full title Sleeping Beauty

directors Clyde Geronimi, Eric Larson, Wolfgang Reitherman, Les Clark

leading characters’ voices Mary Costa (Princess Aurora/Briar Rose), Bill Shirley (Prince Phillip), Verna Felton (Flora), Barbara Jo Allen (Fauna), Barbara Luddy (Merryweather)

supporting characters’ voices Eleanor Audley (Maleficent), Taylor Holmes (King Stefan), Bill Thompson (King Hubert)

type of work Animated Motion Picture

genre Fairy Tale

language English

time and place produced 19521959, Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, California


 · 1959 Grammy Awards:
 · Nominated, Best Soundtrack Album—Original Cast, Motion Picture or Television

1960 academy awards: Nominated, Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture (George Bruns)

date of release January 1959

producer Walt Disney

setting (time) Fourteenth century

setting (place) King Stefan’s unnamed kingdom

protagonist Princess Aurora / Briar Rose

major conflict The evil Maleficent curses Princess Aurora at birth to die on her sixteenth birthday by pricking her finger on a spinning wheel. Three good fairies try to help Aurora avoid this fate by altering the curse’s effect and hiding her in a forest under the assumed name of Briar Rose.

rising action As Briar Rose reaches her sixteenth birthday, her feelings of love for a mysterious stranger combine with the three fairies’ ill-advised use of their magic powers to create a disastrous day in which the Princess cannot avoid the fated spinning wheel.

climax When Aurora collapses into a deep sleep after pricking her finger, a war must be waged against the evil Maleficent, so the fairies put the entire kingdom to sleep until they can think of a way to approach this daunting proposition.

falling action Using their magic powers, the fairies help Prince Phillip escape from Maleficent’s dungeon and fight an epic battle with her for the good of the kingdom and for the life of the Princess.

themes True love conquers all; pure good will vanquish pure evil; home is where the heart is

motifs Dreams and visions; animation; the geographical triangle

symbols The spinning wheel; colors and shapes; animals


 · The main element of foreshadowing comes when Briar Rose tells her friends in the forest that she dreamed of a dashing prince. Of course, she’ll eventually marry such a figure.
 · In many ways, much of the film is foreshadowed since the character traits of the primary characters change very little. That is, once one character is portrayed as good, it is inevitable that good will come to him or her in the end.