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Sleeping Beauty (DVD)

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Genre: Children's DVDs - Disney / Theatrical Release: 1958 / Director: Les Clark, Eric Larson, Clyde Geronimi, Wolfgang Reitherman / Actors: Mary Costa, Eleanor Audley ... / DVD released 04 March, 2002 at Walt Disney Home Video / Features of the DVD: Animated, PAL

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    9 Reviews
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      19.05.2010 12:06
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      Classic Fairy Tale.

      A few weeks ago I was privileged to go and see my first ballet at the theatre: Sleeping Beauty. The wonderful memorable music score by Tchaikovsky brought back fond memories of the lovely Disney film based on the ballet itself and the original fairy tale by Charles Perrault, "La Belle au bois dormant".


      The Disney film was released all the way back in 1959, and was the sixteenth of his animated feature films. The artwork in the film is absolutely stunning, with beautifully detailed backdrops and the music is wonderful because it takes the best of Tchaikovsky's original ballet score, and in some instances adds words to the music too. Who can forget the beautiful song "Once upon a dream", where the young princess meets and dances with the prince for the first time?


      The story is well known to everyone. Disney set the story in medieval times, with knights, ladies and castles giving the film an "Arthurian" feel. A young baby is born to a king and queen and is visited by three good fairies. The first two fairies give her the gifts of beauty and song, but before the third fairy can give her blessing, the party is interrrupted by the evil faity Maleficent, who is angry at being snubbed and casts a spell on the baby so that when she is sixteen years old, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. After she leaves, the third good fairy, who has not yet given her gift, is able to use her limited power to lessen the curse, so that insted of dying, the princess will fall asleep until woken by true love's kiss.


      As an extra precaution, the three good fairies disguise themselves as peasant women and raise the girl in a secluded cabin in the woods, where they hope the evil fairy will not find her. The girl is known as Briar Rose, and has no idda of her true identity. One day, while walking in the woods, she meets and falls in love with a young man, who she doesn't realize is the prince. When she discovers her true identity, she is heartbroken. She is taken to the castle, where the king and queen have destroyed all the spinning wheels. Or so they think....


      This is a wonderful film that will appeal to everyone. Although it is a "princess" film, my son enjoyed it because there is a lot of action and excitement as the prince tries to escape the prison and rescue Sleeping Beauty. The villains are really well portrayed, with Maleficent being the absolute essence of evil, with absolutely no redeeming qualities. This contrasts really well with the sweet and innocent princess, the jovial fairies and the brave prince.


      The prince in this film is a more rounded character than the princes in other films, such as Snow White and Cinderella, who don't really do much. In a way, he is more the main character of the film than the princess herself, as apparently, she only appears in the film for 18 minutes of the 72 minutes running time of the film!


      This is an absolute classic, and should have a place in every home where there are young children, as it has all the elements that make a good story. The film was produced by Disney himself and directed by Disney stalwarts Wolfgang Reitherman and Eric Larson. It is a real shame that they don't make films like this anymore, because even though it is old, it is still a really enjoyable adventure film, with something for everyone.

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        11.05.2010 12:13
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        Very entertaining classic Disney film

        This is a lovely film, which my daughters agd 2 and 4 have been watching regularly for about a year now.
        The story is based on the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty. A King and Queen in a far off land are blessed with a daughter. They hold a huge celebration in honour of her birth, but fail to invite the wicked fairy Malificent. She appears at the celebration and puts a curse on the baby princess, saying that before her 16th birthday, she shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. Fortunately, 3 good fairies are at the celebration, one of whom has still to give her gift to the princess. A spell is cast so that the princess will not die, but will fall asleep until wakened by true love's first kiss.
        The film follows the story of the princess, who is raised in the woods by the 3 fairies, in an effort to protect her from Malificent.
        Although this is now a very old film (52 years!) it has stood the test of time and will still be loved by young children. It is not as quick or witty as the modern day Disney's, but has wonderful animation, classic songs (Once Upon a Dream) and a plot that will keep children enthralled.
        The scene where Prince Phillip fights the dragon is brilliant and just scary enough for little ones to cope with.
        The part where the 3 fairies are trying to make Aurora's birthday cake and dress will capture the imagination of all little children - it's my daughters favourite scene.
        I was lucky enough to get this for the low price of £6.99 - an absolute bargain and well worth the money.

