Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mickey Mouse Movie House-Maleficent *SPOILERS*

“You poor simple fools, thinking you could defeat me! Me, the Mistress of All Evil!” These words were spoken by Disney’s most icon villain, Maleficent in the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty” but just what drove this fairy to the dark side and what was her life like before? These questions and more are answered in Disney’s latest live-action film, Maleficent. The story begins with a young fairy, Maleficent as she meet a young boy named Stefan and the two form a friendship. Years later, Stefan betrays his childhood friend in order to become king and tries to destroy Maleficent’s sacred home. Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) becomes enraged by Stefan’s actions and promises revenge for this crime. But just what is the revenge and how does it connect with one of Disney’s most famous princesses? The answer to this and all other questions await you in this tale of darkness and wonder. As Maleficent herself might say, “it’s a movie too magical to miss”.

While I normally don’t give spoilers in my review, this film requires me to break that role. I went into the theater with very low expectations of this film and came out with not only my low expectations confirmed, but feeling very disappointed at the entire plot. Without revealing too much, let me say that while I appreciate and applaud the writers at Disney for their “outside of the box” approaches in their latest films i.e. Frozen and Oz the Great and Powerful, this is one time I really wish they had stuck to Walt’s original fairy tale formal. Not only does this film attempt to rewrite a story that many know and love, but it, in a sense, makes a mockery of the lessons in it (true love and redemption). It changes beloved characters and gives us a plot that, while it hints at the original film, will still leave some wondering, “where did that come from?” Angelina Jolie’s performance is amazing and will no doubt earn a few award nominations and achievements but even her brilliant work in this film cannot overshadow a shaky plot. Elle Fanning (Aurora)’s character manages to remain intact, reflecting the youthfulness and innocence of the classic princess, but she too, is a victim of the other elements of this picture. In addition, the reused scenery from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Oz the Great and Powerful is also a huge disappointed. I understand that it was meant to make Maleficent’s home more magical but anyone who has seen the two previous films will feel this way a cheap way out of the extra attention that the scenes sorely needed. Furthermore, the character changes made to Maleficent, while creative, ultimate contradicted the original material. In conclusion, those who love the original Sleeping Beauty may want to think twice about seeing this movie. I’m not saying their view of the classic film will be ruined but those who appreciate the original work created by Walt Disney and his 9 Old Men may leave the theater feeling that this prequel did not live up the high standards of its animated counterpart. From the Mickey Mouse Movie House, this film receives a D- The tagline for this film is “Happily Ever After is official over”. After seeing this picture I can say that it is still intact.

-Marc D.

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