Sleeping Beauty makes some cool decisions when it comes to interpreting a fairytale. The first is to move the focus almost entirely away from it’s heroine. Aurora is very thinly drawn as a character in a way that the two previous princesses, Snow White and Cinderella simply aren’t. I mean, they’re not super strong characters either but they’re definitely more than Aurora.
The second is the use of Tsaicovsky’s ballet music as the basis for the songs, the choice makes the film feel elegant in an almost ineffable way. The art aids this too, everything looks like stained glass and tapestry come to life. It leans into the medieval setting, in a truly glorious way.
And finally, there’s the actual main characters of this film, the Fairies. Aurora is really more of a rope in the tug of war between Flora, Fauna and Merriweather and Maleficent. Philip gets stuck in the middle too, but the best set piece in the film, which is when he escapes from Maleficent’s castle shows this perfectly. Every evil thing thrown at him is transformed to something beautiful and feminine and it is BADASS and RULES. Arrows become flowers, flames become glitter. I am ON BOARD for this thing I never noticed in a sequence I’ve watched a thousand times.
There are other things in the movie that I really like, the drinking song by the two fathers has been a long term favorite, and I’ve tried my best to get into Aurora (she’s Kristi favorite) but I just don’t see much appeal, beyond “Once Upon A Dream,” which is a beautiful song.
This is the last time we’re in Princess-ville for quite a while, there won’t be another until Ariel. From my many many watches of the wonderful documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty since getting Disney+, I understand that this is because after Walt’s death no one knew what they were doing for a little while. I do like the run we have coming up though.
Next week, MORE PUPPIES!!!!! So many puppies, you guys, we’re talking about 101 Dalmatians.