Who doesn’t love Disney movies?
Disney Movies have been with us for as long as we can remember. There is something enchanting about those animated flicks that transport the audiences back to their time, allowing the audiences to live vicariously through them.
Out of all the golden-age classics, perhaps the most endearing one is that of Sleeping Beauty.
This enchanting fairy tale is one of the most elaborate animated movies ever made. The movie tells the tale of a wonderful princess cursed by an evil enchantress to die at the young age of sixteen but is saved by a good fairy who enchants her to fall into a deep slumber. Plot twist, the comatose-like sleep can only be broken by true love’s kiss.
The film released in 1959 became everyone’s one of the favourite Disney cult classics. Even after sixty-three years of the initial release of the film, audiences, kids and adults alike are still in love with the fair-haired princess.
Maleficient is still the most iconic Disney villain and Prince Phillip has risen in the ranks of chivalry, becoming one of the most charming Disney princes’ of all time.
Let’s commemorate our love for this timeless classic film with these facts that you probably didn’t know about.
Disney’s Sleeping Beauty: Things You Probably Didn’t Know About
1. Did you know that your favourite fairy tale wasn’t originally a fairy tale?
The origins of the curse of sleeping beauty date all the way back to the fourteenth century. How amazing, right! The earliest known version of the story is recorded in the writings of Italian writer Giambattista Basile.
Basile’s version, Sun, Moon, and Talia, (our favourite princesses’ name used to be Talia, in case you’re wondering) is said to be the first written version of the story we know are familiar with now.
Rape, brutality, murder, adultery, and even cannibalism are among the mature and grim themes explored in Basile’s version of the narrative.
Today, sleeping beauty is one of the most recognizable stories in the world, based on the trope of a damsel in distress finding her true love at the most distressing time, but in Sun, Moon, and Talia, it is anything but that.
The original story was not children-friendly at all!
2. The story has been revamped at least thrice since then.
The story of sleeping beauty was again published in Charles Perrault’s collection of fables and fairy tales, The Tales of Mother Goose in 1697.
Perrault’s La Belle au Bois Dormant (translated to beauty sleeping in the wood) is a much more sanitized version of Basile’s story. This was done in hopes to instil moral teachings in children’s minds, such as the power of true love to overcome any difficulty and defeat every evil.
Apart from changing the majority of the storyline, Perrault’s version made one more significant change to the story. Princess Talia’s name was changed to the name we know and love today- Aurora.
More than a century later, in the 1800s the Brothers Grimm repurposed the story again using Perrault’s innocent version as their base, further renaming Aurora to Briar Rose.
The iconic Walt Disney Sleeping Beauty film of 1959 was based on Grimm’s interpretation of the story and used both names for the princess, Aurora and Briar rose.
3. The film took almost a decade to be produced.
With Cinderella being released prior to sleeping beauty in 1950 and Snow White in 1937, and the notable similarities between the two fairy tales, Walt Disney wanted sleeping beauty to be different from the previous movies in terms of plot and art style.
Filming officially began in 1953, but rumour has it that the discussion for production had already been started two years earlier, in 1951.
4. It was the most expensive animated film at that time.
Sleeping beauty had a budget of $6 million.
Since Walt Disney wanted the movie to be different from his previous works, an insane amount of work went into the movie.
Creating art styles and background scenes that would normally take a day at most, took about a week for this movie.
5. The movie was a total flop at the box office.
Although sleeping beauty is now deemed a classic, when it was first released it did not get enough love (and revenue) from the audiences. It was a massive box office failure compared to the cost of production.
For the next three decades after Sleeping Beauty’s release, Disney did not make another princess movie, until the release of The Little Mermaid in 1989.
6. Critics hated it.
Upon its release, sleeping beauty received mixed reviews from critics.
While some praised the film’s elaborate and authentic art style, others reviewed that the protagonist lacked character and there was none to almost zero character development overall. Many found the movie’s characters bland and unappealing.
Despite having a simple premise, the movie kept dragging on.
7. Aurora’s look was inspired by a major movie star.
Princess Aurora was supposed to be breathtakingly gorgeous, after all, she was blessed by the fairies to have ethereal features early in the movie.
Hence, princess Aurora was designed to resemble a drop-dead gorgeous woman in real life, one of the biggest film stars of the 1950s, Audrey Hepburn.
Yes, you read it right. Audrey Hepburn inspired the figure and features of Aurora. Both had the same delicate features and dainty figures. Pretty iconic!
8. The backgrounds shown in the film were handpainted.
The opening shot of the movie shows a storybook opening and the narration starts. That storybook was real and handpainted by Eyvind Earle.
Unlike any other animated movie before, the backgrounds used in the film were also handpainted by over three hundred artists.
The detailing is so clear, intricate, and great that it could be seen even in the small objects shown in the movie, such as bushes.
Perhaps, that’s why it took them almost a decade for the theatrical release.
9. It was the first-ever animated movie to be shot in a 70 mm film.
The film’s stunning artwork and epic story led to the decision that it would be shot in a wide-screen format, making sleeping beauty the first-ever animated picture to be shot in a 70 mm film or Technirama 70.
10. The search to find the perfect voice actor for Aurora lasted three years.
Walt Disney could not find a voice befitting Aurora, no matter how much he tried.
He auditioned and rejected many voice actors and this went on for about three years until one day he found the perfect one, Mary Costa.
Mary was a 22 year old with no prior experience in the field, but Walt Disney was so enamoured with her voice that he called her only a few hours later after her audition and hired her, deeming her voice as perfect and angelic.
Soon after the movie’s release, Mary was launched into stardom. She became an opera singer, performing in over forty operatic roles. She even sang in the memorial service of the former US President, John F. Kennedy at Jackie Kennedy’s request.
11. There is a non-animated version of sleeping beauty.
How many of you have watched it?
The earlier versions of sleeping beauty further inspired another movie that was released in 2016.
The Curse of Sleeping Beauty (2016), is an American fantasy horror movie. It is written and directed by Pearry Reginald Teo along with Josh Nadler. The movie stars Ethan Peck as Thomas kaiser, India Eisley as the beautiful Briar Rose (our sleeping beauty), and Natalie Hall as Linda Coleman.
The curse of Sleeping Beauty is a modern-day rendition of the original version, albeit with a bit of a twist.
What happens in The Curse of Sleeping Beauty?
This movie is basically based on a comic book with the same name, which was written by Everette Hartsoe. It is loosely related to Disney’s classic sleeping beauty.
In the film, Thomas Kaiser inherits an ancestral mansion, Kaiser Gardens that has been in his family for generations. Along with the house, he also inherits an ancient curse stemming back to the time of the Crusades.
The reclusive painter is plagued by recurring dreams. In those dreams, he sees the same person, a beautiful sleeping lady (India Eisley), wishing to come across the woman in the physical world. Kaiser soon takes on the role of the guardian appointed for the mansion, tasked to keep evil demons at bay.
After the truth of the curse is revealed to him, he enlists the help of a paranormal cleric and an ambitious local realtor (played by Natalie Hall).
Thomas teams up with the two of them to save the woman he’s been seeing in his dreams, who is held captive in a terrifying netherworld and vows to right every wrong.
The curse of sleeping beauty is unlike the traditional horror movies or any other genre for that matter. It doesn’t follow the repeated trope of good triumphing over evil.
Even though it does not have a great rating, it is still worth watching if you are an avid lover of the classic.
Well, that’s all on your favourite Sleeping Beauty. If there’s anything else you would like to know about, do let us know.
You can drop your views and suggestions in the comment section.