Now I gotta say, Sleeping Beauty really isn’t my favourite fairy tale by Disney. I actually quite dislike it, not for a particular reason but I just do (everyone has those “I just do” moments). However for some reason, when I heard about this movie I was going nuts at the thought of it being in theaters. And for me, I kind of knew the reason why: Angelina Jolie.
She is, without a doubt, one of my all time favourite actresses (I got Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston off the top of my head) and I usually enjoy most of her movies. Jolie has this classic look that no matter the genre of the movie, she always manages to bring to her role. So when I knew she was playing Maleficent, I told my boyfriend “I’m watching this the day it comes out.”
And I’m so happy that I did.
This movie is, without a doubt, one of the three most anticipated movie this year for me, and just like the first one I watched (TFiOS), it did not disappoint.
Honestly, thinking about it now, I don’t even know where to start!
But let’s start with the graphics. The graphics are amazing! There were faeries, trolls, and other mythical creatures that looks quite realistic.
The actors that were chosen were amazing, however for me, personally, I don’t think they cast a very good Aurora but that just might be because Elle Fanning didn’t really remind me as Aurora as much. So out of all the casting, that was the biggest problem I had with it but everything else was so perfect.
They definitely did alter the fairytale quite a bit, and honestly, if I was a bigger Sleeping Beauty fan I would’ve been more vocal about the changes, but honestly, I quite liked the changes. One of the things they changes is the crow that is seen by Maleficent’s side. He can change into a human by Maleficent’s will or, he can change into anything Maleficent wants him to (he also has a background story and quite a few lines of dialogue which is nice). Another thing that is changed is that from the very beginning, Maleficent and the crow knew where Aurora was so it wasn’t a huge secret. Another thing that changed, (Beware, huge spoiler if you haven’t seen the movie yet!!) is that Maleficent is nice and is Aurora’s “true love’s kiss”. I know that’s weird, considering how Prince Philip is meant to be her true love’s kiss and honestly, after seeing that scene, I was talking to my boyfriend and he asked me “what’s the point of Philip if he doesn’t change anything?” And I answered “If Disney completely cut out Philip, it would probably cause some sort of uprising within the crowd. Even though he was useless, at least he completed the smaller detail part of the original fairy tale cartoon.”
I loved this movie (is it obvious?) and I love it because it gives the audience a reason to sympathize with Maleficent and to actually see her side of things (which was the ultimate point of this movie). In this movie, her story is as follows (don’t read the rest of the paragraph if you don’t want spoilers): She met Stephan as a young child and became friends with him even though she was a faerie and he’s a human. As they got older they fell in love but Stephan was, like any human, ambitious and wanted to become king (he’s an orphan but aspires to become king eventually) and so they started to drift apart. When the human king was about to die, he said that whoever managed to avenge him and kill Maleficent, that person would become king. Stephan then tricked Maleficent and was going to kill her, but instead he cut off her wings. When she woke up she realized what happened and when she learned that Stephan became king at the cost of her wings and her trust, she became the evil Maleficent we had known for decades.
I expected this movie to be kind of dark because all the trailers and videos I watched showed only the dark side of things, but honestly, it was quite funny at times. Angelina Jolie managed to make a dark story into somewhat humorous. I think my favourite scenes is when toddler Aurora meets Maleficent and Maleficent tells her to go away but instead Aurora gets picked up and plays with Maleficent’s horns a bit. But what made the scene even more precious was that the baby Aurora is actually Angelina Jolie’s kid, so it was so cute seeing mother and daughter on screen.
Something different about this movie is that it is also a lot more violent than the original cartoon. It spends a lot more time dealing with how Stephan dealt with Maleficent’s curse and it was interesting to see how Stephan’s greed changed him from when they were kids. It’s a good and bad thing. A good thing in that it shows how both characters develop in 16 years and yet bad in that it’s totally new, and isn’t in the original cartoon so I’m iffy about whether or not I like the added scenes with Stephan and Maleficent battling it out.
Angelina Jolie did an amazing job with Maleficent as I knew she would. It is great to see her back on screen again and be able to see her beauty shine through despite her past. She is such an amazing role model, and I know that for the times to come, this movie will be watched adjacent to the original Sleeping Beauty cartoon, or maybe even instead of the original cartoon.
While there may be people out there who think that this movie is trying to make Maleficent seem nicer, what I see is that Disney is making Maleficent more human rather than just a faerie with not past. Because isn’t that who Maleficent is? She isn’t a real fairy but part human.
I prefer this version of Sleeping Beauty much more than the original Disney cartoon version. Don’t forget to watch it! It’s worth the ticket price.