Critic Reviews



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The masterpiece of the Disney Studios' postwar style. The animation has been stripped down, in accordance with economic imperatives, but what the images lose in shading and detail they gain in strength and fluidity.
It is a picture that will charm the young and tickle adults, since the old fairy tale has been transferred to the screen by a Disney who kept his tongue in his cheek throughout the film's animation. It is a beautiful and amusing cartoon.
Deep, dark forests; thorny thickets; spiraling castle stairs – every detail seems to envelop us. And then there is Maleficent, voiced by Eleanor Audley and undoubtedly one of the great Disney villainesses. Her transformation into a roaring dragon in the finale is so triumphant you almost want her to win.
The elaborate, gothic-inspired designs look great, and the supporting characters—most notably the three good fairies and the Joan Crawford-like villain Maleficent—liven up the proceedings despite the bland hero and heroine.
Sleeping Beauty is the most beautiful movie the Disney’s feature animation department has ever made.
A crisply stylized fairyland, where the colors are rich, the sounds are luscious and magic sparkles spurt charmingly from wands.
An epic brilliance conjures up impossible monumental castles, shadows and monstrosities, with exciting action marvellously orchestrated across the CinemaScope frame.
Just as the film’s gorgeous backdrops suggest characters trapped in suspended animation, the many colorful balls of light that frequently circle their heads hauntingly convey the filmmakers’ idea of fate and love locked in a cosmic struggle.
The attention to movement and detail is stunning, with multiple layers of action filling the frame. The highlight of the film, the fight with the dragon, is terrifying, exciting, and brilliantly executed, though some youngsters may find it a bit too scary.
The drawing in Sleeping Beauty is crude: a compromise between sentimental, crayon-book childishness and the sort of cute, commercial cubism that tries to seem daring but is really just square. The hero and heroine are sugar sculpture, and the witch looks like a clumsy tracing from a Charles Addams cartoon. The plot often seems to owe less to the tradition of the fairy tale than to the formula of the monster movie.

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