Sleeping Beauty

⭐⭐⭐ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: Beautifully animated and surprisingly enjoyable, but the story and characters are now quite 2D in comparison with modern kids films and the morales are looking a little old hat.


Disney Animation


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

Watching Sleeping Beauty right after Maleficent was an interesting juxtaposition. For the most part, I think it supported my theory that this is the tale as told by the three "good fairies" (read: incompetent fairies), though there are moments where it clearly diverts. However, I was surprised to see that Briar Rose is shipped off to live with the fairies immediately, rather than enjoying life with her parents for at least a little while.

Still, plot-wise this is a much simpler affair, with little nuance. Maleficent herself is not really given any good reason, beyond the slight of her not being invited, as to why she's doing what she's doing, nor are her powers or threat particularly explained. As far as villains go, then, she's pretty boring. Briar Rose, which is a much better name than her actual one, is also a little too good, to the point of lacking real character, but then almost no one in the film has any depth. Nor does that overly matter; it's a kids film and a perfectly serviceable one, even after all these years. I still find it funny that being able to sing well is seen as such an important virtue 😂

The animation style is stunning, though I don't understand the decision to have realistic everything and then square trees? Still, it's great to see some of the early animation tricks at play, including the sparkly shimmers of the fairies, or how they've tried to do flames with (I assume) some kind of projection technique.

Overall, then, it was fun to rewatch Sleeping Beauty and it helped pad out some of the plot of Maleficent, but I wouldn't rush to see it again. Film narrative has definitely evolved for the better.

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