July 31, 2012

Maleficent on the Castle

Maleifcent Dragon Painting Disneyland
As you pass through Sleeping Beauty Castle into the main Fantasyland courtyard, it's natural to immediately focus your attention on the great rides ahead. If, however, you slow down a moment and look to the left, you'll spot this wonderful painting on the castle wall depicting one of the best moments in Disney animation: Prince Phillip's confrontation with the dragon Maleficent. Look at that great use of color, pulling your eyes to the flame's impact on the shield.
Maleficent dragon painting Disneyland
No doubt about it, that dragon is one of the best film monsters of all time. When I finally took the time to really get a good look at this painting, however, one element made me smile most. Let's zoom in on the real star of Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty.
Samson horse Disneyland painting
Yes, Samson the horse is one of Disney's great unsung heroes. Sleeping Beauty's happy ending couldn't happen without this stalwart, long-suffering trooper -- and all he gets is a carrot. I think the artist in charge of this great painting felt the same way; he took the time to capture the humor and determination in the character. I mean, compare the horse's face to Prince Phillip's; who got the most flattering portrait?

Disneyland contains a bazillion great little details. This painting, quietly tucked to the side, is just one of them.

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