My take on “Maleficent”….. mixed reviews. (Spoiler Warning)

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After a long wait and a lot of anticipation, I finally saw Disney’s “Maleficent” this weekend. I had been looking forward to this movie, partly because Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” was my all time favorite book when I was a little girl. I read it over and over again, loved the story, I can still see the pictures in my head. So, seeing Maleficent was a must. Granted, yes, I know it was a different take on the story, but it was a must see nonetheless. So, what did I think….?? I’m torn. Here’s why! (Again, spoiler warning).

First, let me say, Angelina Jolie was the perfect Maleficent. She nailed that role. I was never a fan of hers, the only movie she was in that I actually liked was The Bone Collector with Denzel Washington, and that was a long time ago! She did well, even if you’re not a fan, you have to give her that much. Well done. That being said….. she was the best part of the film, the rest was a bit hard to digest. Angelina Jolie carried the movie, the supporting characters weren’t as great. First, I have to get this part out of the way…. the Fairies. Oh my. No, not the fairies from the original story, these were new fairies, and they were really, really annoying. I’d even go as far as to say, that they put a damper on the movie. I think some changes are good, but not this one. Fairy fail. These ladies were to take care of Aurora, and they were incompetent and all they did was bicker, it was distracting to the story. Not trying to be negative, just honest with my observation and opinion.

The second poor choice in my opinion was the casting for the King. He wasn’t a strong actor, and wasn’t believable to the story. He was so bad, it was almost funny. Not to mention, his accent kept changing throughout the film! If you pay attention, he began with almost no accent, went to an English accent, and by the end of the film he was Scottish. Even my older son asked me why the King was starting to sound like the “big guy” from the Austin Powers movies! Good observation son! Bad…. just bad. The King and the Fairies were the big downers for me. So, I’ll try to move on to something positive.

My favorite parts of Maleficent would have to be when we got to see her interacting with the young Aurora. The way she was with the baby was funny. The best part was when the 5 year old Aurora, who was played by Angelina’s daughter Vivienne, was by her and said “Up” and wanted to be held. So cute. I really don’t know how she did that scene with a straight face, being that it was her daughter she was acting with. Adorable.

We got to see a different side of Maleficent in this movie. Instead of seeing her as the evil Disney Villain, she came across as someone who was misunderstood, and never evil to begin with. She was a good fairy, who had something bad happen to her, and it explained WHY she was so angry, and why she cursed the King’s daughter. She wasn’t born evil, it was from a bad circumstance. The movie made King Stefan out to be the bad guy, not Maleficent. I think overall people were cheering HER on instead of him, which isn’t how the story usually goes. People wanted her to win, and she did. The story had a happy ending, and Maleficent ended up basically taking on the Mother role for Aurora. My younger son LOVED the happy ending. My older son did not. He thought they ruined the idea of what Maleficent was supposed to be…. the Villain… not a fairy Godmother. There in lies the problem… what are we supposed to think about Maleficent now?

Disney events that feature Maleficent always show her as the scary Villain. She’s known as one of the top bad guys. But after seeing the new film, what are we to think? She’s good in the movie, bad everywhere else. It’s confusing. Is she to be feared in the parades and such, or do we thinks she’s really nice now? Just a thought to ponder….. Another perplexing thing for me, was the dragon scene. When WDW’s Festival of Fantasy Parade debuted, people kept asking me why Maleficent wasn’t on the dragon float. Well, it’s because for those of us who know the story, Maleficent actually IS the dragon, so she can’t be on the float. They are one in the same. Now, if you go by the new movie, she actually turns her sidekick into the dragon to help her defeat the King’s men. That’s not how it goes. So, now what? I’m not sure. Maybe I’m thinking into it too much.

I know we are in an era where people want to change things up, and old stories don’t seem to stick as well anymore. I liked Maleficent as the good guy, I thought she was really sweet deep down…. but that’s not how we’re supposed to feel. I think Disney could have kept the story line with her as the misunderstood Villain, with a pinch more of her evil side, and people would have loved her anyway. It’s Maleficent… she’s mean. We expect that. Some parts of the movie, like the Christening scene, were true to the Disney storybook. I’m not comparing this film to the OLD time story of Sleeping Beauty, I’m talking about Disney’s take. That’s the one I know. I know people will argue it and say “It’s called Maleficent, not Sleeping Beauty” and it’s not the same story. I get that. It’s just such a huge contrast. I assumed it would have a happy ending though, in true Disney fashion, just not the ending it had.

Overall, I did enjoy Maleficent. I think now, because of TMSM, I look at Disney Movies differently. I watch for certain things, and maybe analyze them more. If I were going in expecting a story that had nothing to do with the book that I knew when I was little, then I’d give it a two thumbs up. If I’m looking at it like a critic, then I’d only give it one thumb. Some parts were good, some not so good. The special effects were awesome though, very well done. The scenes where Maleficent was flying were so amazing, you felt like you were flying too. So many great effects. We even sat all the way through the credits, just in case there was something extra at the end, but there was nothing. Just FYI. You can always spot the true Disney fans in the theater because they don’t get up when the movie is over, they wait! Nothing to see here though folks!

I know by discussions in TMSM Fan Nation, that a lot of you may not agree with my opinion of this movie, which is fine. Our differences make for interesting discussions! I just thought it could have been done better, maybe I expected too much. Not a bad film though. Take Maleficent for what it is, not what you think it will be, and you’ll be fine! Thanks for reading!

Author: Michele

Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the book “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 96.5 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others.

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