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Headscratchers / Sleeping Beauty

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Disney version

  • Why is the green Fairy / Godmother called Fauna and the red one called Flora?
    Flora = the Plant Kingdom, which is firmly associated with the colour green note ; while Fauna = the Animal Kingdom, which would make more sense to associate with red, since animals note  have red blood, which is their life source. This might be a minor nitpick but has been really bothering me since it would make so much more sense to have called the green one Flora...
    • Chromatic Arrangement. Red is a power color associated with leadership and aggression, while green is a milder color associated with harmony. As for why they didn't just switch the names instead of the colors... "flora" is always mentioned first in the phrase "flora and fauna." If she's not the foremost of the three fairies, it wrecks the reference.
  • Why didn't they just wait until after her 16th birthday to reveal Aurora's identity? We could have avoided this whole mess if they'd just waited until then.
    • A troper on the Fridge Logic page suggested that Maleficent's magic, being more powerful than that of the good fairies, overruled everyones common sense and forced the events to play out as they did.
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    • Maybe they just got confident? The plan was working after all. If Flora and Merryweather hadn't engaged in a petty magic battle, Maleficent never would have found them. By the time it occured to her to see if Aurora had returned to the castle it would have probably been too late to do anything.
    • They weren't about to present her until after sunset on her birthday - the exact time the curse expired. She arrives at the castle only a few minutes before sunset. But presumably the fairies were planning to bring her later on just to be safe but had to move her because she'd agreed to meet Philip at the cottage. They felt it was more convenient to leave the cottage before he got there rather than trying to explain to an apparent peasant boy that his crush was in fact the princess. Essentially they had planned to keep her under careful observation until sunset but Flora's conscience got the better of her and they left her alone for a few minutes.
  • The three fairies lock themselves into a lantern to discuss their plans. This is so Malificent can't overhear. Then they reveal the whole plan to the king and queen, out in the open. What, Maleficent didn't overhear that?
    • It's never specified where they told the King and Queen. Or how.
    • Not just Maleficent, but anyone who might be listening in. In the chance they might accidentally spill it out.
    • ^ This. A royal castle is full of servants, who often go overlooked or Beneath Suspicion. Maleficent could have spies anywhere.
  • Why couldn't Merryweather turn Maleficent into a toad anyway? Flora and Fauna say that their magic can only bring happiness, but turning her into a toad would've made Merryweather happy, and probably a lot of other people, too.
    • Because Maleficent is magical too, and much more powerful than them. She'd probably be not only able to turn herself back to normal, but to also return the favor considerably.
    • Its possible that Faeries cannot attack or harm each other directly, either out of some law/code of conduct that all members of their race follow or because their magic will not allow them to. Maleficent is clearly FAR more powerful than the three good faeries combined, yet she never seems to attack them directly, only hurting the things they care about (sending frosts to ruin Flora's flowers, etc.). And yes, Philip kills Maleficent with Flora's help, but it is still Philip that throws the sword, making for some pretty interesting Loophole Abuse.
  • The fairies seemed to have a pretty hard time cooking and sewing. Not that those things are effortlessly easy, but they'd been living like mortals for 16 years and taking care of a kid. Shouldn't one of those have come up by now?
    • The implication is that Merryweather has been doing the cooking and sewing this whole time (and has to be somewhat competent or Briar Rose would be dead by now). Fauna is directly stated to have tried baking for the first time. The only reason Merryweather uses her powers to get the cleaning done is because it is tedious.
    • Note that when Merryweather says, "I never baked a fancy cake!", she puts emphasis on the fancy, which indicates she did at least some of the cooking all those years. She also helps define "tsp" for Fauna.
  • I know it's a fairy tale, but why is a daughter being born celebrated so much? In the film the whole kingdom was rejoicing, but in real life a princess would not be considered as important.
    • It's quite possible that women are respected in this fairy tale setting. Not only that, but the Queen and King hadn't had any children up to that point which meant no heirs. So, yes, being a fantasy setting, Disney was free to make a princess be an heir.
