Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Sleeping Beauty at 60

After all these decades Sleeping Beauty remains a stand out film among Disney animated features.
A grand experiment in artistic style and storytelling, which did not pay off at the box office in its original release in 1959. But after many re-releases in theaters and on home video this film is now beloved by just about everybody.

An early character study by Frank Thomas.

Incredible backgrounds with cels that don't match. It's worth zooming in on some of the gorgeous painted detail.

A couple of expressive roughs by John Lounsbery.

A haunting looking BG from a later sequence in the film. Merryweather is not supposed to sit on the chair.

A stunning Eyvind Earle study for the Sleeping Beauty walk through at Disneyland.

There are plenty of previous posts on Sleeping Beauty. Just type the film's title in the upper left corner, and they will all pop up.


  1. ah, I love it. There are a couple of different films that pushed the medium to it's limit, in different ways. For sure this is one of them.
    I love that they committed hard to an unusual style, and again with 101 Dalmatians too.

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  3. I might have to consider watching Sleeping Beauty again at some point. It's debatable how successful it is from a storytelling perspective, but for its sense of spectacle, in terms of the artistry and certain characters and scenes, it's definitely noteworthy.

    Though I will say one thing that kinda annoys me is how inconsequential the title character winds up being in her own movie. I mean, yeah, she's put to sleep for a good portion of it, but there is just so little to her aside from that, to the point where we don't even really see or hear her when she's a baby. They put so much effort into the style and the animation and yet they couldn't even do one little shot of the baby princess that isn't covered in swaddling, or one indication she was actually there, like a cry or anything like that? For all we know, they could have been holding a flour sack wrapped in cloth! It's a minor detail, sure, but it's one that kind of bothers me.

  4. This film is so visually impressive... but OMG... that first cel of Aurora: THE INKING IS INCREDIBLE! Did those women not have a pulse???? Those curves are flawless


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  6. Thank you very much for sharing these sketches and paintings from Sleeping Beauty I hope that you’ll do a few more Sleeping Beauty posts in this the 60th Anniversary year? I think that a few more complete celluloids with backgrounds including some featuring Maleficent would be appreciated by many fans!

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