Covid-19 Day 56
Sleeping Beauty is a 1959 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney based on Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault.
It is the 16th Disney animated feature film.
This was the last Disney adaptation of a fairy tale for some years because of its initial mixed critical reception and under-performance at the box office. The studio did not return to the genre until 30 years later with the release of The Little Mermaid (1989).
Sleeping Beauty may be a Disney classic, bit it is riddled with plot and character problems.
First there is the Princess. She is supposed to be 16 during most of the story. But the character design is that of a woman about
10 years older. And the voice is not that of a 16 year old girl. Then there is the singing voice, that of a trained soprano. Her
counterpart Prince Philip has a similarly trained voice.
Then there are the three fairies that take care of her. On her 16th birthday they are shown trying unsuccessfully to make a dress and
a cake without magic. But they have been clothing and feeding the girl for her 16 years, why are they suddenly so incompetent ?
Malificent, isn’t much better. Villains should not proclaim themselves as ‘evil’. They should have their own story
and be the hero of it. But Malificent twice refers to herself as ‘evil’. Maybe she was just misunderstood, or was part of the royal family
and left after some disagreement.
But the stupidest mistake was not taking heed of the prophecy that she would prick her finger on her birthday. What do they decide; that on that very day she should return to the castle and be revealed to all, allowing the foreseen fate to take it’s course.
The fairies could have at least told her of this fate and warned her. But, typical of a patriarchal society, the young woman is told
nothing until it’s too late. And I doubt she got much sex education from three spinsters.
Then there is Prince Philip. This dolt travels around the countryside without a guard, allowing himself be captured by Malificent and
sent to the dungeon.
When the Princess eventually has a nap, the fairies make things worse by putting everyone to sleep. This must surely make things
worse. Not only will the economy of the country fall into recession, but they leave everyone outside asleep and subject to the elements. Fortunately, nobody ages or decomposes so it must be only for a few days.
Then when it comes to the big fight at the end, the fairies dole out the magic in little bits. Just enough to keep the prince alive until he
can slay the big bad dragon. The fairies could have fixed this problem 16 years ago.
The story overall is rather short. So it’s padded out with the usual cute animals (at least they don’t talk). And an extended conflict comedy routine between the two kings.
And finally, clearly the Prince knows nothing….
He wears a cape, and as we know from Edna the problem with capes is…
These two insipid characters deserve each other.
I liked the horse.