Disney’s Maleficent is in Theaters Today! #MaleficentEvent
*Disney provided me with an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to attend advance screenings of Maleficent and Planes: Fire and Rescue and to attend press junkets for both films. No other compensation was received. All thoughts are 100% my own.*
Disney’s live action film Maleficent opens in theaters everywhere today. It’s a unique twist on Disney’s sixteenth animated feature-length film in that it is told from the perspective of the villainess of the film: Maleficent. I was able to see an early screening of it, and I’m thrilled to finally be able to tell you all about it.
The film opens with Maleficent as a curious young fairy with magnificent wings living in the moors who develops a friendship with an ambitious poor boy named Stefan. As the years pass, friendship grows into something more: love. But trust and expectations of true love are violated, and Maleficent is left heartbroken.
Stefan, whose cruelty and lust for power and wealth secures his place as ruler over the human kingdom, slowly begins to descend into madness after Maleficent curses his infant daughter on the day of her christening.
Though Stefan entrusts his daughter into the care of three well-meaning fairies to raise until the day after her sixteenth birthday, Maleficent easily finds her and watches her grow over the years.
Eventually, Maleficent and the Princess Aurora meet face to face, and the classic tale that you thought you knew changes in ways that you could never have imagined.
I have literally spent hours of my life since seeing the first trailers of Maleficent dissecting and analyzing every line and every scene, trying to determine what the plot of the movie would be. What I had in mind and what I saw on the screen were not even close. It was only as the story began to unfold before my eyes that I started to see where they were going and the message the screenplay writer (Linda Woolverton) and the director (Robert Stromberg) wanted theater audiences to take away.
Though Maleficent has a PG rating for some mild violence, I would feel comfortable taking my six-year-old daughter to see the movie in theaters. Most of what I would call the gritty scenes take place off the screen, though the aftermath of it will definitely pull at heart strings.
As for the casting of the film, there is no one that is more perfect for the role of Maleficent than Angelina Jolie. She captures everything dark and mysterious about the character, yet also adds the perfect amount of softness and vulnerability to her.
Elle Fanning is stunning as Princess Aurora, not only for her fairy-tale princess good looks, but also for the grace, charm, and depth that she gives to the character. I am so glad that the film makers chose to expand on her especially.
Last but not least, Angelina Jolie’s daughter, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, could not have been a more perfect choice for Princess Aurora at the age of five. The chemistry between mother and daughter onscreen was incomparable and so touching.
Maleficent was even better than what I had imagined. As a fan of the original Sleeping Beauty, I was pleased with how they paid so much respect to some of the most iconic scenes in the animated film—especially the christening scene, pricking of the finger, and set up for True Love’s Kiss. If, like me, you love Sleeping Beauty, you may not be able to stop yourself from mouthing the words in the theater of some of Maleficent’s most famous lines.