The Sweatbox
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Author:  TheZue [ Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  The Sweatbox

Has anyone heard of it? Aparently it was an unflattering documentary of the making of Emperor's New Groove. Sounds like it would be interesting to watch.


I also found it interesting that Disney is thinking about selling Miramax; according to the NY times.

Author:  Kram Nebuer [ Tue Jun 08, 2004 5:42 pm ]
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Lol. At first I thought you meant the screening room Walt screened pieces of Snow White to his animators. I thought "What kind of discussion is that? :P " Anyhow...no, never heard of it, but I wonder what it would be about.

Author:  Maerj [ Tue Jun 08, 2004 6:27 pm ]
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Sting and his wife made it, since he was hired to do the soundtrack before they brought in Phil Collins. Sting couldn't adapt to the way films are made, so he didn't proceed with the music. I wouldn't mind seeing it myself.

Author:  yoda_four [ Tue Jun 08, 2004 7:09 pm ]
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Is Collins on ENG? I thought he only worked on Tarzan and BB. I've read about this at several places, mainly at Jim Hill Media, but it's quite interesting. I've read at DVD Toons that this could be a wonderful addition to the "holy trilogy of Disney" with Walt: The Man Behind the Myth, Ub Iwerks: The Hand Behind the Mouse, and Frank and Ollie. I would love to see this, but apparently it's only been seen by a handful of people and was screened once at 2001 (??)'s Toronto Film Festival. It's supposed to be burried just as if not further in the Vaults than "Song of the South". If I ever find a copy, I'll tell y'all. And if I find that Jim Hill column, I'll post back. Cool story, good to see "The Sweatbox" getting some real news attention.

Author:  Joe Carioca [ Tue Jun 08, 2004 7:13 pm ]
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Phil Collins on "The Emperor's New Groove"? I think you are confusing things, hehe.
But yeah, the movie was made by Sting's wife (there was a clause in the contract that said she should be allowed to film a documentary on the making of the film) and it showed all the troublesome process the movie went through during the production. We can see all the executives in the best of their stupidity, and the film also contains a few scenes and songs deleted from "Kingdom in the Sun" (the original version of TENG) that are not on the DVD.
So, it must be something pretty fascinating to watch. There were rumors of it being released on DVD (Disney allowed Sony to release it), but no official word about it yet. Let's hope we are able to see this preciosity someday!

Author:  yoda_four [ Tue Jun 08, 2004 7:20 pm ]
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FYI, unfortunately nothing about Kingdom of the Sun or the Sweatbox is included on any of the ENG DVDs to the best of my knowledge.

Author:  Joe Carioca [ Tue Jun 08, 2004 7:26 pm ]
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All we have about "Kingdom" on the TENG DVD is a little art gallery and a something-seconds introduction from the filmmakers on how to navigate through it.
What a shame a lot of great stuff was left to gather dust in the vaults... Maybe Disney was afraid to damage the image of the "all perfect company".

Author:  Maerj [ Tue Jun 08, 2004 8:56 pm ]
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Joe Carioca wrote:
Phil Collins on "The Emperor's New Groove"? I think you are confusing things, hehe.

Yeah, my bad! At least I know someone read my post tho, thanks!

Author:  AwallaceUNC [ Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:01 pm ]
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Why would Disney allow Sony to sell it? I mean, it's definitely not in the head honchos' best interest.


Author:  yoda_four [ Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:50 pm ]
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awallaceunc wrote:
Why would Disney allow Sony to sell it? I mean, it's definitely not in the head honchos' best interest.


Ya, that doesn't make much sense as the film itself is stilld irectly linked to Disney, yhus they wouldn't be able the escape the controversey.

I found that Jim Hill column. Here it is, good read:
In Search of "The Sweatbox"
Someone out there must know what became of Trudie Styler's documentary on the making of "The Emperor's New Groove." Has Disney actually buried this film in the vault, never to be seen again? Or will "The Sweatbox" eventually surface?

