Friday, May 13, 2022

Another Look at Sleeping Beauty

Marc Davis draws Maleficent. This is not a scene from the film Sleeping Beauty, the sketch was made for publicity purposes. As I pointed out before, Marc worked on this film longer than any other animator. He actually skipped the production of Lady & the Tramp, so he could focus on and animate the movie's heroine as well as its villain. Aurora and Maleficent. This was a first, and it hasn't been done since. 

A live action photostat of Jane Fowler (later Boyd) as Maleficent. Voice actress Eleanor Audley also acted out important scenes for the animators.

A Frank Thomas sketch of the Three Fairies, pretty much as they appear in the film. But it took many exploratory versions to get to this point.

This is early live action footage for Aurora and Prince Phillip. Believe it or not, but that's Kathryn Beaumont (of Alice and Wendy fame). I don't know who her acting partner is, with his full hairdo.  

King Hubert, King Stefan and his Queen represented by actors Don Barcley, Hans Conried, and again Jane Fowler. 

 Camera moves planning and a clean up layout. 


  1. This whole movie is one of the reasons why Marc Davis is one of my favourite artists, period. (Plus, a Sleeping Beauty post with Maleficent art that I had never seen before? I'll take it as a birthday gift.)

  2. In all honesty, I really can't emphasis how this movie was and still is a milestone of the film medium in general, its a movie that only gets better with age as with all objects by people who actually cared about how their work would look and had respect for the tasks there given, it has quality on all attributes, this shows what the human genius is capable of when given time resources and area for creativity, films like this very sadly are very underapprciated nowadays, they are for sure a beautiful thing of the past almost impossible to duplicate and still retain much of what made special, Ive seen it over a 100 times and it still facinates me.

  3. I didn't know Kathryn Beaumont was in that photo for the model for Aurora. If so, was she supposed to be the original voice??

    1. No, Kathryn had experience in acting out scenes for the animators. So they tried a few scenes. The voice was going to be someone else.

    2. Oh ok. Thanks. I'm now gonna watch Ms Beaumont's small yet brilliant performance in "On an Island With You" with Esther Williams and Jimmy Durante.

  4. Wow that last layout is awesome to see as just a drawing. They must have been masters of perspective...were there architects working on any of the layouts? Did they use photos of castle interiors for references, like how the animators used the actors? Or maybe not?? The draftsmanship is amazing.

    1. I agree with you. The last layout is awesome! :)
      But look at the steps! My eyes hurt since I saw them. I can't get them out of my mind!
      The perspective ist wrong! :D

    2. I think it is the little part in the middle. (I count seven steps from the floor).
      I looks for me that the step isn't high enough (on the side of the railing).
      The steps which follow are too straight...
      Gee, it is just an optical illusion because the lines of the steps in the middle are more clearly visible than the lines of the bigger lower steps. And more clearly visible than the seventh upper stair too (I count from the top).
      I mean to look on the stairs in the middle for a while....It's a kind of hypersensitivity I can't explain to people who doesn't know how awful it is to view an artwork of Seraphine Louis (too much red-blue combinations killing me - for example :D ).