Maleficent

 

Walt Disney Studios

 

Rating: PG

 

Reason for the Rating: Sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images.

 

Plot Summary: A vengeful fairy places a curse on a baby, only to realize later that she made a grave mistake.

 

PopFam Recommends: Whether your kids want to see this or not, it’ll spark good conversation afterward.

 

You think you know the story of Sleeping Beauty, but do you really? Ok, you might be like my husband and not know the story at all. Either way this will be a new story for everyone.

 

Disney revises the story of Sleeping Beauty initially by telling the story from a different point of view. Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) was a good, pure-hearted fairy who lived in the Moors, the land of magical creatures. While there was no king or queen there, the other creatures looked to Maleficent as their defender and leader, coming to her with anything out of the ordinary. So when the pixies told her there was a human stealing jewels from the lake, Maleficent investigates and meets Stefan (Sharlto Copley), a human boy about her age. The two become friends, and then "more than friends." As with many relationships, a betrayal hurts her deeply and she allows anger and revenge to darken her heart.

 

Jolie is striking as Maleficent. She is equally beautiful and kind, but dark and forbidding. The anger and hurt she wears as visibly as her horns and black cape. She is a character of depth, and the audience understands the deepness of her actions, as well as the power of her emotions.

 

When Maleficent hears Stefan, who has become the king of the neighboring country, has had a daughter, Aurora (Elle Fanning), revenge takes action. Maleficent curses the child to an unending sleep upon her sixteenth birthday. In an effort to protect Aurora, Stefan sends her to a country cottage to live with three pixies. As she grows, Maleficent is always there watching, first in loathing, then in curiosity, until love creeps into her heart and she regrets having cursed Aurora at all.

 

Forgiveness is a difficult thing for persons of any age, but it's something we try to teach our children. "Say you're sorry for hitting your brother." "Apologize for what you said." Maleficent is a great illustration of the power of not forgiving, as well as the importance of repentance. The anger, pain, and darkness in her heart, that she allows to take over, change her and those around her. Fear and uncertainty reign in her land where joy and peace once ruled. Stefan is wracked with fear, and just about loses his mind as a result of his actions.

 

Maleficent is certainly a movie girls will be attracted to, but is one boys should see as well, due to the themes of repentance and forgiveness. It offers an opportunity parents should take to discuss the importance of these with their kids. Overall this is a movie school-aged children can see, although there is a fairly intense battle scene at the end which some children might find disturbing.

 

The Blu-ray edition of this film also includes several worthwhile extras beyond just a DVD and Digital HD option. Girls will likely enjoy the "Classic Couture" featurette that highlights all the cool jewelry and headwear Angelina Jolie models in the movie. Likewise, boys will be enthralled by learning the details that went into "Building an Epic Battle" (another featurette). And everyone will be amazed by the behind-the-scenes glimpse of special effects wizardry in "Maleficent Revealed." Other bonus features include deleted scenes, interview with Elle Fanning, and a behind-the-scenes "making of" short film.

 

Still, the real star of this Blu-ray set is the film itself. The beauty of this retelling of Sleeping Beauty is that Disney put so much effort in making it unique, new, and a movie worth seeing. Not only is the acting superb, the costuming and scenery amazing, and the plot interesting, but the message is one parents will want their children to hear. Maleficent is one you and your family really should see together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• How might this story have been different if Stefan had apologized to Maleficent?

 

• Which is more powerful, repentance or forgiveness?

 

• Why is it so important that Jesus is willing to forgive all of our sins?

 

--JW

 

Tags: Sleeping Beauty,Angelina Jolie,Sharlto Copley,Stefan, Disney,Fairy Tales,Disney Princess

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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