Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Maleficent: New Poster, New Pics (& More Coming)

Marketing for Maleficent is heating up and we're starting to get some very interesting glimpses behind the horns. And if you had any doubt about Maleficent actually being evil at some point, this poster should "dispell" (ha!) that notion. She looks downright vampiric here. I'm rather relieved by this. Although I know it's a family film kids have no trouble understanding how someone, who was good, can get hurt and make bad decisions. In fact, I'll bet you it'll be kids that have the least amount of trouble with Maleficent turning bad and that they will be the ones saying it straight, as in: "Why would you go do that? You KNOW that's a bad thing to do!" Kids will get this - just like they do in fairy tales. It will be the adults who will be uncomfortable, wondering, "shouldn't we be offering therapy?.."

I'm extra looking forward to this now.

So, first up in Maleficent news is the new poster. Well, posterS. The one with Aurora in her cursed sleep, superimposed over the bottom half of Maleficent's form is really just a spiffier version of the plain one, but it's gorgeous nonetheless. Here's a closer look at the added image/s.

Sidenote: how many of the above flowers are pretty-but-poisonous?

In fact, that's one thing that seems guaranteed about this film: no matter what concerns we might have about the script or Disney' s treatment of a classic villain, the only hiccup in the visuals presented to date has really been the good fairies. Even the often-displayed-as-campy Maleficent, looks amazing (thanks not only to Angelina Jolie's movie star looks but her input on the character design). But we're getting a better look at these guys too and the most recently released image isn't too terrible...
These fairies "Knotgrass", "Flittle", and "Thistletwit" are markedly smaller and cuter than the dark and imposing Maleficent. But they are crucial to the story. (Source)
A look at the fairy on the right shows similarities to the early Maleficent look we've seen in the trailers. I'm glad to see they'e made an effort to show Maleficent is actually a fairy (or was before she went bad). I find myself hoping that these good fairies decisions are juxtaposed against Maleficent's decisions, showing their potential to become dark as well, (though that doesn't explain the odd size difference to me).

The other thing is that Ms. Jolie is starting to give significant interviews about this film and her first role as a villain (can you believe this is her first villainous role? I have to go check the facts on that...) and with those interviews is more information into the iconic character and what the movie is really about. in fact, this quote here from Screenrant, just about sums it up (I made the important part large and bold):
She also confirmed that the Sleepy Beauty re-imagining has a similar philosophical outlook as Wicked, as illustrated nicely by the following quote: “The exercise wasn’t how can we have fun with a villain? It was: What turns people evil and vile and aggressive and cruel? What could have possibly happened to her?”
From ComicBookMovie:
The movie will not only tell the story of Sleeping Beauty, but it will look at the origins of the captivating evil fairy queen. In this telling, Maleficent is so cruelly betrayed as she attempts to protect the forest she lives in from an invading army, that her heart turns to stone. Her curse on Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) is part of her struggle against the invading king's successor.
Ms. Jolie has also talked a little about the debut acting role of her daughter Vivian Jolie-Pitt as the young Princess Aurora (seen in the poster/promo image released below) which was apparently at least as practical a decision as taking advantage of an opportunity (possibly more so).
“The other 3- and 4-year-old [performers] wouldn’t come near me,” she told the site. “It had to be a child that liked me and wasn’t afraid of my horns and my eyes and my claws. So it had to be Viv.” She even freaked out her ten-year-old son Pax. “When Pax saw me for the first time, he ran away and got upset — and I thought he was kidding, so I was pretending to chase him until I actually found him crying. I had to take off pieces [of the makeup] in front of him to show him it was all fake and not freak out so much.” Incidentally, Pax and sister Zahara were extras in the christening scene in which Maleficent curses a baby Sleeping Beauty. (Source)
In fact, Jolie talked a lot, with EW, about how important her kids were in helping her realize this role, and in speaking to them about the importance of them understanding how decisions can adversely affect them (the interview of which I'll be posting on next).

Why am I bothering adding this behind-the-scenes Hollywood-style trivia to the blog? Because the consideration of darkness in fairy tales is prominent, as is the consideration of the classic Disney fairy tale villain, and when society at large starts thinking about all that differently, they're thinking about fairy tales differently, and that's worth noting.

Meanwhile, Disney World's new Festival of Fantasy has debuted and we've been treated to new characters (and costumes) from the world of Maleficent, along with the highly anticipated giant steampunk dragon. It's the prominence o the additional characters that's interesting - again, adding to this fairy tale's Disney canon in the long run. I'm fairly sure that these aspects will be mirrored in the movie, at the very least as well, and when minor characters get their stories told, other stories unfold and intertwine and suddenly you fins Sleeping Beauty related to tales like the Six Ravens and the popular fairy legend of Titania and Oberon. If the movie does well, the possibilities of opening this "world" are almost unlimited. I'm excited about the potential, but we'll just have to wait and see what's the movie is actually like and how it's received.
A fire-breathing Maleficent in dragon form glides through Magic Kingdom in Disney's Festival of Fantasy parade. 

The Raven is part of the 'Sleeping Beauty' unit, where the heroic Prince Phillips battles a Steampunk-inspired Dragon as the wicked Maleficent.

Disney debuts some of its 'most elaborate' costumes in Disney Parks history, including this Thorn stilt-walker from the 'Sleeping Beauty' unit

I will have another post for you shortly, which will show you the EW interview Ms. Jolie did. It's worth reading the whole thing for some extra insight and the interesting consideration of this fairy tale. in fact, I might hunt down a physical copy of this issue to keep. If things keep going the way they're trending, this movie could play quite a significant role in how filmmakers view and remake/retell fairy tales in the future.

Here's one more look at Angie in full villain mode.

Fairy tale bonus of the day:
In the images from the new Festival of Fantasy parade, I noticed an interesting addition. There's a whole "category" (for want of a better word) called The Princess Garden. Along with the expected princess appearances was this:
Faux-feathered members of the Swan Court are in the very first unit called 'The Princess Garden,' which is a pageantry of princesses celebrating Disney royalty.
The "Swan Court"? What? Exactly which Disney property did these emerge from? Are they a shout out to Swan Lake? Disney didn't make - and doesn't own - The Swan Princess so... ?? I guess it's a mystery for another day...

1 comment:

  1. The mistress of the animals (and the woods) should not be violated and mutilated, since only she is capable of loving all creatures with UNCONDITIONED LOVE, including loving humans (domesticated-civilized „little beasties“).

    Philipp can only love what he „knows and what he can trust“, hence he fails to awaken the girl.

    No wonder that all fairy queens, magicians and shamans have died out in „our“ world of iron cages (buildings, cars, electric current wires, mobile phones, …), iron wings (drones), and iron coins (money)…

    By the way: there is also some „master of the animals“, but even he has died out in „our“ iron(ic) world as well…