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          09.08.2009 20:58
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          **Please note this is a film only review, since I own this on VHS**

          Like many people my age, I grew up watching Disney films, when they were still making the old-school cartoon animations. Sleeping Beauty was already a classic well before my birth though, having been released in 1959.

          Now that I have a daughter, I often pick up Disney Videos from charity shops, and watching them with her has brought back some wonderful memories . It's hard to believe that this film is 50 years old - maybe because the story is a classic fairytale that never gets old .

          Now, since it is a classic fairytale, I'm sure you've all read it, been told it, or watched some variation of the tale.

          When King Stefan and his wife announce the birth of their new daughter, Princess Aurora, they decide to have a party, and in invite all the fairies in the kingdom to attend and bestow gifts on their daughter . However, Maleficent, an evil sorceress is angry at not receiving an invitation,and decides to gate crash - placing a curse on the princess that she will die after pricking her finger on a spinning wheel .

          However, the good fairies manage to limit (but not remove) the curse, so that instead of dying, the princess will sleep until receiving a kiss from her one true love . As an extra precaution, the king and queen burn all the spinning wheels in the kingdom, and send the princess to live under the gaurdianship of the good fairies in the woods . On her 16th birthday, Aurora briefly meets the prince of her dreams, but Maleficent manages to kidnap him, and trick the princess into pricking her finger . The curse has been fulfilled, but can the prince rescue the princess?

          This is old style Disney, simple animation with no CGI or high tech trickery - however, I find the simplicity of the older Disney films is a large part of their charm for me, and certainly my daughter enjoyed this film, having watched it many times . The animation despite it's age is crisp and clear, not surprising given that the film was made on a (then) record budget of 6 million dollars .

          Great skill has been applies to the contrasting landscapes in this film - from peaceful woods with excited squirrels dancing about, to the dark and sinister thorn wall thrown up by Maleficent , all the scenery is excellent .

          The three good fairies add a great deal of comedy to the mix - especially when arguing about the colour of the dress they make for sleeping beauty on her 16th birthday - first its blue, then its pink, then back to blue .

          The character of the princess herself takes something of a backstage in this movie, with much more of the storyline focusing on the fairies,the sorceress , and the prince . I don't think it loses anything by this - in fact, it makes the film a little more action filled and comedic where it could have been another drippy retelling of the same old story .

          It wouldn't be a proper Disney film without some good old musical numbers, and this film does not disappoint . Memorable numbers include 'Once Upon a Dream' and 'I wonder' , with additional music adapted from the Tchaikovsky ballet .

          Overall, this is a splendid film that has stood the test of time . There are a few mildly scary moments for very young children, but nothing too worrisome, and its good, clean family entertainment .

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            09.08.2009 01:28
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            A wonderful classic fairytale

            Sleeping Beauty has to be my all time favourite Disney film, possibly my all time favourite film. As a Disney film it is primarily aimed at children, but it's very enjoyable for adults and anyone who likes a romantic film.

            The plot is simple so that children will understand and enjoy it. The quality of the cartoon is very good considering it was made in the 1950s, and it is still very watchable today. Admittedly, it is without the computer graphics etc of kids films now, but it doesn't look out of date at all.

            The story begins soon after Sleeping Beauty (Aurora) is born, and her parents, the King and Queen, are introducing their kingdom to her. This occasion is ruined by the intrusion of Malnificent, the evil witch. She is angry she has not been invited to the celebrations, and so curses Aurora saying that before the end of her 16th birthday, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die.

            Malnificent is a classic Disney Villan - dressed in black robes with her pet raven flying around her, she makes for a very imposing figure. This could be quite scary for very small children.

            One of Aurora's fairygodmothers promises Aurora that she will not die, but fall into a deep sleep, only to be woken by true love's kiss.

            The king and queen are terrified, so the fairy godmothers take her away and raise her in a small peasant cottage in the woods, where no-one will find her.

            The story skips ahead to the day of Aurora's 16th birthday. Out in the woods, she meets her dream man, Prince Philip, although she doesn't know at this stage his name, the fact he is a prince, the fact that she is a princess, or that at birth she was betrothed to him.

            When her fairy godmothers break the news that day that Aurora is a princess and must be returned to her parents, she is devastated, thinking that she will never see her dream man again.

