The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood is a story written by Charles Perrault in 1697. The work presents a dark origin of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale popularized by the Disney cartoon with the same title. While the story is similar to its Disney alternative, it is known for confusing the readers about the darker, unexplored side of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale and its twisted elements.
Even though I previously heard about the darker alternative version of Sleeping Beauty, I was intrigued to read this version. What impressed me was that both versions have the same beginning segments with fairies bringing gifts to the princess. However, the curse of the evil fairy in Perrault’s version has a logical explanation, while Maleficent’s evil intentions towards Aurora in Disney’s version are unknown (3). It also was confusing to me to learn that the sleeping beauty herself was almost absent in the story. I think that the story is known as Sleeping Beauty’s story for the magical elements of the curse and its removal, which differs the story from other fairy tales.
In my opinion, the Disney version does not include much of that version due to Disney’s focus on fairy tales being the beginning of the happily ever after narrative. While it is understandable that stories that feature gore are not fit for a young audience, other stories commonly told to children such as Hansel and Gretel, also use the deterrent elements. Thus, I think that the Disney version of the story focuses on the love theme and fairy tale elements to provide a more marketable or commercial beneficial material. In conclusion, in my opinion, the differences in the animated story illustrate that while animation is a form of art, big animation studios are also a form of business that implies satisfaction of customers’ fantasies.
Perrault, Charles. Perrault’s Fairy Tales. Dover Publications, 1969.