Disney is still riding high from the critical and financial success of their last theatrical fairy tale in the form of the Oscar-winning animated film Frozen. However, the Mouse House is already looking forward to their next foray into the realm of princesses and magic, with Angelina Jolie's villainous turn as the title character in this May's live-action Maleficent.
Fans of Disney's 1959 animated take on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale are no doubt wondering exactly how this live-action version will spin the story of Princess Aurora into a tale more focused on the evil fairy who curses her. We've already gotten a few glimpses at the film (including a particularly haunting trailer that makes clever use of the original film's most memorable tune), but the origin of Maleficent herself has been mostly shrouded in mystery.
That may have just changed, as Disney has released a new teaser for the film (see above) as well as a new banner revealing a fully winged version of Jolie's character.
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The footage - which touts tomorrow's full trailer release - addresses the question of Maleficent's wings, conspicuously absent in the previous version of the character as well as the bulk of the marketing materials for the new film thus far. After all, the other fairies featured in Sleeping Beauty have them. As Maleficent herself explains in the footage, she once had wings, but they were "stolen" from her. Exactly why and by whom remains to be seen, but the fact that this revelation could have major implications for Maleficent's plot.
In the original Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent suddenly appears at the celebration of Aurora's birth and curses the child seemingly without provocation (other than her not being on the party's invite list). It's not a stretch to think that King Stefan, Aurora's father, or someone else in the royal bloodline might have been responsible for stripping Maleficent of her wings, perhaps long ago. In this case, her cursing of the princess would be an act of revenge and would, in essence, be transformed from a random act of cruelty to a desire for vengeance against those who wronged her in the past.
This is, of course, all speculation at this point, but Maleficent's stolen wings do seem like a logical way to explain how she became the iconic villain fans know her as now. Jolie herself has said that the film aims to explore the character's origins and put her actions into a new context. Her stolen wings could then not only serve as the film's driving plot device, but also answer a long-dormant question about the only fairy in this particular tale who has no wings.
Do you think the loss of her wings is what drives Maleficent to evil, or is some other event responsible for her cruel nature? Let us know in the comments section below.
Maleficent hits theaters on May 30, 2014.
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