Sleeping Beauty was one of my least favorite Disney movies, so when I heard that Maleficent was going to be made into a live-action film starring Angelia Jolie as the title character, my reaction was “meh.”
I had very little interest in seeing the movie. Then, the Disney juggernaut marketed the heck out of the movie and won me over. (Actually, it was Jolie’s evil laugh in the commercials that piqued my curiosity.)
And so it was that I found myself in the audience of the previews with my 8-year-old daughter.
This version of Sleeping Beauty is far better than the old animated version, with tweaking here and there. There is a backstory in this film that goes to the heart of why Maleficent is the way she is. And without giving anything away, you’ll probably side with her. The effects are fantastic and the supporting characters are all fine.
But the main reason this movie is such a fantastic experience is because of Jolie. She is in almost every scene, but I still found myself wishing for more of her. Maleficent goes through every emotion imaginable, and Angelina makes you believe them. The impressive wardrobe and horns only add to her colorful character.
My daughter and I both loved the movie. There were some scenes in the film that caused my daughter to grip my arm a little tighter than normal, but there wasn’t anything too intense. Even young kids can recognize and process some of the darker themes here. Younger children might find the tree people, dragon, and some fighting scenes a little disturbing though. While the movie is rated PG, it could just as easily have been rated PG-13. Too bad there isn’t a PG-10.
The movie is a lot of fun and gets this dad’s approval. I think my son would enjoy the film as well because of the battle scenes and great scenery. (He’s a bit of a stereotype.) So, my advice is to go and see the movie. Disney will not stop until you do.
Disclosure: I was given free tickets to attend a preview of Maleficent. The words written in this post are my own.