SLEEPING BEAUTY: THE LEGACY COLLECTION (2014)
While this reviewer did not grow up watching Walt Disney’s classic Sleeping Beauty, he has read enough to know that it is a landmark film which warrants a place in The Legacy Collection, a commemorative album series celebrating the anniversaries of several Disney movies.
This two disc soundtrack celebrates the 55th anniversary of the 1959 animated film directed by Clyde Geronimi, Les Clark, Eric Larson and Wolfgang Reitherman. The score and songs are arrangements or adaptations from the 1890 Sleeping Beauty ballet by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky – this probably explains why younger listeners may find the music very different from the usual contemporary compositions and pop tunes they hear in modern animated cartoons.
This doesn’t mean that the music isn’t relevant in this day and age. In fact, we should appreciate the nobility and prestige of this timeless classic. Disc One contains 63 minutes of material, presenting the songs and score from the film in the order they appear in the movie. Kicking off the presentation is the familiar “Main Title / Once Upon a Dream / Prologue”, before we hear the Disney Studio Chorus perform “Hail to Princess Aurora”. We are reminded of the Aurora’s beauty and the fairies’ graciousness in the regal “The Gifts of Beauty and Song”. This is before the menace sets in with “Maleficent Appears”, and finally setting the stage for the quest for true love in “True Love Conquers All”.
Elsewhere, we follow Auroraas she grows up and sings “Do You Hear That? / I Wonder” and everyone’s favourite “An Unusual Prince / Once Upon a Dream”. A light moment is presented as the two rulers croon “Skumps (Drinking Song) / The Royal Argument”. The five minute “Battlewith the Forces of Evil” is magnificently scored, before we are treated to the signature Disney happy ending with “Finale”.
On Disc Two, you get 30 minutes of music. There are some deleted songs and their original demos. “It Happens I Have a Picture” would have been sung by the two kings, while “Riddle Diddle One, Two, Three” was meant as a song performed by the fairies. “Evil – Evil”, was, of course, a tune composed for Maleficent (maybe they could have gotten Angelina Jolie to perform the song in the 2014 live action movie). Four bonus tracks of compositions heard in Disc One round up the soundtrack.
What makes this a must own for Disney fans is also the digibook showcasing gorgeous artwork and liner notes chronicling the history of the music featured in the film.
This soundtrack is a fine illustration of the rich culture behind the countless Auroradolls and merchandise on sale in toy departments around the world.
Recommended Track: (17) Battle with the Forces of Evil – Disc One
Review by John Li