(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Sleeping Beauty. The song "Once Upon a Dream" plays throughout)
Doug (vo): Sleeping Beauty. This movie always astounds me at what a colossal epic and what a colossal mess it is, both at the same time.
Story and review
Doug (vo): First, let's look at the good stuff. The artwork, for example, is a very different take for Disney. The backgrounds never look three-dimensional, but they're not supposed to. It's supposed to be very much like tapestry work, or like paintings you'd see in a medieval castle. It was a very different approach and it looks very nice, though I guess at times, it can be a little distracting for some viewers. I personally don't mind, though. Let's also look at the side characters. The fairies are great. They have to hide the princess Aurora for sixteen years to keep her away from the evil of Maleficent, who, again, is freakin' great. I mean, one of the best villains, Top 3 easily. It's a villain that's evolved almost entirely from the voice acting and the animation, 'cause to be fair, her motivation's not very strong. She gets snubbed at a party, that's it. But the extremes she'll go to get revenge, now that's freakin' awesome.
Maleficent: Before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she shall prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel...and DIE! [Laughs evilly]
Doug (vo): She's classy, she's despicable, she's quiet, she's loud, she's subtle, she's over-the-top, she's everything you want in a villain. She can wave her hand and make something move, or she can turn into a fire-breathing dragon. Freakin' awesome. The music is also fantastic, taken from one of the best known ballets under the same name. It leads to some memorable songs as well as some great climax music. In fact, the climax itself is one of Disney's best. The energy, the animation, everything that goes into it is just fiery blaze.
[The film's climatic scene showing Prince Phillip fighting the dragon Maleficent is shown]
Doug (vo): It's always the best part of the movie every time I watch it.
[Clips mostly focusing on the main characters are shown]
Doug (vo): Now let's get to the stuff that doesn't work, like the main characters. Good God, are they boring. When I think of the stereotypical boring princess, this is who I think of. She does nothing, she has little-to-no character, she just sort of sings and looks pretty. I don't even think she's that pretty. But how about the prince? He's the dashing hero in the end. Surely, he must be interesting, right? Actually, he's even more boring. Do you realize that the last line he says in this movie is "Goodbye, Father." and that's about halfway through? After that, he doesn't get a line. He just runs around swinging his sword. That's it. At least she has an excuse. She's put to sleep for the second half. Him? God, couldn't we get a grunt or an "oof" or something? There's also a lot of filler in this movie. And maybe that's one of the reasons why the main characters are so bland. I think this movie really liked its side characters much more. Most of the time is spent with the fairies, the villains, the two kings, that really doesn't lead to anything. So, really, it's a very unbalanced film. But again, I guess like most Disney films, the stuff that works well works really, really well. The villain is great, the fairies are great, the animation is great, that ending fight scene is just freakin' fantastic. So it's kind of hard to judge this movie seeing how not only does it have some good things, but it has some of the best of any of the Disney films. But it goes beyond just typical visuals. It actually does have some very good characters, even if they are the side characters.
Doug (vo): For that, I think it holds up for several viewings. I did see this film quite a few times growing up and I did like it every time. There's just several scenes I liked a lot more than others. But they are good scenes and they are good characters. So, from a storytelling point of view, the film probably doesn't work, but just from a selfish point of view in terms of seeing something that you've never seen before or something that's done really, really well, there's a lot of things to enjoy. Even if it turns out on the whole, you don't like the film, I still think it's worth looking at. The stuff that's impressive is still really impressive. I know I'm not done watching it, and I'm sure one or two more viewings are not far in my future.
[The movie's ending dance scene is shown]
Singers: Upon a dream!