Monday, June 16, 2014

New Book: Once Upon a Dream: From Perrault's Sleeping Beauty to Disney's Maleficent by Charles Solomon

Once Upon a Dream: From Perrault's Sleeping Beauty to Disney's Maleficent (Disney Editions Deluxe (Film)) by Charles Solomon (Author), Don Hahn (Introduction) is released tomorrow. This should be of interest to those of you who liked my post, Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty: Where Did She Come From? And if you liked Maleficent, of course.

This book will be focused on the Disney films with some history from what I can see. And commenting from my earlier post, yes, Carabosse in Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty ballet definitely influenced Disney's Maleficent, but Maleficent is certainly her own new level of villainy. Carabosse is important in the ballet, of course, but she isn't as relentless in her pursuit of revenge as Maleficent. We don't have a fight to the death. She insures the curse is fulfilled but doesn't really go further to insure Aurora's death like Maleficent does.

Book description:

With its themes of a beautiful princess, a dashing prince, and love triumphing over powerful magic, "Sleeping Beauty" remains one of the most beloved of all fairy tales. The story was first published by Charles Perrault in 1697. Perrault's vision of the ageless, enchanted princess slumbering in her vine-encrusted tower has fascinated readers and artists for more 300 years three times as long as the heroine slept. This heavily-illustrated book will trace the history of that fascination, which has manifested itself in literature, fine art, poetry, music, and film.

The most celebrated cinematic version of Sleeping Beauty is Walt Disney's, the glorious finale of the animated fairy tales he began in 1937 with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Although Briar Rose/Aurora was the most beautiful and beautifully animated of the Disney princesses, the film was dominated by Maleficent: Perrault's shriveled old fairy was transformed into the epitome of the lovely but terrible sorceress of fantasy literature.

The book will conclude with the development and creation of Maleficent, including interviews with Angelina Jolie, Imelda Staunton, Linda Woolverton, Sean Bailey, Joe Roth, Don Hahn, and director Robert Stromberg (Oscar-winning art director of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland); behind-the-scenes details and photography; costumes, props, and makeup; and plenty of movie magic!

Charles Solomon is an internationally respected critic and historian of animation. He has written on the subject for The New York Times, TV Guide, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, Modern Maturity, Film Comment, and The Hollywood Reporter. His books include The Toy Story Films: An Animated Journey; Tale As Old As Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast; Disney Lost and Found; The Prince of Egypt: A New Vision in Animation; The Disney That Never Was; and Enchanted Drawings: The History of Animation, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the first film book to be nominated for a National Book Critics' Circle Award.

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