Maleficent is Magnificent!

When I heard that there was going to be a movie all about Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty I was both excited (as I love Disney!) and also a little curious. How were they going to take the villain from the movie and make a stand alone, feature film about it?

IMG_5478As I mentioned, I love all things Disney and especially Disney Princesses. So of course, we own Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and I have watched it many times with my daughter. I also love that Disney features the villains in the products and parks. My daughter has a Maleficent Barbie Doll and I was more than happy to pose with Maleficent while at Disneyland Paris in 2012!

So when I began seeing the teaser movie posters of Angelina Jolie in character and seeing products at the Disney Store in NYC, I knew it was a movie that I was going to want to see when it came out!

malificentI rarely get out to a movie in a theatre that is not animated and without a kid in tow, so was really excited on Sunday when Erin, her sister Trina and I set off to see Maleficent! We got tickets to see it in 3D IMAX – a first for me! Let me just say, that the glasses alone are so fun! Even when just walking around the concessions, they made things seem so digitalized, and I was having fun (looking like a fool!) wearing them! The 3D IMAX experience is amazing, like you could really just reach out and touch the things on screen! But I digress…

I decided to not really read any reviews of the movie or read up a whole lot on it. Partly thinking that I knew the story of Sleeping Beauty and also, not to get a plotline set in my mind. Let me begin with my overall: (SOMEWHAT SPOILER ALERT) Maleficent is a fantastic movie. I was actually quite surprised with the storyline, not expecting it to be one of a love story and making Maleficent to be the victim and good guy versus the villain that we know her as! There was a moment in the film that Maleficent actually brought tears to my eyes.

When I go see a movie based on a book I’ve read or based on another movie, I always have a very hard time not comparing them. I more often than not feel that a movie never does a book justice. So going to see Maleficent, I too found myself comparing it against Sleeping Beauty. Here are a few things that stood out to me that I wished as remained similar:

  • Maleficent-ScreenRantIn Sleeping Beauty Maleficent is green. She is not here – no real biggie.
  • The fairies names are Merryweather, Fauna and Flora – I can’t even remember them here, but they were totally different and I wish they had been the same!
  • In Sleeping Beauty Aurora goes by Briar Rose until she is returned back to the castle when she turns 16
  • Prince Phillip looks to be about 15 years old in this movie, in Sleeping Beauty he seems a handsome, strong prince – so Prince Phillip in Maleficent kinda made me giggle 😛

There were more differences (queen died before Aurora came back, the way Prince Phillip comes into the castle at the end etc), but nothing that really bothered me too much. I was surprised though that since it was still Disney that made this movie, that there were things that were different between the two.

I came away really liking this movie! Angelina Jolie did a magnificent job as Maleficent. I haven’t actually seen many of her movies, but she really did a great job personifying Maleficent and showing emotions through her facial features without having to say anything.

I found the fairy creatures very similar styling to that of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which to me are more murky than majestic, and one of the reasons that I think my almost 7 year old daughter would be afraid of the movie overall. Even though she really, really wants to see it, in my opinion these creatures, plus the dragon and battle scenes makes this movie not appropriate for her age even with her knowing the base story of Sleeping Beauty. 

I highly recommend going to see Maleficent whether you have seen Sleeping Beauty or not. If you do know the back story of Maleficent, then I think you, like me, will be unexpectedly surprised by what you feel towards the villain by the time the movie is partially through! As the movie poster states: “Don’t believe the fairy tale!”

Maleficent-2014-149

If you have seen Maleficent, what did you think of it? Any comparisons that you noticed between it and Sleeping Beauty?