"What we want out of this is a moving illustration. I don’t care how long it takes.” Walt Disney
It took nine years... Apparently The Sleeping Beauty project began in 1950 but was released almost a decade after pressumably due to other time consuming Walt Disney's projects such as Disneyland or tv shows but also due to the troubles to find a suitable voice for Aurora that almost shelve the project until they found Mary Costa, the high level of technical complexity that the movie represented and a very particular wish to give The Sleeping Beauty a late Middle Ages fairytale aesthetic.
The Disney plot had to be adapted and begins with the christening of a baby girl named Aurora, like in Tchaikovsky's ballet. That same day, the little princess sees her fate changed when Maleficent who has not been invited to the party curses her so in her sixteenth birthday, Aurora pricks her finger on a spinning wheel spindle and die. Fortunately Merryweather, one of her three fairygodmothers has one blessing left for her so she can change the death for a deep sleep and the possibility to being awakened by a true love kiss. All that mess results in a royal order to burn all the spindles in the reign and the baby princess given to their fairygodmother "aunts" to be hidden and raised in a forest cottage, under the Grimm's version name of Briar Rose, until her 16th birthday when the efforts to protect her fail and she finally pricks her finger with a forgotten spinning wheel not before having fallen in love with Prince Phillip who kisses Aurora freeing her from her deep slumber and shortening to a day the 100 year period of time that pass in Perrault's tale... And they lived happily ever after.
Eyvind Earl was in charge to recreate this pre-renaissance world for which he took inspiration in the illuminated book from 1412 Les Très Riches Heures de Jean, Duc de Berri by The Limbourgh brothers, a great point to start but difficult to adapt as hell with the american "flat" cartoon style of that time that was inspired by the avant-garde artist of the XXth century.
It seems that fitting all the pieces in the puzzle that was the movie became an odissey, from the adaptation of Tchaikovsky's ballet music to the character animation that made Disney to create animator teams who draw from a live action model as fast as they could in a bigger format for the requirements of a new ratio, Super Technirama 70. Needless to say that the initial budget was widely exceeded and it took years for Disney to obtain profit from the movie after a no so good welcome on critics and public's part but, with the years, The Sleeping Beauty became iconic and, eventually, another star would born within the movie, Maleficent...