Just last Saturday I had a birthday. I love birthdays. Mentally, I have to say I’m always excited like a 5-year-old child. I still love getting up early and seeing the sunrise as I run my 4 miles per day. Then, coming home after my run and making tea and breakfast for the love of my life, as our little bulldog snores loudly at our feet. Then, playing with the toys that I’ve been given to celebrate my special day.

I also love to coach folks on finding their inner talents and teaching them how they can make money from their skills. Last week was an exceptional week for helping people to do just that and I get a kick from that every time.

FINALLY,  I’m happily preparing to do a book signing and give a talk at Friends Of The Mouse in Orange County this Saturday, June 28th at 12 noon at the Garden Grove Historical Society.

Plus, Disneyland’s Birthday is coming up quickly. I’ll be on hand to meet and greet all who decide to stop by Coke Corner to chat and tell stories as we all enjoy saying Happy Birthday to the greatest Park in the world. I hope to see you there. Whoo Hoo!

Now, on with the show and the real reason for today’s article . . .

My Love Hate Relationship with Angela Jolie’s Maleficent

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article that touched upon the film Maleficent.

I was very excited to see the new film, but I was fearful because I didn’t want her to turn out to be a weenie. Well, to my sorrow, not only did she turn out to be a weenie, but the whole cast turned out to be a bunch of weenies.

Forgive me. Let me start over. When someone criticizes something, they ought to tell what they liked about it first. I mean, that’s only fair.

So what did I love about the film?

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I loved the look of Angela Jolie as Maleficent. This actress looked so fierce it made me shudder with delight as she clinched her teeth together. I also enjoyed Maleficent’s wonderful wardrobe. I think it’s about time that she got one. I just loved her furs, yummy! The idea that the horns were an actual part of her structure and how her outfits incorporated various wraps around the horns to complete the fashion was fabulous.

I know many of you just loved the film and that’s the beauty of having many films to go to and many films to choose from. We all have different tastes and come from different attitudes; therefore, different opinions. Allow me to state mine.

Before I continue, I’d like to warn those who have not yet seen the film to consider before they read on as there are spoilers. Perhaps you would like to go see the film first and then come back and read how I feel if you wish.

What did I not love about the film?

After seeing this film, I felt kinda sick and disappointed; however, I wanted to really think about my feelings. I didn’t come out of the film spitting nails and cursing or anything. Still, I wasn’t happy.

I’ve decided that I most likely would’ve loved the film if they hadn’t titled it Maleficent. It was a decent film about a wronged fairy, but it just wasn’t Maleficent’s story.

It burns me when Hollywood sees something that it likes and then makes too many films that follows in that same pattern. Wicked, the musical comes out on Broadway with a story about a poor, sad, mistreated Wicked Witch. Now it seems like every evil creature is a poor wronged mistreated character. It was a fresh and lovely idea for Wicked.

Maleficent means Evil Doer. This is how she got her name. She is the ultimate villain. It’s just the wrong title for this film.

In Sleeping Beauty, as in many fairy tales, the moral of the story is when you are pure of heart and full of truth, you can overcome evil. True love conquers all in the original Sleeping Beauty. A simple story, but one I love and feel we just don’t have enough of nowadays.

What was the moral of the new film? Was it that the villain was someone bullied and wronged and that if you were bullied when young that your destiny is to grow up and be an angry villain? I was bullied and it wasn’t my destiny?

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In the new film, the 3 fairies are just idiots. You wonder how they ever were trusted to do anything at all, let alone take care of Aurora. In Sleeping Beauty, they were savvy and smart fairies to be reckoned with.

In this new version, the queen was a walk-on never to be seen again and Aurora was bland as dry toast. Beautiful, but with only one facial expression that she used over and over. A lovely girl, but where was the shyness and the beautiful timid sweetness that we have all come to love in the original?

The classic Maleficent is my favorite villain. I just love the way that she is determined to defeat good, but that good is just as determined to defeat her. Great, strong conflict as the prince must ride before it’s too late to save the kingdom, right down to the raven being turned to stone by our kick-butt trio of good fairies.

I even began to be drawn into this new version. I felt hope as Maleficent started to deliver her curse. The wind rose and the robes rustled and she became green and looked very scary. Yea! But my hopes were soon dashed when her lines went something like this:

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The child will grow up in beauty and happiness . . . 16th birthday . . . blah, blah . . . prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel . . . stagger a bit and then pass out. No wait, too harsh . . .fall asleep, but not harshly. . . gently . . . while watching her favorite soap opera . . . and she won’t hurt her head as she falls to the floor as would happen with someone who is suddenly asleep instead.

And, so you won’t be shocked, she’ll float gently to the ground in slow-mo so that true love’s kiss can wake her up and all will be butterflies and flowers, as we wouldn’t want you to think that life can be a challenge or anything.

What? There is no need to get creative here. The line is very simple. Say it with me.

“She will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and DIE!”

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DIE, DIE, DIE!

Is this so hard? And then, because of this new PC line version, the third fairy looks more like a dolt because she has nothing to dispel. If I were Flora, Fauna and Mary weather, I’d sue for deformation of character.

In this film the prince is just window dressing and really not needed at all. He awkwardly says hello with a horse that just stands there. What’s up with that?

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The fairies are useless and King Stefan is the unbelievable bad guy, so messed up that he doesn’t even like himself.

And, talk about evil, the place this film went with the disfigurement of Maleficent was just this side of sexual assault. So beyond horrible and nasty and more brutal then anything Maleficent did or could do in the original Sleeping Beauty.

Now you know why I make a good storyteller. I’m very passionate.

Just like you when an artist hasn’t created something “on model” for you to collect. Or when someone says something negative about Walt Disney, your passion comes out as well.

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This is my passion coming out about my beloved Villain.

Maybe it’s not fair to compare, but compare we do. It cannot be helped. When you title a film after one of Disney’s finest villains, be prepared to hear from both sides.

Needless to say, this is why I was disappointed. I welcome your comments. If you loved the film, no worries, don’t take my comments personally as they are my opinion and mine alone.

I know that I will ruffle a few feathers here. I apologize ahead of time.

My perfectly loveable artist run had to hit a road bump at some point. I look forward to hearing your opinions.

And next time around, how about we chat a bit about Star Wars? What do you think about Harrison Ford’s unfortunate accident on set when a door fell on him? My goodness!

See you next time.