Disclaimer: As I’ve written before, the following post is a part of a larger series geared to air out more or less, ‘adult’ grievances and flush out underlying (as well as obvious) themes that I’ve found while watching these childhood movies over again.
*Please Note: I do not ‘blame’ Disney for any of my findings, as these are films based on very old fairy tales. However, as Disney has animated a vast percentage of these ancient tales, I will continue to say ‘Disney’ for continuity. *
*Also, not all cartoons animations of childhood fairy tales were the brain child of Disney, so I will attribute the production companies accordingly.*
It’s been years, y’all. But don’t think I forgot about this. And for our return to scratching our heads, let’s look at one of Disney’s messiest films, Sleeping Beauty.
The 1959 film adapts the story of a young princess who is whisked away into hiding when she is cursed by an evil fairy. However, despite all efforts, her destiny is realized and only true love can wake her from her death-like sleep.
Sleeping Beauty has a bit of a soft spot in my heart. It was one of the six cartoon films that my mom brought home on two dubbed VHS cassettes. Hey, we were broke — what do you want? Anyhow, one of my favorite things about Sleeping Beauty was the music, which I found myself hearing on the AM radio belonging to my art teacher in sixth grade. When I told him I knew the song, “Once Upon a Dream”, we had a moment, but not one of those moments. Otherwise, he’d be listening to the radio in the PRISON. But back to Sleeping Beauty.
Can I say that upon a more thorough review of this movie, the plot is as lazy as sleepy Aurora?!
First off, Maleficent must be the pettiest of the Petty Betties Coalition or she must suffer from the most severe case of FOMO. Cursing an infant because their parents didn’t invite her to the baby’s christening makes no cotton-picking sense. Am I to believe Maleficent was sitting on her throne at home, saying “I don’t care if they don’t invite me,” while sending her crow to the mailbox everyday to check for a scroll invite? Mmmm.. yeah, no. I don’t see it. She doesn’t seem to be the type that’s super hard up to be invited to a gala hosted by mortals. So with that being said, I’m convinced she did that shit because she was bored AF.
What is wrong with these bored-ass magical beings? She’s almost as bad as that enchantress who hexed an orphaned 11-year-old because he wouldn’t let a STRANGER into his house in exchange for a rose. Sheesh. I hate to say it, but maybe they needed a man… or a woman. Something.
Next, the writers absolutely didn’t expect people to pay attention closely this movie and lucked out for it. There’s a huge-ass inconsistency that I can’t believe I failed to notice, and maybe you did too, so check it out.
In the beginning of the film, after Aurora/Briar Rose is cursed, the fairies — Fauna, Flora, and Merriweather — decide they will take her to an abandoned cottage and live like three ol’ mortal maids with a baby. Flora decrees they will NOT use magic to raise her. However, for Aurora’s 16th birthday, the ladies decide they will each do something they never did before: sew a dress and bake a cake. Tell me then, for three women who were raising this baby, why in the got-damn hell was the struggle SO BAD to bake a cake and sew a dress for Aurora Rose in the witness protection?
In all those years, those women should’ve learned how to boil an egg or darn a sock, but they didn’t. Now, for the sake of argument, let’s say Merriweather (the real savior of the film for changing the curse from death to sleep, killing Mal’s pet crow, among other things) was the person in the house who cooked and sewed. For 15 years, Flora and Fauna didn’t learn a shit?! What the hell were they doing? Tending to rose gardens and talking to animals?! And that makes me even more curious about their everyday life: how did they eat if they sucked at cooking? How did they cloth themselves, if they couldn’t sew? How did they survive without any damn money? They lived in a cottage, but those broads don’t look like they worked any kind of land to make wheat or hay, or sell no vegetables.
The more I think about it, the more I’m curious as to how they were even able to keep Aurora Briar Rose alive past six months. The way Fauna made that cake — without putting it in the OVEN, child — I’ve got all the pause. That baby should’ve died from food poisoning or hyperthermia years ago.
With that said, the only way to rationalize the really dumb mishap is to assume the other two used magic behind Merri’s back, in which case they were HORRIBLE caregivers because the whole point was to blend in, and they didn’t. But they’re not the only terrible child-care providers.
Let’s talk about how negligent Aurora’s parents were. They literally met those three fairies the day of the Christening. How do you just let three random ladies take your baby? And for 16 years at that?! They didn’t even say, “here take one of our finest soldiers and have him live as a huntsman for you” or “here’s our best hand-to-hand combatant and he shall work the land for you all while you raise our daughter.” Just sent that baby with three women who didn’t know WHAT the hell they were doing. A damn shame.
Also, how mad were King Stefan and Queen Leah (how she had a name and barely spoke but Beast ain’t got one?!) when they realized Aurora got back in the castle and still pricked her damn finger. I know I would’ve been pissed to know the people I entrusted my kid to in order to stay safe, STILL got her in trouble.
You put ol’ girl in witness protection, just for her host family to accidentally lead the bad guys to her and then go “well, if no one sees her die, did it really happen?” Those three feathered heffers are terrible and I’m sure someone had to bring it up after the happily ever after dinner. Prince Phillip went through a lot of shit for them to NOT talk about that. Speaking of Phillip, have we ever acknowledged the way he called Aurora an ugly baby in the beginning of the movie? They showed this boy, who was at least 4 years old, the baby and his FACE hunny was like, “what is this ugly thing?” I promise you, that’s why Flora gave her the gift of beauty. She was a butt-ass-ugly-ass baby.
