Today we’re talking about the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty.
This is a classic. It’s now 61 years old and the 16th animated feature by Disney.
The story is pretty standard fairy tale with a little less death, rape, and horror in it than Grimm liked. A lot of the hour and seventeen minutes is spent of the set up to the big song number in the woods.
Other than some cringe-inducing grabbyness on Phillip’s side and some alcohol jokes that haven’t aged well, it held up pretty well.
The major difference with it and the more modern films is how simple the story is. Something that can be said about a lot of 1950 movies, not just the animated ones.
Poor Aurora had little to no choices in the movie. She was literally tossed around by the forces of fate and faerie.
Phillip was a nice strong hero but also felt young and less 1400 more 1950’s, which I suppose was the point.
The fathers, as is usual, were useless; and Aurora’s mother had almost no part.
Maleficent was a lonely, angry witch who could have used more motivation.
On average, the dialogue was simple, easy to understand and very forgettable. Maleficent didn’t need to call herself the Mistress of Evil for us to know she was the baddie, but she did.
The narration at the beginning felt over exposition-y and could have been done in dialogue or visually instead.
Visuals and Music
This was an absolutely gorgeous movie. Colourful, clean lines, no choppiness in animation. There are plenty of movies that don’t look half as good that came out in the past 10 years. The change in colour with the change in light source was beautiful, if a little over done.
The music was fantastic and catchy. If you don’t get Once Upon a Dream stuck in your head I’ll be surprised… and a little jealous.
This movie didn’t drag and if I found myself annoyed at the characters, there was always something visually stunning to look at. I had fun the entire time and wasn’t even tempted to look at my phone.
Overall, the movie was fun and beautiful. Some of the jokes fall flat after 60+ years but I didn’t need to pause and talk to my kids about what terrible thing was going on.
Final Score: 3 Stars