"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 witch. 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.
All Up To You: The Three Good Fairies are arguably an inversion, as they are constantly the heroines who do the saving, despite being treated as if they were sidekicks.
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.
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.
Ascended Extra: An interpretation of how the fairies are in this work. In the original fairy tale, the good fairies just serve to "build up" the princess, while the bad fairy is a Diabolus ex Machina.
Adaptational Badass: The evil fairy, a minor villain in the original story, is here adapted into one of the most powerful villains Disney had ever produced.
Badass: Maleficent; even with her Pride, she is so high on the Sorting Algorithm of Evil scale that she could've defeated the entire kingdom a hundred times over, if not for outside interference.
The other fairies have gained almost Action Girl status. They are arguably the ones who are the protagonists of the film, they take action in hiding the princess, and when the prince is captured, they take it upon themselves to save him.
Brick Joke: The pink Flora and blue Merryweather, as they decide to use magic to prepare for Aurora's birthday party, have an arguement where they keep magically changing Aurora's dress from Flora's preferred pink to Merryweather's preferred blue and back again, a commotion that leads to the raven finding out where they live. When Aurora and Phillip dance in the courtyard after they marry, Flora and Merryweather (watching with Fauna from a balcony) are still waving their wands and changing Aurora's dress colors alternately from Flora's pink to Merryweather's blue. The dress is still changing color in the ending as the camera pans out of the moving storybook pictures of the prince and princess dancing.
Another example in an early scene, where Merryweather proposes turning Maleficent into a fat old hoptoad. The others chide her, reminding her that their magic can only bring joy and happiness. Merryweather snidely responds that it would make her happy. From this we're to take it for granted that the fairies can't use any offensive magic. Until one of the final scenes, where Merryweather turns the raven to stone, which she shouldn't have been able to do, except that she was quite satisfied with the result.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: The raven and also Maleficent, since she managed to take Prince Phillip and was intending to inflict Fridge Horror on Aurora in order to make Merryweather's alteration of her curse work in her favor.
Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday: While the curse in the movie has a 16-year time period to be fulfilled instead of a certain day, the curse was fulfilled on Aurora's 16th birthday, just moments before its time was up.
She curses the princess to die because she was not invited to the christening. She spends the next sixteen years obsessing over her revenge being enacted.
Judging from how Maleficent is treated when she does show up, the families probably don't have a good history of friendship with her, and likely with good reason. The not-being-invited-to-the-christening part was just the straw that broke the camel's back.
Distressed Dude: Prince Phillip needs to be rescued by the Three Fairies before they take him to save Aurora.
The Ditz: Fauna doesn't focus as much on the drama at hand as her sisters; she also doesn't comprehend, after 16 years living with and as a human, that eggshells probably won't taste good in cake. Or that the candles shouldn't go on the cake until after it's been baked.
Does Not Like Shoes: Despite apparently having access to shoes, Aurora prefers to go barefoot when she ventures into the forest.
Dreaming of Things to Come: Aurora tells her animal friends that she dreams of finding love with a prince, and that she hopes the fact she dreamt it more than once means it will come true. It does.
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.
Merryweather: What won't [Maleficent] expect? She knows everything. Fauna: Oh, but she doesn't, dear. Maleficent doesn't know anything about love, or kindness, or the joy of helping others... You know, sometimes I don't think she's really very happy.
Aurora: Goodbye! Phillip: But when will I see you again? Aurora: Oh, never! Never! Phillip: Never?! Aurora: Well, maybe someday. Phillip: When? Tomorrow? Aurora: Oh, no, this evening! Phillip: Where? Aurora: At the cottage in the glen.
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.
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.
Holy Hand Grenade: Merryweather's magic when she finally dispatches the raven. Also, the Sword of Truth.
Horned Humanoid: Maleficent's hat invokes horns, but it's difficult to tell if she actually has them.
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.
Hot Mom: Aurora's mother, who is a spitting image of her.
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.
Lethal Chef: Fauna. She puts candles on the cake before she bakes it. It's pretty obvious she hasn't cooked the 16 years they've had Briar Rose, which Merryweather explicitly states.
Let's Get Dangerous: Merryweather attacking the raven after she's finally fed up. After missing with her first couple shots, Merryweather adjusts her gown, and you know things just got real.
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 we all know how much they can remember at that age.
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.
Mr. Fanservice: Phillip and his fangirls are very fortunate that Disney animators have apparently come a long way since the days of Snow White when Prince Charming's role was deliberately shortened because they weren't very good at drawing human males.
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!"
"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 incartnations, her skin is green, although a very pale green—mostly due to coloring errors, since her skin was supposed to be white.
Slasher Smile: Maleficent has a sharp-toothed one in her dragon form.
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.