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Maleficent Review

 

Maleficent 

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: Maleficent.

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!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Maleficent 

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 successor.

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.

Maleficent 

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.

Maleficent

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?

 

 


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