'Maleficent' reaches higher ground for Disney revisionists

'Maleficent' reaches higher ground for Disney revisionists
Angelina Jolie is the perfect Maleficent, the most powerful fairy in the remote Moorsland.

Disney's latest offering, Maleficent, is a point of no return for its movie division, which has recently produced several revised takes on popular children's stories.

The live-action movie, whose title character comes from Disney's animated film, Sleeping Beauty, produces a few interesting tweaks to the original tale.

Anticipation for this summer blockbuster has been high since the trailers came out earlier this year and, since its release, it has secured record box-office figures during its opening week in the US, the UK and Canada, surpassing X-Men: Days of Future Past by taking US$176 million in ticket sales.

And the movie, which has also been released in a 3D version, is worth every cent spent to watch it at the cinema.

Maleficent is a darker version of the Grimm brothers' classic tale but it shines brightly, not only because of its A-list cast but also due to the impressive work of the art directors, costume and makeup artists and the computer graphics and effects.

Directed by Robert Stromberg from a script by Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast), Maleficent centers on the travails of the villainess in Disney's 1959 Sleeping Beauty.

The 97-minute movie opens with a narrative by the elderly Aurora (Janet McTeer), who retells her account of the story, bringing the character Maleficent into the picture.

Angelina Jolie is the perfect Maleficent, the most powerful fairy in the remote Moorsland - the home of fairies, trolls and tree monsters - as well as a magnificent-looking dragon.

She has her wings removed by the only human she had ever trusted after defending her land from human greed.

The embittered Maleficent later places a sleeping curse on Aurora (Elle Fanning), daughter of King Stefan (Sharlto Copley), to make the girl fall into an endless slumber once she reaches her 16th birthday.

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