. On several occasions I found myself marveling at just how good this 55 year old animated feature looked. Fidelity is intact and images have excellent visual depth with deep, rich, color fidelity and stable contrast that enhances dimension. I can fully appreciate the attention to detail that went into design of each of the animated characters. Contrast and brightness is stable and strikes a wonderful balance that highlights the multi-layered grays and delineated chromatic elements within the video. Blacks have excellent depth and dynamic range, and whites sparkle and appear crisp, bright and punchy. As fans I don’t think that we could ask for this film to look any better than this.

Disney provides a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 channel surround mix which has been re-mastered from the original soundtrack’s stereo recording adding quite a bit of luster. This was a well-balanced presentation that features high level detail in a resplendent blend of dialogue, sound effects, bass and music that maintains a frontal perspective with discretely placed effects and atmospherics that utilize the entire soundstage. The film’s Oscar nominated music sounds simply marvelous as the musical set pieces take center stage to create an involving surround experience. This isn’t a dynamically enhanced mix but bass response is both discerning and appropriate in support of the soundtrack’s elements. The audio is crystal clear, free of the edginess and never shows its age which says something for the care that went into the encoding.

Bonus Features:
  • (HD) ‘Once Upon A Parade’ (Starring Sarah Hyland) - Behind every
    attraction, event and parade at the Magic Kingdom is a unique story. Join Sarah
    Hyland from ABC’s “Modern Family” as she tells us the tale of Walt Disney World’s
    new Festival Of Fantasy Parade. This magical “in world” short film goes behind the
    scenes of the new parade and shows how the residents and characters of Fantasyland
    created this parade to tell their stories.

    (HD) Art of Evil: Generations Of Disney Villains – This legacy piece
    spotlights Disney’s favorite villain animator, Marc Davis and his infamous creations
    of characters such as Maleficent and Cruella. Throughout the piece, we will talk to
    modern day animators like Andreas Deja and also the new generation of Animators
    (Lino DiSalvo Animation Director of FROZEN) on how Marc’s designs and characters
    influenced what they do today.
  • (HD) DisneyAnimation: ARTISTS IN MOTION (Extended Edition) –
    Join Walt Disney Animation Visual Development artist Brittney Lee as she goes
    through the process of creating a three dimensional sculpture of Maleficent,
    completely out of paper. In this extended edition, go deeper into Britney’s process.

  • (HD) Never Before Seen Deleted Scenes:
    1. The Fair (With Deleted Character – The Vulture) – In this version of the story, the
      fairies do not take the Princess to live with them in the forest. Convinced that King
      Stefan's order to burn all the spinning wheels in the kingdom will not
      prevent Maleficent's curse, the good fairies put a magic circle around the castle and
      cast a spell: "No evil thing that walks or flies or creeps or crawls can ever pass these
      castle walls."
    2. The Curse is Fulfilled - The three good fairies have just returned Aurora to the
      castle and give her a crown. They leave the room to give Aurora some time
      alone…but Maleficent pays her a visit.
    3. Arrival Of Maleficent (Alternate Scene) – Maleficent arrives uninvited to the
      christening of the Princess Aurora.
  • BEAUTY-OKE “Once Upon A Dream” - Sing along to this kinetic text video of
    Aurora’s signature song.
  • Classic DVD Bonus Features Include:
    1. (HD) The Sound Of Beauty: Restoring A Classic - This featurette covers the
      creation of the 7.1 mix of the score of Sleeping Beauty that was done for Blu-ray,
      using the source tapes from the original recording sessions resulting in an audio
      experience of superior quality with greater detail and fidelity that you have ever
      heard before.
    2. (HD) Picture Perfect: The Making Of Sleeping Beauty - Discover the behind
      the-scenes magic that transformed a beloved fairy tale into a cinematic work of art.
      Legendary Animators, actors and film historians reveal the secrets behind Disney’s
    3. (HD) Eyvind Earle: A Man And His Art - Early in his career, renowned
      American Artist Eyvind Earle worked as a background painter at the Walt Disney
      Studio. Walt Disney liked his work so much that he entrusted him with the
      assignment to be the Art Director for Sleeping Beauty. This was the first time that one
      artist was given the responsibility for the entire look on one of Disney’s animated
      features. This piece follows Earle’s development as an artist and his years at the
    4. Audio Commentary by John Lasseter, Andreas Deja and Leonard Maltin
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Sleeping Beauty is among the beloved of the Disney Classic animated feature films. Seeing it again after so many years brought back fond childhood memories. Kudos to Disney for their fervent commitment to releasing their classic family films looking and sounding their best in high definition. Included here are complimentary bonus materials comprised of exclusive/new Blu-ray and legacy features that present fans with a way to take a peek behind the curtain to learn some interesting background on the film. For those of you that already own the 2008 Platinum Blu-ray release there probably isn’t anything contained here that will inspire another purchase. For those that don’t own Sleeping Beauty in high definition this Blu-ray release is worthwhile and sure to make for a welcomed addition to your Disney Collection.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-02-2014, 09:20 AM
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As with all Diamond Edition Disney Blu rays they are beauty's on Blu ray. I have yet to see a Disney Blu ray that look's bad or just ok. Sleeping Beauty is just another Blu ray release that is a Diamond from Disney. Great review!
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-02-2014, 09:35 AM
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It's finally here! I have been waiting a very long time for this release. Now I can sit back and enjoy my preferred version of Maleficent with some stunning new clarity.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-02-2014, 09:51 AM
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Ralph Potts: "On several occasions I found myself marveling at just how good this 55 year old animated feature looked."

I know exactly what you mean. I am a sucker for the Disney classics, and to see them presented in such splendor after so many years makes me appreciate them even more.
If I understand correctly, Disney scans at an enormous resolution during the restorative process, essentially guaranteeing an easy UHD re-release in the years to come. Not sure how much better these animated classics can get, but regardless, I will be anxious to upgrade my entire collection once again.
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-02-2014, 11:54 AM
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I'm excited for this...glad they're re-releasing it since I missed the boat on the original BD release.
Now the real question is....where the f*ck is Aladdin?!

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post #6 of 9 Old 10-02-2014, 12:28 PM
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"For the 2008 Platinum Blu-ray release this film underwent a restorative process and this appears to be the same encoding which yields the same impressive results."

If the audio and picture quality are the same as in the Blu-Ray release from 2008 (excellent, btw), then the only improvements (if any) must be the extras.
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-04-2014, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post
Now the real question is....where the f*ck is Aladdin?!
Who knows, but it's been available in the UK for a very long time now and I imported it last year and it's a very good transfer that wont disappoint.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-05-2014, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ls1115 View Post
"For the 2008 Platinum Blu-ray release this film underwent a restorative process and this appears to be the same encoding which yields the same impressive results."

If the audio and picture quality are the same as in the Blu-Ray release from 2008 (excellent, btw), then the only improvements (if any) must be the extras.
Yeah, what is different? I have the 2008 release (had to look through my collection to be sure). Is there anything that would convince me to re-buy this?
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-06-2014, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DblHelix View Post
Yeah, what is different? I have the 2008 release (had to look through my collection to be sure). Is there anything that would convince me to re-buy this?

From what I'm gathering, the only thing that's new here is the deleted scenes, which are of the "storyboards with dialog" variety.

The review at Hi Def Digest indicates that many special features have been dropped. Very frustratingly, the reviewer doesn't seem to have or have ever seen the prior Platinum release, and it doesn't even comment on whether the transfer might be any different. So far I only have Ralph's review to go by then, and he thinks the transfer is the same.
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