The Legend of Sleeping Beauty: A Chronicle of a Fever Dream

La leggenda della Bella Addormentata, or The Legend of Sleeping Beauty, is an Italian cartoon released in 1998, based on the original tale of Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault. It was produced and distributed by Mondo TV, and had a single season of twenty-six episodes. It is also available on the distributor’s Youtube channel, which is where I discovered it on a fateful night of shadowwalking the internet. You may recognize the artstyle from a later work, such as Titanic: The Legend Goes On, another amazing piece of media in its own ways. In this thread, I’ll be covering each episode of the cartoon, because this cartoon is a fever dream in the best/worst ways and my intrigue in it has taken hold of me. Also I like to watch bad cartoons unironically.

But, before we can talk about the cartoon, let’s make sure we’re familiar with the original story of Sleeping Beauty, to establish a baseline.

Sleeping Beauty, A Summary

A kingdom’s royalty have a child, so they do as the royals do and make it a big affair at the palace, banquet and all. Seven fairies are invited and arrive, as well as another older fairy who was not invited. Six fairies bestow their blessings on the child: wit, grace, beauty, all that jazz. The old fairy gets pissed off that she wasn’t invited and lays a curse upon the baby, that she will one day prick her finger on a spinning wheel’s spindle and die. The seventh fairy uses her blessing to modify the curse, since she is not strong enough to undo it; she makes it so that instead of dying, the princess will go into a long sleep and be awakened by a prince’s kiss.

The King, desperate to stop the curse from happening at all, orders all spinning wheels destroyed. Sixteen years pass, and the princess runs into an old woman in the castle, working a spinning wheel. The princess, who has never seen a spinning wheel in her life, gives it a spin and whoops she pricked her finger now she’s asleep for a hundred years. The king and queen hole up their daughter in the finest room and also call the seventh fairy, who puts the whole castle asleep with the princess and surrounds the castle with brambled forests so nothing can disturb the princess because reasons.

A prince comes by a hundred years later and braves the forest and finds a princess inside a castle full of sleeping people and he can’t help but kiss her because she’s so beautiful. She wakes up, so does everyone else in the castle, and they get married and live happily ever after in a kingdom left behind to the march of time for a hundred years.

Got all that? We’ll be keeping track of the story at the end of each update, just to keep track of when the cartoon sticks to the story and when it tactfully modifies the original tale.

Spoiler Policy: While I do want people to watch the cartoon and even go ahead, I do ask that if you do, you don’t spoil what’s going to happen if the episode hasn’t been covered yet.

Here’s the video playlist in case you want to watch along, or even watch ahead.

1 Like

The Legend of Sleeping Beauty, episode 1: The Escape

Yes, that is comic sans.

Before I start, I welcome everyone reading this to actually watch some of the episode as they go, at the very least the opening credits. The song is an experience. Also, the opening completely covers the basics of the Sleeping Beauty story: fairy curses child, child pricks finger later in life, she goes to sleep, prince wakes her up, happily ever after, all in one minute and forty seconds. But we’re not about to have it that easy.

We open to a procession leading up to a palace. The scene is positively idyllic: people in nice clothes, holding offerings, heading up to the throne with their offerings. Princess Kendra has been born! After some dude congratulates the king and queen on finally having a kid, another procession is announced, King Byrion of the Enchanted Forest and his knights.

I’m not really sure what you were expecting, really. Also the frog king has a New York Italian accent. Forget about it. In the time it takes for King Byrion’s entourage to welcome themselves, pay their tribute and ask to approach the princess, the seven fairies arrive.

Did I say fairies? I meant the Five Cavaliers, elemental guardians of the realm. Four because the Cavalier of Light is late. So, the present Cavaliers decide to go on without him.

The Cavaliers do, however, begin to bestow their blessings upon Princess Kendra. Fire bestows a warm heart, Water a heart with goodness that will flood out, Air a spirit as fresh as mountain air, Earth beauty. However, the old fairy who was not invited now enters, causing an uproar in the guests: the sorceress, Maya.