    • What about Queen Elizabeth II? I am not that familiar with the monarchy in the UK, but wasn't she the heir to the throne? Wasn't there a big celebration in her honor when she was born? Keep in mind, I was born in 1989, so...yah.
      • Yes, but that was in the twentieth century, when the monarchy didn't have that much power any more any way so it didn't matter as much, plus the fact that by this point England had had several successful - or at least tolerable - queens. In the Middle Ages, having a strong male heir plus a spare was absolutely vital to ensure the succession, and nobles were pretty iffy about having a woman on the throne. Witness the conflict between Stephen and Matilda, two cousins who engulfed England in the first of many civil wars...
      • Plus Elizabeth the II's father wasn't even supposed to be king, originally. He only became king because his brother abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice divorced American. So technically she was third in line to the throne until her dad became king, which is when she became the Heir to the throne.
      • Elizabeth was the daughter of the Heir Presumptive (the second in line to the throne). Her chances of reaching the throne were estimated at roughly -0 when she was born, so there wasn't a huge outpouring for her. As for Aurora, well, the main reason for having a princess was to marry her off for political gain. As quickly as tempers flew between the two kings, odds are that Aurora's birth was the lynchpin in a peace treaty between the two nations, since Phillip was betrothed to her before they'd even cut the umbilical cord.
    • Well, depending on how old the parents are (I'm going to say the Queen's in her late 30s and the king maybe a bit older then that) which means Aurora would probably be the only child they ever have. So Aurora is by default the heir to her dad's throne (or parents, if they co-rule)
    • A princess was still valuable in the Middle Ages. Any daughters were used to secure alliances with other important kingdoms via marriage. Which is exactly what happened with Aurora and Philip. Any royal child is better than none.
    • It's one of those cases of we've-waited-so-long-for-a-child-that-we-thought-we-would-never-have-one-but-at-long-last-a-miracle-has-happened. The people were celebrating that their king and queen finally had the child they'd been longing for.
    • In the middle ages it's better for the peasants if the King and Queen are happy about something than if they are depressed, frustrated, and never attentive to anything but having sex 24/7 in an effort to conceive. The movie only shows the pre-Aurora kingdom through saintly illustrations and pastoral music as told from Stefan and Leah's perspective. For the peasants it may well have been very good news that their monarchs were out from under a black cloud of bitterness and sorrow.
    • I'm not sure why this was even asked since the OP acknowledges that they know it's a fairy tale and not real life, but even if we look beyond that, the film tells us that Aurora's parents had been hoping for the opportunity to unite their kingdom with King Hubert's by marrying their children. We're never told that Prince Phillip has any sisters (or any other siblings whatsoever), so if we assume that he's an only child, then Stefan's first child being born a girl would be exactly what everyone had been hoping would happen. Especially since Hubert is clearly getting on in age, the chances of him being able to sire another heir had Aurora been born a boy instead are pretty slim.
  • First, Maleficent's curse says (to my knowledge), "On her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die." It says nothing about that curse coming into effect any other time, ONLY on that date. If so, that makes the rest of the story completely useless. They didn't need to burn every spinning wheel in the kingdom (which probably seriously hurt their kingdom's ability to make clothes or sew cloth for trade), they didn't need the fairies to hide her away, they didn't need to be separated from their daughter for 16 entire years. They could have very easily hired the three fairies as Aurora's bodyguards. On her birthday, all they would have to do is lock away all of the spinning wheels for that one day and up the security in the castle. It would also help to keep her busy and contained to mostly one section of the castle, far away from any of the locked-away spinning wheels. Twenty-four hours of this, and she would have been perfectly fine. Plus, Maleficent would have probably expected the baby to be hidden. Hiding in plain sight, anyone?
    • Actually, it's "before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday". The curse in effect from when it was cast till the sun sets over the horizon. That's why extreme measures were necessary. Surveying her for twenty-four hours still might not have done the trick; the fairies only left Rose alone for a minute and that's all it took.
    • That's also why Maleficent has her subjects search the kingdom for sixteen years. If the curse could only work on her sixteenth birthday then she would have only sent them out then.
