Tag Archives: Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty “Skumps” (1959)

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Sleeping Beauty “Skumps” (1959)

As we begin to reach the end of the film, we finally go back to the castle where King Stefan is impatiently waiting for the sun to set so he can finally see his daughter. King Hubert (Philip’s father) tries to cheer Stefan up by presenting him a bottle of wine that he has been saving for sixteen years. This leads to “Skumps” (also known as “The Drinking Song”), a jovial song performed by Hubert and Stefan as they toast Aurora’s imminent return and the fact that the marriage of their children will unite their kingdoms. Of course Hubert wants the wedding to happen right away but, as Stefan rightly points out “I haven’t even SEEN my daughter yet, and you’re trying to take her away from me!” (Maleficent delves a whole lot deeper into the question of what happens when you’re not actually raised by your parents and then reintroduced to them)

Skumps! Skumps!

Skumps!

A toast to this night!

The outlook is rosy,

But the future is bright,

Our children will marry, Our kingdoms unite, Skumps! Skumps! Skumps!

Skumps!

Skumps!

A toast to the home!

One grander by far than a palace in Rome!

Ah, let me fill up your glass, That glass was all foam!

Skumps! Skumps! Skumps!

It’s an amusing song meant to brighten the mood before the drama that will follow. And despite the lighthearted tone, things nearly break down between Hubert and Stefan. When the latter attempts to break it to his fellow monarch that the revelation about Philip might come as a shock to Aurora, Hubert takes it wrong and things nearly break down into warfare between the two (Hubert attacks Stefan using a fish as a sword) before the pair realize how ridiculous they’re being and dissolve into laughter. The two kings are sure that Philip and Aurora will love each other, but boy does Philip have news for his father.

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I like to call this part of the film “The Comedy of Errors” because of all the misunderstandings that occur in short order. It can be summed up like this:

1) King Hubert thinks his son Prince Philip is in love with a peasant girl
2) The fairies think Aurora is in love with a commoner
3) Neither side realizes they’ve actually met Aurora/Prince Philip (though admittedly Hubert does think this initially)
4) And most importantly, Maleficent is wise to the fairy’s scheme and nobody knows it.

Based on all of these misunderstandings, Aurora is miserable while being led back to the castle, Philip has left to seek the girl he loves and Hubert is in a quandary about how to tell Stefan that Philip doesn’t want to marry Aurora anymore.

Let me know what you think about “Skumps” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Sleeping Beauty “Hail to the Princess Aurora” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “The Gifts of Beauty and Song” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “I Wonder” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “Once Upon A Dream” (1959)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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Sleeping Beauty “Once Upon A Dream” (1959)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Sleeping Beauty Part 2

Like many sixteen year old girls, Aurora wants very much to be in love, in fact she claims to have met her true love already….just in her dreams though. She seems so depressed that he isn’t real that the animals decide to do something to cheer her up. It just so happens that Prince Philip is still nearby, drying off after Samson accidentally dunks him into the river. The animals sneak off with his hat, cloak and boots and dress up the owl as her “dream prince” (much to Aurora’s amusement). This leads to the first rendition of “Once Upon a Dream” (taken directly from Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty Waltz.”)

I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream
I know you, the gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam
Yet I know it’s true that visions are seldom all they seem
But if I know you,
I know what you’ll do
You’ll love me at once
The way you did once upon a dream

The song is simple: Aurora and Philip are in love because they’ve already met in their dreams (a funny premise for a relationship, but this is Disney after all). While Aurora and the animals are having their fun, Philip and Samson finally lay eyes on the mysterious singer and of course Philip falls in love at first sight. So what does the prince do? Join in the song of course! The prince and princess share a dance and then at the crucial moment when Philip asks her name, it’s only THEN that Aurora remembers that she’s not supposed to speak to strangers and runs off. Meanwhile, back at the cottage…things are going…well….not well actually.

Sleeping Beauty Part 2

After enduring Flora’s efforts at dressmaking and watching Fauna attempt to make a cake, Merriweather finally snaps and lets the others know that if they’re going to do this properly they just need to use magic. Soon enough the cake is nearly ready, the cottage is clean and the dress is almost done. There’s just one little snag…shall the dress be pink or blue? (On a side note: the running gag of changing the dress’s color stems from a real-life argument the animators had over the very same question. They simply could not agree on whether the dress should be pink or blue so they ended up doing both…in a way.)

