Genre: Action | Adventure | Family
Director: Robert Stromberg
Writers: Linda Woolverton with past credits to Charles Perrault, Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Ted Sears, Ralph Wright, Milt Banta, Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm.
MPAA Rating: PG
Run Time: 97 minutes
A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal – an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces a battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom – and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.
Maleficent delivered exactly what it set out to do. It provided a compelling and identifiable back story to one of Disney‘s most evil villains by asking the question, what had happened to Maleficent that could give her motivation to waltz into a christening celebration and curse an innocent baby?
Maleficent is a stunning film. Our family has already watched it three times and even when I put it on without invitation to watch, it draws in the whole family and they become completely entranced until its closing scene. The incredible FX magic is the natural evolution to the hand painted backgrounds of Disney‘s Sleeping Beauty. Everything comes together perfectly in a moor battle scene and again in the iconic christening scene. These scenes are both given a behind the scenes look in the special features section of the Blu-ray, which is not to be missed.
The casting, though, is what makes this film. Angelina Jolie is completely natural in the role of Maleficent as is Elle Fanning in the role of Aurora. They are perfection and compliment each other well. But the film wouldn’t work without the equally important roles of Sharlto Copley‘s King Stefan and Sam Riley‘s Diaval, Maleficent‘s crow servant.
The ensemble cast and the beautiful FX work together to create a fantastic new layer to the Sleeping Beauty story. It is done so well, that we’ll forgive the familiar ending being bent into a different vein. There are some parts of the movie that are a little intense for younger viewers and might not be suitable. I highly recommend you make Maleficent: Blu-ray Combo Pack a part of your home library. Sadly there is no movie commentary, but the special features do include FX behind the scenes, a closer look at Maleficent‘s horns, in-depth with Aurora and Diaval, deleted scenes and a featurette with writer Linda Woolverton on making Maleficent‘s back story.
Maleficent: Blu-Ray Combo Pack is available for pre-order from Amazon! Here’s a link!