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Sleeping Beauty [1959] (1 disc)

Director:Clyde Geronimi
Writer:Erdman Penner
Composer:George Bruns
Songs:Tom Adair
Length:75 minutes
(1 hour 15 minutes)
MPAA Rating:UR
Sorting Category:Family
Sorting Tub:Echo
IMDB Rating:7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:92%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
User rating sites like above
are subject to change
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Synopsis: After being snubbed by the royal family, a malevolent fairy places a curse on a princess which only a prince can break, along with the help of three good fairies.

Reaction: Classic Disney. Good family fun. Not a lot needs to be said about something so established in the zeitgeist.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Clyde Geronimi => Director
Erdman Penner => Writer
George Bruns => Composer
Tom Adair => Songs
Charles Perrault => story "Sleeping Beauty"
Barbara Jo Allen => Fauna (voice)
Barbara Luddy => Merryweather (voice)
Bill Shirley => Prince Phillip (voice)
Bill Thompson => King Hubert (voice)
Bob Amsberry => Maleficent's Goon (voice) (uncredited)
Candy Candido => Maleficent's Goon (voice) (uncredited)
Dal McKennon => Owl / Diablo (voice) (uncredited)
Eleanor Audley => Maleficent (voice)
Marvin Miller => Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Mary Costa => Princess Aurora (voice)
Pinto Colvig => Maleficent's Goon (voice) (uncredited)
Taylor Holmes => King Stefan (voice)
Verna Felton => Flora / Queen Leah (voice)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Princess Aurora's long, thin, willowy body shape was inspired by that of Audrey Hepburn.
  • Viewers never get to find out what gift Merryweather was meant to bestow upon the princess - wisdom or compassion would have been obvious choices - but according to the platinum edition DVD's commentary, her gift was going to be happiness.
  • The last fairy tale produced by the studio until The Little Mermaid, thirty years later.
  • Second only to Dumbo (who didn't speak at all), this Disney title character has only about eighteen lines of actual dialogue throughout the entire film, in which she only appears in the film for eighteen minutes and which is actually about the three fairies who protect her, not about the Sleeping Beauty herself. Briar Rose/Aurora's first line is spoken nineteen minutes into the film and her last is delivered after she learns of her betrothal thirty-nine minutes in. However, she does sing two songs during this time frame. The very last sound she makes in the movie is when she arrives at the castle and is crying about never seeing her true love again.
  • Eleanor Audley--one of Walt Disney's favorite voice artists, most memorably as Lady Tremaine in Cinderella--initially turned the part of Maleficent down, much to Disney's surprise. As it later transpired, Audley was in the midst of battling a bout of tuberculosis and did not want to tax her voice too much. Fortunately, she changed her mind.
  • Bill Shirley and Mary Costa auditioned together to ensure that their voices complemented each other's.
  • This was the last Disney feature to have cels inked by hand. From 101 Dalmatians onward, the cleaned-up pencil drawings were xeroxed onto the cels. However, some of the scenes in this movie did use the xerography process.
  • Even though it is not mentioned in the film, Maleficent's pet raven is named Diablo.
  • Studio trademark: Habitually barefoot character(s): Aurora is barefoot for all but the very last scene.
  • Such was the attention to detail brought about by the widescreen process was that some of the character animators were only capable of producing one drawing of their characters a day. Twenty-four drawn images are needed to make up one second of movement on film.
  • In active production from 1951 until the end of 1958, setting a record (for which it is tied with another 70mm film, The Black Cauldron) for being the Disney animated film with the longest production schedule.
  • At the time, Sleeping Beauty was the most expensive Disney animation. Although it was a hit on its initial release, it still did not gross enough to recoup its $6 million outlay.
  • The running gag where two of the fairies argued about what color Princess Aurora's dress should be (pink or blue) comes from the filmmaker's problem as to deciding just that.
  • The prince is named after Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, as well as Prince Philip of Belgium (now King Philip).
  • In the traditional Italian version of this fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty is named Princess Aurora. In the German version, she is named Briar Rose. The film incorporates both names by having Princess Aurora use the name Briar Rose while undercover.
  • This is the only Disney movie with square trees.
  • Hans Conried, best known as the voice of Captain Hook/Mr. Darling in Peter Pan, recorded dialogue as King Stefan before Taylor Holmes was cast.