Sleeping Beauty: The classic animated movie was a Disney triumph (1959)

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Sleeping Beauty with the prince

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When the now-classic Disney film Sleeping Beauty came out at the end of the 1950s, moviegoers around the world were enthralled by the technicolor wonder, created by hundreds of artists over the course of six years. Find out more here!
Sleeping Beauty a top Disney triumph

“Sleeping Beauty,” Walt Disney’s $6,000,000 spectacular film presentation of the beloved old fairytale, is declared the supreme achievement in the wondrous art of animation and the Disney method of cinematic storytelling.

It is, by all means, the greatest undertaking in Disney entertainment history. Some 300 artists worked on it through six years.

For this prodigious task, Walt and his corps of veteran artists had at their command new and challenging implements of fantasy.

These mechanisms — the big Technirama screen, revised color techniques, the fidelities of improved sound for the Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty Ballet music — promise breathtaking elegance for the picture.

Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty - Lobby promo card from 1959

ALSO SEE: Walt Disney thrills the world with the classic movie ‘Cinderella’ (1950)

But the entertainment quality of the 75-minute feature rises more from the treatment of the medieval tale than from its sense-stirring splendors.

Walt has packed into “Sleeping Beauty” all the know-how acquired from previous productions of classic fairytales, from the days of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” through the making of “Peter Pan.”

Sleeping Beauty - Aurora alseep

The retelling of a classic fairytale

The origin of the old legend of the sleeping beauty is dim in European mythology.

The Disney romantic miracle play follows the rather thin original only in its main outline, the story adaptation having been made from Charles Perrault’s, version. Enormous research provided the authentic background and dressing.

The courtship of young Princess Aurora, who believes herself a peasant maid, by the valiant Phillip brings poetic beauty to animation with a boy-and-girl quality so modern it is sure to endear the picture to the teenagers.

Sleeping Beauty with the prince

The animated person of Princess Aurora becomes the loveliest of all the fair ladies of legend. And Prince Phillip — he who gives the restoring kiss to lift the dreadful curse — is the most gallant in Disney’s gallery of heroes.

WANT TO SEE SLEEPING BEAUTY AGAIN? Get it now on disc or stream the video

The baddie Maleficent in Disney's Sleeping Beauty movie - 1959


Original theatrical trailer video: “Sleeping Beauty”


Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty movie poster

Wondrous to see… glorious to hear… a magnificent new motion picture!

ALSO SEE: 16 breathtakingly gorgeous vintage evening gowns with long skirts so full they’d make a Disney Princess jealous

sleeping-beauty-poster

Princess Aurora in Disney's Sleeping Beauty movie - 1959


Disney movie review in brief: “Sleeping Beauty”

Six years and $6 million went into this latest feature-length Walt Disney animated fairy tale, with its score “expanded” from the Tchaikovsky ballet.

Scene from Disney's Sleeping Beauty movie - 1959

It’s a must for a Disney fan — and who isn’t? His genius for atmospheric background and imaginative animation hits a new high; and the Disney family of lovable characters is enriched by the three fussbudget good fairies — Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather.

Most unforgettable character: The witch Maleficent. Compared to her, Dracula’s daughter was a social worker.

“Sleeping Beauty” — In Technicolor and Technirama

Sleeping Beauty 1959 - Dragon

ALSO SEE: Classic Walt Disney Home Video VHS movies & short collections from the ’80s & ’90s

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One Response

  1. 1959!
    I like to think of it as a key milestone year for progressive femininity!

