Disney and a Beer: Sleeping Beauty

The Beer
Sea Dog Wild Blueberry – I like blueberry flavored beers because they are some of the more unique tasting drinks. However, Wild Blueberry brewed by Sea Dog Brewing Co. didn’t have a lot of blueberry taste to it. The aftertaste wasn’t desirable, either. I will throw this in the try again column, though, because it was in my fridge for some time because I forgot about it. Until then, I wasn’t too impressed. Verdict: Disliked it.

The Movie

Sleeping Beauty movie posterSynopsis
After the evil fairy Maleficent (Eleanor Audley (voice)) puts a curse on Princess Aurora (Mary Costa (voice)), King Stefan (Taylor Holmes (voice)) hid her in the woods, guarded by the three good fairies Flora (Verna Felton (voice)), Fauna (Barbra Jo Allen (voice)) and Merryweather (Barbara Luddy (voice)) until her sixteenth birthday.

Sleeping Beauty is one of those Disney classics that everyone sees every now and then but may not necessarily watch regularly. I am guilty of this myself. Let me tell you that is a mistake. Sleeping Beauty is up there as one of Disney’s classic princess films and deserves regular viewings.

Disney has made some pretty great villains over the years, but few are as menacing as Maleficent. What makes her such an intimidating character is she is evil simply to be evil. She doesn’t have any deep motivations, it’s just part of her nature. It’s those kinds of villains that make some of the most unpredictable and exciting counters to the heroes. Her design is splendid, too. Her flowing robes and those deep green and purple accents give Maleficent a sleek elegance to complement her ominous demeanor.

Another character, or I should say characters, that I really enjoyed are the three good fairies: Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. They remind me of high school friends that grow old together and are very comfortable around each other and act goofy because they are so close. Each of them have their own unique personality and they all play well off each other, creating some of the funniest moments of the movie. One of the highlights was when they were preparing for Aurora’s birthday. Every time the three of them are on screen together I had a smile on my face.

I forgot how striking the animation was in this film. The background paintings are absolutely gorgeous. They are beautifully detailed and masterpieces all their own. Not only are the backgrounds amazing but the colors of the hand animation are so bright and vivid. I’m glad I watched the blu-ray version because it really gave it justice.

As awesome as Maleficent is, she doesn’t have a lot of screen time. I would have liked to have seen more of her since she is one of Disney’s best villains. The final fight between her and Phillip especially would have been a good time to see more of what she is capable of. It was exciting but felt a little too short.

I think people tend to forget how good Sleeping Beauty is. The animation some of the most beautiful of the time, the three good fairies are some of cinema’s best comedy relief characters, and Maleficent is one of Disney’s greatest villains. I will definitely be sure to watch this again soon.


By an awesome coincidence, the crew over at Modern Mouse Radio wrote a highly detailed article about Sleeping Beauty‘s production earlier today, which you can read here if you want to learn more about this film’s history.


Cast & Crew
Clyde Geronimi – Director
Erdman Penner – Story Adaptation

Mary Costa – Princes Aurora (voice)
Bill Shirley – Prince Phillip (voice)
Eleanor Audley – Maleficent (voice)
Verna Audley – Flora (voice)
Barbara Jo Allen – Fauna (voice)
Barbara Luddy – Merryweather (voice)
Tyler Holmes – Stefan (voice)
Bill Thompson – Hubert (voice)

Maleficent Review

Maleficent movie posterSynopsis
When Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) gets her wings stolen by her childhood friend, Stefan (Sharlto Copley), she takes revenge by setting a curse on his daughter, Aurora (Elle Fanning). Stefan places Aurora into hiding and uses all the resources of his kingdom to hunt down Maleficent.

In my Godzilla review, I mentioned that movie wasn’t exactly what I expected. Maleficent, on the other hand, is exactly what I expected when I went into the theater. However, that is not a bad thing. On the contrary, like Godzilla, I thought Maleficent was a great new experience with a well known character.

As I said, there wasn’t anything about Maleficent that I already didn’t expect walking into the theater, except maybe the ending, but more on that later. Very much like the Wicked Witch of the West in the play Wicked, Maleficent is painted as a much more sympathetic character than she is in Sleeping Beauty, where she is portrayed simply as a malevolent character. Again, the story was what I expected it would be, but the way it played out was fun. Part of the enjoyment no doubt came from Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of the character. Ever since I saw the first trailer, I have felt Jolie was the perfect fit for Maleficent, and she did not disappoint. Her poise, her attitude, her mannerisms, she completely filled every facet of the character perfectly.

All the special effects in Maleficent look beautiful. The creatures of the Moor are some of the most unique and best looking mythical creatures I have seen. Even the Moor, the land where the creatures live, itself look great.  The effects had a strong cartoonish aesthetic. The only characters I think this style isn’t beneficial towards are the three fairies (Flittle, Knotgrass, and Thistletwit) when they were in their fairy forms. I feel they need to look more realistic than cartoonish, otherwise they are just awkward. My favorite effect, though, would have to be when Maleficent creates the Forest of Thorns. When the large thorny vines emerge from the ground, it was magnificent.

(*Possible spoilers in this paragraph*) I have been impressed by Disney lately and their shifting viewpoint of “true love” displayed in their recent movies. Much like Frozen, another form of love other than true love’s kiss is highlighted here, causing one character to comment, “There is no truer love.” I’m not going to spoil exactly what happens, but know that it doesn’t play out precisely like Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

Entering the theater, I had an idea of what to expect from Maleficent and I walked out without any surprises as a result. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable anyway. The character Maleficent was painted as character molded by her experiences, rather than merely an evil character like in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. This film is visually stunning. Everything from the environments to the characters in the Moor are impressive. The Forest of Thorns Maleficent creates would have to be my favorite effect. Continued from Frozen, Disney’s concept of “true love” seems to be changing from their previous princess movies. Maleficent is fairly predicable movie, but Angelina Jolie completely embodies the titular character and gives a different experience from previous villain-centric movies.



Cast & Crew
Robert Stromberg – Director
Linda Woolverton – Writer
James Newton Howard – Composer

Angelina Jolie – Maleficent
Elle Fanning – Auora
Sharlto Copley – Sefan
Lesley Manville – Flittle
Imelda Saunton – Knotgrass
Juno Temple – Thistletwit
Sam Riley – Diaval
Brenton Thwaites – Prince Philip
Kenneth Cranham – King Henry
Hannah New – Princess Leila
Isobelle Molloy – Young Maleficent
Michael Higgins – Young Stefan