    • This is a case of Ambiguous Syntax. As stated, it could easily be interpreted either way. Stefan, of course, as the father of a child who was difficult to conceive and the king of a kingdom that has only one possible heir (and a less-than-ideal one at that since she's not only a girl but now a cursed girl), errs on the side of caution.
    • The fairies also display some awareness that what Maleficent wants is to kill Aurora, not necessarily to make sure that her curse plays out exactly as planned. That's why they dismiss Flora's plan to prevent the curse by turning the princess into a flower — because they reason Maleficent will send a frost to kill the flower instead.
  • The fairies know that since Aurora's sixteenth birthday is coming up, Maleficent is probably getting desperate. Even if they still believed she didn't know about the cottage, they had to have realized she'd guess they were taking Aurora back to the castle So that now brings up the question...why did they leave her ALONE? They could have EASILY moved to the other side of the room and let her cry, but no - they LEFT. And guess what happened?
    • It's acknowledged in the movie itself that the fairies made a mistake. They start crying, "oh, why did we leave her alone?!" and later, Flora weeps and says "I'll never forgive myself". They were too confident they had eluded Maleficent, and they felt truly sorry for their foster daughter. It was a pretty tragic time for them, too - they had to give her up, and were grieving themselves. Also, they didn't yet know Maleficent had learned where they'd been hiding.
  • Aurora was cursed to sleep until she was kissed by her true was wasn't magically putting the rest of the kingdom to sleep until their princess woke up kind of counterproductive? Any of those people could been her true love. That would have sucked.
    • When they do that, they've already found out that Aurora fell in love with some boy she met in the woods. They were probably planning to go after him and see if he really was her true love. Finding out he happened to be the man she was betrothed to just motivated them more.
      • But they didn't know anything about the boy in the woods. They had no reason to assume it was not someone from the nearest kingdom passing through. Alternatively, if Aurora told the fairies he was going to meet him at the cabin that evening and the fairies were absolutely convinced he'd show up then at least one of them ought to have been on their way to the cabin to fetch him. It's lucky the boy turned out to be Phillip, because if he were someone else, they'd have blown their best shot and ever finding the guy and breaking the spell.
      • Aurora was heartbroken that she couldn't see him again. Seems like a candidate for true love especially back in those days. Plan A was to put the castle to sleep and the fairies would have presumably discussed how to find the true love. However when King Hubert is falling asleep, he lets slip about Philip. Perhaps before that they assumed Philip was in the castle somewhere and it'd be easier to search for him with everyone asleep? Then they'd wake him up with their magic and get him to kiss Aurora.
      • Assuming Maleficent hadn't kidnapped him and they'd missed him at the cottage, who says they couldn't have used magic to track him down again?
    • As long as Aurora and her true love were both alive, the spell could be broken. That means there should have been a rush - it was only logical for Maleficent to target the only person could break the spell.
      • Except she specifically states that's not what she's going to do. She says she's going to keep Phillip locked up until he's an old man, then release him and let him go wake Aurora.
      • That isn't quite what Maleficent says. She does heavily imply that Phillip will eventually be released after a very long time, but the animation which accompanies depicts Phillip as not only aged and broken-down but slightly transparent, suggesting that what Maleficent really plans is to keep him locked up until he dies of old age and that he'll be "free to go his way" only as a ghost.
    • Who says they can't lift the sleeping spell? It was their own magic, after all. The only reason they cast it in the first place was so the King and Queen wouldn't have to discover after all their sacrifice was for nothing.
  • Why do people keep trying to compare this Disney version to the version where she's raped by the prince and has his twins, even though it's obviously based on the Thcaikovski ballet (the music is a rather big clue, if you happened to miss the opening credits)?
    • Because people enjoy Grimmification, whether or not it actually makes sense or is at all relevant.
    • Well all of which is of course still relevant. No art work really is made in a vacuum, most have long standing paths that evolve as time goes on. Most of which will draw comparisons. All of these examples being evolved along the same path that existed before them and continued after them. Why exactly can't people compare and contrast them?
