Disney Blurs The Lines Of Heroes And Villains In "Maleficent"

"Sleeping Beauty" was the first Disney movie I saw as a child. What more could a young boy want then an epic story of a prince fighting a great evil (that just so happens to battle a witch that turns into a fire breathing dragon) for the love of his damsel in distress. As I grew up, however, that young boy wanted more than just the usual 'knight in shining armor' story. So when I was given the opportunity to see Disney's new take on this classic story, "Maleficent," I jumped at the chance...and I wasn't disappointed.

From the beginning, "Maleficent" is a retelling of "Sleeping Beauty" from the view point of one of the most Iconic Disney villains ever, Maleficent played by Angelina Jolie. Audiences first meet Maleficent as a child who befriends a young boy named Stefan in the forest. Events unfold in Maleficent's life, and the audience learns the significant hurt and heart ache that drove her to deliver the curse to baby Aurora in attempt to destroy the human kingdom of (now King) Stefan. With the groundwork laid, this 97-minute ride didn't disappoint in visual effects or action sequences. One minute, the story unfolds explaining why Maleficent does the things she does, and the next we are treated with a stunning homage to the original Disney animated movie. "Maleficent" takes some liberties with the story as we know it, but overall the retelling doesn't diminish the classic tale and is wrapped up beautifully.

I am not a huge proponent of 3D movies. In fact I prefer them not to be because I find that the 3D tends to give me a headache. After seeing "Maleficent" in 3D, I think you would be missing out on some truly incredible effects that just won't translate to a standard screen. The opening scene is one of these beautiful points where the 3D effect is used to highlight an incredible sequence when the stage is set. The next effect that is heightened by the 3D is Maleficent's green fire. Just in the palace christening alone, the green fire takes on an incredible life of its own, swirling and undulating as if it were a living, breathing creature. The overall 3D isn't perfect, and I could blame the theatre or the effects themselves, but these two scenes still made the 3D completely worthwhile to me.

Beyond the beautiful effects, well timed story, and interesting characters, I can't help but see how this is not necessarily a children's movie. This is a dark story with a raw, aggressive and violent opening battle scene. There were several occasions where I actually grimaced at the prospect of what was going to happen even if the screen didn't show the pain and blood. The audience knew it was coming and that is all that matters. This is definitely something to consider before taking your 5 or 7 year old to this movie.

While young children may find this movie difficult or even scary, tweens and teens are going to eat this up. This isn't your average Disney 'Princess' movie and it moves away from the concepts of a black and white, good and evil world into many shades of gray. This is a world where a hero becomes the villain and the villain becomes the hero. This is a story of betrayal, revenge, and redemption, a story of greed and insanity. However it also is a story about how one can heal from tragic events and moving forward with love.

"Maleficent" is an exciting movie that any fan of "Sleeping Beauty" should be sure to see. Grab your tickets ahead of time through our affiliate Fandango link below so you don't have to stand in line!


We would love to know what you think about this different departure of the classic Disney story. Are you excited to see it? Did you see it and like it? Tell us what you thought.

Thanks so much to Erik H. for attending the preview of Maleficent in order to share it with our readers.

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 06/02/2014 - 12:07:

Kristen K.'s picture

I loved this movie! Very dark and broody, but awesome.

Jessica M wrote on Mon, 06/02/2014 - 15:22:

Jessica M's picture

I saw Maleficent yesterday with the family!! Was throughly impressed after waiting two years for this. very dark on some scenes and was really glad we didn't see that part when the wings were stolen. shudder, my heart cried with her. overall good movie.

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