Sleeping Beauty: Parent Review

Sleeping Beauty | G | 1 hour 15 minutes | Animation, Family, Fantasy, Disney | January 29, 1959

Sleeping Beauty: Synopsis

When the one-dimensional king and queen snub an already evil looking fairy, she gifts their young daughter a curse that she’ll fall under a deep, magical sleep by the end of her 16th birthday. (Clearly, the writers of this movie never had children, otherwise they’d have realized, is that really a curse? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me right about now.) With the help of three fairies, the curse could be broken with true love’s kiss, or you know, the kiss of some guy sleeping beauty met and talked to for about 5 minutes.

You know. Whatever.

Sleeping Beauty: Parent Review
Maleficent - Sleeping Beauty: Parent Review

Movie title: Sleeping Beauty

Movie description: When the one-dimensional king and queen snub an already evil looking fairy, she gifts their young daughter a curse that she'll fall under a deep, magical sleep by the end of her 16th birthday. (Clearly, the writers of this movie never had children, otherwise they'd have realized, is that really a curse? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me right about now.) With the help of three fairies, the curse could be broken with true love's kiss, or you know, the kiss of some guy sleeping beauty met and talked to for about 5 minutes.

Date published: 1959-01-29

Director(s): Clyde Geronimi

Actor(s): Mary Costa - Princess Aurora (voice), Bill Shirley - Prince Phillip (voice), Eleanor Audley - Maleficent (voice), Verna Felton - Flora / Queen Leah (voice), Barbara Luddy - Merryweather (voice), Barbara Jo Allen - Fauna (voice), Taylor Holmes - King Stefan (voice), Bill Thompson - King Hubert (voice)

Genre: Animated, Fantasy, Family

Overall
0.6
  • Plot
    (1)
  • Character Development
    (0.5)
  • Agelessness
    (0.5)
  • Desire to re-watch
    (0.5)

Dad's Take

Let’s start with the most talked about element for young children: Sleeping Beauty is scary. I don’t know if I successfully desensitized my daughter or what, but my five year old watched Sleeping Beauty for the first time (with Disney Plus) the other day and she’s fine. The doctors think she’ll start talking again in a few weeks if we give her space… The truth is she survived her first viewing of Sleeping Beauty with no issues. Granted, she has seen nearly every MCU movie there is, including both Spider-Man and Captain Marvel. Hell, she watched End Game when it came out on digital. So, maybe she is an exception or going to turn into a psychotic little serial killer, either way, she survived. Still, grown ass adults talk about how scary they think it is, so take that for what it is worth. Of course, Sleeping Beauty is regarded as a classic among fans and non-fans of Disney. She’s one of the OG Disney princesses and is pretty much found anywhere Disney princess crap is sold. So writing a negative review goes a bit against that grain. But here it is. Sleeping Beauty aged about as well as milk left in a hot car in the summer… for several days. I vaguely remember watching the movie once or twice as a boy who identified as a boy (I was “woke” before it was cool) growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. I’m pretty sure I watched it because it was sort of expected – everyone had to see that movie as a kid (Disney controls all). Fast forward 30 some years and I have now watched it again thanks to the power of modern streaming technology. And I have to say, the movie is pretty terrible. Now before you say I hate all Disney, I do actually have some appreciation for a lot of their work. Frozen, Aladdin, Moana, and Beauty and the Beast, among others, are much, much better than Sleeping Beauty. That’s not to say I won’t point out my issues with them. They all have their flaws. But Sleeping Beauty is the flaw. At the time, it was probably very cutting edge – from the animation to story in general. But it looks dated, oddly even more so than Snow White, which came over 20 years earlier. I could overlook the animation, if the story made any sense. The whole premise is that true love will conquer evil. But Prince Phillip literally meets Aurora for about 5 minutes. And they both decide they are madly in love. So much so that both say they both say they want to marry for love not out of royal duty. What? So they instantly fell in love and the love is strong enough to break a powerful curse placed on the princess and buck royal tradition? No wonder movies like Enchanted and Frozen mocked the idea of falling in love with someone you just met. It makes little sense. But there are other issues beyond this. For you overly sensitive parents out there, I need to remind you: Sleeping Beauty shows drinking and intoxication! OH NO! Yeah, the minstrel finds some spare booze, downs it, and passes out drunk under the table. Some role model! Why not just sneak in sexual innuendos like the rest of the movies do. What were they thinking in 1959? Clearly not about the sensitivity of parents living in the 21st century. What the hell!? Finally, Aurora doesn’t do much for showing a strong role model for young girls out there. In fact, she’s the stereotypical damsel in distress, who requires a man to come save her ass. My wife loathes the movie for that reason. Well, that and she remembers being scared of it when she was little girl. Clearly she didn’t watch End Game prior to watching Sleeping Beauty. About the only positive I can really say about Sleeping Beauty is that it did manage to keep my daughter quiet and engaged for an hour and fifteen minutes. She has literally been talking about Sleeping Beauty for months now. She even dressed as her for Halloween. But to my knowledge, this is the first time she saw the movie. And she sadly seemed to enjoy it. But with Disney Plus, she is like a kid with a wildly entertaining streaming service and has watched half a dozen princess movies since its release. Screen time guidelines be damned! Disney owns all.

Pros

it’s short – less than an hour and half seems to keep the kids captivated

Cons

aged like milk left in a hot car for a few days characters are flat and lack conviction it can be scary for younger viewers, sissies, and other pansies

Nathan

Nathan is not a published author, professional movie critic, or avid fan of most children shows. He is a caring father (when he's not banging his head against the wall), a movie connoisseur of sorts literally able to have full conversations in movie and TV quotes, and dedicated to helping other parents avoid starting a show with their small children that they will soon regret. In his free time, he does nothing. He has two small children. Free time does not exist.

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