If you’re familiar with Disney animation films then you know all about the tale of Sleeping Beauty, also known as Princess Aurora. We know her as the graceful and beautiful royal who was cursed to eternal sleep by an evil fairy called Maleficent.
We decided to do some digging around to find out more about the Princess Aurora story and we found some pretty riveting stuff. So if you’re interested to learn about one of Disney’s oldest characters, read on because we have got some fascinating tidbits for you.
The History of Princess Aurora
Princess Aurora was first introduced in the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty as the only daughter of royals King Stefan and Queen Leah. Her fairytale story opens with Aurora’s christening which as the story goes, was the most auspicious event at her father’s entire kingdom.
But her special day turned sour when an evil fairy called Maleficent cursed the young princess to eternal sleep from her 16th birthday onward. As the story goes, Maleficent was bitter because she wasn’t invited to the christening so she sought to spoil the event.
According to Walt Disney, the story of Princess Aurora was inspired by a similar fairytale of the same name which was written by Charles Perrault and later adapted by the Grimm Brothers.
Creating the Princess Aurora character for the 1959 Sleeping Beauty movie was one of the hardest things that Walt Disney ever had to do. That’s because up until that point, the studio had never done such an ambitious project.
Princess Aurora’s story offered new territory with a rich tapestry of different characters woven together by tragedy, love and redemption. Disney had to refine their design to bring the character to life in a whole new way. In fact, the studio had to improve their animation design and create stylized illustrations just for the film. This type of illustration is still highly regarded to this day by illustrators.
Walt Disney’s goal was to make the Aurora character appear as real as possible, and as such she was the first character to have such refined drawings. While she was voiced by singer Marie Acosta, her physique was inspired by the slight frame of Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn.
And since there isn’t much dialogue in the Prince Aurora story, Disney had to work extra hard to develop the characters’ back story and design.
When the first Sleeping Beauty film was released in 1959, it was met with mixed reviews from critics and the public alike. Many criticized Aurora for being too similar to Snow White and this deterred Disney from making a princess character again for 30 years.
To this day, many critics say that Aurora is too passive because she spends much of the story sleeping. According to these critics, it’s the three pixies that bring the story together because it’s through their impetus that the story moves forward.
However, later adaptations of the film had a much better reception, such as the 2014 Disney film Maleficent which starred Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora and Angelina Jolie as Maleficent.
Still, the press had mixed reviews about the main character. Hollywood.com reported that Princes Aurora is the lowest rated Disney princess in the production company’s history, while Seventeen named her one of Disney’s most popular princesses.
Walt Disney described Aurora as having a layered personality. On the one end she’s very gentle and graceful and on the other she’s quite playful and strong. She also displays a sense of imagination and has a humorous side to her. She’s a romantic at heart who takes to Prince Philip almost instantly, and she has an affinity for animals.
Interesting facts and trivia about Disney Princess Aurora
- Princess Aurora came after Snow White and Cinderella and is one of the oldest princesses in Disney history.
- The Princess Aurora character has been voiced by several different actresses in the past. The first person to lend her voice to the character was American singer Mary Costa.
- It took a while for the studio to agree on the color of princess Aurora’s dress. It was a toss-up between pink and blue, and eventually “team pink” won out.
- Did you know? The Walt Disney Company officially trademarked the name “Princess Aurora” on January 17, 2012.
- Princess Aurora is the last princess character that Disney created before its eponymous founder died in the year 1966.
- The princess Aurora story is adapted from the story of Sleeping Beauty which was published in books by the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault.
- The character of Prince Philip is based on the real life Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. You may know him as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
- More than 300 artists and technicians worked on the Sleeping Beauty film to make sure that each frame is a work of art. As a result, over a million drawings were produced to create the animated film and it showed in the visually rich animation.
- The Walt Disney studio searched for three years before finding a voice actress befitting of the Princess Aurora character. At 19 years old, Marie Acosta was still attending high school when she landed the role of Sleeping Beauty.
- It took six years and $6 million to complete the Sleeping Beauty film. It was the first film of its kind to pay so much attention to detail, and the goal was to make sure that Princess Aurora stood out from the other previous princesses as much as possible.
- Princess Aurora speaks less than any other Disney character. Aside from her singing, Aurora has 18 lines of dialogue in her entire film.
The epic tale of Sleeping Beauty is one of the most enduring legends of our time and Princess Aurora is undoubtedly one of the most memorable Disney Princesses of all time. We hope you enjoyed our collection of interesting facts and tidbits about this classic Princess and all that she brings to the world of animation and storytelling.