Chris Falcioni ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor
One of the most villainous Disney characters ever created, Maleficent’s pure evil and hatred of the enchanted dominion of Sleeping Beauty has lived on in the nightmares of children everywhere since 1959. She has become one of the most iconic images of fairytale lore and is most famous for cursing a baby Princess Aurora to die on her 16th birthday, kidnapping Prince Phillip into a dungeon of trolls, and turning into a terrible fire-breathing dragon. This sorceress ranks among the worst of the worst villains in storytelling history.
But has anyone considered Maleficent’s perspective?
Walt Disney Pictures was hoping you’d ask. In the new trailer for their upcoming film Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie in a markedly less green version of the iconic character, there is an intriguing mix of old and new. The most intriguing snippets in the trailer are bits from the original animated film paired with nearly shot-for-shot recreations of these moments shot in live action. This, of course, assumes that Disney will keep intact the integrity of the story, and lets us feel like we are being brought into the authentic world of Sleeping Beauty before introducing us to some newly created aspects of the story that have yet to be told.
The trailer does a fantastic job of blending in the new elements of the movie with the clearly classic ones. For one thing, Diablo, Maleficent’s raven in the film, turns into a human for a moment in the trailer, which adds a new human character for Jolie’s villain to discuss her evil plans. The iconic, evil living trees seem to act like an additional character, as well, forcing confrontations between Maleficent and Aurora (Elle Fanning) to be visually compelling.
Of course, the insistence that the story be faithful to the animated classic makes matters complicated: How can Maleficent simultaneously curse Aurora, then turn into her mentor? And then, if we assume that the villain’s legendary transformation will be included, how will she be justified in attempting to kill the one person Aurora loves most by turning into a literal heartless fire-breathing monster?
Mark your calendars for May 30th: You’ll want to get invited to this party.