REVIEW: Maleficent

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Chris Luckett

In the last 25 years, movies have caught on to the appeal of showing villains to be misunderstood and sympathetic. The Iron Giant, Despicable Me, Megamind, and Wreck-It Ralph all showed that just because people think you’re evil doesn’t mean you have to be. 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! took a character audiences knew as a villain and sympathetically showed what made him that way.

Maleficent continues the trend, taking the horned witch who haunted the screen in 1959’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty and showing her tragic and woeful backstory. It’s the Disney equivalent of Wicked, but it does a thorough job of painting Maleficent as the misunderstood, flawed heroine of a much larger story than the one audiences are familiar with.

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