Adaptation of the fairy tale of the same name. Princess Aurora is cursed by the evil witch Maleficent - who declares that before Aurora reaches her 16th birthday she will die by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning-wheel. To try to prevent this, the king places her into hiding, in the care of three good-natured - but not too bright - fairies. Written by
Tim Pickett <email@example.com>
Famed Warner Bros. animation director Chuck Jones worked on the film briefly when Termite Terrace closed temporarily during the late 1950s. He found the atmosphere at Walt Disney Productions oppressive because everything anyone did there had to be approved by Walt Disney before, during, and after the process of production. He was more than happy when Warner's animation department reopened, where he stayed until it closed again in 1964. See more »
The tiara given to Aurora by the three fairies has no jewels, but later on, when Maleficent shows the fallen figure of Aurora to the fairies, the tiara has rubies in it. See more »
In a faraway land, long ago, there lived a King and his fair Queen. Many years they had longed for a child, and finally their wish was granted. A daughter was born, and they called her Aurora. Yes, they named her after the dawn, for she filled their lives with sunshine. Then a great holiday was proclaimed throughout the land, so that all of high or low estate could pay homage to the infant Princess. And our story begins on that most joyful day...
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The opening credits say Technirama, but not Super Technirama 70, which is the process it was filmed in. See more »
In its scale, beauty, and dramatic power, Sleeping Beauty stands as (I think at least) the pinnacle of Disney's animated features. While in terms of cultural significance, it holds a second tiara to Snow White and Fantasia, it is set apart by its richly detailed, groundbreaking expressionistic design. The Disney animators had decidedly moved away from the European storybook feel of its 30's and 40's triumphs with Alice in Wonderland (1951) and Lady and the Tramp (1955), yet it was Sleeping Beauty that was the most radical departure. With its $6 million budget, the film has an epic sweep and scope never before achieved in animation. From the crowds of celebrators in the beginning to the tremendous size of King Richard's throne room, it achieves a tremendous feel of space and depth pioneered by the multi-plane work in Snow White and Fantasia. The film shows many other applications of the lessoned learned from the great experiment of Fantasia, particularly the remarkable scene of the three fairies bestowing their gifts on the infant princess. The camera pans up and off into dreamy, surreal vignettes slightly reminiscent of Fantasia's "Toccata in Fugue" segment. Its one of animation's finest moments. Yet what surely is the most memorable element of this film in the eyes of many viewers is its villain, the Marc Davis creation, Maleficent. Voiced by longtime Disney staple Eleanor Audley, she is easily Disney's most overtly evil villain. Davis' brilliant streamlined design exudes of an infernal elegance (complete with demonic horns). She carries a royal nobility that only adds to her ambiguous, sinister nature as well as to her dramatic presence. She slanders and cackles and proclaims her evil decrees with such bile and disgust it's almost overwhelming. In the final conflict between Prince Phillip, she cries out in utter fury, "Now shall you deal with me, o prince, and all the powers of hell!" Lightning cracks, smoke gathers and Maleficent rises, now changed into a fire-breathing dragon. It is one of Disney's most daring moments and very well one of its finest. Sleeping Beauty is a masterpiece, a tremendous artistic triumph from one of Hollywood's most successful and prolific studios. Its artistry, dramatic power, and compelling performances stand it along side the great American films of the decade, which is a fact not stated often enough.
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