New MALEFICENT Trailer Looks…Disappointing
In case you missed it a new trailer for Disney’s latest classic revamp, Maleficent, released over the weekend. In one fell swoop, my anticipation plummeted. This is quickly looking like it will turn out like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Sam Raimi’s Oz, the Great and Powerful. If you enjoyed those movies, then Maleficent will be just as fun. For the rest of us who thought Alice was a complete wreck with only the costuming to admire, and Oz as a totally predictable “meh” fest, then Maleficent may be something of a “wait until it comes out on Netflix or Redbox” affair. Here are a few reasons why:
1. The fairies are CG.
Our dependance on CG is starting to get a little ridiculous. The appeal is understandable considering that taking this route is cheaper than the alternative, but when something comes out looking like a character from the Shrek movies… You get where I’m going with this. And what’s wrong with just having normal-sized actors playing the part of the three good fairies throughout the entire movie? It’s not entirely far-fetched, fairies appearing as humans while interacting with other humans. Of all the things Hollywood would like to stick with the source material, they choose this part?
The biggest part that bothered me was that the fairy pictured above looked a little too much like a younger version of the Fairy Godmother from Shrek 2, before she was fabulous. The strange part about it all is that I actually love Shrek 2.
2. Maleficent doesn’t seem as evil as we made her out to be all these years.
The trailer suggests that she’s a little softer than she seems — possibly taking the route of “one must be the villain to save the world.” According to the official synopsis, her seemingly evil actions are all in the name of protecting the moors and the rest of the forest kingdom in which she resides, but she’s still wounded by betrayal and wants revenge. The synopsis provided no context to the last bit, but with the release of this second trailer, it is suggested that the king may have spurned her wrath. Oh great, suddenly Maleficent is a jilted woman. Can’t she just be beaten down and betrayed some other way, like, by whole human society and its unfairness? Something, anything! atypical for a would-be powerful female character that doesn’t involve getting her heart broken by the opposite sex.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good misunderstood protagonist turned antagonist tale as much as the next person, but since Wicked, that angle is getting played over, and over, and over, and without a jaunty tune for us to sing along. Most of us have imagined Maleficent to be an Anakin turned Darth Vader turned Emperor Palpatine. We perceived Maleficent as this dark-hearted “witch with a B” who just likes making people miserable. In the events of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent found the perfect in when she was not invited to Aurora’s birthday. Using the non-invite as a petty excuse, further amplifying the illusion that she has a mercurial temperament, Maleficent unleashes her most heinous plan yet. We’ll probably not get to see that side of her now.
3. So who’s the villain?
Wouldn’t it be great if it turned out to be Aurora herself? Granted she may yet be a mere tool, a catalyst if you will, for setting off the “big bang,” but wouldn’t it be a great twist if she had been corrupted just enough by the king and the so-called “good fairies” to be willing to bring some sort of end to the kingdom Maleficent is trying to protect? As unlikely as this scenario is, it’s still better than what Disney may actually have in store. Probably.
Maybe the feeling of “whelmness” was developed from my desperate need to finally get a dark anti-hero movie from one of my favorite villains in the entire Disney catalogue. Something resembling what Snow White and the Huntsman could have been if the focus was actually more on the evil queen than on anyone else. Who knows, we may still get it, but the odds are looking a little…too colorful and bright. One thing I can say for sure, Angelina Jolie looks exquisite as Maleficent.
What are your thoughts after watching the new trailer? Are your expectations as high as they were when you saw the teaser, or did they drop like a big bag of stones in the river?