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(2014) (Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning) (PG)
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- QUICK TAKE:
- Fantasy: A vindictive fairy curses a newborn princess to get back at her king father, only to have second thoughts once she comes to know and like the girl as she grows up.
- In a faraway land, two kingdoms are diametrically opposed. One is populated with humans ruled by King Henry (KENNETH CRANHAM) who wishes to destroy the other, a place filled with magical and mystical creatures that have no central ruler.
One day, a human boy, Stefan (MICHAEL HIGGINS), is caught stealing a gem from the neighboring kingdom. But rather than punish him, young fairy Maleficent (ISOBELLE MOLLOY) befriends him. As the two grow up into teenagers, their friendship turns to love. But as time marches on, they eventually go their separate ways, with Stefan (SHARLTO COPLEY) desirous of replacing the ill King Henry, while Maleficent (ANGELINA JOLIE) oversees her land as its protector.
She and Stefan are eventually reunited, but in an act of treachery, he renders her unconscious and cuts off her wings, all to prove his worthiness for the throne. Now unable to fly, the increasingly vindictive Maleficent plots her revenge and gets that upon the birth of King Stefan's first child, Aurora.
Maleficent puts a curse on the girl in that on her 16th birthday she'll prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and forever be cursed to eternal sleep. The only possible salvation is an act of true love, something Maleficent no longer believes in.
Nor does the king, and thus he sends his infant daughter off to live in secret with three small fairies, Flittle (LESLEY MANVILLE), Knotgrass (IMELDA STAUNTON) and Thistlewit (JUNO TEMPLE), who've refashioned themselves as her full-sized doting aunts. But Maleficent has a spy among them in Diaval (SAM RILEY), a black crow who can turn into the form of a human to let the fairy know about Aurora (ELLE FANNING) who's now grown into an adventurous teen.
The latter ends up meeting Maleficent and mistakes her for her fairy godmother, with that relationship eventually softening the fairy's hard edge and spite. With time counting down to the girl's pivotal 16th birthday, her future lies in the balance. Could the visiting Prince Phillip (BRENTON THWAITES) be the only person who might be able to save her from eternal sleep?
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Some might, especially if they get the connection to "Sleeping Beauty."
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
- For sequences of fantasy action and violence, including frightening images.
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