Maleficent is Disney playing around with being Disney, and it’s pretty impressive. They manage to maintain a good sense of what they have always been good at, little white princesses, whilst also managing to tie a new story around a very old one in a somewhat unexpected, but at the same time entirely predictable way. It’s a story of revenge gone awry really. I am not sure how the actual sleeping beauty fable ends, because I am a boy, but I am pretty sure this veers way off it at points. All the better for it really, the prince awakening the sleeping princess with a kiss always was rather vapid, and somewhat rapey. The movie looks very pretty indeed, there are all sorts of interesting creatures inhabiting its magical world, and whilst some very much fall into the “can’t wait to sell millions of these as soft toys” category, there are some that have a far more ethereal quality. There is probably some complex allegory in the film about losing one’s freedom and how one goes about living their life in the face of the abjectly careless world we live in, but it’s buried so deep it’s probably better to assume it is invisible. It’s a good re-working, it’s not going to make you change your whole world view, but it might make you re-consider your position when you next get dumped and someone tries to destroy your magical kingdom.

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