Maleficent opened in theaters this weekend. I was so excited for the release of this film. Between the multiple trailers and extended preview I saw in Disneyland at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration I was prepared to see a dark version of the timeless tale sleeping beauty. What I ended up seeing was the timeless Disney tale of true love’s kiss completely redefined, and my pending Maleficent Movie Review took a different direction.
“Maleficent” explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty” and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.
I chose not to take my kids to the premiere even though they had already viewed the same extended version in Disneyland that I did. When we were shown the trailer at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, the adorable Elle Fanning, that plays Aurora, came out with Maleficent Producer, Don Hahn to talk about the movie.
I think if you asked my kids about the preview they saw, they would only remember the sweet treats and pretty Elle up on stage, and the visit of Maleficent thundering into the room to shake up the party!
What I wasn’t expecting, was to be blown away by the moving story of what drove the young and good, Maleficent to turn into such a wicked villain. What could turn such a loving and caring woodland type fairy to be filled with such hate and anger she would want to curse the newborn, Aurora.
I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I will say I was completely brought to tears more than once in the movie in regards to seeing the inner heartbreak and torment that the transformed Maleficent suffers. Yes, there are fight scenes, but nothing that would cause great concern or nightmares for my children. What they will see is a lesson that nothing good will ever come from holding onto hate inside.
Along with a lesson, there were also many moments of humor and tenderness brought into the story by the talented Angelina Jolie. I giggles more than a few times during the screening. In my opinion, the most intense and dark scenes for the movie, are the ones shown in the multiple trailers online and TV. The movie itself, is completely appropriate for school aged children. However, before I take my children to see the movie, I’ll more than likely prepare them for the few scenes that I think may cause them stress. Both my children are a little sensitive, and aren’t used to viewing such fantasy styled movies. Mythical creatures are relatively new to them, but it’s not something I feel they need to be shielded from in any sense, just “prepared for” when the scary, jagged tree that’s larger than life, actually comes to life.
I highly recommend checking out the fantastically created Maleficent for yourself, and don’t forget to take the whole family with you. It was truly a magical movie.
What’s a movie you saw that was a total surprise in its story development?