Sleeping Beauty: A Model Princess
Aurora is one of the best Disney princesses of all time. She’s not saccharine or so naive, she’s just unfortunate enough to end up in bed for way too long. Part of her charm is her almost haughty grace. Much of this can be attributed to the women behind the drawing: Helene Stanley and Mary Costa.
Helene Stanley was the model upon which the animators based Aurora’s physicality. She also modeled Cinderella and Anita in 101 Dalmatians (another poised lady). Despite her high class airs for the Disney set, she had another side.In the 1950s she married gangster Johnny Stompanato before he notoriously took up with Lana Turner and then died at her daughter’s hand. She can also be spotted dancing her butt off in the diner scene of Asphault Jungle. It’s easy to see what Stompanato saw in her:
MARY COSTA voiced Aurora. According to the Making-Of documentary included in the Platinum Edition DVD, Disney chose her specifically because of her vocal warmth and the grace with which she was able to transition from speaking into singing. A southerner opera singer, it’s her velvety warble that really elevates Aurora over the other Disney princesses. Oh and here she is pretending to have fun hanging out with Bing Crosby, if you’re craving a little out-of-season entertainment: