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50th Anniversary Platinum Edition DVD

Walt Disney Studios' classic 1959 animated film, featuring the music of Tchaikovsky.

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Beauty and MaleficienceTogether.

  • Oct 6, 2008
Disney's SLEEPING BEAUTY is based upon the story of Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm. In this version of the tale, a beautiful baby girl named Aurora is born to a friendly king and queen. After her birth people and creatures from all around come to give her gifts, including three good fairies. Two of the fairies give their gifts to the child but before the third fairy is able to do so, an un-invited guest, the evil sorceress Malificient, appears and places a curse upon the child. Before the end of Aurora's birthday she will prick her finger upon the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. After Malificient leaves, the third fairy bestows her gift: instead of dying, Aurora will only fall into a deep slumber when the event happens and will only awaken with true love's kiss. The fairies take Aurora and hide her and raise her deep in the woods as their own child. When Aurora meets her true love, Prince Phillip, it would seem that everything is going to work out as planned. But in fairy tales, even a Disneyized version of one, nothing is quite as it seems.

SLEEPING BEAUTY had been in pre-production and production for almost a decade before it was originally released in theatres in 1958. The film was incredibly expensive to make and had it failed it would have bankrupted the studio. In fact, the film was so expensive that it was the last Disney animated picture to mostly have hand-drawn animated cells for each frame of the picture. Xeroxing was king after that and a glory age of animation came to an end. The film turned out to be a huge critical and financial success and remains as one of the most beautiful animated Disney features ever. The influence of the movie can clearly be seen on modern animated pictures, most prominently Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. The movie also contains some very memorable Disney characters, including the most wicked of all Disney villains, Malificient.

Besides the visual impact of the picture, the film is also notable for it's very un-Disney-like score. The film was scored by an adaptation of George Bruns from Tchaikovsky's famous ballet, SLEEPING BEAUTY.

As beautiful and stunning a movie that SLEEPING BEAUTY is, it has one major drawback. Like all Disney animated pictures, the writers in adapting the original story failed to include some of the more dark and graphic parts of the story of Briar Rose, e.g. as the final confrontation between Malificient and Prince Phillip. Other than that, though, SLEEPING BEAUTY is a meticulously-crafted example of the art of animation and one of the most beautifully drawn pictures ever to grace cinema screens. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys Disney films or well-done animation.

The special 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition of the movie comes with two discs. The first disc includes the movie in widescreen digitally restored format; "Once Upon a Dream" music video with Emily Osment; song selections that can be played with or without lyrics; a commentary with John Lasseter, Andreas Deja, and Leonard Maltin; "Princess Facts" (pop-up factoids that appear while watching the movie); the short pictorial GRAND CANYON (this was the short that originally accompanied SLEEPING BEAUTY in theatres); and a Walt Disney special entitled "Peter Tchaikovsky Story", which was the first tv program to be simulcast in widescreen picture and stereo sound

The second disc is a special feature disc. It includes the documentary "Picture Perfect: Making of SLEEPING BEAUTY"; a featurette about Eyvind Earle; a featurette about how expensive the picture was to make; the original planned opening sequence of the movie; three deleted songs; two storyboard sequences; a virtual tour through the now closed Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland; a Disney special entitled "Four Artists Painting a Tree" (which is really just a long commercial for SLEEPING BEAUTY disguised as a show to encourage young artists); art galleries; trailers for the film; a matching game; and a language game. I found the documentary about the making of the movie to be really interesting as well as the story about the history of the Sleeping Beauty Castle attraction at Disneyland. I found the two games to be the least-interesting thing on the DVD. Disney puts those things on there for young children, but I really think they are a waste of space and time.

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March 27, 2011
It has been many years since I saw this last. Thanks for memories and the review!!
More Sleeping Beauty reviews
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
One of the great disney classics. I cant wait for the live action one
review by . October 14, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
This is a new release of a Disney classic that first appeared in 1959. As is my custom, I much prefer to watch an animated feature film with several of my younger grandchildren (ages 3-7) and did so again with Sleeping Beauty on its 50th anniversary. Once again, they were engrossed in the story line whereas I was somewhat more interested in how the quality of animation measures up (after 59 years) when compared and contrasted with recent films such as Toy Story and Toy Story 2, the three Shreks, …
review by . October 09, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
For all of the thirty two years I've been on this planet, "Sleeping Beauty" was one of the few Disney films that I never viewed. My wife and daughter have watched it numerous times on VHS, but I either wasn't home at the time or I was interested in something else. My wife considers this film to be her favorite Disney movie. Having watched it for the first time tonight, I understand why.    The Disney version of this fairy tale is inspired by Tchaikovsky's ballet. With the wonderful …
review by . July 26, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
In 1987, as a wide-eyed 6-year-old, I saw SLEEPING BEAUTY during it's cinema re-release. It was probably the first time I ever went to the movies. The experience definitely stayed with me and fired my love of Disney movies which had begun when I was a toddler with ALICE IN WONDERLAND and MARY POPPINS on video. Now so many years later I have relished collecting and revisiting all the Disney classics on DVD, and the 2-disc edition of SLEEPING BEAUTY is something really special. Six years in the making, …
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Disney's 1959 animated effort was the studio's most ambitious to date, a widescreen spectacle boasting a gorgeous waltz-filled score adapting Tchaikovsky. In the 14th century, the malevolent Maleficent (not dissimilar to the wicked Queen in Disney'sSnow White and the Seven Dwarfstaunts a king that his infant Aurora will fatally prick her finger on a spinning wheel before sundown on her 16th birthday. This, of course, would deny her a happily-ever-after with her true love. Things almost but not quite turn out that way, thanks to the assistance of some bubbly, bumbling fairies named Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. It's not really all that much about the title character--how interesting can someone in the middle of a long nap be, anyway? Instead, those fairies carry the day, as well as, of course, good Prince Phillip, whose battle with the malevolent Maleficent in the guise of a dragon has been co-opted by any number of animated films since. See it in its original glory here. And Malificent's castle, filled with warthogs and demonic imps in a macabre dance celebrating their evil ways, manages a certain creepy grandeur. --David Kronke
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Director: Clyde Geronimi
Genre: Animation
Release Date: January 29, 1959
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008
Runtime: 75 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
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