The retelling of fairy tales has always had a particular interest for me, whether as viewer, player, reader, or even attempting to try my hand at writer. I've long been a fan of Bill Willingham's Fables, and before that the Snow White, Blood Red series, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.
So, a little burned from Disney's last attempt "Oz the Great and Powerful", my family decided to give the 2014 film Maleficent a try.
To begin, the movie looks amazing, the effects are great , the imagery is wonderful, and it visually ties in quite nicely with the 1959 Disney film. The story works from the point of view of the "evil" fairy Maleficent, who in the original story is the one who curses Beauty to die on the day of her sixteenth birthday.
Stories told from the villains point of view are always tricky; how, in their back story, can you show the audience the reasons behind their dark deeds, and hopefully win their sympathy? In Maleficent, they (mild spoiler) do this by introducing Sleeping Beauty's father as a character years before the events of the fairy tale. This works really well, but does ad a certain darkness to the film that moves the intended audience up by quite a few years from that of the Disney Classic.
In the end, both of my kids loved the film, and my wife and I were cautiously optimistic about it. It's not my favourite villain retelling of a fairy tale, for that you'd need to read Neil Gaiman's Snow, Glass, Apples but it was a pretty great show nonetheless.
1 month ago