Netflix this: ‘Sleeping Beauty’

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I like to think that I’m well-versed in the pop culture canon.  However, from time to time, there are films that I see that I should have seen a long time ago.  Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is one of them.  It’s not like I avoided watching it; the opportunity just never presented itself.  If you have been denied the opportunity to see Sleeping Beauty, Disney has just rereleased the film on DVD and Blu-ray.  Buy it, rent it–just make sure you see it.

What’s it about? For whatever reason, the evil witch Maleficent is snubbed an invite to King Stephan’s celebration for his baby daughter, Aurora.  So naturally, she crashes the party and casts a spell on the baby:  when Aurora’s sixteen she’ll prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die.  (Maybe it’s this kind of thing that prevents her from being invited to more parties.)

In an effort to prevent Maleficent’s curse from coming true, Stephan destroys all spinning wheels in the kingdom and sends his daughter into the woods with the three fairies–Flora, Fauna and Merriweather–until she turns sixteen. But Maleficent’s no dummy.  She has it out for Aurora, and she’ll stop at nothing to get her way.

What’s good about it? This film is absolutely beautiful.  There is an artistry to the animation that you just don’t see in today’s CG-driven world.  The backgrounds are sumptuous; the highly stylized animation is brimming with vitality; the colors are rich and vibrant.  What is most impressive with Sleeping Beauty is that it was made without the help of computers; we are witness to human perfection.  When was the last time you witnessed perfection?

What’s bad about it? Like many of Disney’s early animated features, plot comes second to the visuals.  And with Sleeping Beauty, you’re really not sure who the protagonist is.  (Yes, Aurora is titular character, but she really doesn’t do much.  And we never really know why Maleficent is so evil.)  But who cares?  This is homemade eye candy.  Savor it.

I was surprised, however, as how much dark imagery there is.  Maleficent’s malevolence is the stuff kids’ nightmares are made of.

Perfect for: animation/Disney enthusiasts.


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2 Responses to “Netflix this: ‘Sleeping Beauty’”

  1. Martha Says:

    LOVE this movie!!

  2. Netflix this: ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ « yikbo: mostly movies Says:

    […] yikbo: mostly movies Film & DVD Reviews, Opinion and Whatnot. Bookmark this page! « Netflix this: ‘Sleeping Beauty’ […]

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