Maleficent Reviews WITH SPOILERS!

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alicemouse's picture
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Maleficent Reviews WITH SPOILERS!

Since it seems like quite a few people had the chance to see Maleficent over the weekend, I thought I'd start a place where we can share our reactions including plot spoilers if need be to make our points. Magic Mirror and I have been talking over a few points via private message and I though other folks might want to jump into the discussion!

I've seen the movie twice now and while I still don't love it, I do like it. I thoroughly enjoyed Angelina's performance, which I thought was absolutely stellar. I like the motivation for her to take revenge. I liked the acting of the other characters--even King Stefan, who most critics have panned. (I hated the three fairies, but I don't know that i would necessarily say that their acting was bad. I don't like the way their characters were written. That's not their fault.) Id on't understand the purpose of the name change, but I like the character of Diaval very much and I love that his origin story is that Maleficent saved a winged creature--a kindness which she had not been shown. I think the visuals were absolutely stunning. I thought the movie was captivating and I was glued to the screen with anticipation from start to finish--even during the moments where I was screaming "NOOO!! How could you!!" on the inside. Like I told MM, on the second viewing, I saw it with my bestie and her kids and through a PG lens, I think it's a great movie with some really positive themes for kids (greed is bad, it's never to late to take responsibility for your actions and redeem yourself, there's good in everyone, romantic infatuation is not true love). It's scary enough to be interesting, but has a "happily ever after" quality that should prevent most nightmares.

Now, the things that left me shaking my head (rather vigorously at times):

I've already mentioned that I hated the fairies. They were purposelessly renamed. Some of the actions and characteristics were moved from one fairy to another (versus SB). I thought the CGI for them was far too Oz-like. They were written as stupid and incompetent and the explanation for why they attended the Christening without fear (to foster good relations?? Fairies were terrified of humans and now a human had attacked their protector and cut off her wings) was very thin. They were supposed to be comic relief, but as someone who loved the three fairies from SB, their complete ineptitude made me very sad.

The song. I LOVE the Lana Del Rey version, but why did we have to wait for the end credits to hear the song? This song is integral to the plot in SB, but because the plot unraveled as the changes became haphazard, the song no longer fit. I feel like someone needed to be dreaming about meeting someone else! If for nothing else, so that this song could be used to drive the story and to provide motivation for one or more characters actions.

The leather pants--just, no. Were they more practical than gown/robe/cape for the epic battle scene? You bet. Could we have turned Maleficent into a dragon and avoided the need for a wardrobe change? Hmmm...I feel like I've seen that work somewhere before.

Maleficent lives. This is just one of many departures from SB that doesn't work for me. The christening scene was SO well done and it followed the scene from SB word for word. At the end, Aurora tells us that this is the way she remembers the story (which is bogus because much of it happened before she was born and some of it happened while she was asleep. She's not a reliable witness.) It doesn't matter what she remembers. We, the audience, saw several things happen--Aurora is cursed, fairies take baby to cottage, Maleficent continues to try to execute curse, prince & princess meet, princess pricks finger, prince is captured, price escapes and fights dragon, prince kills dragon, prince wakes sleeping girl. You might be able to toy with some of these events, but changing who ends up alive and dead is a pretty big departure. At the very least, Diaval should have died in dragon form--preferably while being stabbed in the heart by an enchanted sword. Maybe have Stefan kill Maleficent and then have Aurora avenge her death and kill Stefan. Or have Aurora and Phillip develop a real relationship instead of a baseless, useless infatuation that did nothing except acknowledge that there was a prince in the original movie. In SB, Phillip was actually one of the more capable princes with the help of the fairies. He cut down a thorn wall, fought a dragon, and rescued the princess. In Maleficent, he is completely useless.

So, those are some of my thoughts on the movie at the moment. If Sleeping Beauty didn't exist, I would have liked this movie a lot better. The fact remains that SB does exist and I can't un-watch it. I'd have preferred something a little darker and a little deeper--like Maleficent PG-13 version.

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designedbydisney's picture
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I would agree with these points. I also felt the mores looked too much like avatars pandora, the cgi creatures were very lame and mostly pointless, the little mid throwing fat ones really were awfully designed. The kiss being the same ending as frozen was really odd, and why did she have true love for aurora? That just sort of made no sense, why curse a baby and then raise it? Why did she begin to love her? It was all a bit strange.

I just sort of felt it was a rip off of wicked, I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but the whole "the story wasn't what you thought it was" theme is actually the same although wicked works with the wizard of oz where as this kind of works against sleeping beauty.

For me it was a disposable movie that you might watch on a lazy Sunday or over the holidays, sadly this is what has become of Disney's live action fantasy films, Alice in wonderland, oz, the pirates series ect all seem to be more about selling merchandise in the parks then about telling stories.

On a separate note I have noticed that disney have a new tactic, which seems to be to release films about attractions, rather then make attractions based on rides.

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I was cool with Maleficent being the only one who could provide "true love's kiss" because she was the only person in Aurora's life who actually took care of her. She ultimately provided for her as though Aurora was her child, so the parent-child bond being the only bond that is really "true love" was fine for me. (Diaval did the same, but only at Maleficent's direction.) At first she just wanted to protect the child long enough for the curse to be fulfilled, but I think it was pretty clear as Aurora grew up that Maleficent saw herself in the child that she had cursed and that turned her heart.