  • What exactly is the point of the third fairy bringing the curse down from death to an endless sleep that can only be broken by true love's kiss? In every version of the story I've heard of, nothing is ever done with this gift until after it becomes a last resort - instead, it's always the king sending Aurora to live with the pixies, Maleficent finding her anyway, and the curse taking effect without a hitch, and Aurora falling in love along the way always seems to be just a lucky coincidence. Why not just let her grow up normally, have her meet someone she could fall in love with, and then if the curse does take effect, you'll have a surefire way to wake her from the sleep, anyway. Why not do this instead of hiding Aurora and hoping the curse doesn't play through?
    • A few reasons: 1. Aurora is betrothed. The fairies are actually horrified she fell in love in the movie, because she still has to marry the prince (obviously not realizing they were the same person). 2. If Aurora did fall in love with someone at the castle, Maleficent would find out. In fact, she does in the movie, and successfully captures Phillip.
    • Aurora is vulnerable every day from her christening until she turns sixteen. You think Maleficent is going to wait for her to grow up, fall in love with someone and risk breaking the curse? The fairies decide to keep Aurora hidden away because Maleficent wouldn't suspect them giving up their lives and magic for sixteen years to raise a child as their own. They also warn Aurora never to speak to strangers in case it could be one of Maleficent's spies.
    • And you should note that they don't come up with the plan to hide Aurora until later. Merryweather softening the curse from death to sleep is a desperation move to make the king and queen feel better. In fact that's why they decide to hide Aurora away - because there's still ample room for Maleficent to come after her, even with the kiss escape clause.
  • If Maleficent didn't appear at the party in the beginning of the movie, what would've been Merryweather's gift for Aurora?
    • Maybe love? For example, the gift of her one true love she would meet one day, or something? Which might've been weird, considering she was already betrothed to Phillip, but maybe the gift was specifically for love to bloom between her and Phillip, which would also explain why love factors into the gift she ultimately gives.
    • Wisdom or wit? Merryweather is far more practical than the other two and either would be useful for a future queen.
    • If you take into account that the fairies were originally going to have powers based off their names, the gifts make a little more sense. Flora with powers over flowers gives Aurora the beauty of them, Fauna with powers over wildlife gives her a voice like a songbird. Merriweather would have had powers over the weather, so maybe something that ties into that - a sunny personality? Gentle like the breeze? Although if you think about it, the gift she does give ties into that as well - giving Aurora the chance to wake from the curse could parallel that the sun will always come out from behind a storm cloud.
      • And in the sequence of Merryweather giving Aurora her gift, the motif is a ray of sunlight falling on her. Flora's had flower motifs, and Fauna's had birds.
  • So the three fairies state that Maleficent is far too powerful for them, yet they can magic up a sword that can easily kill her with just a flick of their wands, why did they never do this years ago? All this time and they never summoned that sword and told one of the kings knights to throw it or just do it themselves?
    • Even with the sword and shield, Maleficent proved to be a very powerful threat to Phillip. Odds are the fairies didn't dare to send someone directly into her domain, even if they were armed and capable of killing her - they gave the weapons to Phillip because they were his only chance of escape at that point.
    • It's Loophole Abuse of their powers. Fauna says they can only use their magic to bring joy and happiness. They do however find ways around that, using it for defence to stop the arrows and boulders thrown at Philip. Merryweather is also able to turn Diablo to stone, presumably because he was directly threatening their mission. So my guess is that the fairies can't use their magic to stop Maleficent, but they can conjure up tools and weapons for someone else to stop her.
    • And really, Maleficent left herself much more vulnerable as a dragon. In that form she could only snap and breathe fire. So it looks like the fairies just saw an opportunity to get her while she was defenceless. Flora's spell says "sword of truth fly swift and sure, that evil die and good endure" - so perhaps the sword would have killed Maleficent anyway and the spell was just making sure it would hit whatever it was aiming at.
  • Kidnapping Phillip and keeping him locked up implies that Maleficent had learnt that her curse was modified and that Aurora fell in love with him. Her only source of information was the raven, who was eavesdropping on the fairies and they were talking about a man the girl fell in love with, but how did she find out about the modified curse?
    • Merryweather altered the curse in front of the entire court, it wouldn't have been difficult to find out she had even without magic powers or minions.
