So many young girls admire Disney princesses. Even Elle Fanning admitted that she wanted to be Sleep Beauty’s Aurora as a child. But did some of you relate more to the villains in Disney movies? They were so bad but why? Were they misunderstood? Are they looking for love or acceptance? Everyone has a back story and I was thrilled that Disney decided to create one for Maleficent. Hearing the villain’s side of the story is definitely a treat. Maleficent is the Mistress of Evil yet loved by so many.
We’re all familiar with the classic (Disney) Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Let me sum it up, a bad lady puts an evil spell on a beautiful child, child turns 16, pricks her finger on that darn spindle and then falls into a deep, death-like sleep. Prince Phillip jumps off his white horse, there’s a kiss and everyone lives happily ever after except for that bad person who started all of this misfortune. Well, most of theses elements are in the film Maleficent but this is a modern tale so the ending is quite different.
The movie starts with a young Maleficent, who is played by the wonderful Isobelle Molloy. Maleficent is curious, brave and meets a human boy Stephan (Sharlto Copley). The two develop a deep friendship and fall in love. We find out early on that Stephan has big aspirations. His goals are so big that they totally corrupt his mind and destroy any real meaning in his life, i.e. Maleficent. He’s blinded by his quest for power, and thinks that he is protecting the woman he loves but he makes (as my daughter would say) “really bad choices”. Maleficent is left with a broken heart. Not cool. Ok, this is when Maleficent gets really pissed off and turns to the dark side.
Sometime later, the jerk (Stephan) is now the king and he is married and had a baby girl. Maleficent gets wind of the Christening from her wing man, Diaval (Sam Riley, who I absolutely loved). Diaval is a raven that Maleficent saves from being killed by savage dogs. Davail is ever so indebted to Maleficent and becomes her servant and companion. Maleficent’s powerful spells turn the bird into a shape shifter. He’s a raven, a man, a wild dog and another mystical animals which you will have to see to believe. Diaval is loyal and reports the news of the baby. Maleficent goes batty and crashes the party, she interrupts the fairies Knotgradd, Flittle and Thistletwit who are offering their gifts. Now, we all know what happens next, Maleficent gives baby Aurora her own gift but she has to wait until she’s 16 to get it. How cruel!
If you want a spoiler you will have to visit other sites. I will say that, Maleficents fantastical journey was exciting with a story line that initially caught me off guard, but was predictable once the story started to unfold. Angelina Jolie was perfect as Maleficent- intense, beautiful, yet sensitive and witty and she rocked those cheek bones. Elle Fanning is wonderful as Aurora- innocent and breathtaking. For some, this might change the way you look at Maleficent, at times I felt that Angelina wasn’t scary enough but the core of the film is about love and family.
Sadly, The CGI didn’t feel or look as realistic as some other films of the same genre. I was disappointed in some of Maleficent’s flying scenes but the drama of the film and characters made up for where the graphics impact lacked. Even with it’s flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed Maleficent being portrayed as a hero and a villain. Disney tries does not fail the 1956 cartoon, as we are still bestowed a beloved kiss, evil and drama, beautiful costumes which come to life in this live action film with some nice danger/darkness sprinkled about. I LOVED the story and the actors but didn’t love all the green screen work.
Parents, I feel that the film would be best suited for children 7+ as there is dark imagery and scary characters.
Read our interview with Elle Fanning for some perspective from Aurora and make sure to see the film this weekend. I can’t wait to hear what you think.
* I attended a screening for editorial purposes. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.