The Legacy Collection: Sleeping Beauty

Musical Score By: George Bruns

Songs Performed By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Walt Disney Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                I was a child when I first saw the Walt Disney version of Sleeping Beauty.  I saw it so long ago that I barely remember it as an adult.  In fact, the only song I can remember from the film is Once Upon A Dream.  So, I looked forward to listening to The Legacy Collection: Sleeping Beauty, a celebration of the 55th anniversary of the film.

                For those who don't know the tale of Sleeping Beauty, here's a brief synopsis:  On the day Princess Aurora is born, an evil fairy named Maleficent curses her, declaring that she will die on her sixteenth birthday, pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel.  Another fairy blesses the child, altering the curse so that Aurora won't die, but fall into a sleep from which she can only be awoken by true love's kiss.  Aurora is hidden away, her name changed to Briar Rose, but somehow, she still manages to meet Prince Philip, the man she has been betrothed to since birth.  But, alas, Maleficent finds Aurora and tricks her into pricking her finger on an enchanted spinning wheel spindle.  She then imprisons the prince.  Can Philip escape the clutches of Maleficent and rescue the princess from her eternal sleep?

                The music of Sleeping Beauty is inspired by the music created by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for the ballet entitled The Sleeping Beauty.  American composer George Bruns was enlisted to adapt Tchaikovsky's music to fit the animated visuals of Disney's film.  The original score of the film can be heard in its entirety on the first CD in this two-CD set.  This first CD contains some of the songs in the film, most notably Once Upon A Dream.  The music is orchestral in nature and features bits of choir music as well.  Horn fanfares represent the kingdom.  Aurora and her ethereal beauty is represented by harps and choir.  The battle between Prince Philip and Maleficent is represented by horns and crashing cymbals.  And lighter sounding music is used to denote lighter, funnier moments in the film.

                The second disc of the set features concept music, practice demos of songs that appear in the film, but not on the first CD, as well as the final versions of these songs as they appeared in the film.  It was interesting to listen to songs like Riddle, Diddle, One, Two, Three and It Happens I Have A Picture in their raw formats and their final compositions.  So much is changed when songs are set to proper music and performed in a certain tone.  Those who are interested in the transformation of lyrics to song will enjoy this part of the album.

                The booklet itself features song lyrics, liner notes from author Russell Schroeder and a Producer's Note by Randy Thornton.  It also contains beautiful artwork inspired by Sleeping Beauty created for this special collection by Walt Disney Animation Studios Visual Development Artist Lorelay Bove.  Unlike The Legacy Collection: The Lion King, this album set contains music and booklet, no other bonuses. 

                I enjoyed the music and songs of The Legacy Collection: Sleeping Beauty, despite the fact that I could barely remember the film.  The music has a classic beauty that one expects from a Disney princess movie of that era.  Fans of the movie will love getting their hands on this special edition album. 


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