While I think this movie is seriously flawed and the story is different from what I wanted it to be, I love that it has sparked so much discussion and imagination. I love the "well what if this had happened instead" kind of stuff!

DH had an interesting perspective. He said that he would have preferred if Maleficent had been the illegitimate child of Stefan and another fairy and Stefan hadn't known that he was the father until Maleficent cursed Aurora. That way she could have stayed purely evil and it wouldn't have been necessary to re-write the story to redeem her at the end. I think this is what would have happened in the PG13 version.

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I was absolutely devastated by the portrayal of King Stefan, and what I felt was surely a worse fate and betrayal than death he enacted on Maleficent. WTF - horrific, even if we didn't see it on screen.

I think that I was so upset by this mainly because "King Stefan's" was the name I first came to know the restaurant in the castle as. It was my absolutely favorite place to eat (before it became Cinderella's Royal Table) and the happy, jovial King Stefan was just a part of my childhood. This selfish, sinister, weasel just puked all over those happy memories.

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Kristen K. wrote:
I was absolutely devastated by the portrayal of King Stefan, and what I felt was surely a worse fate and betrayal than death he enacted on Maleficent. WTF - horrific, even if we didn't see it on screen.

I think that I was so upset by this mainly because "King Stefan's" was the name I first came to know the restaurant in the castle as. It was my absolutely favorite place to eat (before it became Cinderella's Royal Table) and the happy, jovial King Stefan was just a part of my childhood. This selfish, sinister, weasel just puked all over those happy memories.

Wow! I hadn't even considered that! (I never knew CRT by any other name. I'm pretty sure that, a la many parents who refuse to wait in the 3-hour Anna and Elsa line, my parents probably told me that the Castle was closed when we were there to avoid having to pay to eat there! laugh) My only knowledge of King Stefan is as a very flat character from Sleeping Beauty. I wonder how folks who grew up on Disneyland feel about that aspect since they even have Sleeping Beauty's castle--surely they had some grand celebrations involving their entire royal family for the movie premier and subsequent anniversaries. There must be a lot of folks with similar memories and feelings.

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December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

Mandy's picture
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Anyone else have issues with Aurora's mother? One scene we find out that she is sick but there is really no other mention of her when Aurora returns but they didn't really say whether she died or not. I really loved the connection between Maleficent and Stefan. To me that, explained why Maleficent hated the royal family. Not sure if they mentioned that in Sleeping Beauty. I don't like that King Stefan obsessed with killing Maleficent. I don't like that he was greedy either. He was a very good looking man though.

I didn't get the memo that Maleficent wasn't going to be what was already pre-established in SB. I was hoping for the dance to happen between Philip and Aurora. I agree with Alicemouse that the fairies were complete morons and couldn't take care of Aurora properly, honestly, I'm surprised she lived before Maleficent stepped in.

I loved the movie overall and Angelina was the prefect fit for Maleficent.

JoAnn C's picture
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I saw the movie this afternoon so I can finally read what was on this thread. I have to say that I loved how it ended. I haven't see Sleepy Beauty in years and honestly don't have many memories from it. I think it helped to not make comparisons between the two while watching it. I thought Angelina Jolie did a terrific job in the role. Although, I thought the scene where she was screaming when she discovered her wings were cut off was a bit fake. As the movie progressed, I figured Maleficent would be the one to give the "true love kiss" to awaken Aurora.

I didn't care for the three fairies either. They were supposed to be taking care of her. Did they ever wonder where she went when she left the cottage every day?? I did notice the Avatar-like qualities with the Moors.

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Magic Days's picture
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I enjoyed the movie. But I love maleficent so it's only natural for me to eat up the wicked twist. I'm sure I should find something disappointing in the movie but I'm not seeing anything. I was entertained.

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OK, first off let me get this out of the way... I despise going to theaters. Honestly, I ALWAYS have awful experiences. yuck

That being said, I just saw Maleficent for the first time tonight... eek

OMG! I LOVED it. I just hit play and I am watching it again. It is so different from what I expected. What a wonderful movie. This one may stay in the DVD player for a while.

Just wanted to throw in my late review!!!!! Now shhhhh, back to the movie! laugh

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I watched it the other night on YouTube. I have a whole new outlook on Maleficent. I like her!

designedbydisney's picture
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I too have re watched this movie and I hated it more than the first time, sorry every one this wasn't for me.

JMed's picture
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I played it 3 times in a row. And may watch it again tonight. Joe hasn't seen it and he was mad I watched without him lol.

I really liked her too Mr Hub!

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I bought the DVD this week. It will be watched this weekend.

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JMed's picture
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JoAnn C wrote:
I bought the DVD this week. It will be watched this weekend.

awesome awesome yay yay

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I thought it was a great movie. I also thought Angelina Jolie was the perfect fit. Elle fanning on the other hand, meh.

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I loved the wry cynical humor Maleficent was allowed to have...

" It's so ugly, I almost feel sorry for it. "