Fairy Tales are a staple of childhood, especially the animated Disney versions. They are stories of a courageous hero/heroine who overcome their fears to do what is right and defeat the villain. And what little girl doesn’t dream of being a Princess?
Disney’s recent release Maleficent is a Fairy Tale with a Twist. It’s the story of Sleeping Beauty, but from the point of view of the villain, Maleficent. While it is an entertaining and creative twist on the Disney favorite, be aware that it is not the Fairy Tale you grew up with.
Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast as the lead heroine/villainess. That’s right…she’s both. This is the story about how Maleficent becomes a villain. The film explores her back story and we discover the reason she made the choice to become evil. Which leads us to question if she is really evil at all.
The film does a good job of exploring the pain and consequences that our actions can have on others, especially when we choose evil.
The film also shows how the unconditional love of a child can melt even the most hardest of hearts. Audiences will appreciate the maternal love that grows in the heart of Maleficent and the mother/daughter relationship that develops between her and Aurora.
While there are some good messages in the film, I also found there to be a problematic one. What happened to the Prince? Unfortunately, there is not one good male character in the film (I’m not counting the sidekick to Maleficent as he is technically a crow). While Disney has given us great Princesses, they have also given us great Princes…Prince Charming, Prince Naveen, Prince Adam, Prince Eric and of course Sleeping Beauty’s Prince Philip (just to name a few). But in Maleficent, the male characters are presented as either evil, corrupt, or (in the case of Prince Philip) completely useless. Not exactly the message that needs to be presented in regards to men.
If you want to see this film with your family, be aware of what you are going to see. It’s entertaining and the costumes are quite spectacular. Angelina Jolie is fantastic in the lead role. However, some parts may be a little scary for younger viewers. If, however, older kids want to see it, it’s a good idea for the parents to go with them so that they can discuss the themes that the film presents.