When I was a little girl, Sleeping Beauty was my all time favorite Disney film. I was so in love with this story, it's crazy how many times I wore out the VHS. But growing up, I lost touch with the story, but I recently bought the DVD and re-watched the film and you know what? I'm still in love with this movie. I really miss these old Disney movies where the animation was so bright and beautiful, the characters were so lovable, and the story was so magical. I'm not bashing Disney films from today, just I'm sure we could all relate on this subject where the older Disney films just had a certain charm about it. Sleeping Beauty is just a timeless story and has so much wonderful romance, I guess since I'm a girl, I just couldn't help but still be in love with this beautiful story.Princess Aurora is born and is the future queen of her land, three fairy's, Flora, Merryweather, and Fauna bless her with three gifts: beauty and song, right as Merryweather is about to bless Aurora, the evil witch, Maleficent, comes in and curses Aurora that she shall touch a spinning wheel by her 16th birthday and die! Merryweather changes it to where she won't die, but sleep and could only be woke up by the kiss of true love. The fairy's wish to keep this from happening still, so they take Aurora and raise her as their own. One day Aurora on her 16th birthday goes out in the forest and meets the charming and handsome Prince Phillipe, but she doesn't know he's a prince and she doesn't know he's fhe man she's actually betrothed too. She is told by the fairy's that she can never see him again and that she's a princess; later that night the curse happens! Now the fairy's need Phillipe to save Aurora before it's too late.Everything about Sleeping Beauty is just a perfect Disney film and I can't wait until to show this to my future kids one day. I know that their generation is going to have just the CGI animation, so it's good that at least we still have these films, they're treasures. The voices, the animation, the story, Sleeping Beauty is the most romantic fairy tale that anyone could easily fall in love with. If you are a Disney fan, this is a must see, it's a great family film or if you're just a film buff in general, I'm a grown up and I still tear up when I watch Sleeping Beauty.10/10
"Sleeping Beauty" was envisioned by the great Walt Disney as his masterpiece--the feature-length cartoon par excellence. And, in many ways, it is. The then-record budget (six million dollars) was the largest ever for an animated motion picture. The widescreen Technirama 70 process had never been used for an animated feature. The six-track magnetic stereo sound was a step upward from the "Fantasound" system employed in "Fantasia" (1940). Also new and trend-setting was the style of the animation--a more realistic, geometric design which, surprisingly left many critics and audiences cold. The extra expense needed to showcase the widescreen film properly, together with the lukewarm reviews, prevented "Sleeping Beauty" from turning a profit at the box office when it was released (with much fanfare) in 1959. But time has been kind to the film, subsequent reissues have finally put it in the profit margin, and both viewers and critics are appreciating it for the beautiful fantasy it has always been. However, like it's predecessor "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) which was Disney's first fairy tale, as well as his first full-length film, this screen adaptation of "Sleeping Beauty" strays from it's origins. While the Charles Perrault version of the tale is given as the source, there are new variations. The original story is as follows: When a baby girl is born to a King and Queen, they invite seven (or, in the Grimm version, twelve) Fairies to the christening. Uninvited is an evil fairy, who shows up anyway, and curses the child with death on her 16th birthday. Although a good fairy is able to alter the spell, the princess is doomed to sleep (along with the court) for 100 years. Despite the precautions taken, the curse is fulfilled (accidentally, in most versions of the story) and the princess does indeed sleep for a century, after which a prince awakens her. Understandably, Disney's telling departs from Perrault here as well, because in Perrault's version, the King and Queen are the sole members of the court who do not succumb to the sleeping spell, and, eventually die of old age. The Disney version of the tale whittles the number of good fairies down to three, giving them the appearance and personalities of elderly women. Meanwhile, the evil fairy, dubbed Maleficent, is a cold, flamboyant villainess who, for better or worse, overshadows everyone else in the film (but then, the villain always does). Disney's retelling also dispenses with the Heroine's 100 year sleep which lasts merely one night. There is much emphasis put on the three fairies who secretly, in the guise of peasants, raise the baby princess Aurora, (whom they dub "Briar Rose" interestingly, the name given the Princess in the Grimm retelling) and, unwittingly make it possible for Maleficent to execute her curse. Also new, is the introduction at the beginning of the film of Prince Phillip, who is immediately betrothed to Aurora. The climatic battle he has with the evil fairy, here transformed into a dragon, has become one of the most memorable parts of the film, though it was purely the scriptwriter's invention. In the end, however, it is best to appreciate the film as a stand-alone creation, rather than a faithful adaptation of a classic story. Indeed, as some latter-day critics have pointed out, "Sleeping Beauty" has been embraced by the young and old audiences who find in it many of the same sword and sorcery elements in films like "Le
