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For those of you who by some extremely unlikely set of circumstances happened to stumble upon this page, I apologize to you. For those of you who intentionally came to this page - yikes! As the title of the weblog indicates, these are my Ramblings About Whatever. There is a chance that I will ramble about just about anything (as I am in this introduction), but only a select few topics will actually make this site. Enjoy! (I guess...)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Opening the Vault: Sleeping Beauty

I just saw the other day (October 7th to be exact) that the Magical World of Disney has been so kind to open up the Disney Vault and bestow upon us unworthy consumers for a limited time only on DVD, and for the first time ever on Blu-ray, the 1959 animated motion picture, Sleeping Beauty! (See for yourself.)

This is a tremendous event! There is a very high likelihood that I will go out and buy this movie because the economy is doing great and thus I have so much money to waste, and also, this movie reminds me of the terrible anger and rage that I possessed as a youth. Now please, if you will, journey back with me to my childhood as I tell you my story of Sleeping Beauty...

So I always felt a special connection to the movie Sleeping Beauty as I was born precisely nineteen years to the day after it was originally released. And I have known this fact all of about five minutes, five minutes ago being when I looked at the Sleeping Beauty Wikipedia site.

Now I don't want to bore you with the entire synopsis of this - okay, actually I do want to bore you with the entire synopsis of the movie. It's just that I don't want to take the time to type out the entire synopsis and so I'll just list a few key observations that I have from the movie, all culminating with the source of my anger and rage about the film.

  • Not inviting Maleficent to the introduction ceremony for Aurora was a horrible mistake. I know, I know, you're going to say that this is hindsight, but you have to admit that this was incredibly foolish. Why would you invite three fairies who conveyed absolutely useless gifts upon the princess and not invite a far more powerful sorceress? And don't argue with me about whether or not the fairies' gifts were useless. The only fairy's gift that could possibly be considered useful was Merryweather's and that one was only useful because the kings and queens had forgotten to invite (or snubbed) Maleficent in the first place. Flora's gift (beauty) and Fauna's gift (song) were useless because Aurora was a princess who was betrothed to Prince Phillip so it did not matter if she was repulsively ugly or sang like a banshee, she was still going to be able to get married. And it didn't matter how hot Aurora was, Phillip was a prince and he would one day be a king, and so he was going to cheat on Aurora anyway.

  • King Stefan and his queen (Aurora's parents) are hideously ugly and sound like hyenas. This fact cannot be debated. There is a reason, after all, that the king and queen invited these fairies to bestow these gifts upon Aurora. The king and queen were possibly deformed, and I'm going to suggest that there might have even been some inbreeding, like with the Habsburgs. Yep, King Stefan and his queen were actually brother and sister. Disgusting.

  • Maleficent has to take some responsibility herself for her servants having not found Aurora after sixteen years. I remember the scene well when one of the servants tells her that they had searched every cradle for Aurora. First Maleficent laughed and then she snapped at these servants calling them, I believe, "fools, idiots, imbeciles!" Now, I'm not going to debate whether or not Maleficent's servants are fools, idiots, or imbeciles, because they certainly are all of these. However, it gets kind of tiring to see an arch-villain trust one or more of her/his lackeys to accomplish some feat when the villain knows full well that these lackeys are clearly too incompetent to complete the task. And after having had these servants around for at least sixteen years, wouldn't you have thought that Maleficent would have figured out that they were idiots at some point in more than a decade and a half? Sorry Maleficent, you have to take some blame for this one.

But this is starting to drag on and I haven't even begun explain my rage. Now at some point as I was growing up as a child, the color red became my de facto favorite color. I'm not certain at this point whether this was something of my choosing or whether my parents essentially just kept telling me that red was my preferred color when such was not really true (which is not something that I would put past my parents considering that among other things they had me believing in leprechauns for many years). The bottom line is that I came to accept that red was my favorite color and I even made my choice of what university to attend based solely on this one criterion.

Now this applies to Sleeping Beauty because one of the important scenes in the movie is when Flora and Merryweather get into a tiff over what color Aurora's (or Briar Rose, as the fairies call her) dress should be. Flora opts for pink, the color that she always wears, while Merryweather desires that the dress be blue, her preferred color. The two have a duel of sorts, using their magic wands to paint the dress each of these colors, alternating back and forth. As the fairies hear Aurora returning, the dress is a splattered mess of pink and blue, and in the final stroke, Merryweather is able to turn the dress completely blue.

Okay, so I know that pink is not red, but pink does have red in it and in that little battle between the fairies, I certainly came down on the side of Flora. So needless to say, I had rather a sour mood for most of the remainder of that movie. However, as the movie came to a conclusion, with the Princess Aurora and Prince Philip beginning to live happily ever after, Flora suddenly realized that the dress was blue. And thus began a second war between the fairies over the color of the dress.

I must say, though, my spirits lifted, for as the book closed on the story, the last glimpse I could get of the newly married princess and prince dancing the night away showed Aurora wearing a pink dress. To me that said, "Sorry, book closed, pink dress. You may have won for an hour or so, blue dress, but once the book was closed, the dress was pink, meaning that the dress would have to stay pink until the next time we could see the dress as blue. Victory!" (And yes, I am only very slightly exaggerating all of this.)

So what is troubling me about this now? I suppose I have some lingering doubt as to whether or not that dress really was pink at the final instant when that book was closed. And I'm thinking, we have this new technology that wasn't around in the 1980s; we have DVDs, we have high definition Blu-ray technology! So I'm thinking, what if by virtue of this new high definition technology it is determined that the dress was blue as the book closed?

So of course there is only one course of action; I must buy the Blu-ray version of Sleeping Beauty and analyze it meticulously. There are two ways this story can end. The first way this story ends is that after watching the movie, I see that, after slow-motion (high definition) viewing of the final scene of the movie, the dress is actually pink and I take the movie out of the player, put it back in its special edition case, and never watch it again. The second way this story ends is I watch the final scene and see that the dress is blue, I take it out of the player and burn it. And then after this I go from store to store destroying every copy of the DVD that I can get my hands on, and then finally, I break into the Disney Vault and destroy the original version of Sleeping Beauty.

Either way, I'll live happily ever after...

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