Most of us know the story of Sleeping Beauty. In the fairy tale, an evil fairy curses the infant Princess Aurora to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall in a sleep that can only be broken by true love’s kiss. The name of the evil fairy is Maleficent. That’s also the name of this movie, which opens today. As you can guess, this film is about how Maleficent became evil. The story is essentially her side of the story, and when you see what happens to her, you’ll understand why she placed the curse on Aurora. I watched a screening of the film earlier in the week. For the most part, I enjoyed the movie and thought the special effects were good. I also liked Angelina Jolie as Maleficent. However, I wasn’t too impress with the storyline. It wasn’t a great story and some parts were hard to believe even though the movie is full of magical creatures. Continue reading to learn six magnificent things about Maleficent (Disney).
Six Things About Maleficent
It’s a retelling of a Sleeping Beauty
Maleficent is a re-imagining of Walt Disney’s 1959 animated film, Sleeping Beauty. In this version, the story is essentially told from the point of view of Maleficent. She’s the wicked fairy godmother that casted the curse on Aurora. The basic elements of the fairy tale is in the movie, but there are some significant changes. For instance, in the original story, Maleficent casted the spell because she was angry about not being invited to the royal christening of Princess Aurora. In the live-action film, Maleficent casted the spell because Aurora’s father broke her heart. I don’t want to reveal a spoiler, but the ending of the story is also very different.
Maleficent is a giant fairy
Three of the fairy godmothers in the movie looked how you expect them to look: small with pixie-like wings. The odd thing is, Maleficent is also suppose to be a fairy. But she’s different from the other three fairies. For instance, Maleficent isn’t small. She’s human size. She also has horns and giant wings like an angel. In addition, her magic is more powerful than the other fairies. I might have missed the explanation in the movie, but I didn’t understand why Maleficent was different from the other fairies in the moors.
Maleficent isn’t that evil
Here’s another change from the fairy tale: Maleficent isn’t really that evil. The most wicked thing she did in the movie was cast the curse on Aurora. It was a really bad curse, but afterwards Maleficent checked in on Aurora during her childhood and played pranks on the fairy godmothers taking care of Aurora. Maleficent even saved Aurora’s life when she fell off a cliff. When it comes down to it, Maleficent is basically good and just made one really bad decision because she was so angry with Aurora’s father.
There’s a big twist near the end of the story
I’ll admit it. I was caught off caught with a twist near the end of the film. With a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, I expected twists in the new story. But I didn’t see this twist coming until just before it happened. I’m not going to spoil it for you, other than to say there are several changes in the Sleeping Beauty storyline with one of the biggest twists near the end of the story.
Maleficent’s eyes are magnificent
Angelina Jolie is the star of the movie. She played the part of Maleficent. In most of the scenes she’s in, her dazzling green eyes drew me to her. I usually prefer to see Angelina in an action film like Salt, but she did fine in this light drama. The film also featured her daughter, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, as a young Aurora. Other actors included Elle Fanning (Aurora), Sharlto Copley (Stefan), Lesley Manville (Flittle), Imelda Staunton (Knotgrass), Juno Temple (Thistletwit), Sam Riley (Diaval), Brenton Thwaites (Prince Phillip), Kenneth Cranham (King Henry), Sarah Flind (Princess Leila’s Handmaiden), Hannah New (Princess Leila), Isobelle Molloy (Young Maleficent), Michael Higgins (Young Stefan), Ella Purnell (Teen Maleficent), and Jackson Bews (Teen Stefan). Maleficent was directed by Robert Stromberg.
The film is rated PG
The 97-minute movie is rated PG for sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images. There are a couple of intense fighting scenes in the film, but I don’t think the scenes are too scary for young children.