I just got this e-mail from someone deep inside Disney Toon Studios:

Jim -

I know a lot of Disneyana fans out there are already carping about "Bambi II." Complaining that this direct-to-video film is really just another unnecessary sequel. Well, wait 'til these folks get a look at "The Emperor's Newer Groove." It's the first film that Disney Toon studio has ever produced that actually makes fun of the fact that it's an unnecessary sequel.

As for a release date ... Look for this "Groove" follow-up to show up in stores sometime in late 2005 / early 2006.

Speaking of "Groove" related stuff ... Have you heard if Buena Vista Home Entertainment is ever going to release "The Sweatbox" on video and DVD? Man, I'd love to have a copy of that documentary in my Disney film library.

Manco ... er ... I meant "Kuzco"

You and me both, brother. You and me, both.

For those of you who don't know: "The Sweatbox" is this allegedly amazing documentary that Trudie Styler (AKA Mrs. Sting) made about the production of "The Emperor's New Groove." A film that the Walt Disney Company has been keeping under very tight wraps since Ms. Styler's movie first began making the rounds at the festival circuit back in 2002.

"Just how tight?" you ask. Well, let me tell you this story that someone at Pixar recently told me.

It seems that -- in mid-2002 -- the folks at Pixar Animation Studio wanted to hold a screening of "The Sweatbox" for all of the employees working at their Emeryville, CA. studio. So -- after a little negotiation -- Disney agreed to send a copy of the film up to Pixar ... provided that the print was always accompanied by a Disney studio representative.

And when I say "always," I mean "ALWAYS." The story that I hear is that "Monsters, Inc." director Peter Docter actually offered to take the print's guardian down to Café Luxo for a quick bite to eat. The Disney studio representative refused, allegedly saying: "If I ever let this copy of 'The Sweatbox' out of my sight, it could wind up costing me my job."

Was the print's guardian being overly paranoid? Not according to what I've heard. "The Sweatbox" supposedly puts Peter Schneider and Thomas Schumacher, the then-heads of Disney Feature Animation, in such a bad light that the Mouse was determined to do whatever it could to prevent additional copies of this documentary from circulating. Even if it meant sending out individual prints of "The Sweatbox" out accompanied by their very own bodyguards.

"What is it about 'The Sweatbox' that puts the management of Disney Feature Animation in such a bad light?" you query. Well -- because Trudie was the wife of the film's composer, Sting -- Ms. Styler was given amazing behind-the-scenes access. She (and her co-director John-Paul Davidson) turned on their cameras in 1997, just as development was first getting underway on "Kingdom of the Sun." More importantly, Trudie kept things in perspective -- and in focus -- when this production suddenly hit the rocks in mid-1999. Resulting in "Kingdom"'s original director -- Roger Allers -- leaving "Kingdom," and the entire film getting a top-to-bottom make-over from the project's new director, Mark Dindal.

From what I've heard from those who actually got to see "The Sweatbox" during its limited run at LA's Beverly Center Cineplex as well as the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2002, this film is actually puts a pretty positive spin on the whole creative process at Disney Feature Animation. Demonstrating how -- even when films unexpectedly go off the track -- the Mouse Factory still had the talent on hand to help set things right.

Or -- rather -- Disney USED TO have the talent on hand to repair run-away projects like "Kingdom of the Sun." Given all the staff cuts that have been made at Feature Animation over the past three years, one wonders if the Mouse would actually ever be able to pull off another one of these come-from-behind repair jobs again. Where troubled films like "Kingdom of the Sun" and "Sweating Bullets" are fixed on the fly ... eventually to become truly funny pieces of entertainment like "The Emperor's New Groove" and "Home on the Range."

But -- because "The Sweatbox" supposedly revealed a little too much confusion at WDFA's corporate level -- Disney studio execs supposedly arranged for Styler and Davidson's documentary to be stashed away deep in the Mouse House vault. Never to be seen again.

Which is a real shame. Particularly now that Disney seems to be determined to leave traditional animation behind forever. So that WDFA can finally be competitive with strictly CG operations like Pixar and Blue Sky.

So -- when you think about "The Sweatbox" that-a-way -- Styler and Davidson's documentary isn't just a record of how one film suddenly went wrong during its production. It's actually a film that captures the end of an era. Back when Disney Feature Animation was still at the height of its powers. Before the continuing staff cuts and this division's continuing morale problems brought the "Second Golden Age of Disney Feature Animation" to an abrupt close.

