Friday I went to see Disney’s Maleficent. I have been waiting for this movie for a VERY long time. I first heard it was in the works a few years ago when it was still just a rumor, and as the rumors began becoming fact I just got more and more excited about it. I first saw Sleeping Beauty when I was quite young, somewhere around the age of 5 or 7. (I’m still trying to figure that out.) I saw it in Amarillo with my dad and stepmom. They had not been married for very long, and it remains as one of the earliest memories of us doing something together as a new family. I love my stepmom. I adore her. No one, and I mean NO ONE, has a better stepmom. You’ll never convince me (it’s been tried- it failed *wink*). They took me to dinner and to the movie and I’ve never forgotten it. It’s one of my happiest memories. Aurora and Maleficent will always be my favorite Disney princess and villain. (Although, Belle and Gaston came close.) Sleeping Beauty was where I first heard Tchaikovsky and classical music and I’d go around singing Once Upon A Dream all the time. I even sang it to my boys as a lullaby when they were babies.
So, to say that I was a little trepidatious would be an understatement because this could have gone so wrong. I wasn’t sure how Angelina Jolie would pull it off. I was concerned about the story line, as well as how true they would stay to the fairy tale itself and the animated movie. Would they make Aurora too simple and pretty, or would they give her some substance? Would it just be a big joke, another epic fail? And how the hell were they going to work some of the finer details into the movie?
I sat spellbound through the whole movie. It did not disappoint. They gave Maleficent a history and a back story. They gave her a reason for being evil, and they made her an incredible character. I was very happy with Angelina Jolie’s performance, as well as Elle Fanning’s and the rest of the cast. I loved the scenes of Aurora growing up and how they tied Maleficent in with it. And when it came to the kiss, I knew what was going to happen. I’ve read too many re-vamped fairy tales, thanks to Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, to not be able to guess how that was going to turn out. And I was happy about it! It was a wonderful plot twist. My favorite part was that scene but not because of the scene itself. There was this young teenage girl sitting next to me. I think she may have been about 14. All through the movie I was conscious of her reactions to certain scenes. When this scene came on, and it didn’t go exactly as she thought, she began crying, and when the plot twist happened she covered her mouth and squealed in delight, the tears just coursing down her cheeks. It was the most moving thing to witness. I love movies like this.
It’s not meant to be serious. It’s fun and funny, and was just an all-around feel-good movie. They used some dialogue from the original animation, as well as the names of the characters (except for the three fairies-what was wrong with their names I ask you? I loved Flora, Fauna, & Merriweather!) And then the ending song for the credits was Lana del Ray’s version of Once Upon A Time. Angelina Jolie was stunning, Aurora was not dumbed down, and the story was thoughtfully done. Thank you, Disney, for getting this one right! I hope you will go see this movie.