Recently, the world of animated movies has been venturing into new territory. Pixar released Brave, its first movie with a female protagonist; there's Disney's Frozen, a story about two sisters which has now been titled the most successful animated movie in history, I think it's fair to say, it's about time. Now, Disney have gone a step further, instead of making a movie about a heroine, they’ve made a movie with an anti-heroine: Maleficent, the evil yet alluring villain of Sleeping Beauty.
Without a doubt the biggest attraction of the cast is Angelina Jolie, who stars in the title role. Jolie is no stranger to iconic characters, from her daring performance in Gia to the gutsy Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, but Jolie confesses Maleficent is one of the most difficult roles of her career, saying, “There’s a part of me that plays big fun roles, but never this big. She’s slightly crazy, extremely vibrant, a little wicked and has a big sense of humour, so she’s quite full on. It’s one of those characters that, for me, you couldn’t do halfway."
When the first trailers were released for Maleficent, I was nervous since she seemed like a one-dimensional character. But now they've elaborated on the plot, it appears the movie will explore all of Maleficent's life since she was a young fairy. From what I gather, it seems that Maleficent will be a similar kind of character to Wicked’s Elphaba, a character who is fiercely protective and loyal to her loved ones but unforgiving and vengeful to her enemies.
Elle Fanning (Super 8) will play the role of Aurora, the initial heroine in the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Fanning's light and innocent Aurora will contrast against Jolie's Maleficent. For Fanning, this could be a career-defining role for her, with both Stromberg and Jolie complimenting her as an actress. It will be interesting to see how she can hold her own with an actor like Jolie.
The comic relief of the movie will be three pixies who have a bitter rivalry with Maleficent and are tasked with raising Aurora. The pixie in charge is played by Imelda Staunton, aka Dolores Umbridge. I for one cannot wait to see her scenes with Angelina Jolie.
Packed with a talented cast and guided by a successful crew, Maleficent has all the makings of a great movie. Could Maleficent achieve the status of a classic like Sleeping Beauty? We'll have to wait and see.
Check out the new featurette and clip for Maleficent below.