UltimateDisney.com's Top 20 Animated Classics Countdown
5. Sleeping Beauty (1959)

"Sleeping Beauty's strongly crafted story, breathtaking and revolutionary visuals, and beautifully haunting music have captivated me completely every time I watch it. Since I was a kid up till now as an art major in college, I've found it among the most appealing peices of cinema ever. It has been one of the most inspirational movies in my life, and in short, I feel it is the crescendo of artistic stimulus."

"Although often criticized for its poorly structured plot and two-dimensional lead characters (ever notice that neither Aurora nor Prince Phillip utter a word in the last half of the movie?), Sleeping Beauty is and always will be one of my favorite Disney animated films. The animation is stunningly stylized, giving it a modern look with the touch of a Renaissance era painting. The music is beautiful; few realize that the songs are taken from the Sleeping Beauty ballet written by Tchaikovsky. (Go pick up the CD.) The fairies are some of the most memorable 'sidekicks' in the classic Disney films. (Who doesn't adore Merryweather?) Maleficent is so deliciously evil, you can't help but love her for it. All in all, Sleeping Beauty is film that is classic, not because it was made in 1959, but because it has all the makings of one."

"Sleeping Beauty, in a very few words, is a moving painting; a total piece of art. When I see books or visit a museum with the majestic work of painters, I can΄t find a difference with this glorious movie besides the motion. This is one of the greatest Disney movies, because it has a lot of work behind it, the most beautiful and elaborated backgrounds, stylized character design, the wonderful Tchaikovsky music, stunning voices, and most people's favorite Disney villian in the entire Disney history. I can really understand why this movie was Walt΄s favorite."

"Sure we all know the story of Sleeping Beauty just like we all know the story of Pinocchio, Cinderella or The Little Mermaid, but yet again Disney pulls out all the stops to make it the version of the story you return to over and over again. From its stunning stylized animation to its well-paced storytelling, Sleeping Beauty is the fairy tale that (for me) literally comes to life."

"Sleeping Beauty, along with the modern series of Disney films beginning with Beauty and the Beast and stretching through to Treasure Planet, breaks a lot of the old rules associated with animation. For one thing, why widescreen? Why do you need widescreen in animation? Because it gives another layer of depth to the scene, not to mention it calls attention to the best, purest animation that the old school studio artists ever did. Earlier work like Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Peter Pan -- all of them are indisputably great, but they look like, well, cartoons. Sleeping Beauty looks like an actual film - rich in color, detail, staging, etc.

"And this is all, of course, rooted in one thing, which the unbelievably convincing artistry of the Disney staff in creating this world. The scene when Maleficent sneaks into Aurora's dressing room via the fireplace - with the dim lights, the chilly music, the perfectly timed explosion - it looks like Hitchcock more than Disney! The way the film furiously moves through its exciting rescue/battle climax, it's like a mix of Ben-Hur, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Bridge on the River Kwai, and Casablanca.

"Endlessly watchable, loveable, enchanting...the list goes on. Four stars for Sleeping Beauty, the best of the "classic" Disney films."

"Since I first saw Sleeping Beauty at the age of seven, it has been among my favorite Disney classics. Its beauty enchanted me. The sword-fighting adventure was exciting. Maleficent was the scariest villain I had ever seen in an animated feature. Years later, the movie is still exciting and entertaining, but now I notice it is also one of the most incredible-looking films ever. Every time I watch Sleeping Beauty I'm impressed by the intricate detail in the backgrounds and by the textures that leap out of the screen. The film is also filled with charm and humor (delivered by the enchanting Good Fairies) and the most magnificent of all Disney villains. Even though it wasn't very successful in its original release, time has proved that Sleeping Beauty strikes up there with Snow White and Fantasia as a cinema masterpiece."

"This is one of the very rare magical adventures that can make you feel that its world truly exists. One of the very few movies that can be watched over and over again, and one that can be never been forgotten. Is it Maleficent? Or the lovable Faries? Is it the music? Or the perfect animation? Maybe it is the magic that blends everything together with a touch of inspiration to invite everyone to keep the dreaming going ever after..."

"Sleeping Beauty truly is the ultimate fairytale, and has always been at the top of my list. Its animation is absolutely stunning and beautiful; it truly is the apex of great animation, surpassing even today's modern animated flicks in that area. The music is absolutely superb, complementing the beautiful and moving story. Disney produced its most infamous villian in this picture, three of its most lovable fairies, plus the prince and princess who happen to be my favorites. Everything about this movie is amazing."

On DVD
• 2-Disc Special Edition (Out of Print)
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