Ok so many of you may know who is my end all be all of evil villains...So when Angelina Jolie was cast I was a bit hesitant....
But like any good Disney addict following the character I HAD to go see this movie! Boy am I glad I did! It was AWESOME!!! The landscapes and costuming were simply breathtaking! (Though I do think they needed some purple for Maleficent but I understand it would have taken away from the continuity of the film design.) Seeing Maleficent's story told as it never has been before made her a much more relate-able and humane character. If you are going to see this film to relive Sleeping Beauty it will not happen. Readers beware from this point on there will be a few spoilers!!
As I stated before I felt the casting choice was a bit off...Until I saw the film. Angelina beautifully embodied this villain. This is the moment in the film that really made me say "Ok I am good with this now."
This is what the original looked like....
Really Maleficent's story is one of heartbreak and betrayal by the king. Her curse was not so much aimed at Aurora as the king himself. As children Maleficent and Stefan become friends first and then move of a love interest. As they grew older Stefan kissed Maleficent and told her it was true love's kiss. As Stefan went off to pursue is desires for money and power Maleficent grew to lead and protect the Moors.
The king decided he wanted to take the magic and riches the Moors had and led his kingdom to battle. Maleficent protected her kingdom from the king. She called upon the trees to stand with her to protect their lands. Something I thought was beautiful in this was one of the "protectors" Looked quite like her dragon. (Don't worry...The actual dragon is still in the film later.)
In protecting her people the king wanted her dead. He vowed to make however killed her king. As this was always Stefans dream he paid Maleficent a visit. After them talking for the night and Maleficent becoming once again comfortable Stefan drugged her. Unable to kill her in her sleep he cut off her wings to present to the king as proof of her death. And Stefan was made king based on the promise given.
Upon Maleficent's awaking and realization of what happen she first seems a bit broken but you see her desire for revenge. One thing I really liked in this moment was the incorporation of Maleficent's staff. In this version she created the staff from a branch to aid her in walking without her wings.
Just after this Maleficent finds a human torturing a Raven. This of course is Diablo (Now his name is Diaval.) Maleficent saves him from the human by making him human as well. Diaval pledges his allegiance to Maleficent for saving him. Throughout the film Diaval is changed from human to raven as well as a wolf and finally the Dragon.
Diaval reports to Maleficent that Aurora is born and there is to be a big celebration. Cut to the kingdom and we see the celebration happening complete with the 3 faeries: Flora, Fauna, & Merryweather (Now named Knotgrass, Thistlewit, & Flittle) Who are there to bestow their gifts on the princess. As in Sleeping beauty she is bestowed with Beauty and happiness by the first 2 faeries. As the 3rd faerie is making her wish Maleficent enters. This is where there was a slight change in the story. Instead of Maleficent cursing death and the faerie changing it to just sleep Maleficent only wishes the sleep. The curse is for her to prick her finger on a spinning wheel before sunset on her 16th birthday. She will then sleep forever. Upon King Stefan pleading and even getting on his knees to beg she decides to change the curse slightly. Instead of sleeping forever Aurora can only be awoken by true love's kiss. A slight to Stefan's worlds when they where children. Maleficent makes this an unbreakable curse.
As you can see in this there is no need for the 3rd faerie to make her wish at this point to put the kingdom to sleep for 100 years.
The king sends Aurora away with the Faeries until the day after her 16th birthday to protect her. All of the spinning wheels in the kingdom are taken to the palace and the wheels are burned. They are left in a unused room in the castle in heaps.
Maleficent watches over Aurora as she is growing when she realizes the faeries do not know how to care for a child. She uses Diaval to help protect Aurora as well. I think at this point she was just watching her to make sure her curse would happen. However as Aurora grows Maleficent grows fond of her.
Maleficent creates the forest of thorns to protect her kingdom from the king.
Aurora is very curious about the forest. One day when she is gazing at the thorns the kings army is also in the woods gearing up for battle. Maleficent puts Aurora to sleep and uses Diavol as a wolf to protect her kingdom. Upon defeat Maleficents curiosity leads to her bringing Aurora into her kingdom. When Aurora awakens she is mesmerized by all the Fae in the land as Maleficent watches on.
Aurora fells Maleficent watching her and asks her to step forward. Aurora says she has always know Maleficent was watching her and protecting her. She says Maleficent is her Fairy Godmother (Nice Disney traditional nod there.) When Maleficent asks why she thinks that Aurora tells her she has always she her shadow. They begin spending time together in Maleficents Kingdom and grow very close. Maleficent tries to lift the curse from Aurora but of course she made it binding.
Aurora makes known to Maleficent she wishes to live with her in Moor Land. This leads Maleficent to encourage her to stay there before her 16th birthday in way of trying to block the curse.
It is on her way home to meet the Faeries Aurora meets Price Philip. It is just a chance encounter but they are smitten with each other at that time.
When Aurora arrives home to speak with the Faeries the accidentally tell her about her father being alive and the king. Aurora goes to find her father and be with him. When the king sees his daughter he orders her to be locked in her room until the next day (Her birthday). However Aurora finds a way out and is drawn to the room with all the old spinning wheels. The curse magically puts one of the wheels back together and she pricks her finger as desired.
Of course Aurora is found and taken to her bed. The king is gearing up for battle. In the meantime Maleficent is doing all she can to make it possible to break the curse. She does not believe in true love's kiss but Diaval convinces her that Prince Philip is her only possible chance. She puts Philip to sleep and travels to the castle with him to try to help Aurora.
The king knowing Maleficents weakness has built a forest of thorns himself around the castle to keep her out. Maleficent must herself battle through the thorns to get to Aurora. She enters the castle with only slight battles from guards and delivers Philip to Aurora's door. Upon learning Philip is a prince the faeries force Philip to kiss her trying to break the curse. This does not work.
Maleficent stands by Auroras beside with remorse about the curse. Crying she kisses Auroras forehead before she leaves the room and this wakes Aurora up. (True Love like no other...a woman's love for a child.) Aurora still wants to go and live with Maleficent upon awakening. As they are trying to leave the castle a battle ensues.
The king protected by Maleficents weakness seems poised to defeat Maleficent. She tries turning Diaval into her Dragon to protect her.
It is not however Diaval that saves her but Aurora herself. Upon finding Maleficents still living wings in the castle she sets them free. As the king is ready to kill Maleficent her wings are returned to her body. The king and Maleficent battle. Maleficent defeats the king and spares him his life. The king is not as just and tries to kill Maleficent again. He falls off the castle tower and dies.
In the end we find Aurora and Maleficent back in the Land of the Moors. Maleficent removes her crown and announces Aurora will be queen. Philip is there as well but as you can see her was really not that relevant to this beautiful re-imagining of a classic tale. In this story both Aurora and Maleficent get their happy ending. JUST BRILLIANT!!
Licks & Lashes,