Sleeping Beauty is Walt Disney's 16th animated feature, and it's first attempt at a movie in 70mm film. This format was much larger than previous ones used by the studio and the sets took longer to finish. This was only one of the many reasons why the movie was the most expensive production to date by Disney.
The first version of the script, an adaptation of Pierrault's tale (written in 1697 and reinterpreted by the Brothers Grimm in 1812), was presented in 1952, but as many other Disney projects, was put on stan-by by Walt Disney. The main reason for putting the movie on hold was that Walt felt that the story bared to many similarities to Snow White and Cinderella, and although both films had been tremendously successful, he wanted to deliver something new.