Sleeping Beauty Part 2

Flora and Merriweather get into a full-blown fight over the color of the dress, leading to magical sparks flying all over the cottage and straight up the chimney (the one part of the house they forgot to close up. Of course, the magical fight draws the attention of Maleficent’s raven Diablo, who has been searching far and wide for the missing Aurora ever since her other minions revealed that they’ve been searching for a baby for sixteen years! Diablo peeks his head in and witnesses Aurora coming home to tell her aunts about the wonderful man she’s just met, only to hear some rather earth-shattering news (one, her name is Aurora and not Briar Rose. Two, she’s a princess and she’s going back to the royal castle tonight and three, she must NEVER see that young man again (because of course the fairies have no way of knowing who he is.))

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This news delights Diablo and he rushes off to inform his mistress while Aurora, quite naturally, has an emotional breakdown. This leads to one of the most ridiculous lines I have ever heard. Merriweather turns to the others and says “And we thought she’d be so happy…” I’m sorry but, how would YOU react if everything you’d ever known your whole life turned out to be a lie? I don’t think I would be happy about it personally (but that’s just me.) And remember when I said that Aurora speaks the least out of any Disney Princess? Once Aurora runs upstairs and throws herself on the bed…she doesn’t speak again for the rest of the movie.

Let me know what you think about “Once Upon A Dream” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Sleeping Beauty “Hail to the Princess Aurora” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “The Gifts of Beauty and Song” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “I Wonder” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “Skumps” (1959)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

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Sleeping Beauty “I Wonder” (1959)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.
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The prologue of the film being over, the story flashes forward to Aurora’s sixteenth birthday, though in the story she has been raised under the name Briar Rose by her three “aunts.” The teenage princess is voiced by opera singer Mary Costa, who also stood in as the physical model for Aurora. Being an opera singer, Aurora’s singing style is something of a call back to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Costa is a true soprano (as her vocal improvisation at the beginning of “I Wonder” makes perfectly clear.)

 

On this day, her “aunts” Flora, Fauna and Merriweather need Briar Rose out of the house so that they can make a few surprises for her birthday, so the teenager is shooed out of the house to pick some berries. After Briar Rose leaves, it becomes obvious that the fairies have set a huge (read: impossible) task for themselves. According to Merriweather, Flora “can’t sew” and Fauna “has never cooked.” (Which really makes one wonder who’s been keeping the household running all these years.) Nevertheless, the fairies set out on their task and we’re soon following Briar Rose out into the forest.

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Of all the Disney Princesses, Aurora speaks the least, and this scene in the forest marks the opening of her first song, “I Wonder.” In this song, Aurora/Briar Rose summons her animal friends by improvising a clear soprano melody.

Sleeping Beauty Part 2

It is during this vocal introduction that we also meet the grown up Prince Philip. The prince has no idea that his betrothed is close by, so naturally he’s curious to see the source of this gorgeous melody. This leads to a hysterical moment where Philip spurs his horse on by promising him extra carrots if he’ll help him look for the singer. The excited horse charges off, only to stop short as he accidentally flings Philip into a creek (the disgruntled prince revokes his offer of carrots). As they attempt to find the singer, we go back to Aurora’s song.

I wonder, I wonder,
I wonder why each little bird has a someone
To sing to, sweet things to,
A gay little love melody
I wonder, I wonder,
I wonder if my heart keeps singing,
Will my song go winging
To someone, who’ll find me
And bring back a love song to me.

As her friends gather, the princess muses aloud about why all the animals around her have their own loved ones, but not her. She then wonders, if she keeps singing, maybe she’ll find a lover of her own (ironically the song concludes with Aurora looking wistfully at the royal castle in the distance, not knowing that she’s looking at her birthplace and rightful home.) It would seem that at sixteen years old, Aurora feels somewhat…smothered…by her well-meaning aunts who “still treat her like a child.”