            Clever as the fairygodmothers' plan to hide Aurora away was, Malnificent manages to catch them out. She caputures the prince, and once Aurora is back at the castle, she puts her into a trance and makes her prick her finger.

            It is then up to the fairy godmothers to ensure Aurora wakes up from her deep sleep and gets her happy ending.

            Sleeping Beauty is a lovely classic fairytale, I love it just as much now as I did when I first watched it aged 6. With plenty of songs, castles, fairies, and wiked witches, it's a film that's sure to capture most children's imagination. At only 75 minutes long, it should also hold their attention.

            The DVD comes with lots of special features such as deleted scenes, a music video, audio commentary and an alternate opening. The special features are a good addition to the DVD as it gives extra value for money. I always feel a bit disappointed if I buy a DVD and it has no extra features.

            If you like Disney and fairytales, you will love this!

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              08.01.2009 00:30

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              This film is great and you get the dvd with the blu ray set anyway

              Rather than buying this film on DVD buy the Blu Ray as even if you don't have a Blu Ray player yet, it comes with a DVD anyway and eventually you will have a Blu Ray player so all in all its the better investment.

              Now that the film has been fully restored you can see how parts of the animation were cut off the edges of the screen as it was designed to be like a tapestry and shown in widescreen but this is the first time this has been possible.

              The magical film which revolves around the fairies and Prince Phillip looks incredible and always has but by using the restoration technology to digitalise this film it has never looked so beautiful. The music gets inside you like never before as well.

              The special features on the Blu ray are great as they give you a look around the Sleeping Beauty attraction from Disneyland, California. They also give your kids a chance to play a game of animal, vegetable or mineral with Maleficant among other things.

              This is a great film made better by the restoration and it really benefits from having the DVD available in the Blu ray case.

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              27.10.2008 18:56
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              A Disney Masterpiece.

              There is just something comfy and nostalgic about watching a good Disney classic. This is one of my favorite Disney movies, okay come to think of it I like them all (the older ones at least). Me, my mom, and my sister are actually all dressing up as Disney gals for Halloween soon (check for pic around Halloween). I am going to be Princess Aurora aka Briar Rose from Sleeping Beauty! My mom is being Snow White and my sister is being Alice in Wonderland. I decided to blow the dust off my Sleeping Beauty movie today and watch it. I discovered that I still like this movie as much as I did the first time I watched it. This is a classic movie from 1959 that is still magical.

              Storyline
              :
              The kingdom is rejoicing because Princess Aurora has been born. At Aurora's ceremony, Maleficent, an evil sorceress casts a spell on Aurora that she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel on her 16th birthday and die. Merryweather (one of 3 fairies bestowing gifts to Aurora) tries to undo the damage by casting a spell that Aurora will not die but merely fall asleep until true loves first kiss. King Stefan ( Aurora's father) burns all the spinning wheels in the kingdom, but fearing for his daughter he sends her to live in the forest with the three fairies: Fauna, Flora, and Merryweather. Will this Princess escape her dreaded fate?

              My Opinion

              I think the three fairies are so sweet and funny! They are so cute! I think the artistic movie setting was very nicely done. Maleficent is a wicked sorceress, she has all the other Disney movie villains beat hands down, she is like the Queen of Hell! This movie does not have all of the high-tech computer generation graphics like some of the newer movies, but that is one of the reasons I like it. It is simple, but still beautiful to watch and entertaining. The storyline is not overdone with dramatic effects. This is a good movie that is going to be watched again and again many years from now. A true Disney Masterpiece.

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                30.08.2008 14:05
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                A classic Disney film

                Sleeping Beauty has long been one of my favourite Disney films from when I was growing up and to this day I still love all the Disney films! Sleeping Beauty is the 16th animated film that was made by Disney and I will share with you why I think it is so good and much loved!

                The story:
                Sleeping Beauty follows the tale of Aurora - baby Princess to King Stefan and his wife. When she is born they throw a huge party to celebrate and to this party comes the Prince Phillip, the Prince she will marry and the three good fairies, Fauna, Flora and Merryweather. The three good fairies give gifts to the Princess but unhappy with the arrival of the Princess the evil witch Maleficent decides to pay a visit and give her own gift - that the princess will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die on her 16th birthday - she tells them the only way she will live is if she is kissed by her true love. Horrified the King and Queen decide to let Aurora be brought up by the three fairies deep in the woods and burn all the spinning wheels in the land.

