Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

I'm excited about this animated feature, and my daughter is especially excited! Today's animated feature is Sleeping Beauty.  Sleeping Beauty's name is Aurora, she has blonde hair, and wears a pink dress.  Because of these two reasons, her favorite doll is Aurora and she carried it around with her everywhere without even knowing what movie she was from.  So we watched it and the dragon scared her so badly she had night terrors for two straight weeks.  She recently wanted to watch it again and I'm like "Are you sure?" But she wasn't scared this time and really liked this movie.

If you compare this movie to earlier Disney princess films, Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it's not as good, animation wise or story wise.  However, I liked that it heavily took from the ballet instead of just the fairy tale.  When Aurora is dancing in the forest, her movements are very fluid and ballerina-esque.  The drawing style of the people and their costumes has a medieval feel to invoke the times. The melodies of the songs are also taken directly from the ballet.

In the original story, there are 13 fairies, but in this movie there are only 4: Merriweather, Fauna, Flora, and Maleficent.  The king and queen do not invite Maleficent to their daughter's party because she's evil.  Feeling snubbed, she curses the baby with death - specifically, before her 16th birthday ends she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die.  The three good fairies take the baby into hiding and raise them as their own, without any help from magic.  Does this mean the fairies aren't really needed?  They were gone for 16 entire years and no one even noticed.  And as we learn during their preparations for her birthday party, even after 16 years they haven't mastered life without magic.  If they have no idea how to sew a dress, where did their outfits and Aurora's outfits come from?  Babies and toddlers need lots of clothes because they get dirty.  They couldn't have gone 16 years without learning how to sew or cook.

And why couldn't Maleficent find her?  You expect me to believe she's the most evil fairy with the most powerful magic and she can't even find one girl in her own backyard?  The dragon is cool, yes, everyone I know loves that dragon.  But she gets killed way too easily.

Although Princess Aurora is most associated with her pink dress, she doesn't wear it until the very end of the movie.  Most of the time it's blue (because the two fairies fight over what color it should be).  She wears pink in the parks to differentiate herself from Cinderella, who also wears blue.  This way, kids can associate the princess with a certain color dress.  This also explains why Ariel wears a sea-green dress that she never wore in the movie.

Even though Sleeping Beauty is not the best of the princess films, it has the most memorable villain. I will give this film a 6/10.

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