The Story —
It is a joyous day when the Queen gives birth to a longed-for baby girl. The King and his assistant Catalabutte begin preparations for the baby’s grand christening. He proudly announces to the kingdom that his daughter’s name will be Princess Aurora.
Among the guests at Aurora’s christening are the four young sons of the Kings of Russia, China, Arabia and Persia, who one day will be eligible suitors for the princess. Five fairies (half-sisters to the Queen), who are to be godmothers to the newborn baby, arrive and present their gifts to Aurora. Their gifts – like their names – are beauty, wit, grace, song and wisdom.
Just as Wisdom is about to bestow her gift, Carabosse, the wicked fairy, arrives. She is furious that she has not been invited to the christening and casts a spell on Aurora: when the princess turns sixteen, she will prick her finger and die. Everyone is horrified and pleads with Carabosse to take back the evil curse.
Then Wisdom gives her gift to Aurora - while she can’t break Carabosse’s spell, she uses her magic to change it so that the princess will not die, but instead fall into a deep sleep for one hundred years. The kiss of a handsome prince will break the spell and wake her.
The King declares that all sharp objects are to be banned from the kingdom, and entrusts Catalabutte to carry out this decree. Over the next sixteen years, Aurora grows into a beautiful, graceful and witty young princess.
Aurora’s sixteenth birthday party is held in the palace garden. The gardeners have been instructed to remove all the thorns from the roses. The King and Queen enter, with the four young princes from across the world, now grown into fine young men. The King is hoping that Aurora will choose one to be her husband.
Suddenly the dancing and merriment is frozen – Carabosse appears and hands a black rose to Aurora, who is unaware of who the danger. Intrigued, she takes the rose and begins to dance – then pricks her finger and collapses.
With triumphant glee, Carabosse declares that Aurora has died. Wisdom appears and reminds the distraught King, Queen and courtiers of her gift to the baby princess - Aurora has not died, but will sleep for one hundred years until the kiss of a prince wakes her.
So that Aurora will not be alone when she wakes, Wisdom puts the entire kingdom to sleep. Then all the fairies magically cause the forest to grow and hide the palace from view.
Eventually, no one remembers the kingdom and its sleeping inhabitants.
Exactly one hundred years later, young Prince Désiré is hunting in the forest with his two most trusted friends, Florestan and Florimund. He is bored and restless, and his friends try to cheer him up, but Galifron, the Prince’s Private Secretary, finds them and insists that Désiré should rejoin the hunt. He refuses and asks to be left alone.
Wisdom suddenly appears and tells Désiré the story of Aurora. She takes him to meet Aurora’s spirit; they dance together and fall in love. But Aurora and her companions disappear, and the Prince is desperate to find her. He pleads with Wisdom to show him where he will find the sleeping princess.
Désiré is guided to the lost palace in the forest. He enters, unaware Carabosse and her attendants are hiding there to prevent him from reaching Aurora. Carabosse summons her evil magic and changes into a fearsome dragon. She fights with Désiré, but the brave Prince manages to kill the creature with a fatal sword thrust.
He finds the sleeping Aurora and kisses her. The evil spell is broken, and the entire kingdom awakes. Prince Désiré declares his love for Aurora and proposes to her, and the King and Queen gladly give their blessing to the happy couple.
Désiré and Aurora’s wedding celebrations are magnificent. The King gives the newlywed couple a pair of magical Bluebirds in a golden cage as a wedding present, and there is much dancing and singing. The sleeping beauty, her Prince and everyone in the kingdom live happily ever after.