That's why I -- and many other Disney animation history fans -- view "The Sweatbox" as a very important documentary. And that's why we continue to push Disney management, trying to persuade the nice folks at Buena Vista Home Entertainment to make Styler and Davidson's documentary available for sale on home video and DVD.

To date, our pleas have fallen on deaf Mouse-shaped ears. Disney management is still supposedly so embarrassed by what "The Sweatbox" reveals that they're determined to keep this film locked in the vault forever. And (to my knowledge, anyway) no bootleg version of Styler and Davidson's documentary has ever emerged.

Which -- given the security that Disney supposedly sent along to Pixar when "The Sweatbox" was to have been screened in Emeryville -- I guess we can understand why no dupes of the film have ever surfaced on the collector's market. To date.

Well, here's hoping that the management at the Walt Disney Company eventually loosens up. And that -- someday soon -- a video and DVD version of Styler and Davidson's documentary eventually becomes available for sale. So that -- for once and for all -- we can all find out what exactly it is about "The Sweatbox" that makes WDFA management sweat so much.

Author:  AwallaceUNC [ Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:40 am ]
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Well I honestly don't see it ever being released, and the effort seems a little futile to me. Then again, I'm shocked that Disney even sent it out to Pixar for a screening, even with bodyguards. Why let anyone see it? Sounds a little weird to me.


Author:  gaysnappercarr [ Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:16 am ]
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Since Victory Through Air Power hadn't been seen in roughly 60 years from it's original airing, does that mean that The Sweatbox will be seen in 2063 as part of Wave 60* of the Treasuries?

*I figure that there will be a few more delayed editions, and skipped years :roll:

Author:  toonaspie [ Thu Jun 10, 2004 5:49 pm ]
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It looks as though the odds of 'The Sweatbox' being on DVD is just as bad as for 'Song of the South'

Author:  AwallaceUNC [ Fri Jun 11, 2004 11:17 am ]
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I'd say worse. I'm really starting to think that SOTS will finally be coming to DVD in the near future.


Author:  reyquila [ Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:33 pm ]
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Is there anyplace to download or buy a copy of it? I'm dying to watch it!!

Author:  Escapay [ Sun Nov 26, 2006 12:01 am ]
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Hmm. Odd thread bump.

Chances of seeing The Sweatbox released on DVD are just as likely as that for Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse , Wreckage and Rape: The Making of Alien3 and Ed Marsh's original 2-hour documentary about the making of James Cameron's Titanic (Cameron opted not to include it in the DVD set).


Author:  reyquila [ Sun Nov 26, 2006 12:10 am ]
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For some time I've trying to download a copy of this documentary, via Limewire, a bittorret any possible way. I'm just trying to know if someone has info on this!

Author:  Big Disney Fan [ Sun Nov 26, 2006 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Sweatbox

TheZue wrote:
Has anyone heard of it? Aparently it was an unflattering documentary of the making of Emperor's New Groove. Sounds like it would be interesting to watch.


I also found it interesting that Disney is thinking about selling Miramax; according to the NY times.

I always thought that the Sweatbox was the nickname for the animation area of the studios during its early Hyperion Ave. years, before it moved to its new air-conditioned quarters in Burbank in 1939.

Author:  ultimatefilmfan [ Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:14 pm ]
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With Disney releasing some interestng documentaries that don't always paint the studio in a perfect light (Waking Sleeping Beauty anyone), what do you think the odds of "The Sweatbox" finally making it on DVD or Blu-ray are?

Perhaps a future "Emperors New Groove" blu-ray release? We've gotten "The Pixar Story", Disney & Dali: A Date with Destino" and "The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story" as bonuses on other releases. Why not "The Sweatbox"?

Any luck finding a copy anywhere Reyquila?


Author:  Khonnor [ Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:32 am ]
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Escapay wrote:
Hmm. Odd thread bump.

Wreckage and Rape: The Making of Alien3

Well, that's one I know has been released by now, just recently. So, hopes are up again...haha

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