Having grown up knowing no one but her three aunts, Aurora/Briar Rose is understandably feeling lonely and sad because there isn’t anyone new for her to talk to or meet. She has no idea that her entire life is about to be turned upside down in a matter of hours. I really like “I Wonder,” it’s a beautiful, operatic song that reveals in short order the kind of woman Aurora is growing up to be (clearly the gifts of Beauty and Song have done their work). The only thing that disappoints me is that Aurora doesn’t talk more throughout the film.

Let me know what you think about “I Wonder” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Sleeping Beauty “Hail to the Princess Aurora” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “The Gifts of Beauty and Song” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “Once Upon A Dream” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “Skumps” (1959)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Sleeping Beauty “The Gifts of Beauty and Song” (1959)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Evolution of Disney : Sleeping Beauty Part 1

As we arrive at the castle, King Stefan and his Queen are just receiving King Hubert and his son Prince Philip (the latter is pictured above). The court is next joined by the three Good Fairies: Flora, Fauna and Merriweather. All three have come to bestow gifts on the princess. Flora and Fauna give their gifts first; the gifts of Beauty and Song, respectively and they are explained in the form of song, as seen in the lyrics below:

 

One gift, beauty rare,
Gold of sunshine in her hair,
Lips that shame the red, red rose,
She’ll walk in springtime wherever she goes!

One gift, the gift of song,
Melody your whole life long!
The nightingale her troubadour,
Bringing his sweet serenade to her door

Evolution of Disney : Sleeping Beauty Part 1

According to the original fairy tale, Merriweather’s gift was supposed to be the gift of happiness, but before she can grant it, an unexpected guest arrives (and based on the horrified looks on the fairies, it can’t be anyone good! The unexpected arrival is none other than Maleficent, one of the most iconic villains Disney ever created (and incidentally, voiced by the same actress who played Lady Tremaine in Cinderella). Maleficent is miffed that she was not invited to the christening of Princess Aurora and things are only made worse when Merriweather snaps that Maleficent was “not wanted.” However, the dark fairy appears willing to make amends by bestowing a “gift” of her own:

“Listen well, all of you!
The Princess shall indeed, grow in grace and beauty
Beloved by all who know her
But…before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday,
She shall prick her finger, on the spindle of a spinning wheel, and DIE!”

The damage done, Maleficent departs. However Merriweather still has her gift to give, so she casts her spell, saying that Aurora will not die, but only fall into a deep sleep, and she can be awakened by true love’s kiss “for true love conquers all.”

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I love these songs, it’s a beautiful way to show what each gift grants (and you’ll note in “The Gift of Beauty” that there’s a glimpse of 16 year old Aurora) and I just enjoy all of it, and I hope you do too. It’s a shame, however, that we never get to hear Merriweather’s original gift. Let me know what you think of “The Gifts of Beauty and Song” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Sleeping Beauty “Hail to the Princess Aurora” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “I Wonder” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “Once Upon A Dream” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “Skumps” (1959)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Sleeping Beauty “Hail to the Princess Aurora” (1959)

Evolution of Disney : Sleeping Beauty Part 1

Sleeping Beauty “Hail to the Princess Aurora” (1959)

After the success of Cinderella, nine long years passed before Sleeping Beauty came to the theater. It wasn’t supposed to be that long of a wait, but the production (as many Disney animated features tended to do) ran over-budget and became the most expensive Disney film to date when it was finally finished. Unlike the previous two Disney Princess films, the score to Sleeping Beauty was derived entirely from the music Tchaikovksy wrote for his Sleeping Beauty ballet. The only original item is the lyrics added to the songs (as well as a simplified arrangement of the melody).

After an introduction by an unseen narrator that explains the circumstances of Princess Aurora’s birth, the film opens with the song “Hail to the Princess Aurora,” ostensibly sung by all the nobles journeying to the castle to see the newborn Princess. This was the first Disney movie to be animated in a widescreen format and the animators took full advantage of the extra space given to them.

Joyfully now to our princess we come,
Bringing gifts and all good wishes, too,
We pledge our loyalty anew

Hail to the Princess Aurora!
All of her subjects adore her!

Hail to the King!
Hail to the Queen!
Hail to the Princess Aurora!

Health to the Princess,
Wealth to the Princess,
Long live the Princess Aurora!

Hail Aurora!
Hail Aurora!
Health to the Princess,
Wealth to the Princess,
Long live the Princess Aurora!

