Krystyn couldn’t swing the Maleficent screening, due to the 4-5 month “fussies” we’ve been experiencing from Baby B. So, when Krystyn offered the opportunity to go with the oldest, I, Mr. Serious, also known as “arm candy” (editors note: uh-huh) for Krystyn at her many functions as a blogger extraordinaire, said, “what the heck.”
I was interested to see the movie, especially after seeing the in-depth preview featured at the Disney Social Media Moms conference in Disneyland. I was also curious if my 7 year-old could handle the scary parts and serious topics featured in the movie. To the latter, she hid her face in her hands on a few parts and suddenly needed to leave the theater…
****SPOILER ALERT**** DON’T READ MORE IF YOU DON’T WANT SOME PARTS REVEALED
…after the scene in which Maleficent wakes up after have her wings sawed off during a drug-induced sleep (sawing scene was not shown…thank goodness). That wake-up scene was pretty intense, and mostly due to the gravitas that Angelina Jolie brings to the screen.
If you’re wondering, should I bring my 5-year old to see this movie? I would say no. Maybe start at 7-8, and go up from there. For the grownups out there, don’t be ashamed to go see this one without the kids. It’s grown-up themes (some dark) of selfish ambition, betrayal, anger, sacrifice, and true love make it an intense (there’s that word again) drama – with only sprinkles of comic relief and beauty to take the edge off.
I mentioned a little bit of what this movie is, but let me dispel any preconceived notions by telling you what this movie is not:
1. A prequel – This movie isn’t just a little back story on Maleficent, that leads up to the traditional Sleeping Beauty story. It flips the Sleeping Beauty story on its ear, and then it gives that ear a wet willie…
2. A musical – There is no singing. Let me repeat, there is no point in the movie where the characters break out into song at all.
3. Expected – Remember that ear flipping comment? Maleficent will keep you guessing.
I had to get this in here, as I will venture a guess that many blog reviews will be from the ladies point of view. Male role models are completely missing from this movie. The lead male role, King Stefan (who doesn’t start as a king), may be one of the most morally reprehensible characters to ever grace the screen. What about Prince Phillip you say? Merely a boy in this film, who would have better luck filling in for one of the Jonas brothers on stage than facing down a fire-breathing dragon like in the original animated Sleeping Beauty.
Let me continue the ear flipping theme of the post. In the past you may have felt the need to reassure your daughter that they’re not a “damsel in distress,” or not to “depend on a man,” after watching a Disney film. With this film you may have to reassure your son that men are not all the scourge of the earth and that he can be brave, heroic, and chivalrous.
Final thoughts: I’m proud of Disney for going big on this project and being unafraid to rearrange the furniture on the original Sleeping Beauty story. The complexity of the Maleficent and Aurora characters are far more satisfying and real than I expected. Take the kids (7 and up), but grownups should check this one out on their own too.
*The wife says I need to let you know that we got to see the show gratis. But, clearly, these are my own thoughts.