Sleeping Beauty

1959, Movie, G, 75 mins

Review

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One of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken by Disney, SLEEPING BEAUTY opens as the king and queen decide to throw a gala celebration announcing the birth of their daughter, Aurora, and her immediate betrothal to the infant Prince Phillip. Unfortunately, the overjoyed parents neglect to invite the evil fairy Maleficent, causing the angry denizen of the forest to place a curse on the infant girl that ensures she will prick her finger on a spindle upon her 16th birthday and die. The curse, however, is altered by a good fairy who changes the promise of death to sleep. Hoping to circumvent this prophecy, three good fairies named Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather take the baby into the forest where they can raise her away from the prying eyes of Maleficent. The fairies keep the girl's royal identity a secret from her, and she grows up to be a normal young woman. One day she meets Prince Phillip in the forest, and though both are unaware that they have been betrothed since birth, they fall in love. Tragedy soon strikes despite the three good fairies' precautions; on Aurora's 16th birthday the curse is fulfilled and she falls into a deep sleep which can only be broken by the kiss of a brave prince. This was the most expensive animated film to date, and every penny was on the screen. 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. leave a comment

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