|Directed by|| Clyde Geronimi (supervising)
|Produced by||Walt Disney|
|Written by|| Erdman Penner (adaptation)
Charles Perrault (original fairy tale)
|Starring|| Mary Costa
Barbara Jo Allen
|Music by|| George Bruns
|Distributors|| Walt Disney Pictures
Buena Vista Distribution
|Release date (s)|| January 29, 1959
|Preceded by|| Lady and the Tramp (1955)
|Followed by|| 101 Dalmatians (1961)
It was originally a failure, and did not make up the huge cost of the film. Along with the mixed critical reception, it was also noted to be the film that made Walt Disney loose interest in the animation medium. However, the subsequent re-releases proved massively successful, and critics and audiences have since hailed it as an animated classic.
Princess Aurora is named after the Roman goddess of the dawn "because she fills her father and mother's lives with sunshine." While still an infant, she is betrothed to the equally-young Prince Phillip (their parents want to unite their respective kingdoms under a marriage between Aurora and Phillip). At her christening, the good fairies Flora (dressed in red), Fauna (in green) and Merryweather (in blue) arrive to bless her. Flora gives her the gift of beauty, which is described in a song as "gold of sunshine in her hair" and "lips that shame the red, red rose." Fauna gives her the gift of song. At this point, Maleficent, the film's villain and mistress of all evil, appears on the scene. Claiming to be upset at not being invited to Aurora's christening ceremony, she curses the princess to die when she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel's spindle before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. Fortunately, Merryweather has not yet blessed Aurora, so she uses her blessing to change Maleficent's curse, so Aurora will not die when she pricks her finger; instead, she will fall asleep until she is awakened by True Love's Kiss. Knowing Maleficent is extremely powerful and will stop at nothing to see her curse fulfilled, the three good fairies take Aurora to live with them in the woods, where they can keep her safe from any harm until she turns sixteen and the curse is made void. To fully protect her, they even change her name to Briar Rose to conceal her true identity.
Rose grows into a very beautiful woman, with sunshine golden blonde hair, rose-red lips, violet eyes, and a beautiful singing voice. She is raised in a cottage in the forest by the three fairies, whom she believes are her aunts. One day, while out picking berries, she sings to entertain her animal friends; her angelic voice gains the attention of Prince Phillip, who had grown into a handsome young man and is out riding in the woods. When they meet, they instantly fall in love. Realizing that she has to return home, Aurora flees from Phillip without ever learning his name. Despite promising to meet him again, she is unable to return, as her "aunts" choose that time to reveal the truth of her birth to her and to tell her that she is betrothed to a prince named Phillip. They then take Rose to her parents.
Meanwhile, Phillip returns home telling his father about a peasant girl he met and wishes to marry in spite of his prearranged marriage to Princess Aurora. King Hubert tries to convince Phillip to marry the princess instead of a peasant girl, but fails.
The good fairies and Aurora return to the castle. Unfortunately, Maleficent uses her magic to lure Aurora away from her chambers and up into the tallest tower of the castle, where a spinning wheel awaits her. Fascinated by the wheel, she touches the spindle, pricking her finger. As had been foretold by the curse, Aurora is put under a sleeping spell. The good fairies place Aurora on her bed with a red rose in her hand, and cause a deep sleep to fall over the entire kingdom until they can find a way to break the curse. They realize the answer is Phillip, but he has been kidnapped by Maleficent to prevent him from kissing Aurora and waking her up. The three good fairies sneak into Maleficent's lair, aid the prince in escaping and explain to him the story of Maleficent's curse. Armed with a magic sword and shield, Phillip battles Maleficent when the sorceress turns herself into a gigantic fire-breathing dragon. He flings the sword, plunging it into the dragon's heart and killing her. Phillip climbs into Aurora's chamber, and removes the curse with a kiss.
As the film ends, the two royals arrive at the ballroom, where Aurora is happily reunited with her parents. Then, Aurora dances together with Phillip, happy to each learn that their betrothed and their beloved are one and the same.
Voice Cast Edit
- Mary Costa as Princess Aurora/Briar Rose
- Eleanor Audley as Maleficent
- Verna Felton as Flora and Queen Leah
- Barbara Jo Allen as Fauna
- Barbara Luddy as Merryweather
- Bill Shirley as Prince Phillip
- Taylor Homes as King Stefan
- Bill Thompson as King Hubert
- Marvin Miller as the Storyteller
- Main Article: Sleeping Beauty (Soundtrack)
- Hail to the Princess Aurora
- I Wonder
- Once Upon A Dream
- Skumps (Drinking Song)
- Sleeping Beauty
Home Video Edit
In 1986, it was first released on both VHS and Laserdisc under the Classics collection, becoming the first Disney Classics video to be digitally processed in Hi-Fi stereo. Then the film underwent an extensive digital restoration in 1997, and that version was released to both VHS and Laserdisc again (this time with the laserdisc in widescreen version, albeit letterboxed) as part of the Masterpiece collection, and in 2003 was released to DVD in a 2-disc "Special Edition" that included both the original widescreen version and a pan and scan version as well. A Platinum Edition DVD/Blu-ray Disc was released on October 7, 2008 with a never-before seen 2.55:1 expanded version of the film. The DVD/Blu-ray returned to the Disney Vault in 2010. The film was released as a Diamond Edition title in October 7, 2014.