I grew up in the Disney era where "Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and "The Lion King" reigned supreme among me and my elementary school pals (and to this day, if you ask one of my peers what their favorite Disney movie is, it's probably one of those or one of the Disney-Pixar creations). But one Disney film has always remained my utter favorite and that is, indeed, "Sleeping Beauty."Like most children, I grew up watching Disney movies -- everything from animated films like "Snow White" to "Lady and the Tramp," the semi-animated like "Mary Poppins" and "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," and the non-animated such as "The Parent Trap" and "Old Yeller." But "Sleeping Beauty" remains my favorite animated movie and you'd better believe at seventeen years of age, I'm still watching it. I cannot believe how the animation has been knocked in some reviews -- it's beautiful! They captured the medieval period so well and even the people look like, well, people. The score is beautiful and the songs "I Wonder" and "Once Upon a Dream" are sung wonderfully by Mary Costa. What a voice! Aurora is by far one of the prettiest Disney princesses (one thing that initially drew me to the movie as a child), following the formula with those trademark doe-eyes that Disney bestows upon all of their princesses and heroines. Prince Phillip actually does more than just show up to sing a song and say one line, a welcome change that answers the age old question, "What does she see in him anyway?" The three fairies are delightful (I always wanted to be Fauna!) and funny. And of course, there's the quintessential villain -- Maleficent. She scared me when I was younger and when I view the film now, no wonder. (For the longest time, I was also scared of Eleanor Audley period, but she's truly a marvelous actress.) And when Phillip kills her -- yeah, you'd better believe that's some scary business. The story is beautiful and funny, the animation is divine, the music ethereal, and the voice talents extraordinary. This is a personal favorite and it comes highly recommended!
...which is that it may have been designed more for an adult audience than a children's. At any rate it was way ahead of its time in 1959. "Sleeping Beauty" was one of the movies I watched as a child, and its grandness overwhelmed me even at the age of ten. I couldn't be happier to see it finally in the DVD format. But watch closely; you'll notice many subtle, sophisticated things which other viewers have touched on in earlier reviews. The animation is almost surreal-- so incredibly lifelike that it abandons its cute, 'Disneyesque' pretensions from previous fairy tales. There are no talking mice, dogs or cats anywhere to be seen. Here the animals are silent, as animals are supposed to be. (I love the sequence with the forest animals as they are awakened by the singing of the barefoot princess and join up with her, like multiple chaperons, in harmonious whistles.) Even the fairy godmothers- who may initially appear as sugary stereotypes- spend so much time bickering (well, two of them do anyway) that you get to identify them as thoroughly fleshed out personalities. The adaptation of the original Perrault fairy tale is also impressive. An ingenious move was to have the prince and princess meet in the forest *first* and fall in love- unaware that they are already engaged to be married. Someone mentioned the chilling sequence which shows the princess, cloaked in an eerie green pallor, actually being lured to the fateful spinning wheel. So dark, so frightening- when was the last time you saw something like this in a Disney fairy tale? And then immediately afterwords is a cleansing sequence of unmatched beauty showing the fairies sailing through the sky like fireflies, magically dusting the rest of the castle to sleep. It is, of course, only matched by the film's finale which shows storm clouds, lightning, a forest of thorns, and a flame-spewing dragon-- all seamlessly bringing the story to a 75-minute conclusion. It stands, in my opinion, as Disney's masterpiece.
When 'Sleeping Beauty' was first released it was the target of critical villification--perhaps because of the more stylized art work. The art work is actually a leap forward from 'Snow White' and the earlier classics. It took me awhile to get used to the new technique when I first viewed the film--but now I recognize how effectively it manages to convey the "feel" of a genuine fairy-tale. A nice discussion of the art work is featured in 'The Making of Sleeping Beauty' which accompanies the latest VHS release of the film. Aside from the richly textured backgrounds and brilliant animation, 'Beauty' is blessed with the rapturous singing voice of Mary Costa's light soprano doing full justice to the ballad, 'Once Upon A Dream'. The idea of using Tchaikovsky's 'Sleeping Beauty' music for the background score and songs was an excellent decision. This is a film that can be enjoyed on so many different levels--music, animation, story, art work--it ranks with the very best of the classic fairy-tales from Disney. And yes, Maleficent, in all of her wicked glory, makes the most impressive fire-breathing dragon you're ever likely to see!
