Reviews: Sleeping Beauty

Not Magnificent, but Maleficent

This is arguably one of the bigger disappointments I had as a child growing up. You potentially have this wonderful setting, this backdrop for an epic love triangle, that instead is shunted to one side in favor of pointless filler and boring secondary characters. So much time and talent is wasted its almost tragic. The two main problems here are the story and the characters.

The story needs work. A LOT of work. Instead of building up the character's relationships with one another, we have this polava over being betrothed which is unnecessarily time-consuming, birds singing for five minutes, the good fairies having their childish fight for another five, then the Kings, oh gawd. The Kings threatening war on each other and then making up. Really? Come on Disney, you CAN do better. You can do MUCH better. The main characters are... bland and poorly developed, and have no chemistry. Princess Aurora is just sorta "meh", your typical one-dimensional Disney Princess (I hate that term). Prince Phillip is woefully underdeveloped, and painfully so. He doesn't even have many lines.

As a villainess, Maleficent the evil fairy/dragoness is just wonderful, but even her great character suffers because she's being evil - for the sake of being evil. That's not good development. She becomes this flat character who just wants to spite everyone else.

If I had to fix this, I'd focus on the main three: get rid of this betrothing rubbish. Introduce everyone as adults. Have the four fairies all good in the beginning. Maleficent's love is too great, she falls for Phillip who does not reciprocate that feeling, who instead loves Aurora. Her love turns twisted and she herself becomes evil. She curses Aurora to an eternal sleep. That's it! That's all you needed to do! Now Maleficent NOW HAS a reason, and this makes her more truly threatening ~ she's a spurned lover. Yet Disney somehow couldn't accomplish this.

To add insult to injury, Enchanted tried and failed to do the same thing as well! Its as if the story-writers keep resorting to the same tired old cliches and don't understand how to make these characters work off each other.