Picks and Pans Review: Sleeping Beauty
The most romantic of the Disney animated features and stunning in its use of color, this 1959 version of the classic tale has not lost its magic. Maleficent, a sleek villainess in the Disney witch-straight-out-of-Vogue tradition, is after Princess Aurora, who will be safe if she can be hidden until her 16th birthday by three sisterly fairies. At the crucial moment the Princess falls in love with a Prince she meets in the forest. The fairies' bickering gives away her hiding place, Aurora snoozes off, and Maleficent turns into a dragon. The theme is "true love conquers all," however, and kids won't lose heart even if cynical adults figure the Prince had better start dating around again. The production boasted a considerable asset, the score of the Tchaikovsky ballet, which George Bruns adapted. (Among the writers of the pop lyrics was Winston Hibler, narrator of later Disney nature documentaries.) That Bruns's was the film's sole Oscar nomination in retrospect seems an amazing oversight. (Disney, $29.95)
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