When I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to watch this movie. No really. My mom used her student loan money to buy me and my brother some Disney storybooks, and we had the Sleeping Beauty book, but she took it away from us because she said it was "gory" and "scary." This was back in the olden days of yore before DVD players, back before most people had VHS players, so when we wanted to watch movies, we had to go to the theater, and they were showing a lot of the older Disney movies in matinées on the weekends (which is how I saw "Snow White" and "The Aristocats" in theaters) but my mom wouldn't take us to see Sleeping Beauty, so I never got to see it as a kid. I was excited to watch it today, but also kind of leery that it wouldn't live up to my excitement.
I'm glad to report that Disney magic strikes again. This movie is a little slow and there are some quirks that come with watching an older animated feature (check out the background sometime, it stays still while only the main characters move around, because back then all the animation was done by hand) but other than that, this is a cool little fairy tale and it's pretty well told. A baby princess is blessed by three good fairies on the day of her birth, but the evil fairy (who is actually pretty fucking scary, even by today's standards...my mom was kind of right) curses the baby with death on her sixteenth birthday. The good fairies manage to change the curse from "death" to "peaceful sleep until she is kissed by her true love," but they still try to hatch a complicated plan to protect the princess which of course backfires.
I have to say, I kind of like the princess in this movie. she's feisty and she has a personality. I like the Prince, too. He's willing to defy his father's kingdom to go after the one he loves, if necessary, and when he finds out there's all this magical shit surrounding his true love, he doesn't freak out, he just does what he has to do to rescue her. The three good fairies are pretty cute too, and I liked watching them interact (one particular fight about the color of the princess's wedding dress is especially funny).
I'm glad that this movie is as good as I'd hoped it would be. I'm also glad that I finally got to watch it! It does end up being kind of creepy (seriously, Maleficent might be the most evil Disney villain I've ever seen) but I don't think I'd deprive my kids the fun of watching this movie.