I saw Disney’s newest movie yesterday and, at the risk of extreme judgment, I have to say that I liked Maleficent more than I liked Frozen.
Now, before you come after me with pitchforks and torches, let me clarify. I really enjoy Frozen. It always leaves me smiling. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie, or even that Maleficent is better. I’m simply saying that I personally enjoyed it more than Frozen. That is just my opinion and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. Also, while it’s my new favorite now, two months from now it will probably be different. Here are five of the main reasons I loved Maleficent so much.
1. Fantasy is my favorite genre. Yes, Frozen was about Elsa’s magic, but she was the exception, not the norm. There’s something about a world of magic, filled with creatures of legend that captures my interest. The magical world of Maleficent was beautifully built, reminding me of Narnia in some ways.
2. Realism vs. Idealism. This is a trend I’ve noticed in recent Disney movies; a move away from their traditional idealism towards more realistic stories. (Disclaimer: I’M NOT SAYING EARLY DISNEY MOVIES ARE UNREALISTIC.) There’s nothing wrong with more idealistic plots. I love Cinderella as much as the next girl, despite my problems with the plot holes (I mean, really, she’s the only girl in the whole kingdom who wears that shoe size?). I’m happy to ignore practicality in favor of happily ever after because it’s a movie. That’s what movies do. That being said, Disney has begun to move away from that. Brave explored the rocky relationship between mother and daughter. Tangled saw the princess falling in love not at first sight, but as she and Flynn experienced hardships and learned to be open with each other. Frozen showed the importance of embracing your identity. Maleficent follows this pattern and tackles some very deep issues like racism, dealing with betrayal, revenge, and forgiveness.
3. Sarcasm and dry humor. Okay, this reason is pretty shallow, but it’s still true! Sarcasm is pretty much my second language. The humor used in Maleficent is dry and witty, which fits the slightly dark tone of the movie. The humor isn’t distracting or overbearing. It’s subtle and clever. I absolutely love it.
4. Villain backstory. This is also a popular trend in media and literature: give the villain a sympathetic backstory. Now, I’ll admit I prefer Disney to keep to it’s usual pattern of clear cut black and white, good and evil. I was a little reluctant to see that happen to the villain we all love to hate, but I was so happy I went. They handled it very well. Maleficent is described as “not a hero or villain, but someone who was both.” I really appreciated that, because in real life, the lines are often blurred. I think the movie captured that well.
5. Lack of music. Now, if you know anything about me, you’ll realize this doesn’t make sense. I love music and especially musicals. However, despite how great the music from Frozen is, I am so sick of hearing it! There are no songs or musical numbers in Maleficent except the score. So bonus points for not having music that can be overplayed.
I highly recommend this movie. It’s a little dark, but it’s understandable. I could get into some deep discussion, but I don’t want to give anything away. Comment below and let me know if you have seen the movie and what you liked or didn’t like.
Until next time!
“May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!”