    • Well when the princess first disappeared, wouldn't the first place Maleficent sent her servants be the castle? To spy on the king and queen, hoping to get information about Aurora's whereabouts. They presumably found out then.
  • Why does Aurora's dress continue to change between pink and blue in the book illustration at the end?
    • Rule of Funny? Although if you want to take it at face value, the book might be implying that Flora and Merriweather never stopped the colour war, and Aurora spent her whole life with a dress that was constantly flashing between pink and blue.
  • In the scene where Maleficent hypnotizes Aurora, the Fairies are waiting for Aurora on the other side of a door, as Maleficent's oboe Leitmotif chugs away, with nothing else heard in the sequence apart from the Faeries talking. However, Flora puts her ear to the door and immediately recognizes Maleficent's presence. So the question is: can the Fairies hear Maleficent's presence through hearing the Leitmotif?
    • If you listen to the music, you can hear a faint ghostly wail calling out "Aurora". Maybe that's what Flora heard? And maybe the music was what Maleficent was using to hypnotise Aurora.
    • Maybe fairies also have better hearing than humans.
    • Or maybe they were just listening for the sound of Aurora crying. They left her in there alone and were presumably outside the only door, so if they can't hear her anymore, it either means she's stopped crying or has found another way out, and that could only be due to Maleficent.
  • So Maleficant, the evil sorceress so evil and petty that she curses a newborn baby with death because her parents didn't invite her to the celebration, captures Prince Phillip, the only man who can save Aurora from an endless slumber, and instead of going to kill the Prince in the dungeon, she goes to the dungeon... and tells Phillip that she'll let him out when he's old and that then he can try to awaken Aurora. While cruelty fits Maleficant, the fact that she's letting Philip live in the dungeon does not. She should either be torturing him to near death (which I understand they can't really do for a kids film), or outright going to kill him herself (which she only does after Phillip escapes).
    • Maleficent intends to keep him there for a hundred years, so in her mind she's got plenty of time. She had no idea that the fairies were sneaking into the Forbidden Mountain, as she didn't know they knew about Prince Philip. As she's on a massive ego trip at the moment - her curse finally being fulfilled, and the potential curse breaker safely locked in her dungeon, she has effectively won. She didn't bank on the fairies being able to sneak into her home. She pretty much says that she's going to get a good night's sleep, while her minions appear to be having a celebration.
    • If you look at Maleficent as a character, she's not exactly to the point. She could have killed Aurora instantly when she showed up at the christening; but she chose to curse her in such a way that would torture her parents even more. Even when she finally traps Aurora, she doesn't just sneak up on her and prick her with the spindle; she hypnotises her and tortures the fairies with a little chase. Maleficent prefers to tantalise her victims.
    • My impression was that Maleficent was trying to cleverly nullify Merryweather’s gift. By leaving Prince Philip alive until he was about to die of old age, then letting him go to wake up Aurora, the terms of Merryweather’s gift would be fulfilled, yet everyone involved would be as miserable as possible – maximum win! If she killed Philip she would be trying to fight fate and directly oppose the power of the gift, and we now from numerous stories that trying to defy prophecies is a very dangerous endeavor with unpredictable results. By killing Philip, she might just guarantee that “True Love’s Kiss” is interpreted in some other way that she has no control over.
  • As we know, Flora is the red fairy due to the color she dresses in. However, her magic sparkles are pink and the dress she makes for Aurora is pink. Why not have her be the pink fairy? Or have the magic sparkles be red for most of her magic, but only pink when she colors Aurora's dress? In fact I think the only time she ever really uses red colored magic is when she turns her own clothes from blue to red.

Ballet version

  • In the Ballet, Prince Florimund has a Countess girlfriend before he is shown the vision of Aurora by the Lilac Fairy. What happened to her? Was she just okay with being dumped in the span of a few hours?
    • It wouldn't have mattered if she was okay with it or not. The prince was involved in an Arranged Marriage with a princess so the Countess wouldn't have gotten him anyway. There's also the matter of rank, and the prince outranked the countess. So she couldn't have gotten upset with it, at least in public.

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