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Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Approved  |   |  Animation, Family, Fantasy  |  6 February 1959 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 91,418 users  
Reviews: 150 user | 89 critic

After being snubbed by the royal family, a malevolent fairy places a curse on a princess which only a prince can break, along with the help of three good fairies.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Mary Costa ...
Princess Aurora (voice)
Bill Shirley ...
Prince Phillip (voice)
Maleficent (voice)
Flora (voice)
Barbara Luddy ...
Merryweather (voice)
Barbara Jo Allen ...
Fauna (voice)
Taylor Holmes ...
Stefan (voice)
Bill Thompson ...
Hubert (voice)


Adaptation of the fairy tale of the same name. Princess Aurora is cursed by the evil witch Maleficent - who declares that before the sun sets on Aurora's 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 <quetzal@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Awaken to a World of Wonders! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

6 February 1959 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

La bella durmiente  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$51,600,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Live actors in costume served as models for the animators. The role of Prince Phillip was modeled by Ed Kemmer, who had played Commander Buzz Corry on television's Space Patrol (1950) five years before Sleeping Beauty (1959) was released. For the final battle sequence Kemmer was photographed on a wooden buck. All the live actors' performances were later screened for the animators' reference. Among the actresses who performed in reference footage for this film included Frances Bavier, Spring Byington', and 'Madge Blake', the latter two of whom did some live action doubling as the fairies. The voice artists were not chosen to do so for the fairies because they weren't pudgy enough, though Merryweather's face does bear some resemblance to 'Barbara Luddy' )qv)'s. See more »


After King Hubert attacks King Stefan with a fish, he sheaths the fish in his belt. In the next shot of King Hubert, seconds later, the fish has vanished. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: 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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits say Technirama, but not Super Technirama 70, which is the process it was filmed in. See more »


Referenced in Looking: Looking for Gordon Freeman (2015) See more »


The Skumps Song
(1958) (uncredited)
Music by George Bruns
Lyrics by Tom Adair and Erdman Penner
Performed by Taylor Holmes and Bill Thompson
See more »

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User Reviews

I have a theory about this movie...
5 September 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

...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.

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