The Sleeping Beauty Ballet
Based on Charles Perrault’s La Belle au bois dormant, with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreography by Marius Petipa, this ballet premiered at the St. Petersburg-based Mariinsky Theatre in 1890. Notable for its orchestration – a Tam-tam and doubled harps alongside the standard instrumental configurations – the production included such roles as Prince Désiré, The Lilac Fairy and Miettes qui tombent (Falling Breadcrumbs). Tchaikovsky’s score would go on to feature in Walt Disney’s animated adaptation.
Walt Disney based this Technicolor outing off both Charles Perrault’s and the Grimm Brothers’ versions. Released on January 29, 1959, the film’s initial box-office run totaled a mere $5.3 million, failing to recoup its $6 million budget. No worries, as subsequent re-releases saw that figure grow to $51.6 million ($606.8 million in today’s terms), with a little help from Blu-ray, DVD and VHS, a format, which some might argue, has been asleep since 2006.
While not the first live-action version of the tale, Disney’s 2014 Maleficent is notable for being the first to adapt it from the antagonist’s point-of-view. The film provides our villainess with a backstory rife with love, magic and a pair of severed wings, a trifecta guaranteed to gross you a cool $757 million, proving in Hollywood there’s more than one way to lock horns with Angelina Jolie.
This edition of Fairy-Tale Files is brought to you by Fairy Tale Review intern Jared Hughes and poetry editor Jon Riccio.