Disney’s animated version of “Sleeping Beauty” ever so many years ago gave us the wonderful tale of Aurora and how her loving parents tried to shield her from an evil sorceress who wanted to curse the child because she wasn’t invited to the party. As always we are made to hate the bad guy and cheer for the hero who rescues the princess, etc.
But what about the villain? What is it that makes someone so angry that they would lay such a curse upon a sweet little baby smiling in her crib? What happened to them to make them so vengeful? Who wronged them?
And this is what I love about Disney’s new movie, “Maleficent.” Because we finally get to see the side of the person we assumed so much about! We get to follow the life of Maleficent — her childhood, her first love, and her first heartbreak. We get to understand her side of the story and why she does the things she does. And I loved every single minute of it!
Disney brings to light another side of the story, with characters that you can’t believe you’re falling in love with. Angelina Jolie is excellently cast as the main character herself, with various cute blondes playing Aurora as she grows up. One was actually Angelina’s own daughter, Vivienne, because they were afraid any other young child would be frightened of her in her costume. The older version of Aurora is played by the lovely Elle Fanning, who brings a gentle kindness to her character that makes you want for her happiness in the end.
My other favorite characters were the three fairies that the king enlists to care for Aurora, just like in the original animated version. But in “Maleficent,” the fairies aren’t as clever and perfect as you might recall. They are a bit more realistic in that they are a bit inept at caring for a baby. And they don’t exactly have “mothering” instincts, either. Which makes them all the more amusing to watch as they attempt to raise this little girl. Imelda Staunton, one of my most favorite British actresses, plays one of the fairies and as always creates a character all her own.
The writing in the movie is truly well done, with more moments of laughter than I had expected. I was also impressed with the special effects in the film — Disney makes you wish you could step into the screen and play amongst the fairies and nymphs. Or grow wings and fly to the clouds with Maleficent. I can’t wait to see this movie again and share it with the rest of my family. Thank you very much to Jen and Disney for this opportunity to review “Maleficent.” It’s a hit you don’t want to miss on the big screen!
Merrie is a writer for the Jen is on a Journey and you can also find her at her blog, Sleepless Mornings: Merrie is the mother of two beautiful children, newly engaged–planning a June wedding, a scrapbooker, a baker, and always fun to be around!
Early screening passes were given in exchange for this honest review.