Talking Maleficent

You guys all know my feelings for Maleficent. It was my least favorite movie of 2014 and that includes Transformers: Age of Extinction….

This week in my youtube Disney Canon Project we are up to Sleeping Beauty, and I had several requests to review Maleficent. Well, I’ve already ranted about the film and declared it  my worst of 2014 and so just harping on it more felt redundant.

So I thought it would be cool to get another perspective. Thankfully my friend Emilee was willing to join me for a discussion of the film, which she enjoyed. She didn’t think it was perfect but she liked it.

I think we ended up having a good discussion, and I can see things from her point of view. I still hate the film but at least I can see why it worked for her, and I think that is cool. I know a lot of you hate Maleficent too, but I hope you listen to another perspective and don’t just troll it.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to talk with a friend about movies even if it is one I don’t particularly care for. If any of you would like to join me for a discussion on a movie or have an idea for a future discussion let me know in the comments section.

12 thoughts on “Talking Maleficent

  1. You’ll be happy to know I didn’t actually like this movie. I do think it’s more imaginative than the original, though. It also improves on the original in many other ways. It has more emphasis on who the lead characters are supposed to be: Stefan and Maleficent at first and their relationship, and then Maleficent’s relationship with Aurora.

    These relationships are simplistic and develop very quickly, but considering it is a fairy tale I think I may excuse this. I don’t like how thin Maleficent’s backstory actually is, though, in terms of her having no parents to speak of and a high position among the fairies without much explanation of why. For a film devoted to giving backstory,, I think this area needed work.

    The first act I enjoyed greatly, though. It provides a genuinely good backstory and motivation to make the original story have more sense, but then we get to where Sleeping Beauty actually begins. And…. 2 big plotholes: Why are the fairies at Stefan’s coronation and why do they want to help him when he is evil and declared war against them? And when Maleficent appears alive and it’s clear Stefan has no right to the throne, why does no one attempt to oust him? 2 ways the original story didn’t actually work.

    And from there I just don’t approve of Maleficent’s character being changed to that extent. I know they are trying to make her fully dimensional, but they show Stefan as a character with dimensions then promptly abandon that to make him evil anyway, never going back to the kindness that made him spare Maleficent’s life in the first place.
    From there the movie becomes derivative of Frozen, ripping off its ending and trying to do things it and Enchanted did better. In the end, I think this just ends up an attempt at feminist revisionism in making any bad female character more likable at the expense of anything else. And it had potential, so much potential I think. I came close to liking it but in the end I can’t recommend it either to lovers or haters of the original.

    (The prince being a mindless living prop tossed out of the room when it’s clear he’s useless was funny, though. I did love that.)

  2. I don’t think the original was that anti-feminist in the first place too because Prince Stefan and Aurora were equally personality-less and worthless as were the two Kings and the fairies were 3 strong dynamic female characters. Also the women were the only characters who managed to influence the plot in Sleeping Beauty, and it was a rare film from 1959 in that it actually passed the Bechdel Test.

  3. Great discussion, I can see both sides of the argument. Personally I haven’t seen it in a long time and thought it was meh. Could you do a video where you rank all the muppet films like you did with Star Wars?

  4. I actually didn’t like this movie (I know terrible shocking for a fan of Disney). I mean Jolie was excellent as Maleficent, but just was the only thing good about the movie. The three fairies were stupid and were like female versions of “Three Stooges”. The tone of the movie was completely off and didn’t know what to be. The only really good scene I like was the christening scene (the scene from the original cartoon)

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