Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty

Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty:
A Literary Approach

Diana Kathryn Geleskie
Vanessa Kolberg
Updated April 19, 2007

Works Cited


Based on a historical fairy tale, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty incorporates elements of the past into the movie in order to maintain a sense of history. The animation itself was a form of preserving history as in apparent in Eyvind Earle’s medieval backgrounds fashioned off of tapestries.

Medieval Tapestry Medieval Tapestry

Medieval Tapestries

The Entrance Scene from Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty

The Entering of the Court from Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty

"Eyvind Earle's unique and modern graphic style perfectly realized Walt's desire to create what he called a moving illustration" ("Once Upon a Dream").

The plot-line also relies on historical themes. The arranged marriage between Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora is an example of how the historical element was transferred from the original fairy tales to the animated feature. Traditionally, marriages were arranged for the wealthy and would have without a doubt been done so for the prince and princess of the movie. Disney includes this historical medieval tradition, turning it into a key plot point. Without the arranged marriage, not only would the movie lack the historical tradition on which it is based, but the Phillip and Aurora would not have the connection necessary for their meeting to be so ironic.

Prince Phillip and his father, King Hubert

Prince Phillip and his father, King Hubert

Photo Credits are listed within the Works Cited