Friday, January 29, 2010

Best In Blue

Magnet # 155: Sleeping Beauty in Blue Dress

Material: Laminated Cardboard

Purchased By: Me

Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty was first released on this day in 1959.  I know, I've mentioned on here before that this is my favorite Disney film, but I have plenty of magnets featuring Sleeping Beauty - or Princess Aurora - or Briar Rose, (that's a lot of names to choose from) so I didn't want to pass up a good opportunity to post another one.  Particularly one that features her in a blue dress.

I know it's silly, but I like it much better when Disney shows Sleeping Beauty wearing the blue dress, not the pink one.  Really, she wears the dress in pink for much less time in the film than she does in blue, and yet, it seems she's almost always merchandised dressed in pink.  And I like pink, but I think it is just too girly on a blonde princess - it's almost too much sugary sweetness to palate.  I guess it's thanks to the whole Princess line of merchandise that Sleeping Beauty is mostly in pink these days.  Cinderella always gets the blue, even if you look at stills of that original film, you realize her dress is almost silver.  So, give Cinderella a silvery blue dress, let Sleeping Beauty have a deeper shade of blue, and maybe the Little Mermaid can take pink, since she wears a pink gown in her movie.  And I like the way pink looks with her red hair.  And her dress is a nice, toned-down seashell pink (pun intended) not the ghastly Pepto Bismol bubblegum nightmare shade Sleeping Beauty gets.  Or perhaps just combine pink and blue and let Princess Aurora have my favorite, purple, as her color, because no other princess has purple as her color?  Okay, it'll never happen, but I'm glad to officially note how sick I am of almost always seeing Sleeping Beauty wearing pink.  I'll move on...

Okay, Princess Aurora might not have much personality, but neither did her predecessors, Snow White and the aforementioned Cinderella.  I guess in the forties and fifties, fairy tale heroines were supposed to be quiet and demure, not outspoken and free-spirited as they would later become. At least, unlike Snow White and Cinderella, she actually had a believable real name - and an extra alias.  And Princess Aurora wasn't really the main character in her own film - really, it was her trio of fairy godmothers who dominated the film.  And Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather had personality and then some.  It was fun to watch them bicker about so much during the film. Originally, the film was going to feature seven fairies, as the original story did, but they trimmed it down to three, which was a good move - seven would have just been too overwhelming.  Even worse, Disney wanted all three to look exactly the same - how confusing would that have been!  And her prince, Philip, had a name inspired by the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and much more personality than the Disney princes that proceeded him.  In fact, many of his scenes were ones Disney wanted to feature in Snow White, but couldn't because his studio's ability to portray animated men was limited at that time.  His dance sequence where he first meets Sleeping Beauty and his later capture at the hands of his enemy and eventual escape are examples.  And then there's the film's villain, Maleficent.  Instead of simply making her an ugly old crone, Disney's animators made her elegant and elongated, but clearly evil because of her green skin and horns.  And she even calls upon the powers of Hell to turn into a giant dragon.  How many times does the word "Hell" pop up in a Disney film!  I really think she is one of Disney's scariest animated villains ever.  Disney definitely had some great characters in this classic film.

I've mentioned before how gorgeous I find this film to be.  Really, I think it is the most beautiful animated film of all.  None of Disney's other films look anything like it, although many of them are pretty close to one another.  Sleeping Beauty has been re-released six times in theaters and when it's adjusted for inflation, comes in among the top 30 highest-grossing films of all time.  If you're as big a fan of this animated classic as I am, this is a great opportunity to bring out your DVD (or maybe even tape) and enjoy it once again.  And to the few out there who've never seen it, you might actually enjoy it - give a chance to a film you've been missing out on for 51 years!

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