King Florestan and his Queen are celebrating the christening of their daughter, Princess Aurora. The celebrations are suddenly interrupted and Catalabutte, the Master of Ceremonies responsible for compiling the guest list, realizes that he has neglected to invite the Fairy Carabosse. Carabosse appears with her entourage and swearts that she will be avenged on them all, predicting that one day Aurora will prick her finger and die. The Lilac Fairy appears and revokes the curse, promising that Aurora will not die but only fall asleep, to be awakened by a prince’s kiss after a hundred years. For fear of Aurora coming to any harm, King Florestan declares that, on pain of death, no sharp needles are ever to be allowed at court.
The villagers are celebrating Princess Aurora’s sixteenth birthday with garlands and baskets of flowers. At the birthday celebrations, four princes seek her hand in marriage, and she dances with each of them. At the height of the celebrations, Carabosse, disguised as an old woman, gives Aurora a spindle. The Princess dances with the spindle and, pricking her finger, collapses as Carabosse reveals her true identity. Once more the Lilac Fairy appears, and as the Princess is carried outdoors, casts a spell of sleep over the whole court.
One hundred years later, Prince Florimund and his courtiers are hunting deer. Suddenly the Prince becomes melancholy, and sends his retinue to follow the hunt so that he may be alone. In his solitude he has a vision of Princess Aurora. Then, directed by the Lilac Fairy, the Prince journeys through the forest to King Florestan’s palace. There he finds Aurora asleep, and awakens her with a kiss. The whole court comes to life, and the King and Queen approve the betrothal of Princess Aurora and Prince Florimund.
The court celebrates the wedding of the Prince and Princess with a great ball. The fairy-tale characters of the Bluebird and Puss in Boots also come to pay their respects with special dances. Finally, the Prince and Princess dance together, and in a final celebration are joined by the whole court.