'; Movie Review: Maleficent - WDW Hints
Monday 10 June 2024
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Movie Review: Maleficent

Disclaimer: The first half of this review is spoiler-free. I do not want to rob you of any surprise-factor that Maleficent may contain. After the poster image below is my full review of the movie (spoilers included.) My recommendation is to see the movie first before reading any spoilers – You’ll be glad if you wait!

Maleficent is brilliant, unexpected and heart-warming! Disney fans will certainly enjoy this film. While staying mostly true to the Sleeping Beauty storyline, the story told within Maleficent is extended to show Maleficent and Stefan as kids, how Stefan became King, and what becomes of the kingdom after Aurora is awoken.

The film tells more of Maleficent’s side to the story. While Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie) is evil and uses her magic to harm others, a somewhat softer-side is revealed. You’ll also laugh at Maleficent’s sarcastic remarks and dry humor. The movie plays out in a way that you find yourself actually liking Maleficent, but then feeling conflicted because you know how Sleeping Beauty ends… 

We did view the movie in IMAX 3D. It helped enhance the special effects, as there are some neat aerial shots (you almost feel as if you’re flying!) as well as the colorful scenery. Seeing the movie in 3D though isn’t necessary.

The biggest question I’m receiving is… Can I take my children? While the movie is rated PG, there are intense moments, a battle scene, dark imagery, and it can get very loud at times. My recommendation would be not to take children under the age of 8. I believe some kids between the ages of 8 and 10 could handle it based on their maturity level and experience with similar movies. Parents know their own children best… if you’re in doubt, see it first without the kids or wait for the Blu-Ray/DVD release.

Warning! Below the Maleficent movie poster is my full review of the film (with spoilers!) If you haven’t seen Maleficent yet, stop reading! Come back after you’ve viewed the film to read our review and let us know what you thought of Maleficent!

Full Review
As I opened before, this film was brilliant, unexpected and heart-warming! The Sleeping Beauty storyline was played out from the time of Maleficent’s curse upon Aurora up until Prince Phillip’s kiss. But his kiss didn’t wake her! Just like in Frozen, “an act of true love” wasn’t meant in a romantic way, and neither is “true love’s kiss” meant to be romantic. Rather, Maleficent cared for and loved Aurora, and her kiss upon Aurora’s forehead is what broke the curse.

In Maleficent, King Stefan (Sharlto Copley) is the actual villain. Greed for power is what lead him to cut off Maleficent’s wings. From then on, the two had it out for each other. Maleficent kept a watchful eye on Aurora (Elle Fanning) as she grew up. Aurora was fearless in meeting Maleficent, and the two eventually became friends. Maleficent wanted to revoke the curse and tried, but couldn’t. It had to be carried out. In an attempt to break the curse quickly, Maleficent lead Prince Phillip (Brenton Thwaites) to the castle where he kissed Aurora – but she didn’t wake. In an apology to the sleeping Aurora, and a vow to watch over her and protect her as long as she lived, Maleficent bent down and kissed Aurora’s forehead. The curse was lifted. In one final attempt to kill Maleficent, King Stefan and his men began one final battle. During the fight, Aurora found Maleficent’s wings, and returned them to Maleficent – such a redeeming moment. King Stefan perished, Aurora did marry Prince Phillip, but Aurora’s kingdom and Maleficent’s kingdom united and were no longer at war now that Aurora reigned over both.

So, yes, the storyline of Maleficent does break away from Sleeping Beauty at the end. Some critics may disapprove that the original storyline was changed. I believe it was executed very well, but won’t choose one story over the other as “how it truly happened.” I will always view the two movies as separate. 

I certainly recommend ALL Disney fans go and see Maleficent. Thanks to the Walt Disney Studios and the Owens Group for the complementary advanced screening!

Terri is owner, creator and an author for WDW Hints. She enjoys taking less-traveled paths of WDW and sharing her lesser-known discoveries with you!