In The 1950’s, Walt Disney released a few animated movies including, “Cinderella,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Peter Pan,” “Lady and the Tramp,” and “Sleeping Beauty.” The latter film took nearly a decade for Disney to adapt the fairy tale. After years of drawing elements to life such as characters, story, hiring voice actors, writing songs etc. Sleeping Beauty was officially distributed worldwide.
Sleeping Beauty was released in 1959. (same year Batman villain, Mr. Freeze made his comic debut) At the time of its release, it earned mixed reviews from critics and made enough cash at the box office. In later years, Sleeping Beauty received critical acclaim as one of the best animated Disney films.
Sleeping Beauty was later retold in live action format as “Maleficent” with Angelina Jolie as the titular character focusing on her origin story. Released in 2014, it earned mixed reactions. A sequel titled, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” was released in 2019 and it also earned mixed reactions. Maleficent serves as one of the main villains in the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise. The film was also used as playable world in “Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.” A few movies like “Snow White,” Pinocchio,” “Peter Pan” & ” The Little Mermaid” are getting live action remakes. I thought about sharing what’s good or bad about Sleeping Beauty before the aforementioned remakes come out.
I don’t give a rat’s behind if SPOILERS are listed. We all know Sleeping Beauty has been told numerous times in parodies or referenced in other works. Does Sleeping Beauty still holds up? Let’s see if Sleeping Beauty aged like fine wine.
Energized & Fatigue Qualities
Energized: The Opening Scene fully establishes Princess Aurora’s prophetic curse.
Animation stills holds up drawing several elements to life such as character models, environmental locations from both exterior and interior designs, fluid movement, bright colors just to name a few. Unique animation was way ahead of its time.
Maleficent and The Three Fairies were my favorites. They’re more interesting than Aurora herself.
Fun Fact: A proposal with a couple became a viral sensation. look it up on YouTube. Such a sweet moment.
Prince Eric’s battle with Maleficent in dragon form makes me want to replay the first “Kingdom Hearts” game. Maleficent serves as a boss in her regular and dragon form.
The Three Fairies dressed in red, blue and green predates “The Powerpuff Girls.”
The Third Act gets better When Prince Eric & The Three Fairies join forces to defeat Maleficent.
The Castle from the movie served as the inspiration for Disney’s logo along with Disneyland as a location for visitors.
Fatigue: Walt Disney didn’t do a good job building a cohesive narrative. A decade in the making backfired.
A early romance between Aurora & Prince Phillip happened way too soon. If this were real life, it’ll take a few weeks for two people to get to know one another until a relationship is fully established. Disney is known for early hookups. I hate pre-mature romance. Am I the only one who realizes most Disney Princesses (minus Belle, Jasmine, Giselle, Rapunzel & Merida) have a one-night stand offscreen with a random prince they don’t know personally?
Maleficent’s villainous motivation was never clear on why she made curse specifically for Aurora. Her own movie managed to address her origin story. I wanna know what her goal is other than putting a curse on Aurora.
Aurora and Prince Philip weren’t interesting at all. They’re straight up boring like staring at paint before it dries up on a wall. That’s pretty lame folks.
A Plot Hole involving why Maleficent didn’t track down Aurora herself over the past 16 years. I know she used her minions to do all the work, but why didn’t she use her brain to hunt down Aurora? Maleficent is such an idiot not using pragmatic tactics. Hans Landa from “Inglorious Basterds” has more common sense than her.
The biggest Plot Hole of the entire film is breaking the spell. Prince Eric breaks the spell kissing Aurora, she wakes up. I think it’s BS (guess what that means) for Aurora waking up by a random guy breaking Maleficent’s curse. They didn’t get any onscreen chemistry except for one scene in the woods. I have no choice but to Triple Down this con for making me feel very stupid losing my brain cells. At least Maleficent’s movie made perfect sense for the character to kiss Aurora on the head, because she reminded her of The King since childhood.
The Final Verdict: D-
I hate to break it to ya Disney fans. I think Sleeping Beauty didn’t age like fine wine. As a kid, I liked it. Now that I’m older, this movie has problems lacking inconsistency. As a critic, I have to give some beloved films tough love. I can’t believe I’m saying this, Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent is by far superior to the animated Sleeping Beauty. This had more character depth fleshing out her backstory. If you want to find a legit version of Sleeping Beauty, give Maleficent a try and perhaps its sequel.