Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary Sleeping Beauty!

Nearing it's Golden Anniversary next year, Sleeping Beauty marks its 49th Anniversary today. Sleeping Beauty was released to theatres on January 29, 1959. The sixteenth animated feature, it was the last animated feature produced by Walt Disney to be based upon a fairy tale (after his death, the studio returned to the genre with 1989's The Little Mermaid).

Art direction for this movie was inspired by medieval painting and architecture. For the first time on a Disney animated feature, one man was in charge of the color styling, background design, and the overall look of the film. Eyvind Earle's modernistic approach to design and painting resulted provided this film a bold, unique art style, even though Earle's colleagues did not care for his production methods and art style while the film was in production. This was the last Disney feature to have cels inked by hand. From One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) on, the cleaned-up pencil drawings were Xeroxed onto the cels. However, some of the scenes in this movie did use the Xerox process. In active production from 1951 until the end of 1958, setting a record (for which it is tied with another 70mm Disney film, The Black Cauldron (1985)) for being the Disney animated film with the longest production schedule.

  • The elaborate background paintings usually took seven to ten days to paint. By contrast, a typical animation background takes one workday to complete.
  • Second only to Dumbo (who didn't speak at all), this Disney title character has very few lines of actual dialogue throughout the entire film. In fact, Briar Rose/Aurora says nothing at all in the film's second half. After she wakes up, Princess Aurora doesn't have any lines whatsoever.
  • Disney Studios has no record as to who provided the voice for the queen, Briar Rose's mother.
  • When the fairies discuss how to help the king and queen, notice Merryweather magically creates cookies, they are the shape of Mickey Mouse.
  • Walt Disney had suggested that all three fairies should look alike, but veteran animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston contrasted this idea saying that having them be like that wouldn't be exciting. Also, the idea originally included seven fairies instead of three.
Featured in this blog entry is Prince Phillip & Briar Rose ("Chance Encounter")sculpted by Margi Wray, a 2006 Open Edition release. Other WDCC releases from this film can be seen in the Sleeping Beauty Image Gallery section of the website.


Sergio said...

Hi Don,

Sleeping Beauty is another of my favorite movies; hopefully we'll have another Sleeping Beauty Anniversary WDCC piece next year! What about Briar Rose touching the spinning wheel? It could be done just as this year's Belle and rose, I guess.

I wonder which movie will recieve a special treat in 2008. As far as I know, anniveraries will be:

65th for Saludos Amigos.
60th for Melody Time.
55th for Peter Pan
45th for Jungle Book
35th for Robin Hood
20th for Oliver and Co
10th for Mulan

Any guesses?

BTW, great job about the calendars!!!


Duckman said...

Hi Sergio,

Sleeping Beauty is my favorite of the Princess films. At the time of the release of the Spinning Wheel, many were hoping for a dazed Aurora to be done. It's been a while since I've seen the film, can't recall at that moment, if there is a greenish tone to her from Maleficent's spell. Wondering how that would translate into a 3D sculpt?

Also celebrating anniversaries will be:

Sword in the Stone-45 years
Brother Bear-5 years

Jungle Book does not celebrate an anniversary in 2008. It celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2007.

Thanks for the kind words regarding the recent WDCC Calendar updates to the website. Much appreciated!

Sergio said...

You are right, I forgot about those two movies, and thank you for correcting me about the Jungle Book.

I think you are about that greenish tone of Aurora' skin. And also greenish Maleficent could complete the scene! We already have the spinning wheel but, as it is a long time retired accesory, I believe they should do another one. Well, maybe just day dreaming, but it would be very nice, wouldn't it?

Have great day!!


Duckman said...

Hi Sergio,

I would have no problem with another Spinning Wheel, especially if part of a new scene.

Personally, the Spinning Wheel that was released has a green cast to it but felt it could have been done better.

I would definitely be for a new scene from Sleeping Beauty and that moment with Aurora, Maleficent and the Spinning Wheel could make for a very dramatic scene!

Tony said...

Thanks for this post & the trivia Don! I just love this movie ;-)

Duckman said...

You're welcome Tony! This is another one of my favorites, ranking in my Top 5. With next year being the film's 50th anniversary, hopefully we'll see more coming from this film :)