With all the heavy press coverage I have been giving Maleficent lately, there have been so many questions about the film. I thought a good way to share my review would be to answer some of those very questions. Maybe it will give you a more candid view of why I love this movie and whether it is age appropriate for your kids.
After sharing my interviews that I had with Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley and Director Robert Stromberg, you’ve had a glimpse of the excitement and thoughts for those directly involved in the film. Here are my thoughts and opinion on Maleficent. I hope it helps you see why this movie is great for people of all ages.
“Maleficent” explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty” and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.
Maleficent: Movie Review
Let me address the biggest question yet, is this movie ok for my kid? This is an easy question for me to answer for the bottom line is you know your kids better than anyone else. When my oldest daughter Gabi was little, she could handle any movie. The “bad” people never scared her and she actually could follow pretty big story lines at a very young age. I would have taken her to see Maleficent as young as 4. Now my younger daughter who is now 14, she would have been closer to 7. She was a bit timid when she was younger, and if I took her at 4, she would have been a little scared for maybe a total of 3 minutes of the movie, but the story would have been too big for her. In the end, she may have sat through it, she may have been a little scared for brief moments, but in the end, it would have been more of whether she could sit through the film for the hour and a half, that I don’t know. And because it’s so good, I would have been disappointed to have missed a moment.
Because Director Robert Stromberg was the art director on films such as Alice in Wonderland, Avatar and Oz the Great and Powerful, visually the film is amazing. When you slip into a fantasy world for an hour and a half, it’s wonderful to be part of a world that is so visually amazing that you wish you could visit that world. As Robert mentioned in his interview, “at the beginning of this film we start off and it’s sort of happy and sunny and everything else. And the mood of the whole world goes dark with Maleficent and then comes back up again at the end.” You are completely taken on a visual journey, but also the story, the one that now explains how anyone could ever be so cruel to curse a baby.
How is Angelina in the film? Really? I mean it’s probably the first person you may think of to play the beautiful, dark Maleficent. But did she pull it off? Yes. She did. She is so good in this role because she mastered the voice, the smirks, and the humor. She is actually just as funny as she is evil. She also helps you feel for her character. The back story of Maleficent as told by Linda Woolverton who wrote the script, makes you actually feel sorry for the very thing that makes her become the type of person that would curse a baby. Believe it or not, you may shed a tear for the villain.
With Robert Stromberg on the film, the question of how are the effects surprises me. I mean he won TWO academy awards for his art direction in the past, how do you think they will be? Seriously, you are so drawn in that the slight moment you may think, “wow, how’d they do that?”, you will quickly forget your curiosity for you just want to watch the film.
There are so many fantastic scenes in Maleficent, and some of the ones pointed out by Elle and Robert, I total agree with being just so amazing to watch. Elle Fanning spoke about the importance of getting the spindle scene perfect, “when I pricked my finger on the spindle ’cause it’s such an iconic (scene). I mean, when I think about the original, that’s the scene I think of. To film that scene, it was the very last day of filming that we did. So I was like, oh gosh, and it, kind of everything was building its way up to that monumental moment and I felt wanted to do it right. Everything has to be a certain way. ‘Cause that scene impacted me a lot when I was little.
And Stromberg shares the significance of the Christening scene, “so we’re not just doing a straight out of the box remake of that classic version. So it was very intentional that when you watch the movie you’ve learned a whole bunch of new material. When you get to that center point of the movie we shot that scene almost verbatim, word for word from the classic cartoon version.” Angelina is so good in this scene, watch for yourself.
Those being the most asked questions, I think you can see there are more reasons than not to check out Maleficent this weekend. Opening today, perfect time to kick off summer, and really, a story that ends a little different than the original, but in a way that makes you learn about a woman scorned, a heart being broken, and finding true love.
MALEFICENT is rated PG and releases in theaters everywhere TODAY May 30th!
*I was invited by Disney on a press trip to LA to screen Maleficent, as well as interview the various people connected to the film. All opinions are my own. Images credits go to Disney, unless otherwise noted.