A beautiful princess born in a faraway kingdom is destined by a terrible curse to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a deep sleep that can only be awakened by true love's first kiss. Determined to protect her, her parents ask three fairies to raise her in hiding. But the evil Maleficent is just as determined to seal the princess's fate.
Beautiful Disney Production Of A Wonderful Fairytale. When an evil witch places a curse on an infant princess that will cause her to fall into eternal sleep on her 16th birthday, her three fairy godmothers whisk her away to a life of normality and ignorance of her birthright. But can they stave off the curse when the 16th year of age arrives? It upped the ante in costing for Disney, also taking a decade to produce. The ambition was high as new techniques were being used such as rotoscoping, while the musical score is brilliantly devised from Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty ballet. The story itself is a pure joy, based on Charles Perrault's ever enduring fairytale, it's awash with rich characters, led by the delightful three fairy godmothers - Flora - Fauna and Merryweather, all plumpy and sweet, while evil witch Maleficent is brilliantly produced, with a long pointy chin and devil horns on her head. There's a whole bunch of charming fun on show, as the three ladies bring the magic and potter around while gently ribbing each other, but it's with the drama where Sleeping Beauty most soars. The nightmare sequence luring Briar Rose (Princess Aurora) to the dreaded spinning wheel is unnerving, and the battle between Prince Phillip and Maleficent is exhilarating and shows the animators at their best. As for the colour? Spanking! Upon release it wasn't the roaring success Disney had hoped and planned for, but the decades since then have been very kind to Sleeping Beauty. For it's a magical film for children and adults to dreamily get lost in. 9/10
Now then, for any fans of the more recent "Maleficent" films - this is how it is supposed to be done! I think this film goes a long way to explaining why I almost always support the baddies in films. A princess ("Briar Rose") is born and the three good fairies are summoned to the Christening to bestow their blessings on the newborn. Just as the third is about to lavish her gift on the baby, the ominously evil witch arrives with her trusted black raven. Not invited, how rude - but she still generously gifts the child a Christening present. Needless (or should that just be needles?) to say, the spindling trade in the kingdom took a bit of a hit after that and the girl is secreted deep in forest trying to keep away from the dreadful consequences of this nasty curse. Amongst the best ever sequences in animation - the three fairies try to make a cake and a dress for her impending 16th birthday and their efforts turn out to be disastrous. After 16 years - they resort to using their wands and we have five minutes of pure Disney magic. They cannot agree on a colour for the dress, have a bit of a magical colour-fight which is noticed by the evil sorceress's searching bird and their cunning secret is carelessly exposed... The colours, gently humorous dialogue and George Bruns' (with some Tchaikovsky) score makes this a thoroughly enjoyable fantasy romantic adventure - in my book, the best Walt ever produced.