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YMMV: Sleeping Beauty

The original

  • Freud Was Right: In folklore a person at the age of 15, is very lustful. And at that age she decided to touch a pointy item of a certain shape, and end up bleeding.
    • All the fairies symbolize something a proper woman will get/learn. The wicked fairy represents her sexuality, and she was born by a frog. The princess never learned about that.
    • The way the thorns prevent men from appropriating the princess during a long time, represent how we tend to ignore almost everyone during puberty, until we "spring out". Just like the flowers did.

The Disney version

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: What is Aurora's real motivation for going to the castle when she clearly doesn't want to? Is she just spineless? Doing the right thing? Which is she really more sad over- losing Philip, being told her happy peasant life is a lie and having to leave it forever, having a major career (ruling) forced on her- all of the above?
  • Awesome Music:
    • The entire score, courtesy of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (albeit rearranged and with added lyrics by George Bruns), but for a single song, "Once Upon a Dream" is probably the topper.
    • Also "Battle with the Forces of Evil", which plays during The Fairies and Prince Phillip's escape from the Forbidden Mountain and their battle with Dragon Maleficent.
  • Chaotic Evil: Maleficent is Type 4.
  • Evil Is Cool: Maleficent is famous for being a villain Made of Win, so popular in her own right that she got her own movie!
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Aurora's segment from the Compilation Movie Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams hasn't gotten much love from the public. Its crimes include turning the princess into a ditz, and boasting animation that fails at evoking "a moving illustration." Even Aurora's original voice actress, Mary Costa, believes it justifies Disney's refusal to make a full-length sequel. (read the second page of this interview)
    • The Maleficent movie is considered this by those who would rather the villainess remain evil at heart, instead of being turned into The Woobie. Or to those who wish she'd been cast as someone other than Angelina Jolie. In fairness, said film is also clearly an Alternate Continuity, and Disney's Animated Canon has always taken precedence over the live-action adaptations.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Maleficent in the beginning is rather attractive for an evil fairy, satisfied with cursing the baby and getting her revenge. When she starts getting more and more desperate as the years go by, she starts looking uglier and more haggard. Losing sleep over it?
    Maleficent: For the first time in sixteen years, I shall sleep well.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The music you hear when Maleficent hypnotizes Aurora. If you listen carefully it's actually singing "Aurora...". The voice calling out even changes from language to language.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • It's hard to watch Sleeping Beauty nowadays and not think of the Rankin Bass animated adaptation of The Hobbit from the late Seventies, or of the many "sword and sorcery" animated kids' shows of The Eighties (the best example probably being He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983)), whose collective aesthetic and tone echoed a lot of what was seen and heard in this film.
    • A deleted scene on the Diamond Blu-Ray portrays Aurora as almost a proto-Jasmine-A princess who spends her life cooped up in a castle, and desires freedom so strongly, she releases her pet bird from its cage, then sneaks to the marketplace disguised as a peasant, whereupon she meets the love of her life.
    • The filmmakers intentionally avoided the hundred years of sleep in the fairy tale, since they found the idea of Aurora marrying a guy one hundred years her junior (on top of being someone she just met) questionable in regards to the age difference. It plays this trope straight considering how popular the Mayfly-December Romance trope has gotten, particularly when one thinks of a certain book series.
  • Magnificent Bitch: In the face of everything, even her minions' stupidity, Maleficent always somehow manages to get ahead.
  • Moment Of Awesome: For how nightmarish Maleficent's dragon form is, it makes Prince Phillip's takedown of her one of the greatest moments of the Disney animated canon. It's very understandable why viewers of the 2014 Maleficent film—- even those who liked said film—- were upset that the film avoided this by giving the dragon form to her familiar.
  • Older Than They Think: Much of the music and songs were heavily borrowed from Tchaikovsky's music for the ballet of the same name. For instance, "Once Upon a Dream", the movie's most notable song? Boom. In some parts, it's actually taken a step further: some parts of the movie's incidental music actually use movements from Tchaikovsky's original ballet with slight reorchestrations in some places! One of the most prominent examples is the use of Puss in Boots and the White Cat as the music with which Aurora pricks her finger.
  • She's Just Hiding: Many fans believe that Maleficent is still alive, mainly because she apparently left no corpse. In the Alternate Universe Kingdom Hearts canon they use this to reintroduce Maleficent, as thinking about her when her cloak is nearby resurrects her.
  • Something Completely Different: Well, not quite. But this is a unique entry in the pre-Oliver & Company Disney animated sweepstakes. It's a much more serious treatment than 1950s audiences were used to seeing from Disney: other than the bickering fairies and the drunken minstrel, there isn't much of the vaudeville shtick from, say, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs or Peter Pan; the aesthetic is literally Darker and Edgier (many more shadows and darkened faces, and there wouldn't be Disney characters this angular again until Hercules 38 years later); and the medieval setting is truly medieval: historically accurate, properly Gothic, and without the Fifties-sitcom gloss seen in Cinderella. Compared to Disney's other "classic" films, Sleeping Beauty looks more like something by Don Bluth (after he left Disney, that is) or Rankin/Bass. You might even call it the Lord of the Rings of its time, especially since High Fantasy was in very short supply in 1950s America.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The 1959 Latin American Spanish dub - the acting is almost perfect. However, it was redubbed in 2001 and... Well...
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Aurora and Phillip represent on a grand scale fairy tale archetypes—Princess Classic and Prince Charming. This is fairly obvious at the start of the film, but by the time the third act has begun, unique personality and even dialogue is cut out to leave behind only the archetypes.
  • Vindicated by History: This film did not recoup its budget (in spite of grossing well enough to come second in the box office during its opening) and, at best, garnered mixed results from critics. Its failings were a crushing disappointment to Walt Disney himself and nearly killed off the studio's production of animated feature films. Although the process used to make it helped lower the costs of future animated movies and keep it going, no fairy tales would come out of the studio until The Renaissance Age of Animation hit with The Little Mermaid. Nowadays, however, the film is considered a classic that proved that the studio was able to make a genuinely dark fairy tale and helped to give the canon one of its greatest villains.
  • Wangst: It's not hard to see Aurora's misery about not seeing the boy she met a half hour before and going to live with her parents in a castle and be a princess as being overly dramatic.
    • Made somewhat Hilarious in Hindsight when Maleficent gets her own movie, which actually touches on the fact that Aurora and Phillip have only just met. Since genuine love cannot exist after only a single meeting, Prince Phillip doesn't end up being the one to break Aurora's curse.
  • Weird Al Effect: It becomes difficult to watch the ballet once one is familiar with the film, as the same score cues two completely different events in the ballet and film. Hearing the waltz would probably also cause several viewers to mentally hear the lyrics to "Once Upon a Dream" and/or "I Wonder" despite no one actually singing them.
    • The effect is most notable in the "Characteristic Scene" music. In the film, a creepy tune where poor ensorcelled Aurora is led to her fate. In the ballet, a funny and flirty dance between Puss-in-Boots and the White Cat.
  • The Woobie: Poor Aurora. In many scenes, she looks like a kicked puppy.