One of the biggest blockbusters of the year, Disney’s Maleficent, was released on DVD and Blu-Ray today Nov. 4, 2014. The film is a reinvention of the 1959 Disney animated classic, Sleeping Beauty, and is told through the eyes of the original film’s horned villain herself.
Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie plays the role of the dark fairy Maleficent as rising star Elle Fanning (younger sister to renown actress Dakota Fanning) takes on the part of the sleeping beauty, Aurora. The new reinvention was filmed as a live-action production with a great amount of CGI enhancement. Jolie also underwent hours of makeup each day of shooting in order to bring one of the most iconic villains to life.
The original cartoon version of Maleficent features a vampire-like witch with green skin that possesses an immense power of dark magic. Jolie’s version payed homage to the 1959 animation although the inclusion of green skin was omitted in the live version. Jolie stated that she did not want the character to feel false or cartoony as she wanted to bring a sense of reality to the sorceress that allows audiences to connect and relate with her more. Jolie’s makeup included an extension of the actress’s own face that was perfectly sculpted to reflect senses of familiarity in the original version. One very interesting inclusion in the new film is the addition of Maleficent’s backstory and how she became to be known as such a diabolical woman.
When audiences think of Maleficent, they tend to imagine the embodiment of evil without a hint of goodness at all. In Jolie’s version, viewers have the opportunity to see how the fairy grew up and what caused her to fall so far into darkness. Audiences will also be able to see many of their favorite scenes from Sleeping Beauty brought to life, but may have a different opinion on them this time. For instance, there is the giant dragon fight scene that many Disney fans remember very well from the original film, but when watching Maleficent, they may be rooting for the opposite side to win.
Screenwriter Linda Woolverton took the reigns as storyteller for the film and worked in direct syncopation with the production team as well as the actors like Jolie to create the story that is told today. Woolverton stated that she wanted to bring to light the fact that Maleficent is indeed a fairy and not a demonic witch that many were lead to believe. The writer continues to tell that she thought about one trademark quality that makes a fairy a fairy and that is its wings. Woolverton started by giving Maleficent wings in her early years and worked from there to construct the rise, fall and redemption of the character that has much more depth than what was originally seen.
Maleficent has now been released for DVD & Blu-Ray and can also be downloaded in digital HD from outlets such as the Apple iTunes store. A theatrical trailer displaying all the film has to offer can be viewed below.
By Cody Collier