Who is Maleficent?
Almost everyone has heard of the movie Sleeping Beauty. The story is that an evil witch puts a curse on Princess Aurora, also known as Briar Rose, and the result is she will fall into a comatose sleep on the sixteenth birthday. The princess can only be woken up by love’s first kiss. How romantic!
But who is this evil witch? The Mistress of All Evil? Yes, if you don’t know already, she is Maleficent. A magnificent name for a villain.
Why Does Maleficent Curse Princess Aurora?
Here is the story in more detail …
King Stefan and Queen Leah have just given birth to their first child, Princess Aurora. To celebrate her birth they plan on having her marry Prince Philip in another kingdom.
Included in the welcomed guests are three fairies: Fauna, Flora, and Merryweather. They bring gifts to Princess Aurora such as being beautiful and having a lovely singing voice.
There is another fairy, Maleficent, who was not invited to the celebration.
Maleficent was a little miffed at not being invited (or perhaps she just didn’t think a baby girl should have her future husband planned for her by her parents) and decided to crash the party.
Maleficent gives the princess her gift, which includes beauty and grace. Ah, but there is a catch.
On Aurora’s sixteenth birthday she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die.
Fairy Merryweather is able to somewhat soften this horrible curse, so that instead of dying Princess Aurora will instead fall into a sleep from which she can be awoken with a kiss from her true love.
To try and stop the curse the King orders that all spinning wheels are to be destroyed. Aurora is renamed Briar Rose and hidden as a peasant girl in a cottage in the forest, where she hopes to secretly grown up until her sixteenth birthday has passed.
As her sixteenth birthday arrives Briar Rose is out picking berries. By chance, she happens to meet Prince Phillip and for both of them it is love at first sight.
Briar Rose says she must go home but asks the Prince to meet her that night at her cottage. At home Briar Rose tells the good fairies she met the man of her dreams. They then crush her spirits by telling her the truth of her background and that she must marry Prince Phillip.
Similarly, Prince Phillip is telling the King he met the girl of his dreams and his father tells him no, he can only marry Princess Aurora (who oddly, seems to have been missing for sixteen years).
The good fairies are bickering and accidentally release some magic which allows Maleficent to finally learn where the princess has been hidden.
At the palace Maleficent tricks Briar Rose into entering a secret room with a spinning wheel (which the fairies apparently forget to tell her not to touch or else) which she of course touches and immediately falls into a coma.
Maleficent then kidnaps Prince Phillip so he cannot break the curse. The evil witch taunts him by telling him the peasant girl is really Princess Aurora, and she will keep him locked up until he is an old man. Then, when he is released, he will find the princess has never aged so they will never be able to enjoy their love together.
The good fairies plan for the prince’s escape, and in the process he strikes down Maleficent. He then gives the princess a kiss to break the spell and, as you might guess, they live happily ever after.
Sleeping Beauty was made in 1959 and is only 75 minutes long. In the animation Maleficent was voiced by Eleanor Audley.
The movie cost $6 million to make and grossed almost $52 million.
Adjusted for inflation, in 2014 dollars (when Maleficent was released) Sleeping Beauty cost $48 million and made $387 million.
Maleficent was made in 2014 and is 97 minutes long. In the live action movie Maleficent was portrayed by Angelina Jolie. The movie cost an estimated $200 million to make.
Maleficent is essentially the same movie as Sleeping Beauty. It is not a sequel.
More Roles for Maleficent
Maleficient is also a main character in the Kingdom Hearts video games. In the video games she has typically led her minions of evil characters and often captured someone like Minnie Mouse. Disney hero characters, such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy, then have to save the day.
The Kingdom Hearts series has been very popular, selling tens of millions of copies worldwide. There are also many spin-off products and merchandise to be bought.
Throughout the years Maleficent has also made numerous guest appearances in various Disney productions. She is also one of the Disney Divas and known as one of the “Disney Villains.”