Sleeping Betty

Sleeping Betty

Sleeping Betty is a Canadian, animated, dialogueless nine minute film.

The storyline is that a princess is sleeping, and her distraught parents are doing everything they can think of to awaken her. But really the story is very, very thin and serves only as an excuse to play around with goofy animation and oddball characters and situations.

Unfortunately, as far as I can tell it’s all kind of random. For instance, standing in the princess’s room watching the proceedings are miscellaneous characters like an alien, Queen Victoria, and Henry VIII. But there’s no apparent reason for them and not other recognizable characters to be standing there.

Or a car is pulled along like a carriage by horses, and the horses have only two legs each. What’s the point? It’s like the surrealist nature of it all is an end in itself rather than playing some meaningful role.

I mean, evidently we’re supposed to laugh at stuff like that, and I suppose it’s cute and clever in its way, but it’s not exactly laugh out loud material.

Occasionally there’s an element that’s clever in a more relevant way, like when Prince Charles is riding to the rescue and crashes into a post and mangles himself and his horse, and the camera pulls back and reveals that at the top of the post is a street sign with a symbol of a smashed horse and rider. I chuckled a bit at that.

Overall, Sleeping Betty is silly in a way that’s only infrequently funny. And again, the story itself doesn’t really amount to anything. Think of it as a poor man’s Terry Gilliam. At best.

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