03 – Sleeping Beauty


“Sleeping Beauty” is one of the most popular fairy tales of all time. The story with its many varied renditions and adaptations has intrigued readers and audiences for centuries.  It has been told and retold continuously in movies, plays, novels and poetry, resonating with our ancestors as well as our own generations.

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In this episode Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is compared to the two versions of the fairy tale that Disney based their film on; “La Belle au bois dormant” (“The Beauty Sleeping in the Wood”) by Charles Perrault published in his “Stories from Past Times” published in 1697, and “Dornröschen” (“The Little Briar Rose) in their “Children’s and Household Tales” (“Kinder- und Hausmärchen”), published in 1812.

Comparisons are also made to the earliest writings of the “Sleeping Beauty” tale,  the “Histoire de Troïlus et de Zellandine, (Troylus and Zellandine)” an episode contained in “Le Roman de Perceforest (Book III, chapter lii)” written between 1330 and 1344, as well as “Sun, Moon and Talia” by Giambattista Basile in his 1634 work, “The Pentamerone”.

Recommended Reading:

Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales From Around the World (Surlalune Fairy Tales Series) – If the information I used in this episode didn’t come directly from this book, the book showed me where else to go for more information. It’s a wonderful book, with pretty much every “Sleeping Beauty” and “Snow White” story there is — highly recommended for anyone who wants to dig deep into these two fairy tales.



Bryant, Nigel, “Perceforest: The Prehistory of King Arthur’s Britain”, D.S. Brewer, 2011.

Heiner, Heidi Anne, “Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty and Snow White Tales From Around the World”, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 24, 2010)


“Sleeping Beauty”. Dir. Clyde Geronimi, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, 2008. film.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brynhildr Brynhildr

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perceforest Perceforset

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun,_Moon,_and_Talia Sun, Moon and Talia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleeping_Beauty Sleeping Beauty

http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Sleeping_Beauty Sleeping Beauty

http://www.sparknotes.com/film/sleepingbeauty/ Sleeping Beauty

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0410.html Sleeping Beauty

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/sleepingbeauty/history.html The History of Sleeping Beauty

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/pentamerone/29sunmoontalia1911.html Il Pentamore; or The Story of Stories by Giambattista Basile Sun, Moon and Talia

http://uncoy.com/2006/05/sleeping_beauty_1.html Sleeping Beauty – Giambattista Basile (aka The Sun, Moon and Talia



  1. Thank you so much for this podcast. I check frequently for a new episode and was so happy to discover the new one in the last few days. Please keep them coming!

  2. I love your hard working so so so so much!!!!!! I check almost everyday to see if there is new story coming out. Please keep you wonderful work moving on. I hope I can be helpful in the Mulan because I am good in Mandarin and used to Chinese culture. Love Love Love every episode.

  3. Was the indian version of petrified mansion an ancient one?

    • I don’t know when exactly the story was first told, I only know that it was retold by Francis Bradley-Birt in his “Bengal Fairy Tales” in 1920.

  4. Hello! I am really enjoying these podcasts! I am only just now getting to Sleeping Beauty and I just wanted to bring something to your attention. Someone may have already mentioned it, but I have done many years of ballet and just recently saw the Sleeping Beauty ballet. I know that at one point you talked about the ballet and how you didn’t know the narrative. When you go to see a ballet they always have a synopsis of the story in the program.
    In the story of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, The king and queen have a baby, Aurora. The Lilac Fairy and the other good fairies( I think there were four others) arrive for the celebration of the baby’s birth along with everyone else in the kingdom. But they forgot to invite an evil and powerful Carabose fairy, who shows up right before the last fairy gives Aurora her gift. The Carabose predicts that Aurora will die by pricking her finger on a knitting spindle. The Lilac Fairy intervenes, and says that the forces of good will neutralize the spell. She forces the Carabose to leave the palace.
    The next Act is Aurora’s 16th Birthday. Four foreign princes come to ask for her hand. An old woman shows up with a knitting spindle, which had been forbidden in the kingdom. As Aurora dances, she takes the spindle from the old woman, and continues dancing, pricking her finger in the process. Overcome by deadly cold, Aurora falls to the ground. The old lady throws back her hood, its the Carabose Fairy! She disappears quickly, and the Lilac Fairy appears. The princess is not dead, but asleep. She will be brought back to life by the passionate kiss of a handsome prince. The Lilac Fairy plunges the kingdom into a deep sleep.
    Next Act:
    Prince Desire is having a grand party at his castle, but he is melancholy. The Lilac Fairy appears, and shows him a vision of Aurora, and the prince is enchanted by the beauty of the princess. The Lilac Fairy invites the prince to the bewitched castle. The sleeping castle is now guarded by the Carabose Fairy. The Carabose and her minions try to hide the princess, but Prince Desire sees her, and kisses her, and the spell is broken. She falls in love with him when she sees him, and they become engaged.
    Aurora and Desire’s wedding. Many Fairytale characters come to celebrate, including Princess Flourine and the Blue Bird, The White Cat and Puss in Boots, Little Red Riding Hood and the Gray Wolf, and Cinderella and Prince Fortune. They all dance, and the Lilac Fairy blesses them.
    I apologize for how long this is, but it was just in case you were curious. I found it to have quite a few similar elements to Disney, as well as many differences. I hope this helps enlighten the ballet for you! 🙂

  5. Hey!

    Your podcasts are pretty awesome, and incredibly interesting. Is there any possibility of doing a follow-up to the Sleeping Beauty podcast with reference to Maleficent?

    Can’t wait for the next one 🙂

  6. It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people
    for this subject, however, you sounhd like yyou know what
    you’re talking about! Thanks

  7. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for such a well produced piece with plenty of humour, detail and research.

  8. I ndeded to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit
    of it. I hzve you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post…

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