"From this slumber, you shall wake, when True Love's Kiss, the spell shall break."
In ageless sleep, she finds repose...
Entry #16 of the Disney Animated Canon, Disney made the Fairy Tale "Sleeping Beauty" into a movie in 1959, based loosely on the Brothers Grimm's version, "Briar Rose", though the title comes from Perrault's "La Belle aux bois dormant" ("The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood"). By a bit of contortion, they manage to come up with a reason for calling the heroine both Aurora and Briar Rose (the French and German versions of her name rendered into English).Having already adapted twosimilarFairy Tales, the biggest challenge story-wise was how to make the plot different without recycling too many elements. Walt wanted the story to be more streamlined, focusing on the central plot about the two lovers without the numerous side plots involving minor characters like dwarves or mice. Technically, the final film is rather streamlined with one major plot... because the animators had so much fun fleshing out the Three Good Fairies that the film completely unintentionally became a Perspective Flip about the efforts of three heroines to rescue the sleeping beauty and her prince from an evil fairy. If Walt's original plan had been followed, the fairies would have been Single Minded Triplets with no distinctive personalities (quite ironic, as it was Walt Disney himself who pushed for the dwarfs in Snow White to have distinct personalities).Also one of the movies to feature in the Kingdom Hearts series, where Maleficent takes the role of the leader of the Disney Villains and serves as a primary antagonist in the first game, and Aurora appears as one of the Princesses of Heart. The fairies appear as a One-Scene Wonder in Kingdom Hearts II and the prequel Birth by Sleep introduces an entire world themed after the movie.
The film contains examples of:
Anachronism Stew: During the forest scene and the finale, Aurora and Phillip dance the waltz. But the film takes place in the 14th century, and the waltz wasn't invented until the 18th century.
Aurora's princess dress follows the high fashion standards of The Fifties (which focused on shape and smoothness over loads of decoration), compared to rest of the outfits in the movie (although even those have varying degrees of Hollywood Costuming).
Argument Of Contradictions: The fairies argue over the color of Aurora's dress. Flora wants pink, but Merryweather wants blue and they repeatedly use their magic to change the color. An homage is paid to this in Kingdom Hearts II, when the fairies disagree over the color of Sora's new outfit, before finally landing on a stylish multi-colored outfit that can transform into other outfits patterned after a single color that give Sora special powers.
Disney Princess: Aurora is the one with the least involvement in her own story.
Dramatic Irony: Prince Philip and Briar Rose meet each other in the forest and each assumes the other is a peasant. Both express drama over not being able to be with the other because they themselves are royalty - and they assume the other is a peasant. But the audience knows that they are both royalty and have been betrothed, so of course they can be together.
Edible Bludgeon: A brief scene played for laughs has an offended and mildly drunk King Hubert tries to attack his host King Stefan with a very large fish. However, since the fish isn't frozen it goes all floppy in a few hits against a metal serving tray used as an improvised shield. The absurdity of the situation makes them engage in some tension-lifting laughter.
Genre-Killer: The film's failure to earn back its exorbitant budget resulted in this twofold: it was not only the last animated film based on a fairy tale that Disney would make until The Little Mermaid in 1989, it also ended Disney's second run of lavish, expensive animated features that had been restarted with Cinderella in 1950; this inadvertently began The Dark Age of Animation, as Disney was the last studio in Hollywood who was willing to spend money on full animation.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Averted. Notable in that this is a Disney movie, which are usually the kings of this trope. The fairies had to interfere in order to defeat Maleficent, because she is so powerful that even at her most arrogant she is brutally effective.
Hollywood Kiss: Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip at the end of the film when they're dancing in the clouds.
Hollywood Costuming: The movie is explicitly stated to take place in the 14th century, yet Aurora's dress has a neckline like dresses in the decade when the movie was made. Her mother's gown is more period accurate.
Horsing Around: The Prince's horse who, until the climactic scene, was very stubborn and had to be bribed by carrots to do his master's bidding, and the horse bungles it and charges straight into a puddle.
Hypnotize the Princess: When the glowing green orb appears in Aurora's bedroom as she cries, the light makes her suddenly stiffen and look up. Her eyes are glazed, and she stands up very fluidly, following the orb single-mindedly. When the fairies call out to her to not touch anything, it momentarily breaks the spell, before Maleficent's voice lulls her back in, and she touches the spinning wheel's spindle.
Inter-Class Romance: It's set up to be this, but it turns out that the beautiful peasant girl Phillip sees in the forest is the princess to whom he's betrothed.
Irony: As Phillip says: "Now father, you're living in the past! This is the 14th century!"
"I Want" Song: "I Wonder", in which Briar Rose ponders why "each little bird has a someone to sing to" and hoping someone will bring a love song to her.
Letterbox: Three clips from this movie-Aurora singing in the forest, Philip escaping Maleficent's dungeon, and Aurora and Philip waltzing-became the first pieces of footage to air on TV in widescreen, when shown in the Walt Disney Presents episode "The Peter Tchaikovsky Story". However, they played trimmed to 1.82:1. In 1997, this became one of the lucky few Disney movies to get a widescreen VHS.
Love at First Note: Technically they met as a baby and a little boy, but as far as either of them knew, this was their first meeting.
Love at First Sight: The prince and princess actually meet before the Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!True Love's Kiss in this version, but the only time they spend together is singing a song and dancing in a forest. (Technically, they "met" when they were young. Aurora was just a baby; Phillip wasn't older than 4 or 5, but they don't realize it until the end.) The lovers Hand Wave this by claiming they met "once upon a dream."
