Faeries can be powerful magical creatures capable of manipulating humans and living n a hierarchical society. One of the most powerful faeries is gifted with dragon wings and dark magic. Maleficent or The Mistress of All Evil, harnesses the gift of transforming into a massive purple serpent dragon at will. She can possess quite the grudge when provoked or protective of others.
There have been many appearances of Maleficent in Disney Attractions, television cartoons, and one of the most notable Disney villains in the video game series Kingdom Hearts, as the Mistress of the heartless. She is recognized for her black dress and black two-pointed headdress, often called an Atora.
The formidable villainess first appeared in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (1959) an animated film adapted from the novel written by Charles Perrault. Sleeping Beauty is a faerytale of Princess Aurora becoming cursed at her connation by Maleficent due to her feeling of rejection at King Stefan. In her rage, she informs the kingdom, that on her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die.
A New Twist on the Tale
In 2014, Maleficent, one of the live-action films from Disney, produced a story through Maleficent’s perspective. Maleficent, played by Angelina Jolie, is a faery and protector of The Moors, a realm of supernatural beings. She meets a young boy named Stefan who later becomes King and falls in love with him. After being betrayed by King Stefan, she places a curse on the Aurora to sleep forever unless she receives the kiss of true love.
The design of the iconic character comes from artist Burny Mattison. He reveals that coming up with the sketch of the character, he didn’t want to copy traditional witches or hags. Mattison thought outside the box, with an elegant, sinister, green-skinned beauty. He adds that he intended for her to resemble a giant vampire bat to instill fear and menace.
The motives to Maleficent’s hatred seem more realistic in the live-action adaptation of Maleficent compared to her rationale in the Disney film. I can understand how the betrayal of the one you loved inspire revenge versus the feeling of rejection at a Princess’ coronation. In the live-action version, the audience can watch her transformation and even sympathize with her heartache.
Furthermore, despite each adaptation of the character, she still possesses her signature outfit, headdress, and the ability to use magic to transform into a dragon. Yes, others fear her wrath and power, but those who pledge their allegiance to her is out of respect.