Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Upon re-watching Sleeping Beauty recently I was fascinated to realise that the three fairies are pretty much the main characters 🙂

Obviously they’re not the only characters, but they probably have the most screentime for one and they also take many of the important risks. Flora, Fauna and Merryweather also devise all the plans, in addition to providing the only good comic relief while at the same time being responsible for saving everyone around them!

Of course Auroa and Phillpip have nice singing voices but I think for a lot of people Maleficent stands out most in terms of character – she’s a pretty superb villain, capable of true cruelty, and her colour scheme of green, purple and black is unnerving too.

Visually, I was enthralled.

It wasn’t just the tremendous dragon/forest of thorns scene, but elsewhere too, the art and backgrounds for Sleeping Beauty are amazing – the detail on the bark upon the trees alone is just so great!

The whole forest, really – especially with those distinctive shapes and textures, but many of the castle scenes stood out too. I really liked the illusion of depth there, via that amazing multi-plane camera set up Disney was known for.

However, I was interested to hear something quite dull from director Geronimi – who I believe was unhappy with the art direction and backgrounds by Eyvind Earle, feeling that no-one would even look backgrounds. What a fool, huh? 😀

Sure, I doubt kids of the day would have cared that much but I would like to think that surely, one part of why Sleeping Beauty has endured over other Disney films has to be the art, because I don’t think the film stands above several other Disney titles around due to its storytelling, which I thought was pretty uneven.

On that claim, there’s a bit too much time spent on what I’d call filler, I guess – my favourite example being the two kings in that endless scene where they discuss and agree to things which have already been agreed to.

Even so, I’m really glad I watched this again because if I hadn’t, I would have missed out on some amazing stuff, especially the work of Eyvind Earle.

4 Stars (one of which is probably for the art alone)

By the power of Grayskull!

Cover Art Comparison: Moribito Guardian of the Spirit

Today I wanted to quickly change pace and post something short (same with my next post, actually) and so I thought it’d be fun to quickly look at some cover art.

This little idea was sparked by the pending re-release of one of my favourites – Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and its new box art.

I love the new cover for its brighter colours, but perhaps what’s more important is that this one is also more indicative of what’s inside, in terms of storyline.

For instance, if I glance at the original (which is pretty close to what my DVD looks like) then I can remember exactly what I first thought upon seeing that cover – that this anime will be an action series with a ‘band of heroes’ feel.

Of course, the folks pictured with Balsa aren’t her companions and the story’s not really about a fellowship with a common goal, either.

The old art certainly does signal ‘action’ for genre, which is no lie, but the new artwork evokes the idea that Balsa must protect someone, and places great importance upon that pairing, since they’re the only two portrayed. And, of course you’ve still got her spear and so the ‘action’ is still signaled, but this time, so is the drama.

Okay! I controlled my rambling – how about you, got a fav between the two? Or a fav update to some classic art?