Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Genres - Children's/Family, Fantasy  |   Sub-Genres - Fairy Tales & Legends, Romantic Fantasy  |   Release Date - Feb 17, 1959 (USA)  |   Run Time - 75 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - G
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Review by Brendon Hanley

The lavish, expensive Sleeping Beauty was something of a throwback for the Walt Disney Company, which had been churning out popular, if slight, live-action films throughout the 1950s. The musical's painstakingly rich animation and the timeless fairy-tale material place it in the same league as other, earlier beloved Disney titles such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937), Pinocchio (1940), or Cinderella (1950). The animation is the most notable aspect of the film: it combines the lush colors of a 1930s Disney film with a distorted, almost expressionistic look. The overall effect is interesting and impressive, if somewhat mannered. The original widescreen format and George Bruns' elegant, Oscar-nominated score -- based on Tchaikovsky's original Sleeping Beauty Ballet -- also contribute to the film's sensuousness.