Worthy Of Note

Although I came across this movie far too scary to watch as a kid, I love it greatly now that I’m older. One of the key reasons for this is because they used the music from Tchaikovsky’s magnum opus, The Sleeping Beauty for most of the score. As an admirer of Tchaikovsky, therefore, I’m already hooked on that point.

Sleeping Beauty, however, is a very different film from anything Disney created before or since. While some of the enhancements are positive and it proves to be always a beautifully lyrical production, however, supporters of the older style Disney creation could find this film somewhat lacking. One major point where this film differs from the rest of the Disney oeuvre is within the animation.

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The incredible animators at Disney attempted their best to help make the art appear to be illustrations in a middle ages tapestry, and they succeeded to a huge level. So we are treated to the shiny colors and flat, angular style of the Middle Ages, which certainly renders a fairytale aspect to the proceedings. Until that true point, Disney had tried to do their full-length films in a semi-realistic style with some cartoon-ish shapes and flourishes reserved for comic relief characters. Animation aesthetics began changing in the 1950s to a far more abstract style, however the ultra-traditional Disney had been slow to adapt.

In Sleeping Beauty, however, Disney demonstrated that the new taste could be catered to while paying homage to the great illustration customs of the past, thus preserving an antiquated feel. For me this obvious change is both a bad and the good thing. Obviously it’s good for the reason that we get more of a relationship between our prince and princess than we enter Snow White or Cinderella.

So yes, they actually provide their purpose, but their actions must relate with the storyline somehow, and they mustn’t take up too much space or we lose the thread of the story. Perhaps one of the reason why that individuals feel the loss of comic relief people in this film is basically because there are such frighteningly evil character types that need counterpoising.

Maleficent, the evil fairy, appears as though she were pulled straight out of the pit of hell. Her character design with the demonic horns, green-grey skin, and flowing, jagged-edged black and purple robes make her appear every bit as evil, powerful, and deadly as she actually is. And when she transforms into a big, dark, toothy dragon, she could be the most frightening thing that Disney ever cartoon in addition to the devil himself in Fantasia.

She also offers legion of demon-imps that are hideous. Thus this film has a great deal of truly frightening images that can scar small children for years without having enough cute, funny, and endearing occasions to bring them back regardless of the villain. So let’s make no mistake, therefore: this movie does not work for little kids.