Sleeping Beauty

Title: Sleeping Beauty
Year: 1959
Length: 75 minutes
Director: Clyde Geronimi
Writer: Erdman Penner, with Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright & Milt Banta; based on the story by Charles Perrault
Starring: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Barbara Luddy, Barbara Jo Allen
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, adapted by George Bruns (score); Bruns, Tom Adair, Sammy Fain, Jack Lawrence, Winston Hibler, Ted Sears & Erdman Penner (songs)
Oscars: nomination for Best Score (musical)
I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Synopsis: a princess is cursed by an evil sorceress

My reaction
Concept:1/4 (Bad)
Story:3/4 (Good) I dislike Perrault, but they adapted it into something good. Lots of scary action. And the heroes are old ladies!
Characters:2/4 (Indifferent) Merryweather is delightful, but that’s about all the movie has by way of characters. Maleficent is kind of awesome, in both senses of the word, but far from what you might call good character writing.
Dialog:2/4 (Indifferent)
Pacing:3/4 (Good)
Cinematography:4/4 (Great)
Special effects/design:4/4 (Great) One of the best movies visually, ever – right up there with The Third Man.
Acting:2/4 (Indifferent) Mostly fine, but I’ve got to take a point off for the narrator.
Music:4/4 (Great) The tunes to the songs sound at home in a movie with a score by Tchaikovsky: beautiful and classical. (Not being a fan of Tchaikovsky, I’d assumed they were his melodies.) Most importantly, none of the songs get stuck in my head.
Subjective Rating: 8/10 (Great, 4/4 (Great)). Well, that was a huge surprise. I’d thought that by this point Disney had long since given up on the artistic angle and moved on to a more “kid friendly” humor-based appeal. Wrongity wrong wrong. I’m looking forward to re-watching 101 Dalmations (the next Disney movie chronologically) to see if it’s anything like this. (But my hopes aren’t high.)
Objective Rating (Average):2.9/4 (Good)


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