But God don’t like those who don’t like ugly, because when Phillip met Aurora Rose in the woods, the proper curving Aurora gave Phillip when he tried to holla at her in the woods was immaculate. She ran from him faster than riders on the train when someone coughs. She peeled out of there quicker than drivers avoiding Baltimore crackheads trying to wash your windshield.
She eventually caved after he gave her the “You know me, I’m the man of your dreams” rap, but Aurora wasn’t with the shits and I loved her for it.
And before we dive into the thematic stuff, can I also point out the super toxic man in the room, Mr. King Hubert. This man was hellbent on making sure that his son, Phillip, married Aurora regardless of love, and he even had a castle built for them and their future children. While King Stefan was like, “Bro, I haven’t seen my kid in 16 years and this will be a shock to her,” Hubes came swinging with the gaslighting:
“My son, a shock? What’s wrong with my son? Maybe I don’t want to marry my son to YOUR daughter!” Um… calm TF down! The fact that he couldn’t fathom that it would take Aurora time to adjust just showed how disgustingly desperate he was to join kingdoms. Was he in debt? Did he need the merger for money? Or was he hard up for grandkids? I dunno, but he was doing THE most.
Now here we go with the thematic portion of today’s head scratcher:
Theme One: Review Resumes & BackGround Checks
Stefan and Leah were only thinking of their baby, but I definitely would’ve spent at least a week doing some resume reviews and background checks before sending my baby out with three women I didn’t know. I understand they come from a world of luxury and privilege, but did they ask the women if they could cook or clean or if they knew first aid for babies?! It’s hard to believe they couldn’t entrust ANYONE ELSE in their kingdom with enough skill AND know-how to take care of Aurora Rose.
And this applies to Maleficent, too. She had tons of nerve to be upset that her henchmen had been looking or a newborn for 16 years, instead of an age-appropriate child. As the “Mistress of All Evil,” she is expected to have the creme de la creme of bad guys. But instead she had a bunch of porky clowns.
When you give clowns a job, you should expect foolishness at the workplace — and Maleficent, Stefan, and Leah got what they paid for.
Theme Two: Stranger Danger Is and Will Always Be a Thing
If it was one thing I heard the most in this film was “stranger.” The Fairies kept telling Aurora Rose to not talk to strangers and when she met Phillip, she told him she wasn’t supposed to talk to him because she didn’t know him. While these two were destined to be together, the movie makes a valiant point of what happens when you speak to strangers: you could end up falling in love and later learn you’re betrothed to someone else. Or you disappoint your family by deciding to marry someone beneath you. And then have a crazy woman try to kill you and the stranger you just met.
Long story short, your life can turn out a hot, sitting-in-a-dungeon-forever mess OR you can die. So, don’t go chasing stranger waterfalls. Stick to the lakes and rivers that you’re used to.
Theme Three: There’s a Proper Way to Cat-Call a Lady
Of the old school Princes, Phillip has THEE most swag. My dude peeped Aurora Rose from the sidelines, studied her moves, cut in her dancing with the owl without her even knowing and THEN dropped some vocals on her. And when she got all stranger danger on him, he simply used her own words against her on some, “uhm, well you said we met before once upon a dream.”
Don’t get me wrong, the whole thing is still kind of creepy. Like, he pursued her really hard when she told him she couldn’t give him the time of day. But, I also can’t deny there was something really smooth about it. At the end of it all, Aurora still couldn’t left him alone in woods, but the same hand she was snatching away, was the same hand she gave to him. And he knew he had her by the end of the dance, and then just watched the sun with her after.
Some of you fellas can take a few pointers from him… except for the whole being a stalker and kissing a half-dead stranger girl thing.
Theme Four: Let That FOMO GO
Since we don’t know any other reason Maleficent would pop up on Stefan and Leah, this all has to be chalked up to boredom and FOMO. Mal heard there was a party happening and wasn’t invited and she wanted to see what the buzz was about and curse the people who insulted her. Girl… let. that. shit. go.
If she spent more time focusing on her instead of not being invited, she would have better henchman and bigger crisis under her belt. I mean, you wanna be the witch who cursed a baby or the witch that caused COVID-19? She wasn’t focused and has she been more OK with working on herself instead of being where she thought the fun would be, her ass wouldn’t be a stain on the castle lawn.
Theme Five: Avoid The Help of a Dumb Fairy
Unless you’re on of the the men from Queer Eye, I’m not trusting a fairy, OK. *drum roll, clash*
No, in all seriousness though, fairies are not as bright as people think they are and I don’t see why people continue to entrust themselves in them. Cinderella’s Fairy Godmom’s spell was great when it was great, but then left girly on the side of the robe in tattered clothes and crushed produce. Peter’s little Tink was aiding him in the kidnapping of children and trying to kill Wendy. And now you have these three who couldn’t do one job, which was to keep the princess from pricking her finger. Not one thought to make a spell to give her iron gloves. Fairies always seem to have a knack for messing shit up, so if you’re looking for a little magical help, avoid them unless you’re really, really desperate.
Theme Six: If You’re Gonna Risk It All, It Better Be True Love
Listen. Aurora and Phillip were out here risking it all, y’all. She knew she wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers, but after one dance and a few minutes of hanging out, she went from kicking him to the curb, to giving him her address. Then, here come Phillip going to his father, King Hubert, to tell him that he was breaking his betrothal for a peasant girl he met. Phillip ain’t do a damn thing but hold this girl’s hand and smell her hair, but he knew. Aurora did nothing but put her head on his brook-water-smelling shoulder, and she was convinced. They were both willing to risk it all because they believed the other was their true love. So if you’re going to put it all on the line, it better be for the person you know in your heart is your one and only.
Got any thoughts on this Disney Brain Scratcher? Be sure to leave your comments below!