By Nancy Johnson Horn, Editor —
Think you know the story of Sleeping Beauty? In Disney’s Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning, the story is very different. It’s not just about Aurora getting cursed (though that does happen) and sleeping for 100 years.
This is Maleficent’s tale and while it’s it’s a dark one, there is a transformation that makes it so much different than the other Disney version of the story of Sleeping Beauty. Young Malecifent is a parentless fairy that lives in the moors, which is a magical place. She flies around (yes, she has wings) and watches over the land. She loves every creature in her land and they love her too (and listen to her). She meets a human boy, Stefan, who is an orphan also and lives in the kingdom next door (note: he is not royalty when they meet). While they spend many years together and love each other, things don’t exactly go the way that you think it might.
She ends up getting very angry at him (cue the Sleeping Beauty Curse) and vows revenge.
Aurora is sent to live with the three fairies (who really have NO clue how to take care of a baby. You won’t believe who helps to take care of her, even if it’s not for the reason you’d expect.
However, Malecifent isn’t exactly pure villain. Her relationship with Aurora is pretty interesting (even though it’s not always for good reasons) and not what you think it would be. While I really don’t want to spoil things, this is a must see (after blogging for 7 years, take my advice).
Angelina Joie is luminous in this role. She’s absolutely magnetic, has cheekbones you could cut glass with and she can act, even with just her eyes.
I was riveted whenever she came onto the screen. Jolie also has good comic timing, which you wouldn’t expect (she’s not exactly known for humor). Her “sidekick” Diavel (who takes the form of a bird) has a interesting relationship with Maleficent. He obeys her unquestioningly, but isn’t always happy about it.
Should you take young kids?
It’s a PG Movie, but I’d have to go with a over 7 or 8 years old and up on this one. It is a dark story and while it isn’t bloody or gory, there is some violence and there is a quest for revenge. There isn’t any nudity or swearing.
Here’s a preview:
This video shows the similarities in between the classic Disney “Sleeping Beauty” and “Maleficent”. You’ll be amazed.
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Thank you to Disney for inviting me to a preview. As always, all opinions are my own.