On this day in 1959, Disney's sixteenth animated feature Sleeping Beauty was released. It was the first animated feature to be shot in Super Technirama 70 (a large format wide-screen process).
Adapted from Charles Perrault's classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, it was directed by Les Clark, Eric Larson, and Wolfgang Reitherman - under the supervision of Clyde Geronimi.
Sleeping Beauty spent almost the entire decade of the 1950s in production with story work beginning in 1951. The voices were recorded in 1952 and a year later animation production began. The music was recorded in 1957 with total production finally ending in 1958.
Since the film was being made while Walt was building Disneyland, Imagineers declared the Anaheim park's castle Sleeping Beauty's (to help promote the feature).
Unfortunately during its original release, Sleeping Beauty returned only half the invested sum of $6,000,000 - nearly bankrupting the studio! It was criticized for being slow paced and having little character development.
Due to subsequent theater and home video releases, the film has more than made its money back and today is hailed as one of the best animated features ever made.
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