Sleeping Beauty
Directed by Clyde Geronimi

Les Clark Eric Larson Wolfgang Reitherman

Produced by Walt Disney
Written by Erdman Penner (adaptation)

Joe Rinaldi Winston Hibler Bill Peet Ted Sears Ralph Wright Milt Banta

Music by George Bruns
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release Date January 29, 1959
Running Time 76 minutes

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. A live-action remake was made in 2014, following Maleficent's perspective of the story.


After many childless years, King Stefan and his consort welcome the birth of their daughter, the Princess Aurora. They proclaim a holiday for their subjects to pay homage to the princess, and at the gathering for her christening she is betrothed to Prince Phillip, the young son of Stefan's friend King Hubert, so that their kingdoms will always be united.

Among the guests are three good fairies called Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, who have come to bless the child with gifts. The first fairy, Flora, gives the princess the gift of beauty; the next fairy, Fauna, gives her the gift of song. Before Merryweather is able to give her blessing, the evil Maleficent appears. Though distressed at her having been uninvited, Merryweather tells Maleficent that she was unwanted. Maleficent hoped it was a matter of oversight, and decides to leave. However, when the Queen asks if she's not offended, the evil fairy curses the princess. Maleficent proclaims that while Aurora will indeed grow in grace and beauty and be beloved by all who know her, 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, changing it so that, instead of dying, Aurora will fall into a deep sleep from which she can only be awakened by true love's kiss.

King Stefan, still fearful for his daughter's life, orders all spinning wheels in the kingdom to be destroyed. The fairies do not believe this would be enough to keep Aurora safe from Maleficent. Flora then has the idea to disguise themselves as peasant women, and with the King and Queen's consent they spirit Aurora away to a woodcutter's cottage in the forest until the day of her sixteenth birthday.

As the years pass, Maleficent rages to her bestial minions of the sheer impossibility that 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 with each year. Amused but disgusted at their idiocy, Maleficent sends her raven, Diablo to search for the princess.

Years later, Aurora, renamed Briar Rose, has grown into a beautiful young girl with the blessings that Flora and Fauna bestowed on her. Sweet, gentle and kind, she dreams of falling in love one day. On the day of 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, 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, unaware they have been betrothed years ago. Realizing that she has to return home, Rose asks Phillip to come to her cottage that evening. While she is out, Flora and Merrywether argue about whether Aurora's ball gown should be pink or blue, resulting in a battle of wands. Their magic goes up the chimney, attracting the attention of Maleficent's raven, revealing the location of the long-missing Aurora. Back at home, Aurora mentions she met the man of her dreams. The fairies, not realizing the man was Phillip, tell Aurora the truth about her heritage. When Aurora is told she can't meet him again, she leaves the room in heartbroken disappointment. 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 otherwise, but fails, which leaves Hubert in equal disappointment.

The fairies take the heartbroken Aurora back to the castle. Maleficent appears and lures Aurora away from the fairies and tricks the princess into touching an enchanted spinning wheel. Aurora touches the spindle, pricking her finger and completing the curse mere moments before sundown. The good fairies, being unable to stop Maleficent, 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, which the fairies overhear. The fairies then realize that Prince Phillip is the man with whom Aurora has fallen in love. However, Prince Phillip, arriving at the cottage in the forest, 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 realize that Maleficent has taken Phillip prisoner. They then journey to the Forbidden Mountain and sneak into Maleficent's lair to rescue him. 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 peacefully and is dreaming of her true love. She tells him she plans to keep him locked away until he's an old man on the verge of death, then release him to meet his sleeping love, who will not have aged a day. She leaves him, laughing with delight at his rage. The fairies 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, During the escape, Merryweather turns Diablo into stone. When she discovers Phillip escaping with help from the fairies, Maleficent surrounds Stefan's castle with a forest of thorns, but when that fails to stop Phillip, Maleficent transforms into a gigantic dragon to battle the prince herself. Ultimately, Phillip throws the sword, blessed by the fairies' magic, directly into Maleficent's heart, causing Maleficent to fall to her death from a cliff and disintegrate into ash, and the Sword of Truth turns to black (hinting at a possible return).

Phillip enters the palace and goes up the highest tower to awaken Aurora with a kiss. The spell over her is broken and everyone else in the palace awakens, too. The royal couple descends to the ball, which is taking place in the ballroom, where Aurora is happily reunited with her parents. Flora and Merryweather resume their argument over the color of Aurora's ball gown. The last color to appear is pink. Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip live happily ever after.


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