With Disney currently raking in a considerable amount of its income from the Marvel cinematic universe (and will soon do the same with Star Wars), it's easy to forget the robust stable of proprietary IP the company still has at hand. Digging deeply into that vault has resulted in the upcoming fantasy blockbuster Maleficent.
While the first trailer for Maleficent played largely as a standard preview for a modern fantasy epic (a la the tonally similar Snow White and the Huntsman), a new sneak peak at the film approaches the material from a different angle. Initially released via the Disney Channel, the new preview draws explicit comparisons between Maleficent and the movie it draws inspiration from, Sleeping Beauty.
There is a certain advantage in such comparison, as it immediately drums up nostalgia for the Disney animated classic. At the same time, the original trailer derived a decent tension between its initial sense of mystery and the reveal of Angelina Jolie (Kung Fu Panda 3) as the titular dark fairy.
Some of the scene-by-scene comparisons actually do the newer film no favors. For instance, the difference between the vibrantly animated fairy godmothers of Sleeping Beauty and the somewhat wonky CGI creations of Maleficent could inspire more groans than gasps of awe.
Other than these somewhat mixed film comparisons, there's plenty of material here that indicates that Maleficent could end up a cracking good adventure yarn. While I'm still not sold on Jolie's attempts to humanize the villainess, all the fantastical goings-on about her could still make for a fun jaunt to the movies.
Maleficent will cast its spell on theaters on May 30th, 2014.