I had the opportunity to attend the Maleficent screening with my oldest daughter last week. Her favorite Disney movie is Sleeping Beauty. She likes the movie so much that she has already decided that if she has a daughter, her name will be Aurora. Yep, she's a fan!
She was excited to go the screening of Maleficent because she had been looking forward to the movie since Disney announced that Angelina would be playing the part of the wickedly fabulous Maleficent. When we arrived, we were each given a cardboard headpiece of Maleficent's horns. We put them on and tried to get a pic together, but we kept cutting the horns out of the image. After a few tries we were seeing too many spots in front of our eyes from the flash and decided to settle for the pic without the horns in the image.
We eagerly awaited the start of the film, while Disney Radio did activities with some of the other guests. Finally Maleficent started, and right away I knew I liked it. It was a beautiful story of a young fairy with beautiful horns and big beautiful wings. (I have to say that I never realized that it was horns on top of Maleficent's head, but it totally made sense to the story.
As the story went on we learned how young Maleficent loved the land she lived in with all the many other fairy creatures, and was not at all evil, but was in fact very happy and playful. Then something terrible changed everything. Maleficent became very dark and went on to cast her spell of evil sleep upon Princess Aurora as part of her wicked plot of revenge.
You may think you know the story from that part on, but this movie does a nice job of giving the traditional story a nice little twist. I like that it doesn't try to stretch it too far to give you an unreasonable ending. Most of the movie nicely supports Disney's original Sleeping Beauty story. Where they did make changes it makes sense to the plot and the "other side" of the story they are telling. It is designed to make you think differently about evil, and it does a great job of doing so.
The one thing I didn't like about Maleficent is that the names of the 3 fairy godmothers that watch over Aurora were changed from their names in Disney's original Sleeping Beauty. I'm not sure why this decision was made, unless it was to honor the original book, but I with all the other things they did to maintain continuity, I was surprised in this obvious difference.
Other than that one distraction, I really liked the movie, and so did my daughter. In fact, we can't wait to watch it again. I will say though, when we see it again, we won't bother with the 3D version. I don't think it was necessary for this movie, and I wouldn't recommend that you pay the extra for it. Just do the regular film, but do go see it on the big screen. It is definitely worth it!