Rumoured to be Walt Disney’s favourite of all his animated movies, this is, of course, based on the classic fairy tale that inspired Tchaikovsky’s ballet score (which is used to beautiful effect in the film).
Nasty Maleficent predicts to the king that his infant daughter Aurora will prick her finger on a spinning wheel before her sixteenth birthday and fall into a deep sleep. Despite everyone’s best intentions, the inevitable happens, and it is up to the hunky Prince Phillip to kiss Princess Aurora awake with love’s first kiss, and vanquish Maleficent once and for all.
Adults will be impressed by the beautiful animation (some of the backgrounds are based on medieval paintings) while kids – especially little girls – will love the romantic story. That’s not to say that young boys won’t be entertained – they’ll like Maleficent, who is a mean old sorceress who can change into a fire-breathing dragon in a manner both enjoyable and a little bit frightening, and they’ll have some laughs at the three fairies (Merryweather, Flora and Fauna) who raise Aurora (renaming her Briar Rose) away from the palace, hoping to save her from her fate. Simply gorgeous.
Is Sleeping Beauty suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
While she’s not as scary as the Queen in Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, very young children may be frightened by Maleficent.
The only scene in which she is really scary, though, is when she turns into a dragon.