Has poor party etiquette ever been so costly? In this Disney classic, a king and queen fail to invite the sorceress Maleficent to a celebration for their newborn daughter, so she puts a sleeping curse on the child. It comes true years later, despite the best efforts of three kindly fairies. Sleeping Beauty, also known as Princess Aurora, is forgettable even among Disney dolls (to say nothing of her eventual rescuer Prince Phillip), but the animated production design is wondrous. This is thanks, in large part, to the studio’s decision to produce the film in widescreen format. Deep, dark forests; thorny thickets; spiraling castle stairs – every detail seems to envelop us. And then there is Maleficent, voiced by Eleanor Audley and undoubtedly one of the great Disney villainesses. Her transformation into a roaring dragon in the finale is so triumphant you almost want her to win.
Another blockbuster trilogy comes to a close