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Sleeping Beauty (1959 film)

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Sleeping Beauty
Directed by Clyde Geronimi (supervising)
Les Clark
Eric Larson
Wolfgang Reitherman
Produced by Walt Disney
Written by Erdman Penner (adaptation)
Joe Rinaldi
Winston Hibler
Bill Peet
Ted Sears
Ralph Wright
Milt Banta
Charles Perrault (original fairy tale)
Starring Mary Costa
Eleanor Audley
Verna Felton
Barbara Luddy
Barbara Jo Allen
Bill Shirley
Taylor Holmes
Bill Thompson
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Buena Vista Distribution
Release date(s) January 29, 1959
Running time 75 minutes
Language English
Budget $ 8,500,000

Sleeping Beauty is a 1959 animated feature produced by Walt Disney and originally released to theatres on January 29, 1959, by Buena Vista Distribution. The sixteenth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon, it was the last fairy tale produced by Walt Disney (after his death, the studio returned to the genre with 1989's The Little Mermaid).

The film was directed by Les Clark, Eric Larson, and Wolfgang Reitherman, under the supervision of Clyde Geronimi. The film was based on the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault, with additional story work by Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright, and Milt Banta. The film's musical score and songs, featuring the work of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, are inspired from the 1890 Sleeping Beauty ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Sleeping Beauty was the first animated feature to be photographed in the Technirama widescreen process. The film was presented in Super Technirama 70 and 6-channel stereophonic sound in first-run engagements. Only one other animated film, Disney's The Black Cauldron, was shot in Technirama.

Princess Aurora, the film's titular character, appears for fewer than eighteen minutes in the film (excluding the time she appears as an infant at the beginning).

[edit] Plot synopsis

Set in the 14th century, the newborn Princess Aurora is named after the Roman goddess of the dawn because she fills the lives of her mother and father, King Stefan and Queen Leah, with sunshine. While still an infant, she is betrothed to the also-young Prince Phillip, son of King Hubert. At her christening, the good fairies Flora (dressed in red/pink), Fauna (in green), and Merryweather (in blue) arrive to bless her. Flora gives her the gift of beauty while Fauna gives her the gift of song. But before Merryweather could give her blessing, Maleficent appears on the scene, expressing disappointment in not being invited to Aurora's christening ceremony and curses the princess to die when she touches a spinning wheel's spindle before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. Fortunately, Merryweather's blessing weakens the curse so that instead of death, Aurora, would fall into a deep sleep until she is awakened by true love's kiss. Though King Stefan decreed all spinning wheels in the kingdom burned, the three good fairies know Maleficent couldn't be stopped that easily and sneak Aurora away with them to a woodland cottage until her sixteen birthday lapses, passing themselves off as her aunts and swearing off magic to conceal themselves.

Years later, Aurora, renamed Briar-Rose, had grown into a gorgeous young woman with the blessings that Flora and Fauna bestowed to her. She does not care about her looks despite being very beautiful but she awaits love, as she is a very romantic girl. By that time, Maleficent is vexed at her minions' incompetence and sends her raven Diablo to look for Aurora. On the day of her sixteenth birthday, the fairies attempt to make Rose a gown and a cake. When their attempts end in disaster they decide to use their wands, resulting with an argument by Flora and Merryweather over the color of the gown that catches Diablo's attention. Meanwhile, Aurora gathers berries while singing to her animal friends; this attracts the attention of Prince Phillip, now a handsome young man, as he is out riding his horse 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, the fairies reveal the truth of her birth to her and take her to her parents and her betrothed's family.

Unfortunately, Maleficent uses her magic to lure Aurora away from her boudoir up a vacant room of the castle, where a spinning wheel awaits her. Fascinated by the wheel with Maleficent's will enforcing it, Aurora touches the spindle, pricking her finger and completing the curse. The good fairies place Aurora on a bed with a red rose in her hand, and place all in the kingdom in a deep sleep until the spell is broken as King Hubert tries to tell Stefan of his son being in love with a peasant-girl. At that time, Prince Phillip arrives at the cottage, but is captured, bound and gagged by Maleficent's minions and taken to her castle, "The Forbidden Mountain", to prevent him from kissing Aurora until he is an old man. However, the fairies sneak into Maleficent's stronghold and free the prince. Armed with the magical Sword of Truth and The Shield of Virtue, Phillip braves all obstacles to reach Stefan's castle prior to battling Maleficent when the sorceress turns herself into a gigantic Dark Fire-Breathing Dragon. The sword, blessed by the fairies' magic, is plunged into the dragon's heart, causing the evil sorceress to fall to her death from a cliff. Phillip climbs to Aurora's chamber, and removes the curse with a kiss. As the film ends, the prince and princess both happily learn that their betrothed and their beloved are one and the same. They arrive at the ballroom, where Aurora is happily re-united with her parents, and she an Prince Phillip dance a waltz. However, they are unaware of the fact that Merryweather and Flora are still in disagreement of the color of her dress and that the color changes from blue to pink. (but before the story ends the gown appears in pink)

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