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Tuesday At The Movies: Maleficent

Disney has been surprising me lately with their movies, they are still doing the happily ever after and true love’s kiss but finally with a twist and closer to reality.

I first sat up and noticed this in the two sisters tale, Frozen, where they took pot shots at true love’s kiss and turned the concept on its head. If you haven’t seen Frozen, you should. Not only is it an interesting storyline but also it has some great music. Here’s one of my favourite songs from Frozen –

Anyway coming back to Maleficent. Remember Sleeping Beauty, the girl who is cursed as a little babe by the evil fairy to prick her finger when she turned 16 on a spindle and fall into a deep sleep from which she would never be awoken? Well, the evil fairy was Maleficent. As the old story goes, when Princess Aurora was born, King Stefan had a grand celebration and to this party he invited the three fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.

As the party in in full swing Maleficent turns up in a burst of green flames, just after Flora and Fauna have bestowed the baby with blessings. Maleficent is offended and angry that she hasn’t been invited and curses the child to punish the parents. Merryweather who still hadn’t voiced her blessing, weakens the curse by saying Aurora could be awoken by a kiss from her true love, but she does not have the power to undo Maleficent’s curse.

To save the child from the curse the three good fairies hide her and bring her up but Maleficent finds her when she turns of age and lures her to a spindle, after with Aurora promptly pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep. It’s that this point that Prince Philip enters the story in full splendor, defeats Maleficent, kisses Sleeping Beauty and lives happily ever after with Aurora. The End.

BUT… But this is not the story Disney is saying in it’s new version Maleficent, that released this year. Directed by Robert Stromberg, Maleficent is a retelling of Walt Disney’s 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty, but from the evil fairy’s point of view. This is the story of Maleficent, her childhood, her life, her love, what hardens her heart and turns her to doing evil and how she heals her heart. This is the unheard of story, the one that is usually not told and Aurora isn’t the central character this time, it’s the evil fairy, Maleficent, who steals your heart.

Maleficent in 2014 vs 1959

Maleficent is played by Angelina Jolie, the Tomb Raider girl, who even after 13 years amazes me with her fitness, physique and figure. Jolie has done justice to the role and is an endearing character. The surprise for me was Diaval, the raven shape-shifter played by Sam Riley, who was just so cute and bewitching. 😀

Photo Credit: Celeste of afterword

In this movie Disney has not only stepped away from the archaic meaning of true love’s kiss but has also tried to explain that magic is a way that doesn’t involve lights, flashes and flames. Maleficent does have powers and they are magical but she also has strengths and personality. She has wings that take her places rather than teleportation, she has the support of a forest full of friends in a fight rather than spells and concoctions.

This is a Maleficent who has heart, she is someone you can feel for, sympathise with and above all else fall in love with. I enjoyed watching this movie and I highly recommend you watch it too!

The Trailer:

Trivia I found out:

Walt Disney’s 1959 version of Sleeping Beauty was inspired by the original French fairy tale ‘La Belle au bois dormant‘ (The Beauty Sleeping in the Wood) by Charles Perrault and Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet ‘The Sleeping Beauty‘. The Brothers Grimm wrote this story as ‘Little Briar Rose’ after hearing the orally transmitted version of Perrault’s story which was itself based on the ‘Sun, Moon, and Talia‘ by an Italian writer Giambattista Basile. It was fun reading all the versions and I’ve linked them here if you want to read them.

Young Aurora is played by Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, Angelina and Brad’s 6 year old daughter. Apparently all the children who saw Angelina on set as Maleficent started to cry and hence could not play the role, however Vivienne saw through the make-up, saw her mother and did not cry, leading to her playing the role.

The title song of Maleficent “Once Upon a Dream”, is from the 1959 film Sleeping Beauty. It was re-recorded by artist Lana Del Rey, who was handpicked by Angelina Jolie to perform the song. The 1959 song was based on Tchaikovsky’s “Grande valse villageoise (a.k.a. The Garland Waltz)” from his ballet, The Sleeping Beauty. And here’s the song with clips from both the Disney movies – the 1959 Sleeping Beauty and the 2014 Maleficent.

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