Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Remember Cinderella? Yes? Well, after watching Sleeping Beauty, I realised that this is a film that is  both similar and really different to it at the same time. It’s weird really. Well here’s Sleeping Beauty.

After the evil sorceress Maleficent is snubbed at a party (no I’m not making this up) she vows to kill the young Princess Aurora when she is 16 years old, whereupon she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel, the only thing that will save her is a kiss from her true love (because , ya know, they wanted to be original). The three good fairies must hide the Princess and keep her safe from Maleficent until she is 16 and the curse will no longer affect her.

As I said before, this film is really similar to Cinderella. We have a protagonist who never really knows her parents and is brought up in ‘poverty’, while Cinderella is treated badly, Aurora is treated with love and kindness by the three fairies. This film divides me a little, let’s go through this. The characters are mostly good, the fairies are great, the kings are a lot of fun and Maleficent is a sensational villain, she takes something as small as being snubbed and turns it into something worthy of murder. Strangely enough the only two characters that aren’t interesting are the leads, Aurora and Prince Phillip.


Now, granted, Aurora is better than Snow White, but even so she’s just bland. She does nothing, has little personality and is only memorable because she spends half the film sleeping. Prince Phillip is…a bit better. He has some funny moments (one) and more lines than the other Princes before him, so I guess they are trying and you have to give them that. The animation is great, Disney took a new path with this film, the backdrops look more like tapestries or paintings, not the 3D look we saw before and I like that, it goes well with the ballet music and, at time, kinda looks more like a play than a film. Maleficent’s castle and the woods get the best of this new turn in animation. The songs are alright, they’re from the ballet so they do sound nice, no real powerful, memorable songs though. Err what else? Ohh yeah, the climax is great, Maleficent turning into a dragon adds levels to her as a character, makes her a more threatening villain. That’s about it to be honest…

A good movie that tries something new, nice music, better Prince, bland Princess, great secondary characters, freaking awesome villain.



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