I'm not sure why- that is to say that I don't have a good reason why- but I thought that this movie was going to be a lot darker than it actually was. Don't get me wrong, it is dark as all get out for a Disney movie but it still doesn't quite come across as dark as I thought it might because even in the images within the movie there is brightness and sunshine. For those who simply do not know for whatever reason, "Maleficent" (which is pronounced like "MAL-liff-eh-scent") is the story of the evil witch who put the curse on Sleeping Beauty and made her, well, sleep.
Though I enjoyed this movie a lot it wasn't what I thought it was going to be and it is worth noting that my three year old son was much more into this movie than either my wife or I was. He would constantly walk around saying "Maleficent" and tell us he wanted to watch it. We finally ended up watching it from the library since at first we had some problems getting it from Redbox and then we got it from the library a few times before we actually watched it as well. As my wife pointed out once, we spent so much on late fees from the library for this movie we should have just bought it from The Disney Movie Club (which thanks to our three year old we eventually will end up doing because he just does not stop talking about it or recognizing her)
Now of course one of the bad points about this movie is that it makes Maleficent as a character seem sympathetic in a way. In the story of "Sleeping Beauty" she is the villain- this is true- but this movie sort of justifies why she did what she did. Sometimes I feel it might be better to not have that background story as to why a character is evil and simply let them be evil for the sake that a story needs a villain. In some ways it kind of takes away from the story of "Sleeping Beauty", as if you were to watch this first you would just be thinking, "Yeah, but she kind of had it coming because of what her daddy did", but perhaps I am just overthinking it.
What I do like most about this movie is that it gives me ideas for other movies of this sort that I'd like to see. Right away, Captain Hook comes to mind. How did he become so evil? Why does he hate Peter Pan so much? And since he lost his hand to Tick Tock Crock, perhaps we should see something of that nature as well. Imagine it- the story begins as a young Hook is aboard a pirate ship, learning the ropes and being taken under the wings by his peers, maybe even his father. An hour or so in builds to the climax of his hand getting bitten off and by the end he is full of justified revenge. Let's make it, Disney, I've already mapped it out for you.
As the movie itself will warn you there are some scarier moments for the little kids but overall this was not nearly as scary or dark as I thought (hoped?) it would be so it is just a lot of fun to go into this world of magical creation that can only come from Disney. This might go down in history as one of the lesser or overlooked Disney movies, maybe not, but for me it will always hold a special place and it will for my son now as well since he's somewhat obsessed with it even if it's not in the way that he has to watch it every day. Already, he's building his attachment to movies that I had with the likes of "The Black Cauldron" growing up.