Directed By: Claude Cloutier
Written By: Claude Cloutier
Trivia: Was named Best Animated Short Film at the 2009 Genie Awards
Having thoroughly enjoyed Madame Tutli Putli, I wanted to delve into a few more animated shorts, and the one I chose to watch next is Sleeping Betty, a 2007 Canadian movie about a fairy tale that takes place in the real world.
The King and Queen are beside themselves: their beloved daughter, Betty, has fallen asleep, and no matter what they do, she simply won’t wake up. Surrounded by his loyal subjects, the king calls a doctor, and even allows a witch to have a look at her. When all else fails, the King turns to Prince Charming for help, believing that a kiss from a knight in shining armor will lift the curse But is Betty really under a spell, or is something else making her sleep so deeply?
Despite its classic scenario, Sleeping Betty is about as modern a fairy tale as you’re going to get. The King, Queen, and a few others stand guard over Betty’s bed, but instead of setting the story in a far-off castle, director Cloutier has his Royal Family living in a small apartment, surrounded by fictional characters as well as some real-life ones (images of Britain’s Queen Victoria and King Henry VIII are interspersed with those of a court jester and a space alien, and the Prince who rides to the rescue looks suspiciously like Prince Charles). This hint of reality extends beyond the film’s characters and invades the very world they live in (instead of opening forward, the apartment building’s front door drops down as if it were a drawbridge). Not even the witch can escape reality; prior to helping the King, she’s tidying up the place, using a broom that works like a vacuum cleaner!
With a handful of funny moments (the witch’s attempt to wake Betty causes some hilarious chaos) and a near-perfect ending, Sleeping Betty is unlike any fairy tale you’ve ever seen before.