Hail to the King!
Hail to the Queen!
Hail to the Princess Aurora!

“Hail to the Princess Aurora” is a rich choral piece that takes the audience from the town all the way up to the castle where the King and Queen are receiving their guests. Everything is animated in gorgeous colors and this remains one of my favorite openings to a classic Disney film. Let me now what you think about “Hail to the Princess Aurora” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Sleeping Beauty “The Gifts of Beauty and Song” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “I Wonder” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “Once Upon A Dream” (1959)

Sleeping Beauty “Skumps” (1959)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Disturbing Disney #12: The Bear from The Fox and the Hound (1981)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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I think I’ve mentioned before that the Disney films made between Sleeping Beauty in 1959 (the end of Disney’s Golden Age) and The Little Mermaid in 1989 (the start of the Disney Renaissance) often get overlooked or underrated because they’re not quite up to the standards of either era (or at least that’s the perception). A classic example of this is 1981’s The Fox and the Hound, a good film that is criminally neglected and yet it has one of the most disturbing sequences I’ve ever seen.

In summary: The Fox and the Hound is about…you guessed it…a fox and a hound who become friends (despite being natural enemies). The fox, named Todd, is eventually set loose in a game preserve to keep him safe from a gruff hunter and his hound Copper (formerly Todd’s friend). But the hunter wants to kill Todd for nearly getting his other hunting dog Chief killed and so he trespasses onto the preserve to hunt the fox down, laying a series of steel traps by a secluded watering area.

The trap nearly works, but at the last moment Todd senses the danger and runs for it. In the ensuing chase (including another disturbing moment I’ll cover next time), the hunter believes he has Todd cornered in some bushes, but he is so very wrong. Instead of the fox, the hunter has cornered THIS:

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Even referring to this bear as “a bear” is an understatement; he’s practically a monster in the way he’s presented as this huge snarling mass of muscle and teeth (the demonic red eyes add to the monstrous impression). And then there’s the SIZE of this beast; even though the bear is colored black, in size he’s really more like a grizzly bear (which doesn’t make sense as I believe this story is supposed to be set in Appalachia).

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The sheer viciousness of the bear’s assault is terrifying, and also not surprising, considering he’s been disturbed by this raucous hunter (and also shot). But the disturbing part comes when the hunter’s foot gets caught in one of his own traps and the bear comes closer and closer for the kill. Even though he’s an antagonist, this hunter is facing a pretty agonizing way to die and he can’t do a thing about it.

And then there’s the fight between Todd, Copper and the bear. This huge bear is just THROWING these two around like nothing, and it’s painful to watch. The entire sequence has me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end, especially when the bear has Todd cornered on a fallen tree perched halfway up a huge waterfall (the ominous music tells you this will end badly). This bear is an excellent example of Disturbing Disney (I hope you enjoy the full scene up above).

What do you think of the bear in The Fox and the Hound? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it 🙂

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For more Disturbing Disney, see here

See also:

Disturbing Disney #1: The Coachman in Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #2: The truth of Pleasure Island in Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #3: Escaping Monstro from Pinocchio (1940)

Disturbing Disney #4: Dumbo loses his mother (1941)

Disturbing Disney #5 The death of Bambi’s Mother

Disturbing Disney #6: Faline vs. the dogs (1942)

Disturbing Disney #7: Cruella wants to do WHAT??

Disturbing Disney #8: The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met (from Make Mine Music, 1946)

Disturbing Disney #9: Dr. Facilier’s Fate (The Princess and the Frog, 2009)

Disturbing Disney #10: The rat in Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Disturbing Disney #11: Clayton’s Death in Tarzan (1999)

Disturbing Disney #13: “Smoking them out” in The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Disturbing Disney #14: The Salt Trap in The Jungle Book (1994)

Disturbing Disney #15: Night on Bald Mountain from Fantasia (1940)

Disturbing Disney #16: King Triton destroys Ariel’s grotto

Disturbing Disney #17: Ratigan becomes a monster in The Great Mouse Detective

Disturbing Disney #18: The Queen’s assignment for her Huntsman

Disturbing Disney #19: Cinderella’s dress is destroyed (1950)

Disturbing Disney #20: Quasimodo is crowned ‘King of Fools’ (1996)

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