Two Kingdoms at War, two Shades of Grey, with Human Greed, and a Dark Fairy Godmother:
This is the best Disney film that I have ever watched! For one reason: It's Sleeping Beauty - with a Twist! The Twist comes in the form of some Disney Fairy Magic - as the storyline is now placed within: The Realms of the Fairies. Maleficent is a Fairy, who befriends a human boy (called Stefan), and for a time, it seems that both Humans and Fairies, can live together in Peace (after Stefan shows that he cares for Maleficent). But alas, as Stefan grows-up, he becomes more ambitious (wanting to become King), eventually leading him to betray Maleficent: resulting in Conflict and War (when Maleficent learns the reason behind Stefan's betrayal). My favourite character is Maleficent - and I enjoy watching the development of her personality: from a young Fairy (who Heals the Branch of a Tree), to a teenage Fairy (who shares her First Kiss with Stefan), to an adult Fairy (who forgives Stefan for ignoring her), to a vengeful Fairy (who places a Curse upon King Stefan's daughter - Princess Aurora), and finally, to a Fairy who seeks to atone for her mistake (by seeking a way in which to revoke the Curse). I was fully sold on the idea of Maleficent, being a Fairy, who just happens to have lost her way - when she chose to embrace the human emotions of hate and vengeance. It is here that we see the darker side of her character - as she turns the Moors (of the Fairy Kingdom) into a dark place: by growing a Wall of Thorns (to keep Humans out), and claiming a Fairy Throne for herself (thereby forcing various Mythical Creatures, to bow to her). Despite this, I was relieved when the storyline confirms that Maleficent is not evil - with the proof coming from three scenes (for me): when Maleficent helps to feed the Princess Aurora (after her appointed nannies are shown to be inadequate for the task), when Maleficent saves the life of the Princess Aurora (after she falls off a cliff) and when Maleficent later realises, that she is indeed, Princess Aurora's Fairy Godmother (as is pointed out by the Princess Aurora, herself!). On the other hand, I found the development of King Stefan's character to be somewhat ironic (as he was supposed to be the Hero): from a young King (who wants to protect his daughter), to an older King (who becomes consumed with the idea of revenge - using his Knights to hunt Maleficent down), to an uncaring King (who wishes to exploit a weakness of Fairies - the fact that Iron burns them), and eventually, to an insane King (who ignores both his wife, and his daughter - being concerned only with vengeance - for a wrong, that was started by him, in the first place!). I enjoyed the comedy that's found within this film - especially when some mud hits Maleficent in the face: as a result of Aurora having a mud-fight, with some Toad-like Fantasy Creatures (called Wallerbogs). I also found laughter in the scenes that revolve around Aurora's three appointed nannies (the Fairies Knotgrass, Flittle and Thistlewit) - as Maleficent causes them to have some disagreements (such as when it rains inside their cottage). When it comes to the Princess Aurora, I was impressed by the consistency of her character: as, no matter her age - she cares for the animals and woodland, and it is this that has the biggest influence on Maleficent (as Aurora steals what was left of her Heart). I also enjoyed the twist that surrounds Aurora's True Love's Kiss - especially when you realise, just who Aurora's True Love is! What about the sidekicks? My favourite has to be Diaval - a Raven that Maleficent saves from death (at the hands of a human), who becomes her Eyes within the Kingdom of Men. The Raven does not stop there though - as he befriends Aurora (by rocking her cradle), and is something of a shape-shifter, as he turns into a Wolf, and eventually into a Fire Breathing Dragon (who helps to save Maleficent - from a net made of Iron). What about my favourite scenes? I have three: when Maleficent takes to the Sky (flying through some breathtaking scenery - beating her powerful Fairy Wings), when Maleficent first embraces the Dark (walking to the Moors in a darkened mood - uprooting rocks in her anger) and when Aurora visits the Moors in the Evening (meeting some Blue-Glowing Fairies - and seeing some Pink Will-o'-the-wisps). Overall: Maleficent is an amazing film! The storyline kept me glued to my seat - which is the opposite to what I had expected (as we all know that Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger upon the Spindle of a Spinning Wheel). Yet, even knowing about the Spindle - does not diminish, the enjoyability of Maleficent, at all! And I should know, as I have now watched it five times, and it still seems just as Magical. I feel that Maleficent deserves to be watched in Blu-Ray/HD - as this is when the Moors, and the Mythical Creatures, come Truly to Life (I just love the clarity of the Night Time Moors, when viewed in Blu-Ray/HD). This is a film that made me feel that I was flying high above the clouds, and as such, it has stolen my Heart!
| Victorian Hawk | Web: Maleficent (Trailer)