Sleeping Beauty

November 8, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Snow White (1937) and Cinderella (1950) have already been taken care of, which brings us to Sleeping Beauty (1959). So far, I’ve been impressed with how well these movies hold up after all these years. Let’s see if Sleeping Beauty can keep that trend going.

1:00 – A song about dreams runs through the credits. Dreams were a big theme in Cinderella as well.

2:30 – The storyteller reveals that many years ago a king and his queen longed for a child and their wish was finally granted. So far, this is the first princess movie where a wicked stepmother isn’t involved.

2:47 – Sleeping beauty’s real name is Aurora, which means “after the dawn”. She was given this name because she filled their lives with sunshine. That’s what you do to me, dear blog read –fill my life with sunshine.

2:58 – A holiday was proclaimed to pay homage to the infant princess. Interesting. First, Aurora has parents and now she gets a holiday. Meanwhile, Cinderella loses her parents, gets bossed around by a couple of mean girls and spends all her days scrubbing floors.

2:58 – Rich and poor folks are given the opportunity to pay homage to Aurora. If princess movies are for the underdog (which they seem to be except in the case of lucky Aurora), I wonder if these poor people will eventually be honored in some way.

4:51 – Whoa! This movie just threw me for a major curve. I knew from a conversation earlier today that there is a prince in this movie named Phillip. Well, we just got a sight of him as a little boy! Up to this point, the prince is each movie has been a mysterious fellow whom we know nothing about – not even their names. Well, here we have a prince who seems to be taking a much more major role in this movie. I am legitimately excited to see where this goes. Can Phillip maintain his charm, while also giving us a deeper glimpse into who he really is? We shall see.

5:15 – The beginning of this movie is already way better than the beginning of Cinderella, which was about 15 minutes of animals trying to kill each other.

5:39 – Three good fairies named Flora, Fauna and Merryweather just floated onto the scene. Cinderella gets 3 smelly mice, while Aurora gets 3 fairies. Poor Cinderella. Sometimes, life just isn’t fair – even for a princess.

8:00 – Wow. What appears to be a witch just appeared out of thin air. Also, this witch, whose name is Maleficent, looks almost exactly like the witch in Snow White. Maybe it is Snow White’s witch back from the dead? This reminds me of Super-Shredder in the Ninja Turtle movies. Sometimes you just cannot keep a good villain down.

9:22 – Witch lady just prophesied that before the sun sets on Aurora’s 16th birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. Coincidentally, pricking her finger on a spinning wheel is the same way my grandmother died. Such a horrible way to go.

9:45 – After not even 2 minutes of terror, witch lady has disappeared. She works very efficiently. Is her work done for the day? What does she do in her time off?

10:00 – There is some confusion over which curses can be reversed and which ones can’t. I just had a flashback to the NFL replacement refs.

10:10 – This has nothing to do with the movie, but I could really go for a roast beef sandwich right now.

16:19 – Witch lady remarks: “Sixteen years and not a trace of (Aurora). She couldn’t have vanished into thin air.” With all due respect wicked lady, you vanished into thin air nine minutes and forty-five seconds into this movie. Such a double standard.

18:26 – We get our first view of Aurora as an almost 16-year old. She just woke up and is doing some cleaning and humming. If I remember correctly, this is very similar to what Snow White and Cinderella were doing upon their introduction. The only thing missing is some birds for Aurora to sing to.

19:00 –Aurora is actually holding a broom during the entire first conversation we see her having. I have no idea how to respond to this and am going to pretend like this entire scene never happened.

19:29 – One of the Fairies just told Aurora not to speak to strangers. If only someone would have been so kind as to share that knowledge with Snow White.

23:13 – Aurora is… SINGING TO SOME BIRDS. Now, we know that she is an official princess. Welcome to the club, baby!

24:15 – More animals! Princesses love animals!

24:25 – I must say, you can’t blame these princesses when they fall in love with the prince immediately. You would too if you had been hanging out with a bunch of birds, dwarfs, mean stepsisters or fairies your whole life.

24:35 – Our first view of Phillip as a grown man and he is…… riding a white horse! Let’s take a break and establish what we know so far.

Princesses love:

a)      Singing
b)      Birds
c)      Singing to Birds
d)      Dancing
e)      Animals
f)      Cleaning
g)      Men on Horses

24:47 – Interestingly, Phillip hears Sleeping Beauty singing before he knows what she looks like. It’s not love at first sight but love at first sound.

27:53 –Aurora is describing the how she dreams of her prince. He is:

a)      Tall
b)      Handsome
c)      Romantic

Aurora has said nothing about what kind of character she is looking for. I fear that she, too, will marry an overly-aggressive sleaze ball like Cinderella. If you’ll remember, that guy couldn’t keep his hands off of her and almost physically restrained Cinderella when she said she had to go. What? You don’t remember this? Maybe I’ll have to watch Cinderella again.
29:00 – These animals are looking to help create a Love Connection. Another princess lesson: if you take care of the animals, the animals will take care of you.

30:38 – Phillip sees Aurora for the first time and a big grin washes over his face. Definitely the most likable Prince so far.

31:18 – Aurora and Phillip have the following conversation:

Aurora: I can’t talk to strangers.
Phillip: We’ve met before.
Aurora: We have?
Phillip: You’ve said so yourself, once upon a dream.

Some smooth talking from Phillip there. He is charming!

32:00 – Dancing

33:08 – Phillip asks, “Who are you? What’s your name?” – Now that they’ve covered the dancing and are cuddling, he starts asking for some basic information. Like Cinderella’s prince, Phillip isn’t even able to get the princess’s name before she has to take off. Maybe he should have asked her a little earlier, in between all that charming, singing, cuddling and dancing.

