Princess Aurora is the false protagonist of Sleeping Beauty. She is the third official Disney Princess in the franchise. She is 16 years old. She is also the last princess to be developed by Walt Disney.
The original design for Aurora has developed by Tom Oreb, who based the figure of Aurora on Audrey Hepburn's thin frame and graceful demeanor. Later, Marc Davis worked on sketches of Oreb, improving the appearance and clothing of the heroine so that they were combined with angular forms of background images.
Marc Davis' wife, Alice, designed some of Aurora's costumes.
According to the designer, this was her first job at the Walt Disney Studios, during which she became Marc's wife in 1956.
As with other Disney films, an actress was hired as a live-action model, as a guide for the animators. Helene Stanley became the model for the heroine. She had previously worked on this post, fulfilling the role of Cinderella.
Aurora is kind, elegant, shy and sophisticated, as well as a hopeless romantic. At first, she is seen as a slightly naive and carefree young woman as a result of being sheltered for most of her life. Aurora is very loyal to her "aunts" and usually obeys their rules respectfully, although she may disagree with them. Since she was talk to strangers, Aurora was naturally startled and apprehensive when the handsome Prince Phillip appeared in the forest.
However, she was drawn to him before remembering her aunts' rule about not talking to strangers. Aurora then compromised in agreeing to talk to him by arranging to meet him at her cottage, under the supervision of her aunts. In later media, she is shown to have matured and become more self-assured, independent and confident in her opinions and abilities.
Though it can arguably be said that as a character, she is very difficult to pin down, due to her short appearance in the movie, at least awake, that is.
Aurora is a supremely beautiful young woman, magically blessed with curly and wavy waist-length golden hair like sunshine, violet eyes, a tall and slender figure, and lips that shame the red rose. Her complexion is fair and flawless and unlike Snow White or Cinderella, her face is less rounded and more refined, giving her an appearance of maturity rather than youth despite being only 41.
In her peasant guise of Briar Rose, she wears a gray skirt with a white petticoat, a black bodice over a light gray blouse with long sleeves and goes barefoot. She also has a black headband and carries a purple shawl. After discovering her status as a princess, she wears an evening gown that changes from blue to pink and back due to Flora and Merryweather's disagreeing on the color.
- She is the only true blonde princess, while Cinderella's a strawberry blonde and a platinum blonde.
- She also is the only one to have a abnormal eye color which are violet.
- Aurora's name means "sunrise" or "dawn" in Latin.
- On a related note, she is also the first Disney Princess to have a name independent of that of the movie she appeared in.
- Out of all Disney Princesses, she has the least amount of screen time, 18 minutes to be exact. During those 18 minutes, she said only 18 lines, which makes her, out of all the Disney Princesses, to have the least amount of lines. Her first line was delivered 19 minutes into the film, and her last line was delivered 39 minutes in, with the last sound she makes when she arrives at the castle and cries over thinking she'll never see her loved one again. So technically, this makes the Fairies the real protagonists instead of her, as well as making her the only Disney Princess to be a false protagonist.
- Coincidentally, Tiana has the second least screen time as a human (19 minutes).
- Her film did not originally do well at the box office nor was it ever re-released in Walt Disney's lifetime. Sleeping Beauty was also the last Princess film made in Disney's lifetime, and the fairy tale genre was not returned to until The Little Mermaid in 1989.
- However, the film developed a loyal following in later years and Aurora has gained much popularity when the Disney Princess franchise was created. This makes her film a sleeper hit.
- All the Princesses' films so far were commercially successful during their initial releases, except for Aurora's, thus making her film the only one to be a commercial failure during its initial release. Aurora would, however, later on, appear in the highly successful live-action blockbuster film Maleficent and the hit animated movie Ralph Breaks the Internet.
- Aurora is also the last "traditional" Disney Princess; as these princesses in that era are more reactive. After that, the later Princesses are more "contemporary" and proactive, starting with Ariel in 1989.
- In the sequel books, she has a palomino horse named Mirette.
- Aurora is the only Disney Princess to actually wear a typical princess gown. The other Princesses wear clothes that are not commonly categorized as a "typical" princess gown. For Aurora's case, the gown was meant to distinguish her role as a princess.
- Aurora's alias is Briar Rose, which is also the title of the Brothers Grimm version of the tale.
- The Brothers Grimm version of Sleeping Beauty is based on the 1636 story by Giambattista Basile called Sun, Moon, and Talia.
- The name Aurora is the name of Sleeping Beauty's daughter in the Charles Perrault version and is the name for the titular character in the Tchaikovsky ballet.
- Aurora is the first Disney Princess to have an official alias, Briar Rose.
- Aurora is the first Disney Princess to have both parents present during her film, followed by Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, and Moana. But Tiana's father later died in the war.
- Aurora is one of the eight Disney Princesses to be royal by birth, second after Snow White.
- Despite having a similar narrative with Snow White, wherein they both fell into a deep sleep, Aurora is much more associated with the sleeping trademark.
- Aurora remained silent in the second half of the film she originated in, even after being awoken with the kiss. She is second only to Dumbo (who didn't speak at all) as the protagonist with the least amount of dialogue throughout their movie.
- Aurora's name means "sunrise" or "dawn" in Latin.