It's interesting to note (at least for me, anyway), I seem to have become more involved in watching Disney Animated Classics as I get older. Once-thought boring animated classics are now much more appreciated. I'm not sure exactly why, but animated classics seem to possess an innocent quality not felt on more modern animated titles. Sleeping Beauty on Blu-ray, comes to us as a 3-disc 50th Anniversary Edition, providing a never seen before aspect ratio which reveals more footage on the left, right, bottom, and top of the picture. Indeed, Sleeping Beauty has been cropped for 4:3 (fullscreen) televisions for several decades. Finally, we can see the animated classic as it was originally created, and now featuring an HD version, this is Disney's best edition available to the consumer in 50 years.
50th Anniversary Edition
Features: DTS-HD MA soundtrack, new widescreen version of the film which reveals more screen never seen before, a bonus disc dedicated to extras, and a much-appreciated Bonus DVD Movie Disc, which contains the SD DVD version of the film.
Movie Release: January 29, 1959
This Release: October 7, 2008
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Current Price: Check Price / Purchase
The Blu-ray edition of Sleeping Beauty has three discs. The first disc is the Blu-ray disc, the second disc contains a ton of features and extras, and the third disc is the SD DVD version of Sleeping Beauty. For the High-Def fence-sitter who's debating going Blu, this is the perfect time, as you'll have the regular SD DVD version. The price differences of the SD DVD edition and the Blu-ray edition are minimal, and I wouldn't be surprised if Disney is helping HD along by making the prices pretty tempting to explore the Blu-ray version.
I won't go into analytic detail of Sleeping Beauty because you can readily find a wealth of information on the net, but suffice it to say Sleeping Beauty is a concoction of several interpretations spanning several hundred years. Obviously, a mother eating her children isn't necessarily a part of what makes a Walt Disney classic a classic, so things have been changed to make the original story...more palatable (sorry, couldn't resist) and more appealing to a wider audience. However, like with any fairy tale, they are modified over time as society sees fit, and Disney being one of the latest interpreters, does a rather fine job. The amount of work put into creating Sleeping Beauty is epic in itself, taking almost 10 years to make, and I recommend viewers who are more interested in the history of making Sleeping Beauty, to watch the extras on the supplied discs in this edition as well as surfing the net.
King Stefan and Queen Stephani are proud parents of their newborn daughter, Aurora. A massive ceremony and celebration is underway at the castle as Aurora and young boy Prince Phillip are known to be married in the future. However, Maleficent, the villainess, is not so happy. She's a little bummed because she wasn't invited to the betrothment and shows up anyway at the castle. Seeing her outfit — even in Blu-ray — I don't blame royalty for not wanting her around. She's freaky, dark, scary, and rather depressing. Oh, and she's very evil. Which is not a good role model to have around for young children.
Maleficent puts a curse on Aurora, and says on her 16th birthday, she will get pricked by the spinning wheel of a spindle...and die. But before the curse can be assured, the three fairies Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather manage to escape Maleficent's prying eyes, and take Aurora to a place where she can grow up and on her 16th birthday, be free of the curse forever. Of course, as fairy tales go, things aren't so easy as they appear, and something happens just before Aurora's 16th birthday celebration, which puts a kink into the simple plan once thought successful by the three fairies.