Disney has provided me with an expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the #MaleficentEvent and #FireAndRescueEvent in exchange for my review of the events of the trip. No other compensation is given. The opinions and experiences in my posts are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Finally! It’s May 30 and MALEFICENT is in theaters now! I am so excited for all of you to see this film. Heck, I’m excited to go see it again myself! It is soooo good! I think you’re all going to love it. Check out my review for a little bit more about the movie before you grab your tickets!
The Cast and Filmmakers
Making his directorial debut is Robert Stromberg who is best known for his Academy-Award winning art direction on AVATAR and ALICE IN WONDERLAND. The screenplay was written by Linda Woolverton who does an amazing job of creating a new story from an old classic.
The actors and actresses in the film are perfectly cast. I can’t imagine anyone other than Angelina Jolie starring as Maleficent herself. She’s perfect! And Elle Fanning makes a beautiful and totally believable Aurora. Sharlto Copley plays King Stefan and gives an amazing performance. The character I think I liked most was Sam Riley’s character, Diaval (interview with him coming next week!). He sort of acts as Maleficent’s conscience in the movie and she can change him into any life form, usually a crow and a man but there *might* be one or two other surprises thrown in!
Bear with me for being vague here but it’s for your own good! The movie is so good, it would be wrong of me to include any spoilers. I really want you to see it for yourself and enjoy watching it unfold the same way I did. But I can give you the basic gist and that will work until you get yourself to the theater!
The story begins before the time of Aurora’s birth and gives us the back story on Maleficent and what lead up to that iconic moment where she cursed the baby princess. Maleficent is a fairy, a creature of the Moors, a forest-like area on the outskirts of the kingdom that is full of magic and mythical creatures. It’s light, it’s beautiful, I love the Moors. From the very beginning of the film there is tension between the human world and the Moors, the humans wanting to force their way in and access all the magic and beauty that lives there.
The conflict escalates and Maleficent, once a sweet, kind spirit, bears the brunt of the worst kind of human, or male in this case, ambition which turns her to the ‘dark side.’ She is deeply betrayed and loses the soft, loving personality she once had. That betrayal is just…WOW. That scene in the movie is one I won’t ever forget and you need to see it for yourself. No spoilers here, remember? Now hardened, Maleficent curses baby Aurora as an act of revenge.
What happens after that is the next new part of this fairy tale, the story of what happened to Maleficent after the christening scene. As a mom I found this to be a really touching story and though I don’t want to give anything away, I will tell you what Angelina told me: “The thing that brings her back is very much the thing that brought me back. ” So maybe Maleficent isn’t as evil and bad-to-the-bone as she appears in Sleeping Beauty. But you have to see the film to know why, and to know what might soften that shell of hers.
This movie is visually stunning! There is lightness in the pixies and the Moors, and in Aurora. And then there’s darkness in Maleficent and King Stefan. Yes, there’s a dragon and that scene is just edge-of-your-seat! I think my favorite bit of special effects was the Moors and all of the creatures that lived there. The more you look the more you see. I think my kids are going to love all of the creatures that live there.
The effects used to create the battle scenes are intense and amazingly realistic even though we’re talking about fairies and dragons here, people!
Is it for kids?
MALEFICENT is rated PG for a reason. There is no bad language, no sex or nudity, no gory violence. There are some intense scenes that I think might not be ideal for really young kids or kids that are sensitive. Each parent needs to use their own judgement based on their own child but as a general rule of thumb, I think age 8 and up is safe. Definitely some younger kids will be totally fine with the movie too. Outside of a couple of scenes, the story itself is beautiful for kids with a great message and I think it’s fine for older kids. I’m reading the Maleficent book right now with my 8 year-old daughter and she’s completely enthralled. I think she’ll love the movie!
What did I think?
I completely loved it. First of all the acting is fantastic. Angelina Jolie is an absolute shining star and brings so many emotions to the screen. I didn’t expect to find it as funny as I did but there were several great laughs in the film due to her timing and delivery. Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, and Sam Riley are amazing too.
I found the fairy tale gripping and just loved the story they came up with to fill in the gaps about what brought Maleficent to curse Aurora and what happened afterwards. They really kept Sleeping Beauty intact while creating a whole new story for us. So creative.
As a woman and a mother I could connect to the overall message of the film the relationships between the characters. And I’ll leave it at that because you’re not getting any spoilers out of me!
Finally, the film was just beautiful. The pixies, the Moors, Maleficent in flight…all stunning. I completely enjoyed the film and can’t wait to go see it again and take my husband. It has something for everyone: action, emotion, humor, and a great story. It’s truly a film for the whole family.
Disney’s MALEFICENT – Official Trailer
MALEFICENT is in theaters NOW! You can buy your tickets here. I’d love for you to go see it and come back and tell me what you thought!
MALEFICENT is in theaters NOW!
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— Lindsay (@PandorasDeals) May 30, 2014