The 1959 Disney movie doesn’t change too much of Perrault’s original tale, La Belle au Bois Dormant, except for a few details:
The original tale is two parts.
- There are seven fairies, not three as in the film
- The spell’s reversal is slightly different: the last fairy says that the princess will fall asleep for 100 years, and will be awakened by a prince’s kiss
- The Prince isn’t betrothed to the princess at the beginning of the story. He seems her 100 years later in a vision and is inspired to rescue her.
- The Princess doesn’t go into hiding; she lives with her parents her entire life. When she is fifteen or sixteen, and her parents are away, she comes upon an old woman, who has not heard of the kingdom’s ban on spindles or spinning wheels. The Princess, who has never seen one, (since her father banned them), asks to try it, and thereby pricks her finger.
- The good fairy who changed the curse’s result is summoned to the palace, and, distressed by the fact that everyone the princess knows will be dead by the time she awakens, places everyone in the palace in the same enchanted sleep. They will awake when the princess does.
- Maleficient’s “Forrest of Thorns” isn’t hers; in the original story, the good fairy summons it to protect the princess and the palace from intrusion before the 100 years are over.
- 100 years later, the Prince hears of the sleeping princess from his courtiers while he is on a hunting expedition. He decides to brave the thorns and forrest to find the princess. Entering the palace, he finds her chamber, and kisses her. The spell is broken.
- Instead of rushing right to get married, the prince and princess talk for a long while, while the rest of the castle awakens. They are then married privately by the royal almoner.
PART TWO: this is entirely omitted in the Disney version–for obvious reasons!
- The prince continues to visit the princess, who bears him two children “Aurora”, and “Day”. (The Disney story took the princess’ daughter’s name, and gave it to the princess, making her Princess Aurora. In the original story, the princess and prince do not have names.). The prince has kept his wife and children a secret from his step-mother, who is part ogre.
- Once the prince ascends his throne, he sends for his family.
- The Ogress Queen Mother sends the princess and her children to a house in the forrest, and orders her cook to prepare the boy, Day, for her supper. The cook substitutes a lamb, which satisfies the Queen Mother, but then she asks for Aurora to be cooked for her. Again the cook tricks her, offering a goat. Finally, the Queen Mother asks for the young Queen to be killed and cooked; the Queen, instead, offered her throat to be slit, since she believes her children dead (they were taken away and hidden to keep the Queen Mother from guessing the trick.). The cook, however, takes the Queen to his house, where she sees her children and they are reunited. The cook then prepares another dish for the Queen Mother, who, after eating it, realizes she has been tricked.
- In a fury, the Queen Mother prepares a pit full of vipers and other horrible reptiles and plans to throw the Queen and her children into the pit. The King, however, arrives just in time, and pushes the Queen Mother into the pit, where she is destroyed.
In the Brother Grimm’s version, the Princess becomes “Briar Rose”, which Disney used as the Princess Aurora’s “code” name in hiding. Their version of the story is called “Little Briar Rose”, and the tale ends where the movie ends–with the arrival of the prince and the reawakening of the princess and the castle. No children of the couple are mentioned.