Movie Title: Maleficent
PG, 1 hour 37 minutes
In a Nutshell: This magical Disney retelling of Sleeping Beauty (1959) begins “Let us tell an old story anew and we shall see how well you know it.” The beautiful textures and fantastic artistry of this untold fairy tale creates such wonder that I knew I wanted to watch the movie again within 5 minutes of the opening.
Sure, there are some flaws in the story, but Angelina’s performance as villain and heroine is commanding (although her accent waivers at times). There is a delightful touch of humor, as well as enough of a twist in the story to keep you interested. Both Stefan and Maleficent steal “something far more precious than a jewel” because of different motivations, one learning life’s valuable lessons along the way and the other becoming more and more entranced with power. Which one is which?
In a sense, Maleficent is to Sleeping Beauty (1959) what Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz (but without all the singing.) Angelina Jolie describes Maleficent as "deliciously wicked."
• Following on the heels of Frozen’s successful twist of “true love’s kiss”, young girls will be reminded not to wait for a handsome prince to truly live.
• Forgiveness is far greater than revenge. We’ve all been wounded or felt betrayed by someone in our lives; the challenge is to not let it change us.
• Guys, don’t treat a woman’s heart lightly. Consider the warning in Congreve’s phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
Things I liked:
• I loved seeing “every manner of great and strange creatures” in the moor at the beginning of the movie. The phantasmic girls who danced above the water were stunning. There is so much to see in the first 10 minutes.
• Maleficent’s emerald eyes are mesmerizing. And those red lipstick lips...
• Maleficent is able to freeze people in a dream-like state, floating their bodies around in the air to move them to a new location. It’s a very cool effect and magic power I wish I had.
• The three fairy sisters are adorable, both as fairies and (SPOILER ALERT) humans. I love the little blue butterflies that circle around Flittle in both of her forms.
• I have a son who designs video games, so I especially notice the small details on weaponry and animated characters now. I thought the talon-like points on Maleficent’s wings were uber cool.
• I love being able to see Maleficent’s fierce horns on her head before they’re covered by the silky, black headdress. Notice her elf-shaped ears underneath the fabric.
• Elle Fanning is lovely and fills the character of Aurora with light. Her kindness and sweetness is so pure and sweet that it unnerves Maleficent and provides a contrast that draws you in. In an interview with ScreenSlam, Elle reveals that out of all the Disney princesses, she personally relates the most to Sleeping Beauty and would choose those costumes to wear as a little girl. When asked to select one word to describe the entire film, Elle said “Whimsical.” Good choice!
• Angelina Jolie's own daughter, Vivian, is in the movie, playing Maleficent as a toddler. Jolie admits it was awkward to say to her daughter "I don't like children" while dressed in devil horns.
Things I didn’t like:
* I didn’t really care for Maleficent’s carved cheekbones. I’ve never seen Angelina Jolie more beautiful than in The Tourist . Angelina brings a sexy elegance to the role of Maleficent.
• “You’re classically handsome” said the young Maleficent to Baltizar, an old, gnarled tree creature. By the way, you’ll get a kick out of his African-sounding clicking language.
• A handsome prince wanders through the forest and says to Maleficent “I’m looking for a girl.” She sneers “Of course you are.”
• “I was so lost in hatred and revenge. You stole what was left of my heart.” - Maleficent
• “There is an evil in this world: hatred and revenge.” – Maleficent
• Princess Aurora says to a hidden Maleficent “Don’t be afraid.” Maleficent states “I am not afraid.” Aurora invites “Then come out.” Warns Maleficent “Then you’ll be afraid.”
• “Oh come on….that was funny.” - Maleficent
• “Oh look. The little beastie is about to fall off the cliff.” - Maleficent
• “I need you to be my wings.” - Maleficent to Diaval
• “Oh dear. What an awkward situation.” - Maleficent
Tips for parents: This family flick provides a villain that isn’t too scary for little ones, but has some violence for its PG rating. Other things that children will see include a fire-breathing dragon, sword fights, vengeance, anger, sibling fighting, and jealousy.
The vocabulary word for the day for your kids is MALEFICENT: doing evil or harm; harmfully malicious; causing or capable of producing evil or mischief