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This article focuses on the film, "Sleeping Beauty".
For the story, see "Sleeping Beauty (Fairytale)".
For the first Enchanted Forest character known as Sleeping Beauty, see Briar Rose.
For the second, see Aurora.

Sleeping Beauty is a Disney animated film featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright and Milt Banta; and directed by Clyde Geronimi, Les Clark, Eric Larson and Wolfgang Reitherman. It was released on January 29, 1959.

Sleeping Beauty is based on "Sleeping Beauty", a fairytale written by Charles Perrault.


After many childless years, King Stefan and Queen Leah happily welcome the birth of their daughter, the Princess Aurora. They proclaim a holiday for their subjects to pay homage to the princess, and at the gathering for her christening she is betrothed to Prince Phillip, the young son of Stefan's friend King Hubert, so that their kingdoms will always be united.

Among the guests are three good fairies called Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, who have come to bless the child with gifts, beauty and song. Before Merriweather is able to give her blessing, the evil fairy Maleficent appears, only to be told she was unwanted. Maleficent turns to leave, but when Queen Leah asks if she's offended, the evil fairy curses the princess, proclaiming that Aurora will grow in grace and beauty, but before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. Merryweather uses her blessing to weaken the curse so that instead of dying, Aurora will fall into a deathlike sleep from which she can only be awakened by true love's kiss. King Stefan, still fearful for his daughter's life, orders all spinning wheels in the kingdom to be burned. The fairies do not believe that will be enough to keep Aurora safe, and so they spirit baby Aurora away to a woodcutter's cottage in the forest until the day of her sixteenth birthday.

Years later, Aurora, renamed Briar Rose, has grown into a beautiful teenage girl. On the day of her sixteenth birthday, the three fairies ask Rose to gather berries in the forest so they can prepare a surprise party for her. While singing in the forest, Rose attracts the attention of Prince Phillip, now a handsome young man. They instantly fall in love, unaware of being betrothed years ago. Rose asks Phillip to come to her cottage that evening.

While she is out, Flora and Merryweather argue about the colour of Aurora's ballgown. They fight, attracting the attention of Maleficent's raven and revealing the location of Aurora. Back at home, the fairies tell Aurora the truth about her heritage, and she cannot meet him again. Heartbroken, she leaves the room. Meanwhile, Phillip tells his father of a peasant girl he met and wishes to marry in spite of his prearranged marriage to Princess Aurora. King Hubert fails to convince him otherwise, leaving Hubert in equal disappointment.

The fairies take Aurora back to the castle. Maleficent then appears and magically lures Aurora away from the fairies and tricks the princess into touching an enchanted spinning wheel. Aurora pricks her finger, completing the curse. The good fairies place Aurora on a bed in the highest tower and place a powerful spell on all the people in the kingdom, causing them to fall in a deep sleep until the spell on their princess is broken. From King Hubert's conversation with King Stefan, the fairies realize that Prince Phillip is the man with whom Aurora has fallen in love. However, he is kidnapped by Maleficent. She shows Phillip the peasant girl he fell in love with is the now-sleeping princess. She tells him she plans to keep him locked away until he's an old man on the verge of death, then release him to meet his love, who will not have aged a single day.

The fairies find and release the prince, arming him with the magical Sword of Truth and the Shield of Virtue. Maleficent tries to stop Phillip with thorns but fails. She then transforms into a gigantic dragon to battle the prince herself. Ultimately, Phillip throws the sword, blessed by the fairies' magic, directly into Maleficent's heart, causing her to fall to her death.

Phillip awakens Aurora with a kiss, breaking the spell and wakes everyone in the palace. The royal couple descends to the ballroom, where Aurora is happily reunited with her parents. Flora and Merryweather resume their argument over the color of Aurora's ball gown. The last color to appear is pink. Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip live happily ever after.

Show Adaptation

  • Unlike the Disney character adaptation, Aurora has brunette hair. 
  • Rather than being cursed to prick her finger on a spindle, Aurora willingly accepts being put under a Sleeping Curse by Maleficent.
  • Notably, Aurora's mother, whose name is Briar Rose (the name that the fairies gave Aurora), has been called Sleeping Beauty, and is mentioned as an old nemesis of Maleficent's.
  • Maleficent has a pet unicorn rather than a pet raven.
  • Maleficent is a sorceress, not an evil fairy.
  • Maleficent can manifest in one place by forming a flock of ravens, which is a reference to Diablo. And she sent a message to Rumplestlitskin by a raven which is another reference to Diablo.
  • Prince Phillip is turned into a Yaoguai by Maleficent in order to keep him away from Aurora.
  • Aurora's body is not entrapped in a castle surrounded by thorns, and instead rests on a bier surrounded by a former castle's crumbling structure.
  • Emma kills Maleficent, in dragon form, after piercing her with a sword.
  • Instead of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, Prince Phillip rescues Aurora with Mulan's help.
  • Instead of being her second name, Briar Rose is the name of Aurora's mother.

Characters Featured

Original Character Adapted as First Featured in
Aurora Aurora "Broken"
Diablo A flock of ravens (allusion) "Heroes and Villains"
Maleficent Maleficent "The Thing You Love Most"
King Stefan King Stefan "Enter the Dragon"
Prince Phillip Prince Phillip "Broken"
Queen Leah Briar Rose (mentioned) "The Thing You Love Most"
Samson Prince Phillip's horse (allusion) "Broken"

Spells Featured

Original Spell Adapted as First Featured in
Dragon Transformation Human to Dragon "A Land Without Magic"
Energy Blast Energy Blasts "Heroes and Villains"
Maleficent's Curse Sleeping Curse "Pilot"
Teleportation Teleportation "Heroes and Villains"

Items Featured

Original Item Adapted as First Featured in
Maleficent's Staff Maleficent's Staff "The Thing You Love Most"
Sword of Truth One of Prince Charming's Swords (allusion) "A Land Without Magic"
Spinning Wheels Spinning Wheels "Broken"

Places Featured

Original Place Adapted as First Featured in
Aurora's Palace Aurora's Palace "Broken"
Forbidden Fortress Forbidden Fortress "The Thing You Love Most"


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