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I guess I just like liking things

maleficentThe first time I saw a picture of Angelina Jolie in her Maleficent getup I knew I’d want to see the movie. I have no great attachment to Disney’s Sleeping Beauty – I can’t remember the last time I saw it, or even if I have seen it all the way through – but its villain is iconic: evil, but a really classy evil.

Honestly, I get a little fidgety when something comes along to give us “the real story” behind a villain. I had the same problem with Wicked – we know going in that they’re going to retcon the villain from “flat out evil” to “misunderstood.” They rarely make movies with a flat out evil person as the protagonist, after all. We have to have a reason to like the person well enough to watch the whole movie, after all. But some people are just flat out evil, you know? And I don’t have a problem thinking that the Wicked Witch of the West is evil just because she is, I didn’t really need to know why she was evil. But, hey, it doesn’t matter, because she isn’t really! In fact, she was trying to save the talking animals of Oz, so she’s really actually good!


It would bug me more if it were a villain I cared more about. If we get a movie detailing how Hans Gruber needed the money to pay for the orphanage’s rent money for the year, I will Hulk out, I’m not even kidding. But since I don’t have much invested in either Maleficent or Elphaba, it doesn’t bother me that much. I ended up enjoying the movie quite a bit, and the majority of it is because Angeline Jolie was perfectly cast. Seriously, look at that picture there. Perfect, right? And the movie lives up to the promise of that picture, in my opinion. She has a mix of joy, anger, protectiveness, and power that works really well, and she absolutely 100% looks the part.

I don’t know how trustworthy the trivia bits on IMDb are, but I love reading them. One of the entries for this movie says this:

Angelina Jolie worked very closely with the costume and make-up designers to develop Maleficent’s menacing look. Disney executives objected, hoping to take advantage of Jolie’s beauty in marketing the film, but the actress insisted that the character maintain the scarier look of the animated incarnation.

There are also a few bits about children on the set being afraid of her, which amuses me.

I realize I’m not saying much about the movie itself, but I do recommend it. I’d be interested to hear from a fan of Sleeping Beauty if they enjoyed it as much as I did.

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