Family Matinee: Once Upon A Time
dir. Clyde Geronimi, USA, 1959, 35mm, 75min.
Princess Aurora is named after the Roman goddess of the dawn
"because she fills her father and mother's lives with sunshine."
While still an infant, She is betrothed to the equally-young Prince Phillip
(their parents want to unite their respective kingdoms under a marriage between
Aurora and Phillip). At her christening, the good fairies Flora (dressed in
red), Fauna (in green) and Merryweather (in blue) arrive to bless her. Flora
gives her the gift of beauty, which is described in a song as "gold of
sunshine in her hair" and "lips that shame the red, red rose."
Fauna gives her the gift of song. At this point, Maleficent, the film's villain
and mistress of all evil, appears on the scene. Claiming to be upset at not
being invited to Aurora's christening ceremony, she curses the princess to die
when she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel's spindle before the sun sets on
her sixteenth birthday. Fortunately, Merryweather has not yet blessed Aurora,
so she uses her blessing to change Maleficent's curse, so Aurora will not die
when she pricks her finger; instead, she will fall asleep until she is awakened
by True Love's Kiss. Knowing Maleficent is extremely powerful and will stop at
nothing to see her curse fulfilled, the three good fairies take Aurora to live
with them in the woods, where they can keep her safe from any harm until she
turns sixteen and the curse is made void. To fully protect her, they even
change her name to Briar Rose to conceal her true identity. ~ Disney Wiki
Support for IHP's Family Matinee series is provided in part by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.