Simplest possible explanation of what cements Sleeping Beauty's place as an immortal classic: Maleficent.Sleeping Beauty was never one of my favorite Disney movies, my parents having lost the tape really early. Since maybe ten years I haven't seen the movie, but now, after seeing it again, I have to admit, it's a masterpiece. I don't understand why it was so berated on first release. Where the critics expecting Snow White? 'Cause this is no Snow White. It's much better.A long, long time ago, in a kingdom far, far away, King Stefan and the Queen have a daughter, Aurora, so-called because she brought sunshine to their lives. There is a great celebration, and the neighboring kingdom's Prince Phillip is betrothed to Aurora. The three Good Fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, are invited. Flora and Fauna bestow gifts of beauty and song upon Aurora. Before Merryweather can cast her spell, the uninvited Maleficent--the Mistress of All Evil--arrives, furious at not being invited. She curses Aurora, predicting that at the age of sixteen the princess will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning-wheel and die. Merryweather counteracts this by making Aurora go into a deep sleep were she ever to prick her finger, to be reawakened by true love's first kiss. To keep her safe, the fairies take her into the forest, no longer using magic, and calling Aurora Briar Rose. The princess knows nothing of her heritage, and meets no other humans, except for a man "Once Upon A Dream".One of the greatest things about the movie is the style. The contrast between characters and surroundings (except for Maleficent) is stark. The backgrounds and layouts are colorful, stylized, round and angular at the same time. The characters, however, aim for total realism, except for the minor ones, who are clearly cartoon characters. The animation is beautiful. The movements smooth, the artistry unbelievably high quality. If there was no other likable thing about the movie, the animation would go a long way to saving it.The story of Sleeping Beauty is, of course, set in stone. Despite everyone's complete familiarity with the fairy tale, the movie manages to enliven it and make it gripping, even though everyone has heard it a thousand times. A most definite improvement in the story is the scene in which Aurora pricks her finger. In the original the spinning-wheel was owned by an innocent old peasant, who just happened to own the last wheel in the land, unnoticed by the rest of the world. In the movie Maleficent hypnotizes Aurora, and commands her to prick her finger. In addition to the atmosphere of foreboding already present in the story, the movie adds genuine suspense, largely owing to the brilliant presence of the wicked fairy.The characterization is very different from other Disney movies in some ways, but very like others. Usually in Disney's princess movies, the princess herself is something of a cypher, a passive element. This is true for Sleeping Beauty (she has no control over the three basic actions in the movie). The prince usually has an even more minute part, although the story would be nothing without him. Not so this movie. Here Phillip is a much more active character, a hero who battles dragons and witches, who goes through all sorts of hazards. In Snow White all the unnamed prince does is show up and kiss our heroine, in Cinderella Charming risks nothing and is nothing but a prop. But the ultimate character is, of course, Maleficent. Supervised by Disney
This Disney cartoon feature has the familiar-princess-in-distress theme of a lovely girl, kind fairies, a handsome prince, forbidding castles and an evil witch. A perceived slight by a king and queen enrages a sorceress who casts an evil spell on the child that will take effect on her sixteenth birthday. Only her prince charming's kiss can save the girl from an unhappy fate and the frightening Maleficent stops at nothing to locate the princess in order to bring her prophecy to fruition. There are several pitched battles between the prince and the fairies against the forces of evil that accelerates into an exciting combat at the finish. The picture is bathed in beautiful color and the music of Tchaikowsky's ballet serves as a wonderful musical accompaniment.
Quick......what was "Sleeping Beauty's" name? Answer: Either "Princess Aurora" or "Rose," depending on where she was.Most of you probably know that but I didn't, probably because I hadn't watched this movie since it came out about a half century ago! I was a little kid, and never did see this again on TV or VHS. I only saw it again because several high-definition DVD websites said this looked spectacular on Blu-Ray.How right they were; this looks incredible! I cannot believe how fantastic the artwork is, and sharp the picture comes through on this restored high-def disc. The colors and the amount of details in all the art are astounding. Many of the scenes had my jaw dropping in admiration. The story, frankly, is not anything that great for a man my age but the visuals are so fantastic that I enjoyed the experience.I also appreciated the 2.55:1 widescreen picture. If you've only seen this on formatted-to-TV 4:3, and love the movie, you owe it to yourself to see this version. You won't believe how good this 1959 film looks.
"Sleeping Beauty" is definitely a classic among the Disney animated features. It bears the distinction of being the first to be shot in 70mm widescreen format. The score borrows much from Tchaikovsky's classic ballet based on the Brothers Grimm tale. The art is beautiful, being inspired by medieval art. And the characters are delightful, particularly the three Good Fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. Malificient makes for a wonderful villainess, with awesome magical powers. Even those who would not call this Disney's best animated feature should agree that it harkens back to the famed studio's golden age. It's a classic that all ages can treasure!
