Back in 1959, Disney released one of it's most
beloved animated films of all time, Sleeping
Beauty. While the artwork in the film was
extremely breathtaking, the majority of the
characters in the film weren't as amazing as
previous characters. This was true for most of
the characters with the exception of one:
As of today, May 30, Maleficent's story is being
told in full in the new film, Maleficent! The
story however, takes a different twist on the
classic story. While going into the film I was
expecting a story similar to the Disney Press
book, Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked
Queen. In that book, readers learn all about the
back story of how she turned into the Evil Queen
we all know and love. The story told in
Maleficent takes that approach one step further!
The film starts off with a young Maleficent fairy living
peacefully in the moors. When a young boy named Stefan makes his
way into the area, Maleficent and him become friends and
eventually fall in love. As time goes by Stefan eventually stops
arriving at their meet up location and Maleficent's heart is
broken. Years pass and the King decides he wants to invade the
moors where the fairies live. Maleficent wards them off making
the King proclaim that whoever destroys her will become his
Stefan, who currently is one of the King's aids,
decides to enter the moors and kill Maleficent.
He can't go through with it, but while she
sleeps he cuts off her wings and presents them
to the King. Stefan becomes King and him and his
new bride have a child named Aurora. Maleficent,
upset with the now King Stefan, places a curse
on Aurora that will cause her to be placed into
a sleep like death before her 16th birthday.
Aurora is put into a cottage with three good fairies where
Maleficent watches her grow up. Eventually, Aurora approaches
Maleficent and the two become friends while Aurora believes
Maleficent to be her Fairy Godmother. When her sixteenth
birthday arrives, Aurora returns to the castle and Stefan sends
her to a room to keep her from harm. She still pricks her finger
and falls into a sleep like death.
Maleficent, heartbroken over the loss of her Goddaughter, pleads
her forgiveness and gives her a kiss. Aurora reawakes and
Maleficent has a duel with King Stefan and kills him. Aurora
heads off to the moors with Maleficent where Maleficent
announces Aurora to be the king of the area.
The story told in Maleficent is drastically different from the
story told in the 1959 film, Sleeping Beauty. While there are
still similarities between the two, it is difficult to accept
some aspects of the story in Maleficent. The biggest difficulty
I had throughout the film was seeing Maleficent, who is often
referred to as the most villainous Disney character, be looked
at as a misunderstood character that we have empathy for.
Sure, Stefan broke her heart and she was just simply getting
revenge, the idea of having her terrorize an entire kingdom due
to not being invited to Aurora's coronation in Sleeping Beauty
shows how truly how awesome she is. The film was very well done,
but is not one of my favorite films Disney has created. I truly
believe if Sleeping Beauty wasn't such a staple in the Disney
film franchise, Maleficent would be a much more enjoyable film,
but due to the fact that Sleeping Beauty is such a classic, it
is difficult to change the mindset of who Maleficent truly is.
What did you think of the film?