When Pixar’s The Incredibles came out in 2004, I had a problem with it. Why did their gothic teenager, Violet, have to turn “normal” in the end? What’s wrong with being a bit introverted or why does clearing out your bangs with a white headband and ditching your dark clothes equate with a happy ending and being well adjusted?
Why do goth girls need makeovers?
Maleficent is the Disney movie I wish they showed 20, 30, 40 years ago.
From focusing on their princesses—Belle, Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida and Pocahontas—they finally brought to life the story of Maleficent, “villainess” extraordinaire from classic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty.
Not every girl is a princess and not every girl wants to be one.
Some girls—like me—will find something utterly relatable in the women characters that despite being different or strange have some kind of strength and integrity about them. Characters who are left of center, somewhat imperfect, somewhat strange but who are true to themselves, looking perhaps to belong but not needing to win a popularity contest.
Maleficent has elegant dark horns that come out of her head.
She looks great in long, flowing black robes and has the cheekbones to end all cheekbones. What was once designed to appear villainous is now seen as possibly beautiful.
Thank you, Disney.
While the film seems to have gotten a lukewarm response, I had a soft spot for it, as I have a soft spot for souls who are de–viant and introverted but brave and thoughtful. I was happy enough with the storytelling—magical, classical, adventurous, sometimes funny. That’s all that’s needed anyway. Once you add the goddess that is Angelina Jolie into the mix, there’s no looking back. She’s just gorgeous and has that perfect combination of heart, badassery and beauty to embody Maleficent.
The only thing that didn’t seem to fall into place was Prince Stefan (Sharlto Copley a.k.a. Wikus Van De Merwe from District
9). The character’s actions and lines seemed forced so that everyone else’s story could move the way it should.
Visually, it’s very pretty, which should be expected as first time director Robert Stromberg worked on the art, design and visual effects for Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean, Life of Pi and Pan’s Labyrinth to name a few.
But again, even those pale in comparison to the presence that Angelina Jolie is in this film.
One hour and 37 minutes, it’s just the right length. In fact I miss when big movies could clock under two hours.