5 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Maleficent
The latest in the sort of Disney prequel reboot and reimaginings hits theatres this weekend, as we get to know the apparently warm and sweet woman who would grow up to be the evil Maleficent, one of the greatest Disney villains in one of the company’s most celebrated films.
Unfortunately, the story is a cheap and rushed collection of superficial ideas and predictable tropes. What’s worse is that it’s rather offensive when not downright annoying and emotionally manipulative. Here is what’s wrong with it.
1. Maleficent is a bad female role model.
The film wants us to see the real person behind the villain. What we learn in the lengthy opening is that the young fairy Maleficent was quite taken with a human boy, and they began to spend lots of time together frolicking in the forest and all around having a lovely time.
Then they grow up, and the boy disappears and never returns. That is until, many, many years later, and for reasons unknown Maleficent has neither moved on nor questioned the sudden appearance of this man (really, what is a man’s goal when he shows up out of the blue years later?). She blindly lets him in again, she gets played, and is then left in pain and scorned.
What then? She gets really upset and plots an elaborate, years-long plan to enact some revenge, and basically everything she does in her life from there on forward is because of the actions of one man who she couldn’t get over. Hardly an independent woman.
2. Babies are the savoir.
So Maleficent is pissed – but what of this cute and cuddly baby that she has cursed? It doesn’t take long before she goes from wicked witch to one of the guys out of Three Men and a Baby. Yes, because it’s a baby, and that the three pixies tending after her are completely inept, Maleficent looks over Aurora and sees her as a daughter.
3. It’s in 3D.
There is no reason for this to exist in 3D, and the fake Avatar world in which the fairies and creatures live is dull and cartoonish (not in the good way). The rest of the film is dark and bleak, made darker and more chaotic by the superfluous and money-sucking added layer.
4. It’s Joyless.
This is a PG Film; it’s not Snow White and The Huntsmen. That would have been fine if the filmmakers were opting for something dark. Maleficent is meant to be light-hearted in fact not at all a fun film. It’s has brief flashes of excitement and a couple moments that elicit chuckles, but it lacks the charm and glee that is essential and should be at the heart of these romantic and majestic Disney stories.It even goes to an exceptionally uncomfortable place early on when Maleficent basically gets drugged and well, taken advantage of.
5. It tarnishes Sleeping Beauty.
The lovely and picturesque 1959 Disney classic will overcome this setback and likely soon be disassociated with Maleficent, but while you’re watching this live-action spectacle, you might feel a bit offended and uncomfortable with the changes. A voice over tells us we’re about to hear a story that we think we know. No narrator, we do know it. You’re remembering it wrong.