WOW I loved loved LOVED Maleficent. From the opening to the ending, I was mesmerized and so was my husband (“she kicked ass!”) as well as my three daughters. I cannot recommend this movie more to you and your entire family.
The movie begins with the young Maleficent.
My kids always love seeing the part of the movie that features a younger version of the female protagonist, the one who is closer their age. I remember that being one of my favorite things to watch when I was a kid too. The movie starts with the young Maleficent soaring across the screen, and it is so magical to see her fly and fly and fly. These scenes are especially wonderful because we’ve all been subjected to movies from “ET” to “How to Train Your Dragon” where its the males who fly, while the girls, if they’re lucky, get to cling on to some dude’s back while stuck in the passenger seats.
Maleficent is so powerful and magical. She is not a Minority Feisty. Not only is Aurora AKA Sleeping Beauty also a starring part, and wonderfully played by Elle Fanning, but there are the three Fairies (formerly known as Flora, Fauna, they have different names in this movie) with big supporting roles
When Maleficent is stripped of her power, her wings are clipped. Can you imagine a more perfect metaphor for women and cinema? Her wings are incredibly done too, huge and magnificent and beautiful. She relishes flying and she relishes her power. You see that in Angelina Jolie’s face throughout the film. I was worried that Jolie would be too made up, the way Johnny Depp sometimes is, so that you couldn’t experience her great acting. But that was not the case.She doesn’t get lost in the special effects. They are done perfectly to enhance her character.
Maleficent and Aurora have a complicated, evolving relationship like nothing I’ve ever seen before in a Disney movie where, so often, women are pitted against each other, especially older and younger ones. Not only is that not the case here, but the whole dichotomy of hero/ villain is also turned on its head. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Aurora is crowned a queen, not a princess.
I’ve always been more interested in Disney’s female villains than its one dimensional princess/ heroines. And of these villains, Maleficent was always my favorite. You can’t beat that horned, caped silouette. (Here’s a picture of my 10 year old daughter in my Disney female villain nightshirt, which is several years older than she is.)
Thank you to Angelina Jolie for getting this movie made so my children– and all children– can witness a powerful, magical female in all of her spectacular glory.
Reel Girl rates ‘Maleficent’ ***HHH***
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