Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sugar Free Disney: Sleeping Beauty

When most people think of Sleeping Beauty, they tend to think of the Disney cartoon. Does this cartoon has everything needed to make a syrupy sweet Disney story?
Lets see…
-A pretty, pretty princess? Check.
-A handsome Prince? Check.
-Friendly little sidekicks? Check.
-Adorable woodland creatures? Check.
-An evil villain? Check.
-An elaborate battle between good and evil, in which good wins? Check.
-Everyone falling in love and living happily ever after? Check.

In the Disney movie, we have a king and queen celebrating the birth of their beautiful baby Aurora. The good fairies of the land have come to bless her with the gifts of beauty and song.

Well, there was a fairy, who was not invited, Maleficent.

Maleficent storms in and curses Aurora. The curse? Death before the age of 16, by a spindle.
Well one of the good fairies, changes the curse from death to a coma. That can only be reversed by the kiss of true love. Or she is asleep for 100 years, whichever comes first.

Aurora ends up in the care of the fairies, and her name changed to Briar Rose. This is of course, for her protection. She meets a handsome young man, and they fall in love. Neither one knowing the other is royalty, that they were betrothed to one another when Aurora was born.

Well, when Aurora is told that she is a princess and must marry a prince named Philip, she is sad. She is in love with the peasant. One thing leads to another, and she pricks her finger on a spindle and falls into a deep sleep.

Well, her true love battles Maleficent (in what I think is one of the coolest Disney scenes ever).

Then he kisses Aurora and she wakes up.

Everyone lives happily ever after.

Well, I have always wondered if the original story was as sweet and whimsical.
The original story, (Sun, Moon and Talia) was adapted by

Giambattista Basile, an Italian poet.

Sun Moon and Talia is nothing like Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. In this story, Talia is a princess, who is put into a coma by a flax splinter. Not, a curse. In this tale, the handsome prince does not kiss her to wake her up. It is a king, and he actually rapes her in her comatose state.
Here is an excerpt from the story:
“Crying aloud, he beheld her charms and felt his blood course hotly through his veins. He lifted her in his arms, and carried her to a bed, where he gathered the first fruits of love. Leaving her on the bed, he returned to his own kingdom, where, in the pressing business of his realm, he for a time thought no more about this incident.”

Romantic isn't it?

9 months later, still comatose, Talia gives birth to twins. A boy and a girl. So, some fairies pop up, and place the babies at their mothers breasts to feed. Well, one of the babies ends up loosing it’s place, and starts sucking on the mother’s finger, thus removing the flax splinter and waking her up.

The king returns, and finds Talia is awake. He tells her who he is and what he did. The average woman would be appalled and enraged that she was raped in her sleep. Not Talia. She falls in love with him.

Of course this king is already married. When his wife finds out he has been out doing this, does she pack up and leave him? NO. She has the children kidnapped, and she orders the chef to slaughter and cook them. She wants to feed her husband his own children.

Of course, the chef does not kill the babies. He hides them, and feeds the king lamb.

The King has the Queen burned alive for her evil deed, even though the kids were in fact still alive. He rewards the cook for not killing his children.
Then he marries Talia.

Oh wait, there is a MORAL at the end of the story!

"Those whom fortune favors
Find good luck even in their sleep."

I didn't realize being raped and giving birth to not ONE but TWO babies because of the rape, was "good luck."

I am trying to imagine what the Disney version would be like, if they didn't sugar coat it. It is an amusing if not disturbing thought.