One thing I absolutely love about Disney is they have perfected the art of story telling. Disney takes well-known stories and crafts them into works of art. Disney’s Maleficent is no different. We all know Disney’s beloved, classic version of Sleeping Beauty. It is a version though, not the true fairy tale. Now Disney reinvents the story again, this time with lots of surprises. Much of the story of Sleeping Beauty is not played out in this movie. You will see references here and there, but Disney pretty much tells a brand new story. I really liked that they changed the story because then I did not know what to expect.
I was able to preview this movie in IMAX 3d. I felt like I was part of the movie, not just watching it. The visual effects are stunning. The fairies and creatures in Maleficent’s land are creepy and beautiful at the same time. The scenes are grand and everyone needs to see this in the theater at least once, even if it is not in IMAX. I would think a lot of details would be missed on just a regular TV screen. The 3d was very well done, though I did notice if you are not looking at the scene straight on it kind of hurt your eyes.
Angelina Jolie’s performance was fabulous! I couldn’t imagine another actress pulling off such a spectacular performance as she did of Maleficent. Maleficent’s character is MUCH more than the villain. I cried with Maleficent as she mourned, got angry along side her when she was betrayed, and watched with amazement as the story of Maleficent turned her into something quite unexpected. Maleficent has grace, charm, power, and a sense of humor. Yes, you will laugh as Maleficent delivers some great deadpan humor. I loved Maleficent before and now I have a new respect and admiration for her.
Another source of humor is the three fairies that take care of Aurora. Those fairies make us chuckle in Sleeping Beauty as they fight over the color of Aurora’s dress, but in Maleficent they make you laugh out loud a lot as in this version they are not the best substitute moms for Aurora. The fairies do have different names in Maleficent and a couple references are thrown back to the classic Sleeping Beauty.
As for children seeing this movie. I would not recommend it for very young children. Some of the scenes are very intense, violence-wise. If your child can handle Once Upon a Time episodes, they might be able to deal with this movie.
Overall, I give this movie 4.5/5 stars.
The film stars Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville.
“Maleficent” is produced by Joe Roth and directed by Robert Stromberg, with Angelina Jolie, Don Hahn, Matt Smith, Palak Patel and Sarah Bradshaw serving as executive producers. Linda Woolverton wrote the screenplay. “Maleficent” opens in theaters on May 30, 2014.
Maleficent Official Trailers
Award-winning, American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey has recorded a unique reimagining of the renowned fairy-tale tune from Disney’s classic animated film “Sleeping Beauty,” which will feature in the end credits of the upcoming Disney film.
Maleficent Legacy Featurette
This is a great behind the scenes interview with Angelina Jolie.
Maleficent Movie Poster