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Walt Disney’s Animated Masterpiece Sleeping Beauty 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition has been remasterd and re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray. Each frame of the original fairy-tale classic has been painstakingly recreated to Walt’s original specs. That means you’ll get to see the movie in a way hidden from audiences since the original theatrical release.

On the plus side this means that you get to see characters and detail that were previously cut from the widescreen version of the film. On the bad side, that means that the letterboxing is extreme. So unless you have a fairly good sized TV, you’ll be squinting a bit to take it all in.

Also updated were the rich color palette of the original film. We’ve all grown used to a somewhat dulled version with deep blues and greens. But the remastered version reveals purples, reds, bright greens, and other amazing colors that add a whole new depth to the film. I do have to big complaints in this area however. The greens tend to be a little on the puke green side and the pinks now tend to be more red. This is particularly bad in the famous pink or blue dress fight.

That said, the small errors are mostly overwhelmed by how rich and detailed this restoration is. To see the master animators at work, the detail of the backgrounds, and the hear the masterful soundtrack in a whole new level of high definition makes all the difference.

Even if you already own Sleeping Beauty, which we did, there are plenty of new extras that make this worth adding to your collection. My number one favorite is the featurette on the Original Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Walk-Through Attraction With Walt Disney Imagineering. It’s a fully-immersive 3-D experience recreating the original Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-Through that Walt supervised over 50 years ago.

Do yourself a favor and buy the Blu-Ray edition even if you don’t own a Blu-Ray player yet. It comes with the normal DVD and you never know when you might own a Blu-Ray player.

The full DVD details are below the cut:

As John posted last week, Disney is showing Sleeping Beauty in a limited engagement at their El Capitan Theater in downtown Hollywood. It’s showing for the next three weeks while we wait for the 50th Anniversary DVD and Blu-Ray release to come out in October.

Thursday night was the first showing of the film in this theater. It was preceded by a panel discussion on the film. And I was lucky enough to get to go.

Even though I live about 40 minutes away, this was my first time to the El Capitan Theater. It’s just easiest to go to a local one. But I was quite impressed with it. This is an old time, one screen affair with a balcony. I just had to sit in the upper section. I got there early and got to hear an organist playing Disney songs until the evening’s program actually got started. That was lots of fun.

Up first was the panel. It was hosted by Don Hahn, the producer of such big hits as Beauty and the Beast (my favorite movie ever) and The Lion King. I think he was as pleased to be there as the rest of us were.

There were five people on the panel itself. Blaine Gibson and Frank Armitage actually worked on the film as animators. Bob Thomas wrote his first book on Disney animation during the period they were working on the film. Tony Baxter is currently an imagineer with Disney. Finally, Princess Aurora herself was there in the form of Mary Costa. Each member of the panel got a few minutes to talk about some aspect of the film.

“Sleeping Beauty,” one of the most spectacular, stylish, and unique films in the history of Disney animation, has undergone a total digital restoration of its picture and soundtrack in advance of the October 7th release of its 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition on Blu-ray Hi-Def and DVD, and will have an exclusive digital wide-screen engagement at Hollywood’s legendary El Capitan Theatre from August 29th through September 18th.

Lucky audience members will experience a brand new state-of-the-art restoration that was created using high resolution digital scans of the original 50-year old Technirama 70 negative (over 7.5 miles long), and hear a new special 7.1 stereo mix made from the original multi-channel stereo music masters recorded in 1958.  This special engagement of “Sleeping Beauty” will play from August 29th through September 18th.

Daily showtimes are 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9:15 p.m.

To help celebrate the film’s new restoration and the 50th Anniversary Blu-ray DVD release, a special opening night gala event will take place on Thursday, August 28th at 7:00 p.m. These are always a pleasure to attend, so if you’re in the LA area on the 28th, you should get your tickets asap.

See the full Press Release below the cut: