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Sleeping Beauty is a 1959 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and based on the fairy tale "La Belle au bois dormant" by Charles Perrault. The 16th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, it was released to theatres on January 29, 1959 by Buena Vista Distribution, and is the last fairy tale produced by Walt Disney due to its initial box office disappointment; the studio did not return to the genre until well after Disney's death with the release of The Little Mermaid.

The film was directed by Les Clark, Eric Larson, and Wolfgang Reitherman, under the supervision of Clyde Geronimi, with additional story work by Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright, and Milt Banta. The film's musical score and songs, featuring the work of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra[disambiguation needed], are arrangements or adaptations of numbers from the 1890 Sleeping Beauty ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Sleeping Beauty was the first animated film to be photographed in the Technirama widescreen process. The film was presented in Super Technirama 70 and 6-channel stereophonic sound in first-run engagements. Only one other animated film, Disney's The Black Cauldron, was shot in Technirama.

Plot

Through a textual prologue told via a stop-motion storybook. After many childless years, King Stefan and his Queen welcome the birth of their daughter, Aurora and proclaim a holiday for the high and low estate to pay homage to the princess. At the gathering of the christening by everyone in the kingdom, she is betrothed to Prince Phillip, the young son of King Hubert, so that the kingdoms of Stefan and Hubert will be forever united. Also attending are the three good fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, who have come to bless the child with gifts. The first fairy, Flora, gives the princess the gift of beauty, while the next fairy, Fauna, gives her the gift of song. Before Merryweather is able to give her blessing, a wicked fairy named Maleficent appears and pretends to be gracious about her having been left out. The evil fairy then curses the princess, proclaiming that, while she will indeed be beautiful and graceful, before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. Merryweather is able to use her blessing to weaken the curse, so that instead of death, Aurora will fall asleep from which she can be awakened by true love's kiss. Though King Stefan orders all spinning wheels in the kingdom to be burned, the three fairies know Maleficent's spell cannot be stopped that easily and devise a plan to protect her. They disguise themselves as peasant women and with the King and Queen's consent they sneak Aurora away with them to a woodcutter's cottage in the forest until her sixteen birthday passes.

As the years pass, Maleficent rages to her beastial minions the sheer impossibility of how the princess has managed to evade her for so many years. her bumbling guards reveal that they had been looking for a BABY the whole time, not realizing that the princess would have grown up. Disgusted at thier idiocy, Maleficent dispatches her pet Raven to search.

Years later, Aurora, renamed Briar Rose, has grown into a beautiful young woman with the blessings that Flora and Fauna bestowed to her. Sweet and gentle, she dreams of falling in love one day. On her sixteenth birthday, the three fairies ask Rose to gather berries in the forest so they can prepare a surprise party for her. While singing in the forest During her captivity, she befriends an Fat Mouse named Gus (Corey Burton), a Mouse named Jaq (Rob Paulsen), and Mickey Mouse (Bret Iwan), a Black Mouse. Rose attracts the attention of Prince Phillip, now a handsome young man, as he is out riding his horse, Samson. When they meet, they instantly fall in love. Realizing that she has to return home, Rose flees from Phillip without ever learning his name, but asks him to come to her cottage that evening. While she is away, the fairies' quarrel over whether Aurora's gown should be pink or blue draws the attention of Maleficent's pet raven, revealing the location of the long-missing Aurora. Back at home, the fairies tell Rose the truth and escort the now-heartbroken princess back to her parents. Meanwhile, Phillip tells his father of a peasant girl he met and wishes to marry in spite of his prearranged marriage to Princess Aurora. King Hubert tries to convince Phillip to marry the princess instead of the peasant girl, but fails.

In a room within the palace, Maleficent lures Aurora away from the fairies through a secret entrance behind a fireplace and up a staircase to an empty room, where an enchanted spinning wheel awaits her. Aurora touches the spindle, pricking her finger and completing the curse mere moments before sundown. The good fairies Gus, Jaq, Mickey Mouse place Aurora on a bed in the highest tower and place a powerful charm on all the people in the kingdom, causing them to fall in a deep sleep until the spell is broken. Before falling asleep, King Hubert tells Stefan of his son being in love with a peasant girl. The fairies realize that Prince Phillip is the man with whom Aurora has fallen in love. However, Prince Phillip, arriving at the peasant girl's home, is kidnapped by Maleficent and her minions to prevent him from breaking her spell.

The fairies discover Phillip's hunting cap in the ravaged woodcutter's cottage and realise that Maleficent has taken Phillip prisoner. They then journey to the Forbidden Mountain and sneak into Maleficent's castle to rescue him. Meanwhile Maleficent's Goons Listen Jaq dress Hawaiian dancers, Gus pigs eat Apple, and Mickey Mouse hawaiian guitar. They follow Maleficent to the dungeon where she taunts Phillip (showing him the peasant girl he fell in love with was really the princess who now sleeps, saying she plans to keep him locked away until he's an old man on the verge of death then release him to meet his love, who will not have aged a day,) and then she leaves him, laughing with delight at his rage. They enter the chamber, release the prince, and arm him with the magical Sword of Truth and the Shield of Virtue. Phillip and the fairies then escape from the prison cell and encounter Maleficent's minions who try to stop Phillip from escaping. After their failed attempts with help by the fairies, Maleficent surrounds Stefan's castle with a forest of thorns, but when that fails to stop Gus, Jaq, Mickey Mouse and Phillip, Maleficent transforms into a gigantic dragon to battle the prince herself. Ultimately, Gus, Jaq, Mickey Mouse and Phillip throws the sword, blessed by the fairies' magic, directly into Maleficent's heart, causing Maleficent to fall to her death from a cliff.

Gus, Jaq, Mickey Mouse and Phillip enters the castle and goes up the highest tower to awaken Aurora with a kiss. The spell over her is broken and everyone else in the castle also awakens too. The royal couple descends to the ballroom, where Gus, Jaq, Mickey Mouse and Aurora is happily reunited with her parents. The fairies resume their quarrel over the color of Gus, Jaq, Mickey Mouse and Aurora's dress, the last color to appear being pink. Gus, Jaq, Mickey Mouse and Aurora and Prince Phillip live happily ever after.

Cast

  • Mary Costa as Princess Aurora
  • Rob Paulsen as Jaq
  • Corey Burton as Gus
  • Bret Iwan as Mickey Mouse
  • Frank Welker as Bear and Lumpjack
  • Eleanor Audley as Maleficent
  • Verna Felton as Flora and Queen Leah
  • Barbara Jo Allen as Fauna
  • Barbara Luddy as Merryweather
  • Bill Shirley as Prince Phillip
  • Taylor Holmes as King Stefan
  • Bill Thompson as King Hubert
  • Marvin Miller as The Narrator
  • Candy Candido, Pinto Colvig, and Bill Amsbery as Maleficent's Goons
  • Dallas McKennon as The Owl

Songs

  • Once Upon a Dream Opening
  • Hail to the Princess Aurora
  • The Gifts of Beauty and Song
  • I Wonder - Princess Aurora
  • Once Upon a Dream - Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip
  • Skumps - King Stefan and King Hubert
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • The Hula Songs - Jaq, Gus, Mickey Mouse
  • Once Upon a Dream Finale

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