Sleeping Beauty (1959 film)

Sleeping Beauty
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Story by
Based onSleeping Beauty
by Charles Perrault
Produced byWalt Disney
Edited by
  • Roy M. Brewer Jr.
  • Donald Halliday
Music byGeorge Bruns
Distributed byBuena Vista Distribution
Release date
  • January 29, 1959 (1959-01-29)
Running time
75 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$6 million[1]
Box office$51.6 million (United States and Canada)[2]

Sleeping Beauty is a 1959 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution. Based on Charles Perrault's 1697 fairy tale of the same title, it is the 16th Disney animated feature film. The production was supervised by Clyde Geronimi, and the film's sequences were directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, Eric Larson, and Les Clark. Featuring the voices of Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Barbara Luddy, Barbara Jo Allen, Taylor Holmes, and Bill Thompson, the film's plot follows Princess Aurora, who was cursed by the evil fairy Maleficent to die from a prick on a spindle of the spinning wheel, but was saved by the three good fairies, who altered the curse so that the princess instead fell into a deep sleep to be awakened by true love's kiss.

Sleeping Beauty came under development in 1950 and took nearly a decade and $6 million to produce, making it the most expensive Disney animated feature at that time. The film's tapestry-esque art style was devised by Eyvind Earle, who drew inspiration from the pre-Renaissance European art, with its musical score and songs, composed by George Bruns, based on the 1889 ballet of the same title by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Sleeping Beauty was the first animated film to be photographed in the Super Technirama 70 widescreen process, as well as the second full-length animated feature to be filmed in anamorphic widescreen, following Lady and the Tramp (1955).[3]

Sleeping Beauty was released to theaters on January 29, 1959, to mixed reviews from critics, who praised its art direction and musical score, but criticized the plot and characters. In its initial release, the film grossed $5.3 million against its $6 million budget, making it a box-office bomb. However, the film's subsequent re-releases proved very successful,[4] and it has since become one of the most artistically acclaimed Disney features ever produced. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture at the 32nd Academy Awards.

A live-action reimagining of the film, told from Maleficent's perspective, was released in 2014, followed by a sequel in 2019. That same year, Sleeping Beauty was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

  1. ^ Thomas 1994, p. 295.
  2. ^ "Sleeping Beauty". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  3. ^ Maltin 1987, p. 74.
  4. ^ Smith, Dave. "Sleeping Beauty Movie History". Disney Archives. Archived from the original on March 31, 2010. Retrieved January 28, 2023.

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