    > SLEEPING BEAUTY released

    > Mattel’s BARBIE hit the store shelves along with eventually millions of young girls’ bedrooms

    > Possibly the best invention of the 20th century, PANTYHOSE invented

    > and, I was born. Ten years later, long before we understood Gender Dysphoria and transgenderism, I was a bright and happy “boy” beginning fifth grade. Without a clue as to the whys behind certain feelings and behaviors of mine, I clearly recognized that I was notably different from most other boys of any age, and had well begun a mental list of things that I knew for certain about myself:

    > I hated rolling around in dirt and being aggressive and competitive with other boys,

    > I cherished to the degree of deeming as priceless, the time and its comparative value, spent with my adored six years older sister, and her dearest friends, the darling angels of two-years apart pair of sisters directly across the street, matching in age with my sister. It was with those three (human Goddesses to me!), on one Saturday afternoon (I believe I was six or seven), that I was blessed with the most magical, divinely ethereal taste of pure nirvana experience, that still rivals all other positive experiences in my life.

    As i was perched on a bed in the sisters’ shared bedroom, I marveled in absolute awe at the three girls joyfully playing an activity best termed Beauty Shop Dress-up. Astute in their overtly loving, protective, adoring and pampering of me they immediately noticed my total enthrallment of them and in the most innocent manner of loving inclusion (the mutual adoration among we four was apparent to all), they asked if I would like to join in and a smiling “Yes” from me was all it took to prompt the three to delightedly focus their undivided attention on me. Within what was easily among the most heavenly unknown number of minutes I have ever known, those three transformed me into the prettiest, most adorably girlish girly girl I had ever to lay eyes on! The rest of which belongs in story format elsewhere.

    > I more than disliked sports, I HATED sports and dreaded having to participate in any, and of all the sports I knew of, I DESPISED with a passion hyper-competitive and aggressive physical contact sports,

    > I can vividly recall more times than I can count being sent out with a leather glove to right field, where I would immediately, against the yelling of the boys in the infield, take off my glove, drop it with absolute disinterest on the crab grass, sit down in the warm sunshine, completely dismiss to the point of blocking-out any reason for why I was even sitting there, entirely ignore until I could not even hear the irrelevant cacophony of increasingly angering boys, who might as well have been a hundred miles away, yelling at me to stand up, put on my glove, and stop picking bouquets of dandelions coating my fingers with milky white flower juice. From time to time I would select a more durable and securely interwoven bouquet that I would, with girlish innocence, place in my hair that was sadly way too short to hold anything at all in it for longer than a few seconds.

    On the rarest of once in a blue moon occasions, like a Rocky Mountain DEVCON 5 alert, a sickeningly dreaded fly ball would set off my airborne projectile defense system, within seconds jacking me up off the grass and into potential head injury red alert, with eyes to the sky, my mind-eye coordination unit calculating projectile size, weight, mass, estimated inertia, angle of repose of particles of air, and most importantly: projectile trajectory and terminal velocity! With my foremost priority being to distance myself as far as possible from the estimated location of critical impact with the seemingly endless square yardage of crab grass!

    And of course I would be derelict in my reporting if I failed to mention the utter stupidity being shouted at me from the clueless morons in the infield: dear gawd if dear reader can believe THIS inanity:

    “Catch the ball damnit! Catch the ball then immediately throw it to one of us!”,

    “Catch the fly ball and do not let it touch the ground!”,

    “Don’t just stand there and watch the fly ball hit the ground, then walk over to where it stops rolling, THEN pick it up! Don’t, don’t, don’t! CATCH IT! DAMNIT, CATCH IT! BEFORE IT LANDS!”

    I am pleased to report that whilst throughout my youthful years, countless boys sustained countless numbers of times being struck, often resulting in great pain and injury,
    by all manners of projectiles (mostly hard spherical objects about the size of a baseball, uh, actually, EXACTLY the size of a baseball) I, was never even once struck by a fly spherical projectile!

    Alas, it is almost sunrise and I must however catch one thing: some sleep!

    But 1959…

    Save to say that after forty some-odd years of explainable avidly indulgent crossdressing, I joined Sleeping Beauty, Barbie and Pantyhose and jovially and vivaciously transitioned from Walter, the boy I never really was, to Clarissa, the love of my life and the girl of my dreams, and I have never been happier!

    YES! 1959: The milestone year for progressive femininity!

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