Ode to Disney’s Sleeping Beauty

This was my favorite movie as a child, and still remains one of my most beloved cartoons. Movies like this can appeal to young and old alike because they speak directly to the human soul. Like all the great fairy tales, Sleeping Beauty isn’t really about a girl meeting a guy and getting married, it is a spiritual allegory. Prince Phillip wields “the Sword of Truth” and the “Weapons of Righteousness.”

What will happen when we burn
all the nations’ spinning wheels?
The Truth in Us will be revealed.

Humankind is Princess Aurora
Humankind is Princess Aurora
the Prince Who has come riding out of the dawn is God
in His Son our one True Love
in His Son our one True Love
Who broke Maleficent chains
Who broke Maleficent chains
defeated all the powers of hell
defeated all the powers of hell
and betrothing our souls to His roused us from sin's evil spell.
and betrothing our souls to His roused us from sin’s evil spell.
Reigning on earth as in heaven
Reigning on earth as in heaven
our Lord is forever by our side
our Lord is forever by our side
proclaiming the Good News as our two Kingdoms unite.
proclaiming the Good News as our two Kingdoms unite.

In 1949, Disney wrote in Guideposts magazine: “I believe firmly in the efficacy of religion, in its powerful influence on a person’s whole life. It helps immeasurably to meet the storm and stress of life and keep you attuned to the Divine inspiration. Without inspiration, we would perish.”

He also wrote in Faith is a Star (Gammon, New York E. P. Dutton & Co. 1963): “Every person has his own ideas of the act of praying for God’s guidance, tolerance, and mercy to fulfill his duties and responsibilities… A prayer, it seems to me, implies a promise as well as a request; at the highest level, prayer not only is a supplication for strength and guidance, but also becomes an affirmation of life and thus a reverent praise of God.”

The expression, I couldn’t see the forest for the trees can often be applied to the reading of the old fairy tales, where magic and superstition obscure the Christian truths at their center, like the forest of thorns that surrounded Stephen’s castle. Our mind and emotions thoroughly entertained, our souls are set free to imbibe the spiritual depths expressed through stories that are often as violent and bloody as the Mystery of the Cross they secretly uphold.