This Prince Phillip, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather original production cel from Sleeping Beauty shows them all together, which of course is very rare! This art is a great way to capture a major moment in the film. This art is like a magical, fairy tale version of Auguste Rodin's The Thinker!
Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather are the three good fairies in Walt Disney's 1959 film Sleeping Beauty. They are characterized as Princess Aurora's fairy godmothers and guardians, who appear at baby Aurora's christening to present their gifts to her. The three were voiced by Verna Felton, Barbara Jo Allen, and Barbara Luddy, respectively.
Flora is the tallest fairy, dressed in a red gown (although she is obsessed with the color pink), a red hat, and a red cape clipped with a yellow square. She is the leader of the group. Her gift to Aurora is the gift of beauty. She created and possesses the powerful Sword of Truth and the invulnerable Shield of Virtue, which she can conjure whenever she sees fit.
Fauna is the middle fairy, dressed in a green gown, a green hat, and a green cape clipped with a green triangle. She is shown to be a bit flighty, but is the kindest of the three and the most sensitive. Her gift to Aurora is the gift of song.
Merryweather is the shortest fairy, dressed in a blue gown, a blue hat, and a blue cape clipped with a blue circle. She is the most aggressive of the fairies and is bolder and feistier than the other two. As Merryweather is about to give her gift of eternal happiness, Maleficent makes her appearance and curses Aurora to die when she pricks her finger on a spinning wheel's spindle before sunset on her sixteenth birthday. Merryweather's gift is to weaken the curse so that instead of death, Aurora will fall into a deep sleep until she is awakened by true love's kiss.
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.