Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day Ten - Sleeping Beauty

Movie: Sleeping Beauty
Released: January 29, 1959
Formats Released: 2 VHS, 1 Betamax, 2 Laserdisc, 2 DVD, 1 Blu-Ray
Formats Watched: 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray
Watched With: Dogs Belle and Woody
Snacks: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts and Fanta Zero

I find that the best part of this movie, to me at least, is the visual style of the film. It is like nothing that has come before it and it is very distinct. This is due to the unsusual role given to Eyvind Earl who was the color stylist and background designer. He was given a significant amount of freedom and allowed to paint the majority of the backgrounds. The rest of the movie had to reflect his modernistic style which resulted in the final overall look of the movie.

Another interesting thing about the movie is that it did not really star Sleeping Beauty, she was featured in less that 18 minutes of the movie. The real stars of the movie are Flora, Fauna and Merryweather and to a lesser degree Prince Philip.

This movie also spent almost the longest amount of time in development for a Disney movie, and definitely the longest amount of time up until that date. Most of the background took 8-10 days to produce rather than the 1-2 days it usually took. The work on the cels took longer than normal as well, at times the animators 1 or 2 cels a day rather than 20 or so.

My Thoughts on the Film:

Other than the art in this film, I find this film a little flat. There was little to no character development like we saw in Pinocchio or Dumbo. The characters just moved along like they were on rails. Maleficent was just evil to be evil. Why was she after Princess Aurora? Was it because she didn't get an invitation to the unveiling of the princess? I'm pretty sure she was evil before that but there must have been some reason she would do this.

The rest of the characters also seem to be doing things just to do them. The kings only motivation seems to by marrying of their children. At least Prince Philips father seemed to be coming around to the fact that he wanted to marry a peasant girl. The three fairy's, who have spent the last 16 years with Aurora, when finding out that she thinks she loves a peasant man force her to run crying to her room then bundle her off to the castle.

My Favorite Part of the Film:

It had to be when the Goons were dancing around the fire after capturing Prince Philip. It was very reminiscent of the "Night on Bald Mountain" scene from Fantasia.

Things I never noticed before:

- One of the Goons was voiced by Candy Candido, who was Fidget in The Great Mouse Detective as well as in Robin Hood and Peter Pan
- Briar Rose is barefoot while walking in the woods
- The cookies that Merryweather creates while drinking her tea are Mickey shaped

Final Thoughts:

Not one of my favorite films, but still a good movie. It says a lot that I have not watched the Blu-ray before and I bought it in 2008. The movie just seems bland to me, but I'm sure little girls love it. It is funny that the castle in Disneyland was named after Sleeping Beauty and Disneyland opened before the movie came out, giving the movie almost a gimmicky feel. It's something I would expect today but seems a little out of place for the 1950's.

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