Maleficent Review By Andy Herndon

By Andy Herndon (@andyherndon)

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This isn’t the Sleeping Beauty of your childhood. Disney’s new Maleficent is a new take on the Disney Animated Classic. Without any spoilers, this film was a pleasant surprise.

My first reaction when I heard that Disney was remaking this movie as a live action film was hesitant at best. I really did not like the live action remake of Alice and Wonderland and my fear was this would be a repeat of the same mistakes, as these two films share the same screenwriter in Linda Woolverton. Yet as I saw trailers, I became more and more open to this film, to the point where I was very excited to see Maleficent this weekend.

The story was excellent. Superb even. Without giving anything away, Maleficent is the backstory on the well known villain of the animated Disney classic. This is a fantasy film in the same vein of Narnia yet was tame enough, in my opinion, that it is pretty family friendly. Don’t get me wrong, this movie is dark overall, but not in an evil adult sort of way. The film also used humor well and in a way I did not expect. Especially with the fairies as a comic relief, but not in an annoying Jar Jar Binks sort of way (Star Wars reference).

The special effects were epic, and I do not say that lightly. The detail was excellent and realistic but still felt like a fantasy film. The film was not very cartoony feeling, which was great. The sets were so pleasantly elaborate. So much so, that it felt like you were in a fairy tale. Costumes were well realized and the musical score did a great job of complementing the movie.

Angelina Jolie stole the show. She does an excellent job of showing us the inner conflict and transformations within Maleficent and at no time did the performance feel forced or cheesy. She was unexpectedly funny at times which allowed us the see a full range of emotions and personality within Maleficent. I was lost in her performance.

Elle Fanning did a sufficient job as Aurora, good even. I felt her character was underdeveloped from a script point of view, to the point where Elle Fanning may have been holding back a bit. This is understandable, as the movie is Maleficent not Sleeping Beauty. I really would have loved to see more from Elle Fanning though.

Sharlton Coply as King Stephen was very good as was the rest of the supporting cast.

The film was great. I brought my 6 year old daughter and my 4 year old son. I was actually worried about my son being too scared, yet the movie struck a good balance. I would say if you are unsure if your child is ready for a film of this nature, perhaps you should see it first. My daughter was mesmerized by Maleficent, Aurora, the sets, and the costumes the entire time.

Maleficent is great for families and adults. It strikes a unique balance between the two that I have only seen in some Pixar films, which is high praise from me.

Disney and Director Stromberg knock it out of the park on this one. Many Disney purists may be upset with some changes made in this film from the original but this Disney fan believes it’s a new story for a new day.

Go see it!

This film gets 4 out of 5 churros from me!

About thedcast

Podcast, blog and YouTube channel with Dale Wentland and Andy Herndon. We talk all things movies in the Disney universe, including Star Wars (LucasFilm), Marvel & Pixar.

Posted on May 31, 2014, in Maleficent, movie review, Reviews, The D-Cast, Uncategorized, Walt Disney and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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