Different name, same witch in movie #16 in the Disney Animated Marathon!
Story By: Milt Banta, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Ted Sears & Ralph Wright
Directed By: Clyde Geronimi
I doubt most people expected my first words about Sleeping Beauty to be disinterested and inoffensive. As I sit here having finished watching the latest film in the Disney marathon those are the words that immediately jump into my mind. There are many likable qualities in Sleeping Beauty, but for the good duration I found myself lacking interest in what was being shown on screen and ultimately I found the film more inoffensive than anything else. Sleeping Beauty lacks the sit up and take notice factor that accompanies the true Disney animated classics, and because of that it feels more like a leisurely stroll through the petting zoo as opposed to a trip to the lion’s den.
I will say that the ending sequence in Sleeping Beauty involving the Prince squaring off against Maleficent is quite a treat. The animation perks up during that sequence, as does the suspense and accordingly my interest. The title of the movie as well as its obvious fairy tale nature means that everyone and their mother knows from the opening frame what will happen to Princess Aurora. Until she touches that spindle needle there’s no draw to the film, but after that point what we see on screen makes us care again. Sure, it’s obvious that Prince Philip will save the Princess, but there is energy in accomplishing that goal. The sort of energy that was missing from the rest of the movie.
The final moments of Sleeping Beauty are bravura stuff, if only everything leading up to the spindle needle could have been more interesting. Still, as harsh as I may have sounded to this point, I will recommend Sleeping Beauty. It’s not among the best Disney, but even in its least interesting moments the animation gives you something to look at and the movie has its share of funny moments. Sleeping Beauty isn’t a case of the ending making the movie, but it surely helps, and at the very least you should enjoy your time with Sleeping Beauty, even if it doesn’t completely grab you.