maleficent
mad madame mim Maleficent is a truly classic fairy tale villain. She is evil for the sake of being evil, but doesnít seem to be
actively trying to conquer anything, though sheís certainly quite capable of doing so. But when sheís
overlooked as a prospective godmother for the Princess Aurora, she gets really ticked off, ticked off
enough to do some heavy duty cursing. It seems like a minor thing to get so worked up over, but itís
really a matter of Pride, something that villains seem to be particularly sensitive about.

Visually, she is Gothic masterpiece, a tall, pale personage dressed all in black and purple, with a horned
headdress that roughly suggests her more dragonish side. In human form, she radiates coldness and
power, prone to giving spine-tingling portents of doom and being twistedly sadistic for fun. She also has a
pretty effective maniacal laugh. Maleficent is a very high profile villain. Everyone knows where she is
(high, scary mountain), what sheís plotting (kill off princess), and when sheís coming (Auroraís sixteenth
birthday). The problem is, nobody can do anything about it.

Humor is not one of Maleficentís strengths. She has a crow as a familiar, who acts as spy, ally, and
lapcat, but the real funnies are her gargoyle-styled troops, a bumbling group of stupids who donít appear
much in the movie. Her weakness is a simple one: she doesnít know much about love or kindness, thus
canít conceive of what actions might be taken to keep Aurora out of sight. This, however, isnít what foils
her in the end. The problem she runs up against at the end is sheer overconfidence. She underestimates
the three good fairies, forgets that Philip can kill her in dragon form, and most importantly, figures she
canít lose. Unfortunately, losing happens to be the purpose of her existence.

Maleficent was based on the similarly slighted fairy from the original fairy tale, but there was no dragon,
no giant castle, and no climax. In fact, her counterpart virtually disappeared after the initial cursing scene.
In film, she has become one of the most frightening members of the Disney canon and one of the hardest
to forget.
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