37:00 – After 15.99 years of successfully hiding Aurora, they just blew her cover – all over the color of a dress. They were doing such a good job for so long. Incidentally, I think Aurora looks better in pink.

39:19 – Poor Aurora. She finally meets a man she adores and now she is told that she must never talk to him again. Her fortunate beginning to life has really unraveled.

42:00 –First, the fairies blew the surprise and now the men are getting drunk. The adults in this movie are really starting to fall apart.

50:00 –Aurora is under some kind of trance by Maleficent. She’s only moments away from death by spindle. I’m trying to picture in my mind what this will look like and have no idea.

51:35 – Maleficent just called herself the “mistress of all evil”. That’s some kind of title.

51:42 – We get a glimpse of what appears to be a dead Aurora. A dead Princess? If I were a little girl, I would be severely traumatized at this point. What ages are this movie for again?

64:48 – Maleficent just finished her dirty work and proclaimed: “For the first time in 16 years, I shall sleep well”. Everybody else is sleeping at this point, why not go ahead?

65:30 – Prince Phillip was just bestowed with a shield of virtue and sword of true. These “weapons of righteous will triumph over evil”. He is not the only character to have such a weapon. Did you know that Wonder Woman had a “lasso of truth”? If things don’t work out with Aurora, I’d like to see a sequel where the two of them get together.

68:25 – Lots of sword fighting, fairy power, and spell casting – the action is really starting to pick up.

69:24 – Maleficent just remarked “Now you shall deal with me and all the powers of hell.” Yikes. This mistress of all evil really knows how to raise her game of wickedness when the stakes are high. What was this movie rated again?

70:45 – Phillip nails Maleficent with his sword and she goes up in a puff of purple smoke.

73:23 – Aurora and Phillip are finally together.

Closing Thoughts on Sleeping Beauty:

What strikes me about this movie is that it is as much about Phillip as it is Aurora. Despite being from noble heritage, Phillip wants to marry this lovely stranger he has encountered – regardless of whether she is rich or poor. He doesn’t just ride a horse, but uses that horse in an epic battle with Maleficent are the forces of darkness. He is still a charmer – but the movie gives us sufficient reason to believe that he isn’t looking to use this skill for the purpose of taking advantage of Aurora, but to really love her. After all he goes through to see her again, we know that in Aurora he has found a treasure that he briefly held, lost, seeks after and will not let go of when he finds again.

Aurora comes from a much different background than our first two princesses. Not only does she come from a loving family, she has the support of the entire village. At first, it seems as though Aurora’s path to finding happiness will be the easiest. However, things begin to unravel when the wicked Maleficent steps in the way and spoils everyone’s plan.

At this point, we have to question Maleficent’s motivation. We are told that she “ doesn’t know anything about love, kindness or the joy of helping others.” Not only is there an absence of good qualities like Cinderella’s stepmother, there is active pursuit of damage. She is passionate about reaping destruction, even delighting in calling herself the mistress of all evil. While jealousy motivation Snow White and Cinderella’s stepmothers, we never get a clear picture as to what is driving Maleficent’s evil desires.

As Aurora blossoms until a young woman, she’s known for “the gold of sunshine in her hair” and “lips that shame red red rose”, but is there anything to her besides outward beauty? Or, is she just another witness damsel in distress that can’t get anything done by or for herself? I am here to provide a bit of support for our princess.

Aurora does not want to passively wait to be rescued. She is hurt by the unwillingness of the fairies to let her explore the world, not knowing that they fairies are doing this for her own protection. Aurora is raised by three fairies and becoming an adult. There are no men in her life – not even a father. Because she has no romantic partnership in which to love and be loved, she goes about creating an ideal lover in her mind and dreams. With this background, can we really blame Aurora for falling head over heels in love with the first man she meets?

Thankfully for Aurora, Phillip is a man worthy of her affection. He doesn’t try to take advantage of Aurora’s vulnerability. It is not love at first sight for Phillip, but something about her song that draws him in. He wants to walk with her and talk with her. He wants to sing with her and dance with her. He does not want to be with just any pretty young maiden, he wants to be with Aurora. And, with the help of some fairies, he is willing to fight through the powers of darkness to make it happen.

As Aurora is put under the spell, her dreams are not just based in fantasy anymore, but in reality. She can put a face to the man that she had only met in her dreams. Even as she dreams, she has an active role to play. Aurora’s spell can be broken if it is by a true love – which requires two parties. If she did not truly love Phillip, she would go right on sleeping through his kiss.

Overall, the stakes are raised in Sleeping Beauty. This battle is not against family, but against the forces of darkness. The theme of good vs. evil is much more pronounced. The witch is scarier, darker and more conniving than the evil characters in the first two movies. She will allow herself no rest until her work was done. Even the weapons address the cosmic battle. They are “weapons of righteousness” to “triumph over evil”. Phillip wields his shield of virtue to block the witch’s attack and in a finishing blow the sword of truth “flies swift and sure” that “evil die and good endure.”

In order to win the battle, the characters must be steadfast in their pursuit of virtue. The King and Queen must allow Aurora to be raised by fairies, even though it means they will not be with her as she grows. The fairies must keep Aurora hidden from the witch, even if means Aurora being hurt by what feels like over protection. Aurora must battle against isolation and loneliness, while longing for a better day and not allowing bitterness toward her fairy mothers to creep into her hopeful but empty heart.  Phillip must hang in there in a fight against a fierce dragon who seeks to destroy the life of a woman he loves.

In the story of Sleeping Beauty, it truly does take a village. And even though many of the characters stumble along in the way in their pursuit of virtue, goodness prevails and love, at last, finally wins.

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Category: Princess Diaries

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