WATCH: Disney's Dark Arts Exposed in Little-Seen Sweatbox

The stirring 2009 documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty took us behind the scenes at Disney Animation to reveal what it's like when good things happen to good people. But before that, there was The Sweatbox, the 2002 doc that exposed how bad things happen to good people at the notoriously demanding studio — a revelation that virtually ensured the film would never see the light of day. The crackdown worked once and may yet work in the future, but for now, YouTube has all 95 unfinished minutes available for a rare look.

John-Paul Davidson and Trudie Styler were granted full access to the Disney process — the dark-arts cauldron comprising writers, directors, animators and executives — as it applied to the doomed project Kingdom of the Sun. The results featured below aren't especially flattering (particularly to the executives), and Styler's husband Sting walks his customary line between introspective and pretentious, but as a cautionary tale of snuffed-out Hollywood idealism alone, this one's worth viewing. What the hell else are you doing with your Friday?

[via /film]

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  • Patrick Hallstein / McEvoy-Halston says:

    Well Hunger Games, actually. Still, since this looks like truly non-permissable revolt vs. the actually very permissable!, it fits my concerns for the day, and will get a respectful watch. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • Patrick Hallstein / McEvoy-Halston says:

    It's interesting to hear the film-makers describe the ultimate sure usefulness of having your fully formed work torn apart, pretty much immediately after hearing Sting implacably resist the wisdom of overseers' "corrections." This may have worked with Lion King and the others mentioned, but here it fulfills the more common sense expectation that it would kill spontaneous response and enthusiasm, leaving only work and effort and resentment. Having seen this, I would like to see what was originally screened. Hopefully that's possible; get some Hugo-style redemption.

  • clip says:

    It's gone.
    This doc was a wrong place (for them) right place (for the audience) situation.
    This seemed to be some Disney Mayan epic, very serious. Then the soulless suits ruined it.
    The scraps became 'The Duke's New Groove' ...or whatever they called it.