This Maleficent story drawing from Sleeping Beauty captures a gorgeous example of concept art from the classic 1959 feature film. The image is approximately 4 x 9 inches.
Read our blog about the art of Sleeping Beauty HERE.
Maleficent is the main antagonist of Disney's 1959 animated feature film Sleeping Beauty. A malevolent fairy, she is an incarnation of pure evil and is responsible for all the misfortune in King Stefan's kingdom. Taking offense at not being invited to the christening of Princess Aurora by Stefan and his wife, Queen Leah, Maleficent curses the princess to die by pricking her finger on a spinning wheel's spindle before the sun sets on her 16th birthday. She also appears to be particularly disdainful of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, her benevolent rivals. She is frequently accompanied by her pet raven, Diablo.
With her dark, elegant design, dramatic and flamboyant animation, and an unlimited arsenal of magic powers at her command, Maleficent is one of the most popular and recognizable Disney Villains, in addition to being one of the primary members of the official franchise.
ABOUT DISNEY'S SLEEPING BEAUTY PRODUCTION:
In November 1950, Walt Disney announced that he was developing Sleeping Beauty as an animated feature film. Writing on the film began in early 1951, in which partial story elements originated from discarded ideas for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) including Maleficent's capture of Prince Phillip and his dramatic escape from her fortress, and Cinderella (1950), where a fantasy sequence featured the leading protagonists dancing on a cloud which was developed but eventually dropped from the film. By the middle of 1953, director Wilfred Jackson had recorded the dialogue and assembled a story reel, and was to commence preliminary animation work where Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip were to meet in the forest and dance. Disney, however, decided to throw out the sequence, delaying the film from its initial 1955 release date. While the film was still in its early stages of production, the Sleeping Beauty Castle opened at Disneyland in 1955.
For a number of months, Jackson, Ted Sears and two story writers underwent a rewrite of the story, which received a lukewarm response from Disney. During the rewriting process, the story writers felt the original fairy tale's second act felt bizarre and, with the wake-up kiss serving as a climactic moment, they decided to concentrate on the first half, finding strength in the romance. However, they felt that little romance was developed between the strange prince and the princess, so the storyboard artists worked out an elaborate sequence in which the king organized a treasure hunt. The idea was eventually dropped when it became too drawn out and drifted from the central storyline. Instead, it was written that Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora would meet in the forest by random chance while Princess Aurora (who was renamed Briar Rose) was conversing with the forest animals. Additionally, because the original Perrault tale had the curse last one hundred years, the writers decided to shorten it to a few hours with the time spent for Prince Phillip to battle the goons, overcome several obstacles and fight off against Maleficent transformed into a dragon.
The name given to the princess by her royal birth parents is "Aurora" (Latin for "dawn"), as it was in the original Tchaikovsky ballet. This name occurred in Charles Perrault's version as well, not as the princess's name, but as her daughter's.] In hiding, she is called Briar Rose, the name of the princess in the Brothers Grimm's version variant. The prince was given the princely name most familiar to Americans in the 1950s: Prince Phillip. Named after Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the character has the distinction of being the first Disney prince to have a name, as the two princes in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (The Prince) and Cinderella (Prince Charming) are never named.
In December 1953, Jackson suffered a heart attack, after which directing animator Eric Larson of Disney's Nine Old Men took over as director. By April 1954, Sleeping Beauty was scheduled for a February 1957 release. With Larson as director, whose unit would animate the forest sequence, Disney instructed him that the picture was to be a "moving illustration, the ultimate in animation" and added that he did not care how long it would take. Because of the delays, the release date was again pushed back from Christmas 1957 to Christmas 1958. Animator Milt Kahl would blame Disney for the numerous release delays because "he wouldn't have story meetings. He wouldn't get the damn thing moving".
Relatively late in production, Disney removed Larson as supervising director and replaced him with Clyde Geronimi. Wolfgang Reitherman, an animator from the Nine Old Men, joined Geronimi as sequence director over the climactic dragon battle sequence, commenting: "We took the approach that we were going to kill that damned prince!" Les Clark, another animator from the Nine Old Men, served as the sequence director of the elaborate opening scene where crowds of the citizens in the kingdom arrive at the palace for the presentation of Princess Aurora.