Movie Monday: Sleeping Beauty 1959

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Sleeping Beauty Image One
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Sixty years ago, today, the most popular film at the box office was Sleeping Beauty.
Voice Cast:
Mary Costa…….Princess Aurora
Bill Shirley…….Prince Phillip
Eleanor Audley…….Maleficent
Verna Felton…….Flora/Queen Leah
Barbara Luddy…….Merryweather
Barbara Jo Allen…….Fauna
Taylor Holmes…….King Stefan
Bill Thompson…….King Hubert

IMDB Summary:

After a beautiful princess, Aurora, is born in to royalty everyone gathers to exchange gifts. Everything is perfectly fine until an unwanted guest appears, Maleficent. Maleficent casts a spell on the young princess and announces that she will die by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel on the evening of her 16th birthday. Fortunately, one of the good fairies, Merryweather, changes the spell so Aurora will fall asleep, and that the only way to wake her from her sleep is true love’s kiss. Finally the day comes.

The Sleeping Beauty story has many variations and has deep, medieval roots. Disney’s movie was based on French author Charles Perrault’s La Belle Au Bois Dormant (German: Dornröschen or Little Briar Rose) or, in English, The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods, written in the late 1600s.

Sleeping Beauty Image Two
Image Credit: &

Other Perrault works include Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Cendrillon (Cinderella), Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots) and Barbe Bleue (Bluebeard). Perrault’s literary tales predate the Brothers Grimm material by 100+ years but, The Sleeping Beauty, in particular, was based on the Sun, Moon & Talia (Sole, Luna, e Talia) piece by Italian writer Giambattista Basile, published, posthumously, in the early 1600s. This would NOT be a good children’s fairy tale.

Perceforest, a collection of six French books from the middle 1300s, with ties to the Arthurian Legend, appears to be the earliest written form of the story.

Trivia Bits:
♦ Princess Aurora’s long, thin, willowy body shape was inspired by that of Audrey Hepburn.
♦ 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).
♦ This is the only Disney movie with square trees.
♦ Famed Warner Bros. animation director Chuck Jones worked on the film, briefly, when Termite Terrace closed temporarily during the late 1950s. He found the atmosphere at Walt Disney Productions oppressive because everything anyone did there had to be approved by Walt Disney before, during and, after the process of production. He was more than happy when Warner’s animation department re-opened, where he stayed until it closed again in 1964.

Five Nominations & One Award

8 thoughts on “Movie Monday: Sleeping Beauty 1959

    badfinger20 said:
    February 11, 2019 at 11:43 PM

    Classic…you can’t get more classic than this.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      February 12, 2019 at 1:45 AM

      Unless you prefer Snow White… 😉

    badfinger20 said:
    February 12, 2019 at 9:00 AM

    Those old Disney films are all classic to me. The artwork…everything.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      February 12, 2019 at 1:47 PM

      Yeah. Hand drawn stuff. No digital help. They were craftsmen.

        badfinger20 said:
        February 12, 2019 at 1:49 PM

        You can tell such an eye to detail and how smooth everything moved… and an actual story

          The Hinoeuma responded:
          February 12, 2019 at 1:54 PM

          Exactly. Now, everything is handled by computers. That just removes our innate talent.

    bereavedandbeingasingleparent said:
    February 12, 2019 at 5:11 PM

    Never a great fan of the story but the animation is just unreal.

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      February 12, 2019 at 6:16 PM

      Hm. One of the originals, ‘Sun, Moon & Talia’, is downright creepy. It would never be accepted as a children’s story. Parents would be horrified. I was shocked.

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