Dani: What to say, where to begin? I have to admit that I was more than half-afraid that I would expect too much of the movie because of all the good reviews that it had spawned. The moment that I saw the child Maleficent, though, with her wings and horns and the magical creatures that lived in the Moors, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was home! This was how watching Disney movies felt like when I was a child! The scrawny Stefan was also very believable, and adorable in a gangly all arms and legs kind of way.
Mikaius: I went into this expecting nothing; I’m neither a fan of Jolie nor really invested in Sleeping Beauty. The Disney Princesses pre-90’s had no impact on me and I think they’re all Snow White anyways. The intro was wonderful, but nearly ruined by that most awful child actress, and I know it’s harsh to say a child is terrible, but she was awful. Every time that kid opened her mouth was grating and made me want to stop watching. Wonderful as the whole thing would have played animated, the intro live-action vision of her was off-putting. Mostly it was just her dead eyes and hollow voice. She’s a kid, of course she’s not any good at acting. Stefan was believable in his gangly ways. The intro ends quick enough, terrible as it is.
Dani: Gotta admit that the three “good” pixies were grating. They were neglectful and absent-minded – the three good fairies in the original Sleeping Beauty may have been a little absent-minded, but they were certainly not neglectful of Aurora. Yet it all just added up to make Maleficent’s moments with her Beastie more bittersweet. Seeing the little child completely charm the (heart)broken fairy both broke and melted my heart. It was a gooey mess.
Mikaius: I really didn’t like the good fairies, they were almost pointlessly existent. They didn’t even serve the plot, they were so utterly useless, and they had no personalities to speak of. They weren’t the important fairy, though, so I suppose it doesn’t matter. They’re irrelevant, and when it comes to magical things, this movie has much stronger to offer. The Moor is filled with wonderfully Disney-esque creatures, tree-guardians and little pig-pixies, enchanted woods and beautiful scenery.
Dani: I believe my favourite supporting character was Diaval – Christ, seeing him turn into a raven-horse, a raven-wolf, and a raven-dragon was magnificent. He was also a good foil to Maleficent, able to interact with her without overpowering or being overpowered. Him giving Aurora a pacifier early on also had the entire theatre going, “aaawwwww!” I love the little details on him, like the bird’s claw mark in the middle of his chest, and his slightly beak-y nose.
Mikaius: Despite not caring about Jolie as a power-player in the acting world, she absolutely carries this movie. Obviously, she’s the central role of the movie, but she plays it fantastically. I mean that, she plays it in a fantastical manner, and it both hits home that she’s a tragic figure and also capable of her own great wrongs.
Dani: For me, though, the film really was held up by Jolie’s portrayal of Maleficent. The iconic image of her striding in through the halls, and her magic engulfing her in green flames, was so reminiscent of the 1959 Disney cartoon that I felt like I was propelled back to childhood. For her to fill the screen without even saying anything is a testament to the strength of her acting abilities – and of course, the make-up and iconic wardrobe add so much to the glamour of the character.
Mikaius: I don’t really know how to textually review this movie, because it was a very simple movie. Basically, it was a really good Disney movie, full of whimsical beauty and with two entertaining central characters.
Dani: All in all, I’d give it a 3.5. Beautiful portrayal of the magical creatures inhabiting the Moors, a believable heroine/villain. Would definitely watch again, if only for the beautiful setting and the magnificent Jolie.
Mikaius: At the end, I give it a 3.5 as well, the visuals are stunning, the actors do their jobs great, and thankfully it isn’t a musical. If I watch it again, it’ll be in the background and I’ll be playing games. Pixar and 90’s Disney this is not, but it is a good fairy tale film.
Final rating: Mikaius and I agree on this one!
Dani: 3/5, would definitely watch again. All hail Queen Jolie!
Mikaius: 3.5/5, would watch again, but as background noise.