I have to admit when I first saw the previews for Maleficent I was unsure about if I wanted to really see it, or take the kids. I also am not a big fan of the ‘old’ Angeline Jolie (I know I am not alone in this. She is beautiful and talented, but I just wasn’t a fan. Home wrecker, and “weirdo” – do we not remember the blood necklaces with good ol’ Billy Bob Thorton?) Plus how could going to see a ‘dark’ movie give me the warm fuzzies that other Disney movies do? I don’t go to sad movies, I don’t go to scary movies, and I definitely do not take my kids to them. But I decided to put my prejudiced aside and go in with an open mind. Disney surely wouldn’t disappoint right?
SPOILER ALERT: If you are going to see the film and want to go in knowing only what the previews have showed you, stop reading now =) If you are O.K. with a bit of background and then of course my personal opinion, keep reading:
The movie begins with Maleficent as a young fairy, happily protecting her forest and taking care of her kind. A happy, smiling young girl she meets a human boy, Stefan, who snuck into her forest to steal. Maleficent befriends the boy and they grow close through the years-with Stefan giving Maleficent what she thought was true loves first kiss. Eventually Stefan is tempted by power and status, never returning to the forest, and breaking Maleficent’s heart.
Years later the King, driven by the need for power tries to take over the forest and is met by brut force of Maleficent and her forest ‘crew’. The King put a price on Malefiecent’s head – promising the kingdom and his daughter to whomever could defeat the powerful fairy. Stefan knowing he had the key to Maleficent’s heart heads to the forest to deliver the head of the fairy to his King, but in weakness cannot murder her, but takes something almost as cherished – her wings.
At this point I knew where the story was going – how Maleficent became evil, and wanted to hurt the King in the worst way. I do wish that they would of given more of the turning of Maleficent. More of a history between the couple, more of Stefan’s past – more of who Maleficent really was. The turning from good to evil happened in just a few minutes on screen. I would of loved to see more of the process; but I guess since we all knew the story they didn’t feel like we needed anymore? Either way, moving on…
Maleficent hears the news that the new King & his Queen are expecting a child – a daughter. Maleficent, like in the original Sleeping Beauty, shows up uninvited to the christening and curses the child. She will prick her finger on a spinning wheel before night falls on her 16th birthday and fall into a death like sleep – only ‘true loves first kiss’ will be able to awaken her. She curses the child and curses the curse – that it cannot be reversed.
The King, in paranoid anguish, sends his daughter to live with 3 fairies who are trying to make amends with the humans. He orders them to keep and protect her and bring her home the day after her 16th birthday. The 3 fairies in Maleficent remind me of the 3 Stooges – funny, kind, but ones that should never be left alone with children. Maleficent finds the child, lovingly calling her ‘the beast’ and keeps her protected from harm while the fairies argue among themselves. Aurora dubs her as her fairy godmother and enjoys spending time in the forest with Maleficent and the mystical creatures. My favorite part of this movie is you can see, you can feel Maleficent grow to love this girl. She see’s herself in her – the carefree, happy, loving child that she once was in Aurora.
Maleficent realizes she made a mistake and tries to remove the curse – but to no avail. She makes her way to the Castle to do whatever she has to – even sacrifice herself – for the life of Aurora.
I won’t give away the ending – though I do feel like the movie could of given us a bit more background to the story of Maleficent & Stefan, as well as how her love grew for Aurora, this is a Disney film. Though it wasn’t animated I do believe the primary audience focus was children. My kids enjoyed this movie immensely and talked about it for days. I enjoyed the movie – I loved seeing the ‘other side of the story’ , I loved seeing the WHY she was evil, and that deep down she still had a heart. Like all Disney movies, there are lessons to be learned!
Though she looks pretty darn scary on the previews, my son who is a bit sensitive to this kind of thing had no problem – even with the 3D Imax screening. There was no foul language, but those who are sensitive to magic/fairies/all things mystical may want to be cautious. Some violence, but not a lot of blood. I’ve seen kids movies with a lot worse!
Though it’s not a solid hit like Frozen this will be a movie that will definitely be in any movie buffs collection (including my own)!