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Rewind: Treasures from the Disney vault

Howard Ashman excoriates directors Kirk Wise and Gary

Howard Ashman excoriates directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale during a tough story meeting on "Beauty and the Beast," as drawn by Kirk Wise from "Waking Sleeping Beauty" Credit: Handout

While new Disney animated movies — especially Pixar productions — are must-see films for this writer, I was almost more excited for the House of the Mouse’s new documentaries. And they were fantastic.

• ‘Waking Sleeping Beauty’: This looks at the revitalization of Disney animation from the 1980s, where it was floundering, to being a juggernaut that produced a string of hits such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid.” Keep an eye out for youthful appearances by John Lasseter, now the head of Pixar, and director Tim Burton. (DVD, $29.99)

• ‘Walt & El Grupo’: In the midst of an animators’ strike in 1941, Walt Disney grabbed some of his employees and took a tour of South America, which is captured on this fascinating film. (DVD, $29.99)

• ‘The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story’: You know all those classic Disney songs that get stuck in your head? I’m just going to write the song title “A Spoonful of Sugar” and now it’ll be in your head for six weeks. This doc captures the tempestuous relationship between these musical brothers who wrote them. (DVD, $29.99)

‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’
“Sorcerer’s Apprentice” was a few elements away from being a really fun movie, but what we got was still a decent way to pass the time, with another insane Nic Cage performance and the underrated comedy stylings of Jay Baruchel (“Tropic Thunder”). (DVD, $29.99; Blu-ray & DVD combo, $44.99)

‘Fantasia & Fantasia 2000’
Two great films in one awesome collection. Disney’s amalgam of music and visuals is astonishing. This also includes the animated short “Destino,” based on a collaboration between Walt and Salvador Dali. (DVD, $39.99; Blu-ray & DVD combo, $45.99)

‘Marvel Knights: Iron Man — Extremis’
“Iron Man” fans should check out this motion comic based on the work of writer Warren Ellis and artist Adi Granov, who designed all the suits in the “Iron Man” film. (DVD, $14.97)

‘Going the Distance’
This rom-com works solely on the charisma of its two leads, Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, who play a couple in a long-distance relationship. And Charlie Day, of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is absurdly funny (as usual). (DVD, $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99)

‘Knight and Day’
Remember when a Tom Cruise movie was a big deal? The last blockbuster he starred in was “Mission: Impossible III. In 2006. Four years ago. (DVD, $29.98; Two-disc edition, $34.99 Blu-ray, $39.99)

‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’
We’re another “Twilight” movie closer to this franchise ending. Hooray! (DVD, $26.99; Blu-ray, $32.99)

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