When I was a kid my little sister watched Sleeping Beauty on infinite repeat. She had a way of getting hooked on a movie and just running it over and over until you were sure the tape would wear out. Because of this, I am very familiar with the story and to be honest, Maleficent has always been one of my favorite Disney villains. I had heard that they made her the good guy somehow in the new live-action movie and I have to say I was a bit grumpy going in to it. I don’t like it when they do the “untold story” on established characters or change them to fit some new role. That’s just not cool.
However, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. In this film, she starts out good but is horribly and violently betrayed and disfigured by her supposed ‘true love.’ When she goes dark afterward, you really feel for her. They did make a few changes to the Sleeping Beauty story that’s going to leave a lot of kids confused when the animated film’s Blu-Ray gets released later this year. And thought I dislike changes like this, they weren’t too bad except for the fact that Aurora is only asleep for about half an hour. Nobody even knew she was asleep at all and her nap was certainly not long enough to become the ‘legendary’ Sleeping Beauty. That’s a head-scratcher.
I’ve always liked Angelina Jolie, though I can’t say I’ve liked very many of her movies. She’s a really good actress who chooses bad movies to be in. Maleficent, however, seems like the role she was born to play. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish.
Quick disclaimer though for those of you with young ones. Despite being rated PG, Maleficent is pretty dark and scary at times. I would definitely be careful unless you want lots of nightmares. This one has them.