So, when I was a kid, fairy tales were pretty straightforward. You had your good witches and bad witches, heroes and villains and happy endings. They were simple, satisfying, easy to digest and definitely more child-friendly than the original Grimm brothers' versions!
This was a good thing because there were some seriously graphic and twisted parts to the stories that the Grimms had put together!
The Grimm Brothers' original fairy tales were reworked over the years to become accessible to the younger set without being overly creepy or keep you awake at night! Most parents these days read stories to kids to try to get them to go to sleep, not stay awake all night in fear!
(Above) This illustrator has other gorgeous adaptations of many fairy tale favorites! Each and every one is feast for the eyes!
Here are a couple more by the same illustrator...
Along the way, some interesting fairy tale versions came about by way of books, movies and the stage. Wicked, for one, gave the Wicked Witch of the West a backstory and humanized her in a way that in my opinion, was not only a game-changer, but life changing!
We also bumped into the below series of books during our princess-fairy tale phase. The My Side of the Story books were fantastic reads that gave another perspective to younger readers which was a refreshing twist on what was usually on the bookshelf.
So, when we found out that the movie, Maleficent, Mistress of Evil was coming out, my blogging partner and I chatted extensively about Sleeping Beauty, misunderstood villains and the great books that have addressed the issue of seeing the other side of the coin!
Of course we had to do a post bringing it all together!
When the first Maleficent came out, the movie trailer was pretty ominous looking so, we held off going. Neither my young daughter nor I was ready to spend money and time in a dark theater being scared and depressed for two hours. Blame that decision on a movie trailer that really didn't do the movie justice!
A couple of years after the original Maleficent release, we were talking about it with a family member who insisted we should watch it! Well, I figured a few years had made both of us a little tougher, so I took Maleficent out from the library. It was fantastic!
Yes, there were some dark moments and scary-action parts, but overall it was a very well-done story with beautiful scenery, gorgeous costuming and a good amount of humor!
Yes, you heard that right! Angelina Jolie was superb and every bit as believable as you would hope in the role!
There are so many versions of the story out in book form; we are always interested to see what new 'spin' each one has!
Initially, we were not sure if Mistress of Evil would be worth the visit to the theater -because you just never know with those sequels! Well, I just ducked over to the Rotten Tomatoes review site to see what the latest opinions were.
As I suspected, the critical folks didn't love it, but the non-critical masses have a 95% fresh tomato rate! Impressive!
I don't know about you, but we both tend to go to the theater to be entertained. If it's a decent story line and well-done overall, it's all good! If we're looking to be more on the intellectual side, we pick up a book!
Five Fun Facts About Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty:
Princess Aurora's appearance was modeled after actress and style icon Audrey Hepburn!
The actress who voiced Maleficent in Disney's animated version of Sleeping Beauty also voiced the stepmother in Disney's animated Cinderella.
Angelina Jolie's daughter, Vivienne, played young Aurora in the first Maleficent movie. The other young actresses were afraid of Angelina in costume whereas her daughter, wasn't scared, knowing it was her mother playing the role!
In Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Princess Aurora has only 18 lines, the least of any speaking main character in a Disney full length feature animated movie!
Maleficent’s raven’s name is Diablo, something not mentioned in Sleeping Beauty.
So, what about you? Have you seen it yet? Did you enjoy it and did it live up to the original?
Let us know what you thought in the comments below! If you haven't already watched the first one, put it on your list!
See you at the movies!
April & Cenzia