I normally wouldn't write movie reviews, but I think this one is worth it, and I've seen some bad reviews for this movie, so I want to give my take on it (since I'd give it a 5/5 rating). First of all, the commercials are completely creepy, and do not represent the movie at all. There are some frightening parts in the actual movie, but it is rated G, and apart from a few fighting scenes, there isn't anything too scary. The droning voice singing "Once upon a dream" in the commercial is NOT in the actual movie, but is played in the credits. Just to let those know who where too creeped out to go see it.
Maleficent, Angelina Jolie, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt
The story follows Maleficent from when she was a girl living in a magical land beyond the borders of the human kingdom. The special effects were done really well, and I loved all the little magical creatures in the magical land (not sure what that land's name was). The beginning was really sweet and idyllic, but of course, we know something will go wrong with the nice fairy-girl-version of Maleficent. She has wings here, but if we've seen the old Disney movie or the commercials for this one, we know that the Angelina Jolie-Maleficent doesn't have wings. I won't say what goes wrong (see the movie!) but after making friends with young Stefan (who is not yet a prince or king) and eventually falling in love with him, human ambition comes in the way of true love, and Maleficent's heart is broken, and wings taken. The first part of the movie is her seeking revenge, but as time goes by, we see her slowly returning to the caring person she was before. It's almost surprising how they could make a movie about a Maleficent who is not actually evil, and how the rest of the story follows from it. It is she instead of the good fairies who is the true protector ("fairy godmother", Aurora says) of Aurora. She is torn between her hatred of Aurora's father and her love of the sweet Aurora whom she has watched since Aurora was a child. I won't say which part of her rules out in the end, so you'll have to see the movie :)
They changed the plot significantly from the original Disney movie, but it was done well, and makes it much more exciting since we have no idea who will live or die at the end! However, I'm still not sure what I think about the true love's kiss part: [SPOILER ALERT for rest of paragraph] I was so looking forward to Prince Philip being the true love's kiss (he was just adorable) and when it didn't work and he was just thrown out of the room, I was so disappointed! He didn't really have much of a role at all, and when he came in smiling at the end, it was more of a "Oh, I exist too!" instead of really belonging to the plot. But to have Maleficent being true love's kiss was interesting. It wasn't that she was Aurora's true love, but that she had achieved true love in her heart, which really was the climax of the movie: yes, Maleficent had done evil and had had evil done to her, but despite all this, there was a strong good in her that broke the very curse that she had previously enacted.

King Stefan was undoubtedly the villain, though a villain with a nice Scottish accent. And he becomes worse as the movie progresses, so that despite anything Maleficent does, we're all rooting for her and not him. The extent of Stefan's madness becomes clear later on in the movie as he becomes so obsessed with destroying Maleficent that even when he meets his daughter after being apart for 16 years, he does little more than brush her aside so he can continue with his tireless work to kill Maleficent and destroy all the spindles. But all this was supposedly for Aurora's sake, yet he seems to have long since forgotten this. A really interesting character, and like Maleficent, he goes through a lot of changes throughout the movie.
The three good fairies didn't seem all that essential to the plot, but were fun at times. Though mostly, they seemed to impede things rather than help out. The main fairy (who would have been Flora in the old Disney movie, but had another cutesy name here) was played by the actress who was Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter, which was neat for Harry Potter fans, and her character as the fairy wasn't too different from Umbridge (but not evil, just personality-wise).

And Aurora: yes, she's sweet and perfect, but she didn't lack character. And [SPOILER ALERT for rest of sentence] she saved Maleficent in turn at the end by releasing her wings, so wasn't just someone who was saved by a prince (or in this case, Maleficent).
So for anyone who likes fantasy and fairy-tales, I would highly recommend the movie. And it's worth the extra money to see in 3-D.


Thanks for this because I was listening to the TV critics, which I know I shouldn't. Your review has completely changed my tune. I'm going to check it out and see if my 11 year old granddaughter wants to see it. Thanks, Mary-Jean!

I'm glad my review was helpful. I hope you enjoy the movie!

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Mary-Jean's books

The Printer's Devil
The Crystal Cave
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Lost Prince
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Hobbit
Rise of the Darklings
The Fire King
Clockwork Angel
Jane Eyre
Wuthering Heights
The Lost World
Around the World in Eighty Days
The Sum of All Men
Brotherhood of the Wolf
The Lair of Bones
Sons of the Oak
The Wyrmling Horde

Mary-Jean Harris's favorite books »
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