This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
A-LISTS dvd by bill biss

Waking Sleeping Beauty Patrick Pacheco

AN INTERVIEW WITH WRITER, Exploring the creative synergy, talent and business savvy of Walt Disney

Studios, the documentary; aptly titled Waking Sleeping Beauty takes an in-depth look at the years between 1980 and 1994. Patrick Pacheco who wrote the overseeing commentary spoke with The Rage Monthly about this fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the workings of a major animation studio. An interesting aspect of Waking Sleeping Beauty is that the majority of the footage used is archival footage from that time period. Disney at that time was a studio rising from the ashes of poor success to create a stunning array of timeless classics such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. Pacheco goes a bit deeper in the documentary’s use of archival footage and says, “All

the footage is archival and some of the sound that goes with that footage is archival, but all the interviews are contemporary. So, when you see those bubbles pop up on the screen, those were all my contemporary interviews.” For the major players at Disney such as Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg to provide new interviews for the docu- mentary is amazing. Pacheco elaborates, “That’s exactly right. Nobody wanted this film made. Jeffrey didn’t want it made. Michael didn’t want it made. Roy [Disney] was always philosophical about it. Yet, Roy was philosophical about everything. He was like ‘Sure. Why not? What the hell.’ But…Dick Cook who was then the chairman of the studio at the time gave the green light finally to Peter [Schneider, the producer of Waking Sleep- ing Beauty]. Peter had been trying to make this film for 10 years. Slowly, Peter and Don [Hahn, co-producer] reeled in their cooperation of the various players. Katzenberg was agreeable but reticent. Michael was the most coy of all.” Throughout the course of this time period, it becomes evident when watching Wak- ing Sleeping Beauty that Jeffrey Katzenberg was not that well-liked by his employees. Katzenberg took over the animation department almost at the beginning of his tenure

at the studio. Pacheco adds, “No. All these people were sharks. You don’t get to their level of where they are in this business without being able to at least swim with sharks. I think Katzenberg was respected because he was down in the trenches with the guys. He’s this workaholic who was toe-to-toe with these guys, so they grew to respect him. As somebody said in the film, ‘you never knew if he was going to hug you or kick you.’” When Patrick Pacheco was given this writing assignment for Waking Sleeping Beauty,

he was told to make the film emotional and dramatic. One striking part of the film is the creative and artistic vision of lyrical composer Howard Ashman. Pacheco explains, “He was a terrific character. Not only because he was so central to the success of the animation department…the reinvention of it because he brought this musical theatre knowledge. But, also because his death is so poignant [Ashman died of AIDS during production of Beauty and The Beast and Aladdin], it always is when an artist never lived to see their vision fulfilled. I knew Howard would be the heart of the documentary.” It would seem overwhelming to some to pack ten year’s of Disney history into an 86-minute documentary. Pacheco shares a bit of his thought process on doing so. “The three-act structure [of Waking Sleeping Beauty] came very early on ie: that the first part would be ‘The Island of Lost Boys,’ it really was about these artists who were on the verge of disappearing. The second part would be ‘The Boy Who Would be Peter Pan’ and that’s Howard Ashman. The third part of the film would be ‘The Men Who Would Be King,’ which are the three executives fighting for the throne for the crown of Walt Disney.”

Just released on DVD, November 30, Waking Sleeping Beauty is a thoroughly

entertaining and well-done documentary. As Patrick Pacheco eloquently states, “From 1984 to 1994, a perfect storm of people and circumstances changed the face of animation forever.”


RAGE monthly | DECEMBER 2010

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92