From a young age, I’ve been taken by the art style in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. One of the first movie to be filmed in Technirama Widescreen, and the last fairy tale movie produced by Walt Disney himself.  I was always more of a Princess Aurora fan myself, and never really thought much of the evil Maleficent.  That is until J. Scott Campbell whipped up today’s installment of the Art Appreciation Moment of the Day.

“Sexy” Maleficent from Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”. Colored pencil, Prismacolor markers, Faber-Castell/PITT artist pens, and brushed India Ink. 11″ x 17″

via J. Scott Campbell


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. I really have a problem with a lot of J. Scott Campbell’s work. There’s absolutely no doubt that he has a lot of talent, but all he does is “sexify” (female) characters for not really any necessary point. He never really shows any real women with real bodies… it’s always impossible body proportions and giant T & A. Check out my blog post on Campbell’s 2010 Fairy Tale calendar to see what I mean:

    • I really dont see what the complaint is, its just art. He’s not creating life in his image. Art doesn’t always have to be realistic. Perhaps you take this all too seriously.

      • BTW if your going to rail on the guy for indecency then the least you can do is clean up the foul language on your website. I’ve seen worse images in tattoos. Again, your spending -waaaaaaay- too much time taking Campbell -waaaaaaay- to seriously. You need a new hobby, like feeding the homeless.

    • I discuss the complete ridiculousness of ever trying to appear like a decent, fair person when you have this “artwork” on your track record.

      I am bothered by the assumptions that you make about the artist’s intentions based on what inferences you get from the work. I see no implications of “mistreatment” in the images shown, even in Tinkerbell’s. And what exactly do you mean by “decent, fair person?”

      Not only do his nearly blasphemous reimaginings of characters oversexualize to a hyperdrive-like level, they appear completely impractical.

      The use of the term “blasphemous” is borderline insulting, not only to Campbell, but to the reader. By no means are the Disney princesses, IN ANY WAY, sacred ground, no matter how impractical their costuming.

      Because, basically, I’m tired of images where women are naked for absolutely no reason (because, of course, men are never naked for absolutely no reason!) and are merely shown to give a boner to 13 year olds wondering what Sleeping Beauty looks like naked…

      I wholeheartedly agree with part of your intent here. But the vehemence of your argument, the language and the assumptions you’re making about the intentions of the artist are undermining your point. A message is more than WHAT you say… It’s also the way you say it.

      Your point has a lot of validity to it, but I can’t support your rather histrionic expression of it. As always, mileage may vary.

  2. Seneca, I’m one all for absolutely no censorship. I just, personally, do not believe that J. Scott Campbell uses his art in a way that benefits the portrayal of women aside from the bimbo-stereotype. I use Campbell as a case study for my continuing argument on my blog that J. Scott Campbell isn’t just some fluke, but is part of a trend amongst artists to depict women in a dehumanifying way. I’m not trying to rail on his art because I believe that a lot of it is good, and I even like the image above.

    Yes, I’ll admit that on my blog I do use foul language sometimes more often than I should. Typically, I use it to emphasize a point or to produce a bit of irony, but occasionally it comes out just too naturally. If I was to write a paper on the subject (like I often do in my Communication Studies), I would use a different framework of language, but since it is my personal blog, I feel like I can be a bit more frank.

    The reason I take the artwork and writing of comic books seriously is because it is a reflection of beliefs and idealogies within the social sphere despite a lot of comics focusing on fantasy. If women are constantly derailed and stereotyped in comics then I find issue with that. There is no reason why people of different gender (including transgender) should not be considered equal within any form of media, and yet they often are.

    I hope that expresses some more of my viewpoints, and I appreciate your comments.
    For more information on the topic of the portrayal of women in comics, check out Kelly Thompson’s amazing blog:

    • You cant possibly be against any form of censorship and then ask to censor this guys art. Its called being a hypocrit. Its all or nothing. I am glad you feel so pasionate about this subject matter but I think your passion could be better served in feeding the hungry or helping womens shelter and rights foundations. Frankly my wife is an old school feminist and even she thinks your barking rabidly up the wrong tree.

  3. Furthermore you hold disney on too high of a pedestal, they have done more damage to women in the last 60 years than clairmont could do in his entire lifetime. I will admit that Disney has changed its tune in the last 5 or so years but thier track record for steriotyping female role models as victims is legendary. Even those famous childrens stories like Little Miss muffet and the three bears set bad precedence.

    Cinderella teaches a young girl that no matter how difficult her life is as long as you are pretty a handsome rich man will discover you and rescue you. You just need a new fancy dress and sparkling shoes.

    Alice in wonderland, man what ever drugs Disney was on when they made this movie must of been pretty strong. Yay drugs.

    Little Miss Muffet, a spider drops down next to her so naturally the spider is the evil one and Miss Muffet is the victim, lets feel sorry for her.

    Beauty and the Beast, a fine tale of Stockholm syndrome if ever there was one. It doesn’t matter if you are captured by an ugly rude creep against your will, you will eventually see the good inside of him and fall deeply in love with him. Oh, and in the end you will see he is actually quite the prince.

    Snow White, a tale about an underage girl who is rescued from a deep sleep by her true love and in the end marries him and becomes a happily ever after princess. She is estimated to be about 13-14 in the disney classic. Her prince, much older. Classic.

    Goldilocks, young blonde girl breaks into someones home, eats thier food, breaks thier chairs and sleeps in thier beds. Then we have to view her as the victim because its a bears home and she runs off terrfied of them.

    Mary J – spiderman, named after weed her biggest problem in life is that she is a beautiful super model who stays at home and worries that her man might get harmed saving the world. Big fan of Oprah.

    Tinkerbell – Peter Pan, Tinkerbell in a jealous rage flies ahead and tries to trick the ignorant Lost boys to kill the Wendy-bird. She almost succeeds in murdering her romantic-opponent and when confronted just shakes her hips in a suggestive way and is -never- repentant for her actions.

    Ariel is 16 when she marries the prince, which is legal in mostly southern states. Not only does this film teach young girls to disregard thier fathers rules but is another case where the female must be rescued by the prince.

    Sleeping Beauty, On her 16th birthday she too is to marry the prince, only its an arranged marrage. She doesnt even know who he is, fortunately in this case its true love. Again, rescued by the kiss of the prince after he slays the beast.

    Disney has only recently began creating films where young -adult- princesses are the heroes and even 1 has the princess saving the guy from the beast (enchanted) but it sets a dangerous precedence in our society where the female is willing to suffer any and all injustices in the name of ‘true love’. How many times do we have to see a woman who has been beaten to an inch of her life tell a police officer than she doesnt want to press charges because she loves him and he will change. It is more likely that she will die than he will change. In all of these films and classic fairy tales the woman is the victim, not the victor.

    Don’t even get me started on the racial overtones of Disney, which took 60 years to place a black character as the main character of a film like the princess and the frog. Even in Lion king which has a cast of 90% voice actor minorities the main two characters, Simba and Scar, are voiced by white guys.

    All I am saying is that you can not hold disney up on the pedestal that you have them on in your mind, its far too high.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.