Missing Mom: Phillip's mother is never seen or mentioned, and presumably is dead prior to the movie. Averted by Aurora, who is one of the only Disney protagonists whose parents are both alive for the entire film.
Modest Royalty: Speaking objectively, Aurora's gown is one of the most understated of all the Disney dresses. It's quite simple compared to the gowns of the courtiers (and her mother), as well.
Moment Killer: Aurora tells her animal friends that she met a prince, but their informal date got cut short when she woke up and realized it was All Just a Dream.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: "Malefic" productive of evil; malign; doing harm; baneful. "-ent" (suffix) characterized in serving of. Maleficent also counts as a Meaningful Name...as are most names to flee from. Then there's her raven, Diablo.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The fairies stopped up every nook and cranny except for the fireplace when they perform magic for the first time in years. Then Flora and Merryweather get into a magical dispute over the color of Aurora's dress. Guess how Maleficent discovers the whereabouts of Aurora. Missing the fireplace is how Maleficent manages to get a hold of Aurora a second time, too: by enchanting it to open up into a stairwell and hypnotizing her into pricking her finger.
"Thou Sword of Truth, fly swift and sure, that evil DIE and good endure!"
"She (Aurora) shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and DIE!"
No Body Left Behind: Dragon!Maleficent falls down a cliff. When the sword is shown again, it is stabbing only a cloak.
No Name Given: Aurora's mother. Her father is King Stefan, but her mother is only ever referred to as "the Queen". (Disney fans generally call her Leah after a name given to her in one of the children's books written about the movie.) Not only is the character never given a name in the film, but the Disney archives for some reason have absolutely no record of the name of the actress who provided the Queen's voice!
Non-Human Sidekick: Prince Phillip has a horse, Maleficent has her raven familiar Diablo, Aurora has various miscellaneous woodland creatures. Also, Maleficent's goons.
One-Winged Angel: Maleficent's dragon form. She returns as this in her boss fight in Kingdom Hearts. It's famous enough to have been invoked in a later Disney film, Enchanted, where the sorceress villain also turns into a dragon at the climax. Disney Theme Parks occasionally have skits where Maleficent appears and turns into a dragon. Provides the trope page's image.
Precision F-Strike: "Now shall you deal with me, O prince, and all the powers of Hell!" How much of a precision strike was this? The next time anyone said that word in a Disney animated production was thirty five years later... In the weekday afternoon slot, in the pilot episode of Gargoyles.
Princess Classic: Flora's and Fauna's gifts (and possibly Merryweather's had she not been interrupted) were even related to this trope.
Princesses Prefer Pink: Played with. Aurora never chooses her own gown, but Flora and Merryweather fight over what color it should be.
Public Domain Soundtrack: Much of the soundtrack of the movie is the music to Tchaikovsky's ballet of Sleeping Beauty. The song "Once Upon a Dream" was adding lyrics to the Waltz.
Purple Eyes: Aurora has violet eyes, which are meant to symbolize rare beauty along with her sunshine golden hair and rose red lips that were given to her by the gift of beauty. She's the only Disney Princess with an abnormal eye color.
Ravens and Crows: Maleficent's pet raven Diablo who is revealed to be smarter than the rest of Maleficent's goons.
Remaster: In 1997, this became Disney's second movie to undergo a digital restoration, the first being Snow White. Another restoration, performed in preparation for the 2008 Blu-Ray debut and DVD rerelease, went back to the original camera negatives, making the picture appear 16% wider than in the movie's theatrical premiere.
Scenery Porn: It was made in the Super Technirama 70 widescreen process, and the filmmakers were up to the challenge of filling the space, and so had the backgrounds painted in exquisite detail by artist Eyvind Earle. This trope and Everything's Better with Princesses are likely the reasons it was the first cel-animated Disney title to get a Blu-Ray Disc release.
Sickly Green Glow: Maleficent has green eyes and a green orb atop her staff. Her flames are also green. In the 1997 restoration and a few other incarnations, her skin is green, although a very pale green—mostly due to coloring errors, since her skin was supposed to be white.
Simple Yet Opulent: Most of the dresses in this movie, even Aurora's dress, lack enough trimmings to qualify as a Pimped-Out Dress, but that doesn't mean they aren't extremely fancy regardless.
Slasher Smile: Maleficent has a sharp-toothed one in her dragon form.
Sorcerous Overlord: Maleficent, who's either an Evil Sorceress or one of The Fair Folk. She seems to rule over a dark land adjacent to the human kingdoms from her ominous castle, populated only by her monstrous and incredibly dumb minions.
Spell Blade: How the fairies give Prince Phillip a Sword of Truth and a Shield of Virtue to fight Maleficent. They even add an extra incantation before the final blow.
Spot of Tea: The Three Fairies have one as they make their plans.
Supernatural Aid: The fairies give Prince Phillip a Sword of Truth and a Shield of Virtue to fight Maleficent. They even add an extra incantation before the final blow.
Surrounded by Idiots: It is Maleficent's much smarter raven who finds Aurora, rather than her obviously idiotic mooks. They spend sixteen years looking "in every cradle" — for a princess they imagine to still be an infant. They didn't appear to have even searched the forest.
To the Pain: Maleficent's most evil moment in the film is when she explains to a captured Prince Phillip exactly how she's going to ensure that he doesn't get a happy ending. Killing him outright would've been kinder.
This is pretty much Maleficent's whole schtick. She's probably powerful enough to have glassed the whole kingdom when they didn't invite her to that christening, but she decided to just mess with the wording of the other fairies spells so as to inflict a long drawn-out torture on the king and queen.