"Sleeping Beauty" (1959) – Disney Movie Review

What’s going on guys? I’m Tyler and in
continuing my series of Disney movie reviews,
I’m here to let you know that
“Sleeping Beauty” is NoPerfectMovie!
And it centres on three fairies named Flora, Fauna & Merryweather, who must keep
Princess Aurora safe for sixteen years
because ever since birth, she has been
cursed by the evil Maleficent! And this
becomes a challenge towards the curse’s
final few days where Aurora falls in
love with Prince Philip, not realizing
that he’s the man that she’s betrothed
to! Now as I said with “One Hundred and One Dalmatians”,
this movie was not a box-office success
despite what some people may think, and
a lot of that came down to production
costs when it came to animation:
they used different drawing techniques, it was filmed in widescreen as opposed to 4:3 ratio
because people really enjoyed
the widescreen for the first time with
“Lady & the Tramp” and I gotta say even
though I lost a ton of money, the effort
on the animation really goes to show! The
designs of the characters, the castles,
the locations, they’re all designed to
have this feeling of a medieval painting
or a stained-glass window and it fits
the time period very nicely! and I must admit,
I’m a bigger fan

of CinemaScope
widescreen as opposed to 4:3-
4:3 just feels like they’re
cramming everything into the image and
it’s a little hard on the eyes for me
personally! The choice to mostly include
music from the “Sleeping Beauty ballet”
was an excellent choice! Each set piece-
whether or not the scene has any
substance to it, elevates the emotions
that we’re supposed to be feeling for
each scen,e especially the climactic
battle between Philip and Maleficent! The
music builds up each moment makes you
feel suspenseful and makes you feel like
there’s an element of danger to the scene!
It easily made it the best
scene in the entire movie! And of course
you can’t talk about “Sleeping Beauty”
without talking about ‘Once Upon a Dream’
which is another great Disney song; it
has simple but effective lyrics,
the music is so peacefully composed and Mary Costa and Bill Shirley’s voices add
a lot to what makes it such a charming and
whimsical song to listen to!
The fairies are also wonderful
characters to watch in this movie which…
is a lot more than I can say about the
fairies in the “Maleficent movies”.
The thing that I didn’t realize until rewatching it the other day was that these
characters take the extra steps to stay
away from magic for as long as possible
so that they can keep Aurora safe and
hide any suspicions from anyone else and
when they do break that rule-because
obviously they were going to at some point,
they try and take every single
precaution that they can in order to
make sure that they’re not discovered
and even though they are, you got to give
them credit for at least taking a couple
steps ahead!
I like these fairies-they have very nice
personalities they’re not one-note
all the single time, they have a wider range
of emotions than most duos or triplets
or anything like that! And out of all the
fairies, my favourite was Merryweather
because Barbara Luddy the same lady who
played Lady in “Lady & the Tramp” gives
the character this snarky attitude that
not only gets her into trouble but it’s
also what motivates her to step into
danger in order to save Aurora!
But like most people, my favourite character in
this movie is Maleficent! Her motivations…
completely non-existent like most people
have pointed out but everything else
about her like her design, just how much
she relishes the joys of being evil,
the fact that every scene she’s featured in
slowly builds her up to give her this
really intimidating presence, and her
evil voice and laugh-this lady was
played by Eleanor Audley who also played
the evil stepmother in “Cinderella”,
her evil laugh gave me chills every
single time! And the fact that they don’t
spell out her powers or the extra steps
in her plan to makeover Aurora’s life
a living hell is actually what makes her
creepy and unpredictable
whenever she uses her powers! Now as for
Sleeping Beauty herself she… yeah-she’s
got nothing! I give the voice actress
Mary Costa credit for trying to elevate
the character by giving her this lovable,
innocent charm to her and she has a
really nice singing voice-after she did
this movie she ended up becoming
a really successful opera singer and
yeah, the effort really goes to show.
But she does almost absolutely
nothing outside of play with cute little
animals and sing to them like any Disney
cliche you would expect from her and…
You know what, the romance between her and
Philip didn’t even make that much sense!
I give Philip credit for being the first
Prince to have a name-let alone talk!
That was revolutionary for Disney when
that happened! And I liked the fact that
he was willing to marry just about
anyone because he loved that woman,
not because she was royalty or because she
was a peasant or anything like that.
Which trust me-that was a step up, but I
have no idea why the two of them love
each other!
Other than the fact that they like each
other singing voices, they don’t know
each other’s names, they don’t know how
old each other is, they don’t know where
they live but… “Screw it! I met you-I love you”!
“Let’s get married”!
It’s basically that bit from “Enchanted”
where the prince and princess meat &
they’re just like “Let’s get married
right away”!
They really weren’t kidding about that!
I know a lot of people are going to say
wall that’s Disney Princess logic-
they’ve been doing that forever… not at
this point!
This was the third Disney Prince and
Princess that they had ever done!
The first that they did was Snow White which
was in 1937, they didn’t try the
fairytale thing again until 1950 with
Cinderella, nine years later you’ve got
Sleeping Beauty, and then the next Disney
Princess, I’m not kidding… was thirty years later
with “The Little Mermaid”
because this movie wasn’t that big of
a success, they did not try the fairy tale
thing or the Princess thing for that long
because they were afraid it wasn’t
bankable enough and for a while, we were
kind of showing that it wasn’t! And if
anyone’s gonna point out that princess
from “The Black Cauldron” she does not
What was she princess of? At least tell me
that! “Sleeping Beauty” does have a lot of
fairy tale cliches, but it makes up for
it by having beautiful music, beautiful animation,
some really good voice work, a
fantastic villain and some likeable
side characters! And for all those reasons,
I’m gonna get “Sleeping Beauty” 3.5/5
Guys, thanks as always for watching!
Let me know in the comments below
what you thought of “Sleeping Beauty” Be sure
to stay tuned for more Disney reviews
and be sure to like and subscribe! Take care!

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