Movies about/starring women. I originally started this list just as a reference for myself, but hopefully others will find it…
Awaken to a World of Wonders!
A beautiful princess born in a faraway kingdom is destined by a terrible curse to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a deep sleep that can only be awakened by true love's first kiss. Determined to protect her, her parents ask three fairies to raise her in hiding. But the evil Maleficent is just as determined to seal the princess's fate.
I watched this as a prelude to seeing Maleficent, for the first time since I was a very young child. At a scant 75 minutes, its plot is too simple and iconic to forget. But what leapt out at me, viewing the film as an adult, is how thinly-disguised its explorations of patriarchal sexuality are.
Because, really, who wins in the end? The two kings, one of whom assigns his young son to marry the other's newborn girl, in a move to consolidate their two kingdoms. I don't know if I'd say that Aurora has come out the victor here.
Maleficent explicitly stands in as the Lucifer figure of the story, but as Paradise Lost teaches us, is Lucifer really…
Review In A Nutshell:
By this point, Disney has solidified their significant place in both cinema and the minds of its young viewers. During Sleeping Beauty’s release in 1959, 22 years have passed since the debut Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and since then, their initial audience have grown and have started their own families, a new generation of children to appreciate the works of Walt Disney. The company understood that their audience doesn’t feature the same mindset they once had, the same could be said for the recent efforts of Disney’s filmography when compared to their Renaissance days; the minds of the youth has become more sophisticated and cinema itself has expanded since the 1930s, achieving far more…
If you take Maleficent out of this movie this whole film would have been easily forgettable with the bland love couple that to be honest do we really care about it? Sleeping Beauty herself was pretty boring and the price was even worst, but that's just me.
Somehow, in all my years of watching Disney films as a kid (and now as an adult), I've never once watched Sleeping Beauty nor had any real idea of what the story was about. Was it too 'girly' to watch growing up? I've heard the memorable Once Upon A Dream song hundreds of times through CDs and Sing-Along-Songs on VHS, so it was pretty cool to see it now with some context.
What hit me the most was how the film was not about this 'sleeping beauty' Princess Aurora at all, but the three fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather who take care of Aurora to hide her from the evil and powerful Maleficent. This Mistress of Evil casts a spell…
New Years Resolution See 700 Films in 2014 (At Least 400 Must Be New)
Film 167 out of 700
Film 23 of Remember the Magic
I think everyone has that classic Disney princess film. For my girlfriend it is "Cinderella", for my sister is it "Mulan" and for me it has to be "Sleeping Beauty".
I cannot overly put my finger on why I love this film. Maybe it is just how different the animation style is. Maybe it is just how perfectly evil Maleficent is. Maybe it is just the feeling of joy I get everytime I hear "Once Upon a Dream". It could just be all of that. The three fairies are fantastic and still make me laugh…
Visually arresting as fuck.
It may be a cliche to start a review for Sleeping Beauty by discussing the visual appeal of the film, but in the end I simply don't give a damn. What a spectacular world on display for the viewer to take in here. At times it is more akin to watching a painting on the move than a mere animated film. The depth in every frame here is mesmerizing and has the unique ability to catapult the viewer deep into that forest. A true work of art in every sense of the word.
My second stop in this review will be focused on the tunes. While "Once Upon a Dream" is the stand-out here and deserving…
It's funny how the last ten minutes of the film focus solely on Phillip as he escapes Maleficent's prison, cuts his way through the endless thorns, battles and conquers a dragon, saves/awakens the kingdom and marries the princess; all without him uttering a single syllable.
In 70mm Technirama (Only print in existence)
An stained-glass window in motion. One of the most visually astonishing fantasies put to film, and absolutely breathtaking in 70mm.
Watched Disney's only 70mm exhibition print at the Somerville Theatre. Noticed details I had never seen before, and now I want to revisit so many classic Disney movies on the big screen.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The second film of many that I hope to see at the Sommerville Theater 70mm film festival. The film in particular is extremely rare in that is supposedly the only 70mm print of the film in existence (on loan from Disney).
The introduction to the film by the projectionist was very informative. The divide in Disney animators between realism and the cartoonist. This was also the last Disney fairy tale made, because it had done poorly, until Little Mermaid in the 1980s.
I had nearly no recollection of the film as it has probably been 20 years since my last viewing and what I did remember was likely more from having been to Disney World than the actual memory of…
There's an intense raw beauty to the visual design of this animation that permeates the film and which becomes its defining text above any narrative. (It's often necessary to squint to look past the gender politics of older Disney films, but this almost Arthurian setting makes it easy to read it all as classic fairy tale, down to the live-action bookend shots.)
Some of the more baroque visual elements, such as shadows and shafts of light in Maleficent's lair and the operatic climax, reminded me of Chuck Jones's best work, while the film's more abstract flourishes push it closer to the avant garde Disney courted with Fantastia and the work of Oskar Fischinger. It's these elements that will stick in my mind the most, nothing about princesses, fairies or kingdoms.
5 star animation+2.5 star just barely competent storytelling and characterization (Maleficent the only character whose flatness actually works in her favor)=rounding up the average to 4 stars mainly on the stunningness of the 70mm presentation
Probably the best thing about Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty' is the animation. Utilizing the widescreen format to great effect, the animation is quite beautiful and has a really nice painting-like quality to it. The music is nice, taken from a ballet of the same name by Tchaikovsky, and the film has a solid cast of supporting characters, specifically the fairy trio of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. And of course, the main villain Maleficent is one of Disney's all-time greatest villains. Sure her motivations are slim but she makes up for it with her class and magical powers. The only real things holding the film back are a lack of focus on the duo of Aurora and Phillip. I don't think they're 'bad' characters but both are admittedly a bit underdeveloped. But thanks to the animation, music, side characters, and main villain, 'Sleeping Beauty' still stands as an all-time Disney classic.
The hyper-real, angular backgrounds and the cute character animations clash like pink and blue to make one of Disney's most aesthetically interesting pictures. You wonder what the film would look like if one of the styles fully took over, but what we get is really cool.
Visuals aside there isn't really anything else of note. The romance is superficial and the characters dull. Even though she's toted as being the center of the film, Princess Aurora does absolutely nothing throughout the whole movie. She's beautiful, sings...and that's about her whole character? The only person who's really interesting is Maleficent, who chews scenery every time she's on screen. Eleanor Audley's voice acting is sooooo good, and it's the main reason Maleficent is one of Disney's best villains (which explains the $260 million they spent on a live-action film).
The print I saw was struck in '94, and looked really nice. Huge props to Disney for loaning out their only 70mm copy.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
currently trying to read all 339 books that are mentioned as well.
(i created this list with a…