I’m going to level with y’all, Maya is my favorite character in this cartoon. No, she’s not the least bad, I actually enjoy her character. She just loves that she’s evil and I respect that.

And just after Maya approaches Maya and compliments her on how cute she is, the late Cavalier of the Light appears! He and Maya exchange words and then Maya’s all “nah, forget this, cursing this baby and turning into a dragon and then a crow, peace!” Specifically, the curse is that Kendra will prick her finger on a spinning wheel when she’s sixteen years old, falling asleep forever, and this will be the signal for the powers of evil to take over the world.

After leaving, the Cavalier of Light bestows his gift upon Kendra, emphasizing that they all must present a united front before the forces of evil. To Kendra, he states that her curse will not cause her to sleep forever, but instead she may be awoken by a prince’s kiss. The Cavalier specifically states that this prince won’t help but kiss her because she’s so beautiful. And thus, Kendra’s fate is sealed.

Hard cut! You’re going to have to get used to that. It’s a whole other kingdom now.

with whaaaaaaaales who are part of the army as scouts.


Another procession is going into a palace, all with offerings to the royal court, this time celebrating a prince named Rakhal’s birthday. The kingdom is Snowland, with people coming from places called Icetown.

We’re introduced to him being a little shit and dodging his handlers. They just want him to put on a hat.

Also the prince has a snow leopard friend named Cordall, and I definitely didn’t spot these frames and capture them specifically.

Actually, no, really, watch this scene in the video. Fourteen minutes in. The audio makes it really uncomfortable. The snow leopard sighs after nuzzling the prince.

After some shenanigans that cements the fact that Rakhal is a little shit, we hardcut again outside of the palace, where archers ready their bows and an assault by sea encroaches the palace. Ghouls riding sharks shoot eye lasers at whales and dolphins. Their general, Sterminius, joins in too, because a good leader fights with his troops.

From the land is another assault by Barbarius, astride a dragon. Yet another front comes from the air, Thanatos and his wights riding drakes.

Some other general gets screwed up by some arrows because he was part of the ground assault, but he just fucks off to the sky and joins the air assault. Thanatos improvises and sprinkles dust onto the archers defending the castle, causing them to turn and open fire upon the people they are defending. The gate falls.

This is a children’s cartoon, by the way.

The party in the palace is interrupted by the generals storming in, disintegrating the offerings to the court and bestowing upon Rakhal a warm heart and overflowing kindness- nah, they’re gonna kill him.

But then, the Cavaliers appear! Now we’ll get to see what they can do in a fight. Fireguy shoots fire Barbarius, that’s neat. Waterguy blocks Sterminius’s eyelasers with water, cool.

Lightguy gets a sword and shoots beams, awesome.

Earthguy can petrifying-touch them. Uh.

Waterguy shoots water that causes the invaders to deconstitute and become mist, but slowly enough that they can feel the agony of their body melting away. Pretty sure this constitutes a war-crime.

Earthguy punches dudes but what’s the point they petrify immediately.

Lightguy and the other Cavaliers declare that Prince Rakhal has fled, and gloat to the dark generals, who are clearly losing the fight and are about to lose their lives, thus securing the future of the kingdoms for untold generations.

Nope, the Cavaliers ollie out with a job well done. Except the generals are still here and the palace’s defenses are still broken and the king and queen are still right there.

But in his anger, Barbarius still drops a curse upon Rakhal, that he shall never age and remain a little shit forever. Rakhal flees on Cordall’s back, and Lightguy returns to a greaving king and queen, telling them that he can’t do much about the curse except modify it. Instead of, y’know, not letting the curse fall upon their son in the first place.

The king and queen, instead of pissed, are relieved. Lightguy declares that Rakhal will return to the age he ought to be when he kisses Princess Kendra and breaks her curse, thus breaking his curse, and also he and his fellow Elementguys will protect Rakhal personally until that comes to pass.

And that is the first episode of The Legend of Sleeping Beauty! Did you happen to forget what the original premise of the show was as you were watching, or reading? I did too. Frankly I’m surprised so much was left out of the story.



intriguing, but highly disturbing