Maleficent is the new take on the 1959’s Sleeping Beauty (Clyde Geronimi), stepping away from animation and into the world of CGI. When Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is betrayed by the king and former lover, she takes revenge by bestowing a curse upon his beautiful baby daughter Aurora (Elle Fanning). “Upon her 16th birthday she shall place her finger upon the pin of a spinning wheel and fall into a sleep like death, only to be awaken by true loves kiss”. Therefore, to save the princess, the king sends her into the woods with the three fairies to raise her as their own, only to return when Aurora is 16 and a day. However, to ensure that the curse becomes a reality, maleficent follows the princess and watches her grow. Eventually Maleficent falls in love with Aurora and despite the efforts of Prince Phillip (Brenton Thwaites) bestowing true loves kiss, Maleficent is able to wake her form her eternal sleep. Showing the true loves can be between friends and family rather than a romantic partner.
This therefore removes the original idea that the prince can only save the princess, showing the power of love. This could mean that the new representation of love is able to remove the idea of damsel in distress from the princess and give women a stronger representation within the franchise. Aurora is also able to able to live happily ever after in the land of the fairies, rather than with Prince Philip in the castle. This again changes the rules and gives audience the message that we don’t need to find love to be happy.
Maleficent has truly changed the rules of the Disney franchise by turning one of the most famous villains into a loving hero and with Angelina Jolie playing the evil which, how can you not fall in love with her? If they have managed to change the fairy-tale of sleeping beauty so much it makes me wonder what they have in store for the remake of Cinderella (Kenneth Branagh, 2015).
By moving away from the original animation and diving into CGI, the world of Maleficent really is brought to life and looks fantastic. However, this realism comes at the price of making the once adored children’s film a whole lot more sinister. However, my only issue with the film is how Aurora is supposed to be extremely beautiful. BUT Elle Fanning is more cute than pretty. If it was up to me she would have been played by Halston Sage or someone who resembles the original.
Therefore, if you have not yet seen the no singing and no dancing remake of the classic sleeping beauty I ask you; how have you not seen this?
April Ely: Deathbyapril.
Check out the trailer for Cinderella (Kenneth Branagh, 2015).