Most people are familiar with the Broadway production Wicked. Now we are seeing a surge of films which play with the idea that perhaps there is another side to the classic stories, in which the villain, maybe isn’t so evil. The movie Frozen played on this concept by showing the beginning of a possible villain. However, recently I saw the movie Maleficent. And let me just say, it didn’t work.
Don’t get me wrong I love a good redemption story, and it has a great element of non-romantic love, but this was just a bad movie. First, and most importantly it turned one of Disney’s most iconic, powerful, and downright evil villains into a milk toast, relativistic childish, whining, street magician. I felt the story would have been great had they just kept Maleficent evil. But instead they completely eviscerated what makes Maleficent so iconic. It feels like Disney is trying to get away from their roots. So, basically what made Disney so amazing. All the live action retellings of the classics are going to damage Disney and we’re about to hit a Disney dry spell like we did in the early 2000’s.
So that is my two cents on the narrative structure. Now it’s time to get more technical. The visual director of the film was the same as Alice in Wonderland, and it worked for that movie. However, the bug eyed cartoony characters didn’t work for a more serious film. All the sequences with reduced CG and the scene where Maleficent is flying are beautiful, but all the other mythical creatures looked like they were from a parody like Shrek. I have never seen such a mix of the beautiful and the hideous since the marriage of Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thorton. It felt like two different movies were crammed together to make this one monstrosity.
In conclusion this was definitely a stinker. All of the beautiful imagery, great music, and good moral, can’t save this gross CG riddled, boring, excuse for a Disney film. If Disney keeps chipping away at its own foundation it will eventually crumble down on itself. I don’t like the way the Disney live action films are going. Let’s just get back to the Pirates series, and leave the fairy tales to the animation department, where they know what they’re doing.