Fairytale Justice For Sleeping Beauty

The origins of the ever-romanticized "Sleeping Beauty" are a little disturbing.

In Disney’s 1959 film Sleeping Beauty, an unnamed fairy decides to exact her revenge on the kingdom for not inviting her to Princess Aurora’s christening. This retelling likely came from either the Charles Perrault or the Brothers Grimm adaptations. All three involve a vengeful fairy, a young princess who pricks her finger on a spinning wheel, and a long sleep for the entire kingdom. The Grimm version ends when a handsome prince kisses the princess, freeing her and the entire kingdom from a 100 year slumber.

Disney’s film includes the death of the evil fairy Maleficent — she turns into a dragon in her attempt to kill Prince Phillip but he slays her with the help of kindly fairies. She falls out of sight with a sword in her chest. Perrault takes the tale even further — Beauty awakes and, in time, moves to the Prince’s kingdom with their two children, only to run afoul of the prince’s evil mother, who tries to cook and eat the newcomers while the prince is out of town. At the end of the tale she prepares a pot filled with serpents and toads and is about to toss in her daughter-in-law and grandchildren. But suddenly, the prince returns, and the queen is so enraged at being thwarted that she flings herself headfirst into the vat and is eaten alive. Poor Beauty.

Disney Justice: Malicious fairy is stabbed in the heart while in dragon form, and falls to her death.

Fairytale Justice: Malicious fairy receives no punishment. Villainous mother-in-law is eaten alive by her own deadly creatures.

 (Photo c/o Walt Disney Studios)

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