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***
Read more Reel Girl posts on this movie:
‘Maleficent’ is not ‘a woman scorned’ so stop calling her that
‘Maleficent’ beats MacFarlane at the box office (and she didn’t even show her boobs)
What if ‘Maleficent’s’ Stefan had been Stefanie?
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Hi Margot my kids and I are really keen to see this. Just checking whether is it alright for a 5 year old?
My 5 year old daughter LOVED the movie. I did not think it was particularly scary, bloody, or violent and I much prefer her to see a powerful female or two than Cinderalla– rated G.
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MUST HAVE THAT SHIRT. Where did you get it Margot?
I got it at Disneyand the night that California Adventure opened. Isn’t it awesome?
Just saw it with my daughter (15 years) and I cried.
I cried out of joy when Maleficent flew (out of joy), I cried when her wings were clipped and felt the anguish, and I cried because we got to see such a strong woman.
My favourite scene came after the young prince kissed Aurora. I really believed she would awake, but as the seconds ticked and ticked the magnificent truth dawned on me that Maleficent is the only one who can give the true kiss of love to her.
This was the most powerful scene to me: the (non sexual) love between two women.
No damsel in distress here – and no young male hero to rescue her.
Sorry for my emotional outbreak but you so seldomly see such a wonderful movie were women are the protoganist that it simply knocks you off your feet.
I want more of that.
Oh, by the way, in the seat next to me sat a boy (about 5 or 6 years old) – with his father !!! During the advertisements he was restless and nervous sometimes kicking me with his foot. And I was thinking to myself: oh my, this boy, hope he behaves himself – I want to see the movie.
But his restlessness stopped immediately after Maleficents first flight. I didn´t hear a single noise from him, I guess his mouth stood open … (like mine) :):):)
So much to “well, girls, get used to it – boys are never interested in `girl´s movies`” …
Haven’t see it yet just wanted to add that Elle Fanning is a very talented young lady.Check her also in Super 8 and Ginger & Rosa.
I just saw this movie this evening, and I really enjoyed it. I think it really epitomizes what I mean when I say that I don’t care if a female character’s traits are sometimes stereotypically feminine or terribly unlikeable; I care that she’s a well-developed person and, preferably, the star of her own story. Maleficent is not always likeable, and arguably her cursing Aurora plays straight into the “hell hath no fury like a woman scorn’d” trope, but she has agency, she has power, and she is, unabashedly, herself.
Agree with all you write except I did not see Malifcent as a woman scorned. She was mad her wings were cut off. The guy– Stefan? Forget his name right now– he was greedy from the beginning. He stole, he said he wanted to be in the castle. Malificent healed her heart. She acted. She tried to undo the curse, she went to the castle, she found the boy to kiss Aurora. Stefan just felt bad, he didnt act.
You’re right, she’s not a woman scorned; she’s angry she was mutilated. A better way to put it would be that she can be seen as the “emotional woman” stereotype. Her actions are driven by emotion – first anger and hate, then later maternal love.
Just to be clear, I don’t see this as a bad thing at all. Everyone has emotions, and emotional characters make a good story. I was more using it to illustrate that you can take a particular characteristic of a female character and say she’s playing into stereotypes, but what matters is her actions and traits as a whole.
OMG I just atched this and instantly fell in love with it. I don’t think me review will do it justice, but here’s a link: http://insipidcontemplations.tumblr.com/post/87379897360/maleficent-movie-review
I highly recommend this movie for it pro-women messages.
Great points, shared on Reel Girl’s Facebook page and Tweeted
This movie looks so good; I can’t wait to see it, and I’m thrilled to see such a glowing review. I had high hopes the moment I heard about it, and the previews introducing the interactions between Maleficent and Aurora had me really exciting for a unique interaction between characters. Glad you enjoyed it!