                Years later on her 16th birthday, the Princess is happily off out into the woods to pick fruit sent out by the three fairies who she thinks are her Aunts and in the woods she meets Phillip - both unaware of who each other is they fall in love. However when her Aunts later on reveal who she really is and take her back to the castle to her parents the evil witch find her and follow her there.
                Will the evil witch be able to carry off her evil plan and will Prince Phillip and Aurora finally realise who each other is?

                The cast:
                Obviously the cast is animated but the voices of the characters are done by real people and the main characters and who did their voices are listed below:

                Aurora - Mary Costa
                Phillip - Bill Shirley
                Fauna - Barbara Jo Allen
                Merryweather - Barbara Luddy
                Flora - Verna Felton
                Malecifent - Eleanor Audley

                Interesting fact:
                Several of the story's point for this film came about from discarded ideas from Snow White and the castle in Disneyworld was so called Sleeping Beauty's castle even though the park opened 4 years before the release of the film.

                Extras:
                The DVD I have comes with a variety of extras which include -
                The making of Sleeping Beauty
                Character Design galleries
                Ink and paint studio
                Rescue Aurora adventure game
                Art attack
                Production studio

                Overall opinion:
                The reason I like this film so much is because it is the classic fairytale. The film really appeals to young girls especially, who will want to be a beautiful princess! The film has all the usual Disney aspects you'd expect from a classic like this with the songs that children come to know. This particular film has the song 'once upon a dream'
                I love how the film has the cute animals in and let's face it what classic Disney film doesn't? The fairies are cute and humorous and overall it is just a perfect fairytale story with the Prince and Princess.

                I would highly recommend anyone to watch this film as it's something the whole family can enjoy together. The film has 'U' rating meaning it is suitable for all ages.

                The film is available to buy from various online stores with prices varying so have a look around for the best deal - I was bought my copy as a present but after having a look prices seem around the £12 mark.

                Also on other review sites by me under either frankiecesca or frankie1984

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                  29.04.2001 22:31
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                  This truly is one of Disney's greatest masterpieces, the heartwarming story of a baby cursed at birth to die on her 16th birthday by pricking her finger on a spindle. In classic Disney style the good guys are kind caring and lovable characters whilst the villains are truly lothesome (and dressed in black in case you forget who they are!) It is the original fairytale of love conquering all and fate favouring the innocent. Aurora is betrothed to prince Phillip at birth, then hidden in a forest until her 16th birthday for her own protection, and by some twist of fate she meets her prince on that very day she is to marry him (causing one of the best film songs ever 'I know you I danced with you once upon a dream'), but neither realising who the other is, are both heartbroken that they must never see their newfound loves to marry and unknown person, who ironically is the one they love. I believe it is this point that makes this film appeal to me - to belive that love will always find a way through, to believe in fate guiding us and that true love finds always prevails over adversity. This story is timeless and is as beautiful now as it was when it was made over 40 years ago. Also you do have to laugh at the irony of it - they are both sulking at being forced to marry, wheras if they had at least consented to meet, they would have realised that they were meant for each other anyway and saved themselves a whole lot of bother - but i suppose that wouldn't have made such an exiting ending!

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                    20.11.2000 05:38

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                    This is one of Disney’s first films. Though not as popular as some, it’s still a movie you can enjoy. It’s about a princess who has had a curse put on her by an evil sorceress. The princess falls into a deep sleep but the hero (a prince) awakens the princess by giving her a loving kiss which breaks the spell. The film is everything you can expect from a romance and more. It certainly does send the imagination wild wild wild!!!

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                • Product Details

                  Disney's 1959 Sleeping Beauty was the studio's most ambitious effort to date, a lavish spectacle boasting a gorgeous waltz-filled score adapted from the music of Tchaikovsky. In the 14th century, the malevolent Maleficent (not dissimilar to the wicked queen in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) taunts a king that his infant Aurora will fatally prick her finger on a spinning wheel before sundown on her sixteenth birthday. This, of course, would deny her a happily-ever-after with her true love. Fortunately, some bubbly, bumbling fairies named Flora, Fauna and Merryweather are on hand to assist. 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, alongside Malificent's castle, which, filled with warthogs and demonic imps in a macabre dance celebrating their evil ways, manages a certain creepy grandeur. --David Kronke, Amazon.com

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