Monday, 27 January 2014

Maleficent and Once Upon a Dream

Yesterday Disney plastered social media with the new trailer for the forthcoming Maleficent, featuring a cover of "Once Upon a Dream" by Lana Del Rey. Here it is...

When I saw it I have to admit that I laughed, since I'd been waiting for the part where the two armies charge at each other and the big CGI monsters toss around the little CGI humans. On the one hand I love Sleeping Beauty, which is my favourite fairy tale of all time (to the point of our going to the real castle in France which inspired it), and I love Maleficent, who is one of Disney's most stunning character designs. On the other hand this is such a transparent attempt to mimic the success of Wicked while at the same time divesting it of anything that makes Wicked so good and transplanting it with all the tropes common to Alice the Great and Powerful Giant-Killer and the Huntsman: Witch Hunters of the Rings. It's got a good song though!

"Once Upon a Dream" is familiar to fans of Disney's 1959 animated version of Sleeping Beauty, but like the entire soundtrack, it was adapted by George Bruns from the original Tchaikovsky ballet. The tune we know as "Once Upon a Dream" is actually the "Garland Waltz" from Act 1, which opens the ballet. If you'd like a bit of cute overload to begin your week, the following video is the Academy of Russian Ballet's performance of the waltz for the Youth America Grand Prix...

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