Dear Walt Disney,
Belle may be my favorite Disney princess, but Sleeping Beauty is the princess film that I like best. The primary reason for this is that Sleeping Beauty feels more like a storybook than any other Disney movie, largely due to your selection of Eyvind Earle as the predominant stylist on the film. His bold use of color, distinct focus throughout the frame, and love of pre-Renaissance art make the film look like a series of illuminated manuscripts and tapestries. The constant left-right and up-down panning add to the illusion that the film is “a moving illustration,” as you described it. The storybook feeling is topped off with George Bruns and Tom Adair’s reinterpretation of the Sleeping Beauty musical, which endeared Tchaikovsky to little girls for generations to come. In my opinion, “Once Upon a Dream” epitomizes the Disney princess movie, as the prince literally replaces the whimsical representation of Aurora’s fantasy. In that way, Sleeping Beauty testifies to every little girl’s belief that true love is part of her destiny. And even if true love is only the stuff of fairy tales, at least a perfect pairing of storybook visuals and romantic ballet strains are possible on screen.
Good night, Mun