Not Godzilla, Gojira

Angelina Jolie's Maleficent hits cinemas tomorrow, soon to be followed by a conga-line of fave fables.

If the massive success of Frozen is any indication, audiences are still in the mood for a little "once upon a time".

Of course, Frozen is a cartoon and Disney has always done a bang-up job turning fairy tales into breathtaking animated films.

Their live-action fairy tales have also been popular, if not quite so beloved.

Alice In Wonderland raked in over a billion dollars worldwide, but left critics and audiences indifferent.

Oz The Great And Powerful brought in half a billion, but is not remotely as special as its forebearer The Wizard Of Oz.

Aside from the Disney efforts, there have been a lot of other films trying to jump on the fairy tale bandwagon in recent years - Mirror Mirror, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Jack The Giant Slayer, Red Riding Hood.

None of them lived happily ever after.

Snow White And The Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, did pretty well, but Stewart's dalliance with its director Rupert Sanders ended up putting the franchise in limbo.


Now, with Maleficent kicking off the second wave of the fairy-tale movie trend, Disney might finally have a box-office winner that people actually adore.

Angelina Jolie stars as the titular character in this adaptation of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.

This time, the story is told from the villain's POV.

If you haven't caught fairy tale fever just yet, here's a closer look at Maleficent and the other childhood fantasies following close on its heels.


ORIGINS: The original story of Sleeping Beauty was first published way back in 1697 by French author Charles Perrault. The Brothers Grimm published their own version in 1812. Copycats.

ADAPTATIONS: There have been many film versions, the most famous being the Disney classic from 1959.

NEW BEGINNING: Maleficent is a massively expensive film, with its budget reported to be in excess of US$200 million (S$250 million). Fortunately, it looks as if all that money was well spent. There are opulent sets, lavish costumes and magnificent creatures. Jolie looks perfect as Maleficent, a dark fairy who seeks vengeance against a king by cursing his beloved daughter Aurora (Elle Fanning).

This article was first published on May 28, 2014.
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