Dame Diana Rigg (TV's "The Avengers"), Billy Barty ("Willow") and Sarah Patterson ("The Company of Wolves") as Snow White star in this feature-length, live-action, musical version of the classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.
A musical version of the classic story about a miller's daughter who recieves help from a mischievous dwarf, then ends up over her head. Now, she and a mute servant girl may be the only ... See full summary »
Based on the fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm. Hansel and Gretel are trapped in the deceptively decorated house of the witch Griselda who wishes to fatten Hansel so that he may be baked ... See full summary »
A cat belonging to a poor miller's son thinks up a great plan for bringing a title, wealth, and marriage for his owner. He begins to carry it out, using a few birds and rabbits as gifts for... See full summary »
The King and Queen plan an opulent feast to celebrate the birth of their long-awaited child, Dornröschen. They invite not only the members of the court, but also the fairies, so that they ... See full summary »
An elf gives a queen a magic spell for the baby she always wanted. But an evil curse is placed over her daughter, Rosebud, which results in the king demanding that all the spindles in the kingdom be destroyed. As Rosebud grows into a naive yet pretty young woman, she wonders why no one in the kingdom ever has new cloth. She convinces her parents to go on a journey to a neighboring kingdom, not knowing what awaits her as soon as the king and queen are gone. Written by
Decent Cannon Movie Tale film, but not quite the enchanting classical treat it could have been
On the most part, while with their flaws and some are better than others, the Cannon Movie Tales films are worth a viewing. Sleeping Beauty is not one of the best like Hansel and Gretel and Beauty and the Beast, if anything it is a lesser effort, but even with its faults it's more watchable than The Emperor's New Clothes.
Sleeping Beauty's strengths are a good deal. Apart from some ropey special effects and less than elegant costumes for some of the human characters, this is one of the better-looking Cannon Movie Tale films and certainly could have looked far worse for low-budget. It's beautifully photographed, with a simply colourful rustic look, the sets are some of the most lavish of any of Cannon's films, the film is nicely lit and not as dim and faded as some of Cannon's other films, and the fairy costuming and make-up are appropriate and colourful as well as more imaginative than most of Cannon's costume designs.
Loved the use of the Waltz from the Sleeping Beauty ballet and the slow motion fairy dance choreography accompanying it really enchants and is not tacky at all. The crucial christening scene is well written, and has the right amount of simple charm and nail-biting tension. The cast are hit-and-miss, but the good performances belong to Jane Wiedlin's alluring and sympathetic White Fairy, Kenny Baker's amusing Elf and especially Sylvia Miles' genuinely scary and gleefully played Red Fairy.
Was mixed however on the music and Nicholas Clay's Prince. The incidental score has the right amount of whimsy, but has more of a synthesised 80s sound than the rest of the Cannon Movie Tale films which struck me as odd. The songs are pleasant in melody (especially All in Sleep and Slumber) and aren't too distracting, but they are not one of Cannon's most memorable song scores either and a few contain some corny lyric writing, like the pretty tacky Spin Spin Spin. Clay does bring some charm to the Prince, but his screen time is limited and the character not that interesting so he is a little bland too.
There are some misses in the cast however, Morgan Fairchild is a blank as the Queen, David Holliday overacts and mugs his way through his role and in particular Tahnee Welch's acting in the title role is more reminiscent of sleep-walking. The script and the story are very meandering, the details of the fairy tale are all here but not always with the magic, charm and tension needed, apart from some well-done scenes like the christening. On top of this however, the film is padded out with numerous other scenes that hold very little relevance to the story. This is particularly true with the Elves, their scenes have tiresome humour, feel out of place and just grind the film to a halt. The spindles subplot is not quite as bad, but gets rather silly. Pacing is erratic, the actual fairy tale feeling hurried and the padding drawn out.
All in all, decent but a lesser Cannon Movie Tale and not as enchanting as it could have been. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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