Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Who's Who Wednesday: Flora, Fauna and Merryweather

We first meet Flora, Fauna and Merryweather as the three good fairy godmothers of Aurora, aka Sleeping Beauty, in the classic Disney film originally released in 1959. They are based on the good fairies appearing in the original French fairy tale and various retellings. However, their number and names vary from version to version, sometimes being seven or twelve. As fairy tale counterparts, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather appear at baby Aurora's christening to present their gifts to the new-born princess. As a group, they all have powerful magical abilities through their wands. They can do  things like shrinking, bringing inanimate objects to life, and putting people to sleep. They were also able to give people extremely powerful weapons of righteousness, which could triumph over the darkest of evil, such as Prince Philip's Shield of Virtue and the Sword of Truth. Their wings are small, but allow them to fly. For doing most of the work for both lovers, Aurora and Phillip, they are the main protagonists.
  • Flora is the tallest fairy, and is dressed in red. She is not the oldest but appears to be the leader of the group. She gave Aurora the gift of beauty. She seems to deal heavily with flowers and nature, and her favorite color is pink.
  • Fauna is the middle fairy, almost the same height as Flora, and is dressed in green. She is the fairy who is too good-natured towards Maleficent and gave Aurora the gift of song. She is quieter than the others, and often is a peacemaker between Flora and Merryweather.
  • Merryweather is the shortest and youngest fairy and is dressed in blue, which is her favorite color. She is the fairy who is too aggressive towards Maleficent. As Merryweather is about to give her gift, Maleficent makes her appearance and curses Aurora to die when she touches a spinning wheel's spindle before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. Merryweather's gift is to weaken the curse so that instead of death, Aurora will fall into a deep sleep until she is awakened by true love's kiss. She is feisty and pessimisstic, and is often seen arguing with Flora.
The Fairies are voiced by: Flora: Verna Felton (Sleeping Beauty) who also voiced the Queen (Queen Leah, though she isn't named in the film) Fauna: Barbara Jo Allen (Sleeping Beauty) and Russi Taylor (in other appearances) who, by the way, also currently voices Minnie Mouse! and Merryweather by Barbara Luddy (Sleeping Beauty)

In other appearances Flora, Fauna and Merryweather were featured as guests in Disney's House of Mouse, in Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams during the "Keys to the Kingdom" segment and they have a role in the Kingdom Hearts series of video games as well as various other game, film, theme-park, and live events. The three are also featured in the interactive game Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

In other interesting side notes: "Flora" was the name of Walter Disney's mother. Most people will say "Flora, Fauna and Merryweather" when talking about them, so the easy way to remember who is who is to think: Red, Green, Blue, which are the colors of their dresses in order. Interestingly enough, we also usually say "Huey, Duey, and Louie" when referring to Donald's nephews. Guess what, think red, green and blue again... That's right, Huey wears red, Duey wears green and Louie is in blue!

As Fauna would say, "Oh, I just love happy endings." 

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