The 16th animated Disney classic is a fairy-tale but different from the other Disney classics because of its medieval artwork. It's not the fairy tale genre that makes this one of Disney's most distinguish Disney animated films, but its artwork. This artwork is stylish and obeys to high quality standards, not to mention that the sceneries and backgrounds are good in general.This is one of the Disney classics which took more time to be made and perhaps one of their most ambitious. In fact, maybe because of its medieval artwork, it spent about 6 or 7 years in production. This spent nearly the whole 1950 decade in production. A very long time, even for an animated film. Only "The Black Cauldron" took as much time as this to be made, but we can't compare "The Black Cauldron" to the undeniably superior "Sleeping Beauty".There is a curious fact that surrounds the movie's final scene (when Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora dance above the clouds): that "trick" was actually tried in "Cinderella", but they only managed to do it successfully in "Sleeping Beauty".As a movie, generally speaking it is pretty good, happy, pleasant, magic, romantic, sometimes dramatic and emotional, while classic humor is not forgotten either (there are many funny moments, actually). On the other hand, this movie is also extremely dark in some parts, although it doesn't go as far as "The Black Cauldron" does when it comes to extreme darkness. Even if "Sleeping Beauty" has its dark side, it isn't much darker than what we see in many other Disney animated films.Maleficent is the kind of villain I can't find a correct word to describe: an evil queen? A queen of darkness? An evil fairy? A witch? A sorceress? Whatever she is, she looks sinister, yet she isn't that scary considering her appearance. She's nowhere near as scary and chilly as the Horned King from "The Black Cauldron". Eleanor Audley, with that powerful voice, does a spectacular job as Maleficent's voice.Aurora (aka "Briar Rose") is a gorgeous princess with an even more beautiful voice. She's also a wonderful singer. Mary Costa does beautifully her voice.Prince Phillip is one of the coolest and most charming Disney princes of all time. And one of the funniest too. His horse Samson is one of the coolest and funniest horses of all time. Prince Phillip is brilliantly voiced by Bill Shirley.The queen (Aurora's mother) appears very little during the whole movie (we only see her at the beginning and at the end). King Stephan is a great dude and King Hubert is quite a funny guy. An especially funny scene with them is when they are discussing about Phillip and Aurora and Hubert starts fighting with a fish as if it was a sword and they end up laughing of that. Both characters are greatly voiced by the respective actors.As for the 3 good fairies (Fauna, Flora and Merryweather), I'd say that my favorite is Merryweather. She is the funniest of the three. Also, I like the blue dress better than the pink one (although both colors fit well on the dress). But the blue is always prettier than the pink.The animals which Aurora meets in the forest are other charming characters. The funniest one is the owl. Speaking of animals, Maleficent's pet raven is an interesting character yet a bit annoying - what a snitch that thing is!As for the soundtrack, it is entirely beautiful but
Sleeping Beauty is one of the more uneven Disney classics. Meaning that while some of its elements are frankly speaking revolutionary, culture-changing even, it has some other elements that are not really that good, not by Disney standards or even objectively.First the good stuff. The animation is quite frankly among the best Disney has produced. Ever. The characters move with fluid grace, the colours defy believe and help the whole movie leap from the screen and the attention to detail is amazing. But it's the backgrounds which make this one of the, if not the best movie Disney has ever released. The designs are fantastically medieval, the amount of detail they have put into every frame is unbelievable and it's no wonder it took so long to produce and cost so much that it really had no realistic hope of making its money back. But it was worth it. This is animation art in its finest form. Every single frame worthy of being framed and hanged on the wall.And then there's Maleficent, the finest Disney villain since the original Evil Queen from Snow White, and the first one to truly eclipse her. And she's still amazing. Eleanor Audley really gives her a threatening presence with her voice alone. She can be quietly menacing when she needs to be, but when she's truly enraged, she also has the lungs to back it up. Plus the character design, the storyline, they're all enough to cement her as one of the great ones.Then the bad stuff. Aurora and Prince Phillip are awful. Their character designs are great, but they have no screen time to build chemistry, their romance is one of the quickest even by Disney standards, their storyline is not interesting and as a whole they're a dreadful bore.Luckily the three fairymothers are a lot of fun. They're not on Maleficent's level, but they hold the movie together admirably.Sleeping Beauty is one of the best Disney movies. It's not the best because quite frankly I can't stand the romantic couple in it, but aside from that, it holds a dear place in my heart.