Hex Appeal: Did Maleficent Deliver or Disappoint?

Eleanor Audley Maleficent

Big shoes to fill. Eleanor Audley provided both the voice and visual inspiration for animators of the iconic Maleficent in the 1959 Disney film.

Huzzah, Maleficent is finally here! Ace wrote about this project back in November, which seems like a long time ago, but one could say this movie has been in the making much longer than that. The awe-inspiring “Mistress of All Evil” hails from Walt Disney’s 1959 film Sleeping Beauty. This means that for fifty-five years she has managed to captivate the imagination and fascination of viewers everywhere, culminating in this 2014 blockbuster starring one of Hollywood’s most famous actresses. Now, the wicked fairy has been a staple of original¬†Sleeping Beauty-esque myths since their centuries-old origins; originally she is nameless, later she’s occasionally known as Carabosse, before making her unforgettable debut as Maleficent in Disney’s version of the tale. Maleficent’s unique aesthetics and commanding voice have made her sinister presence singularly stand out among many Disney villains, and Angelina Jolie captured these characteristics masterfully in her film. But aside from its powerhouse main character, how did the rest of the movie stack up? Unfortunately, I’d give it an “eh”.

Maleficent Jolie PosterSpoilers below. This is a revisionist tale in the style of Wicked, so whatever spoilers you may know for the original fairytale or Disney are largely turned upside down.

Continue reading