Sleeping Beauty (1959)

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Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91% IMDB Rating: 7.3
AMR Rating: Not Worth Seeing.

Synopsis: Princess Aurora was cursed by an evil fairy to die at age sixteen, but three good fairies diluted the spell so that she would fall asleep indefinitely with the rest of the kingdom instead. Prince Phillip must wake her.

Review: Though this may be a “classic,” this is one of the worse ones. 1959 can’t be considered to be very early for animated movies; they were already extremely popular by them. Thus, I have higher expectations from Disney, and I blatantly disagree with the critics for this film. The movie was expensive to make, but the money wasn’t very well used. The evil fairy was scary, all right, but the film wasn’t very intriguing. Okay, so this perfect girl falls in love with a prince after one song, and the prince goes though that big battle shin-dig against a dragon with a great sword and shield. This may be the first movie that is so literally a fairy tale, but most people, including me, don’t watch animated movies in chronological order, so would find this quite boring. Maleficent is particularly scary, however, which added some interest to the movie. When she gave her curse I was shuddering. I also have to give credit to the slight twist of the prince being captured and taken to the Forbidden Mountain. The bumbling fairies find a solution to save and help the prince. I love how the clumsy fairies are so useful in the tale.

The songs are beautiful, especially “Once Upon a Dream.” Who can’t hum along? The score is great as well, with Tchaikovsky adaptations. The characters are also designed wonderfully, with the sharper visual style. You can tell each person’s personality by simply looking at them. However, I don’t like the animation very much. I have seen older movies that look more smoothly animated than this one. Though the backgrounds are intricate, they need to be animated, unfortunately, so sometimes the people in the back almost seem to have that effect of a wiggling paper cut-out.

A classic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty is quite banal, but there are some good aspects. Still, it’s Not Worth Seeing.

Background: This movie is based on the fairy tale “La Belle au bois dormant” by Charles Perrault. It is the 16th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and the last fairy tale produced by Walt Disney due to its initial box office disappointment. The studio did not return to the genre until well after Disney’s death with the release of The Little Mermaid. Sleeping Beauty was the first animated film to be photographed in the Technirama widescreen process. The film was presented in Super Technirama 70 and 6-channel stereophonic sound in first-run engagements. Only one other animated film, Disney’s The Black Cauldron, was shot in Technirama. (Source)

The film’s musical score and songs, featuring the work of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, are arrangements or adaptations of numbers from the 1890 Sleeping Beauty ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. This film has been nominated for Academy Awards Best Scoring of a Musical Picture, Grammy Awards Best Soundtrack Album (Original Cast), and a few other awards. (S0urce)

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