Maleficent, directed by Robert Stromberg, is a movie that tells the untold story of the villain of the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty. At the time when Maleficent was young there were two kingdoms, not far from each other; the moose inhabited by enchanted creatures and the kingdom of man who were afraid of the moose and of the magical creatures that were dwelling there. Maleficent was a winged fairy living in the moose, she was good, helpful and powerful. One day when she was young she met a boy who had stolen a jewel from the jewel-pond. The boy was orphan and poor but nonetheless returned the stolen good and in the months to come became friends with Maleficent. With the passing of the years, Stephan and Maleficent friendship evolved into something different and on Maleficent sixteenth birthday Stephan gave her the gift of a true love’s kiss. But soon Stephan’s greatest aspiration to go live at the King’s castle took him far from the moose and from Maleficent who grew into the strongest fairy and the protector of the moose.
Years later the King decided to attack the moose to conquer its people but Maleficent together with the fair folk drew them away. The King was deathly injured and he called upon his court for vengeance; who among them kill the winged creature would be proclaimed his successor.
It was Stephan who picked up the challenge and went to see Maleficent. Maleficent, who was fundamentally good, trusted Stephan to be there to warn her and to her everything was like it used to be. But Stephan had her drink something sleep-inducing to make her unconscious. Unable to stab her to death, he cut off her wings and brought them back to King.
The betrayal caused such a grief in Maleficent that she turned dark and vindictive. She chose a crow, Diaval, she could turn into a man at will so that he could be her wings, and she used him as a spy. Through Diaval she learned that Stephan had mutilated her to be King and then that the King and Queen had had a baby. For the princess christening they had organized a grand celebration which Maleficent would not miss.
This is the first bit of the movie in common with the Disney classic; Maleficent goes to the christening and bestows a gift on the baby, Aurora. She spells her enchantment such as the princess will grow in beauty and health, loved by everyone who met her, until her sixteenth birthday. Before the sun set on such day, Maleficent curse the princess so that she will prick her finger on the spinner of a spinning wheel and she will fall into a sleep-like death from which she will never awaken. The begging of king Stephan has Maleficent revise the curse so that the princess can be awaken, but only by a true love’s kiss. Finally, she makes the curse unbreakable.
Following the curse the King has all the spinning wheels of the country destroyed and commands his men to haunt Maleficent down. He also entrust the three fairies, who had been present at the ceremony to look for peace between the two reigns, to keep Aurora safe in a hidden place for sixteen years and a day.
In the meantime, Maleficent builds a wall of thorns surrounding the moose so that no more man will ever be able to set foot in it, and defeats every and each attack the King’s guard put forward to destroy it. But she also keeps a watch on Aurora and year by year she begins to love the little beasty.
With the fairies, Aurora grows in health and beauty and respectful of all living creatures. Like many others she’s also attracted by the mystery beyond the wall of thorns and when she is fifteen, Maleficent decides to give it a try and let her through. Aurora is mesmerized by the enchanted world and when she meets face to face with Maleficent she tells her that she knows she’s her fairy godmother who has been watching over her for her whole life. Maleficent is speechless by this revelation at first but she’s grown fond of the girl and she doesn’t want anymore to let her go. When she tries to lift the curse though, she can’t because it is unbreakable.
Inevitably Aurora sixteenth birthday arrives. Aurora discovers the truth about the curse and Maleficent and she runs to the castle and to her father. But with the curse in motion she pricks her finger and falls into the sleep-like death. But Maleficent is all set to try everything she can to undo the curse and she finds the only boy, a prince, who Aurora has met and fancied. Maleficent leads the prince to the castle and to Aurora’s death bed, but his kiss isn’t of true love and Aurora doesn’t wake. That’s when Maleficent regrets are doings and recognizes that she had been moved by grief and anger. She kisses Aurora on the head and she wakes because theirs’ true love.
Once Aurora is awake she says she wants to go back to the moose with Maleficent, but the king had been preparing for years to ambush Maleficent and kill her. So an epic battle strikes within the castle. Afraid for Aurora well being, Maleficent tells her to run. In her search for a safe hiding place she finds the room of the King where he kept her wings, and she frees them. In the main hall, Maleficent is in the meantime overpowered because the King and his guards make use of iron which is the only material that burns fairies. Weakened, she’s about to be killed by Stephan when her wings find their way back to her. And finally she’s whole again. Empowered by her wings Maleficent finds the strength to fight back. Upon winning though she sees that there’s no reason for revenge anymore and she decided to spare King Stephan’s life. He doesn’t accept the defeat and in one last attempt to overcome Maleficent he falls from a tower and dies.
And like this a new day rises. Maleficent throws down the wall of thorns and she proclaims Princess Aurora the Queen of the moose. So the two reigns of the fairy people and of men were unified and all was well.