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Mar 112015
 

Many of us remember Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Now here’s a new film version that focuses on a different angle, which is the story of Maleficent. Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) was the main villain of Sleeping Beauty, but she wasn’t always evil.

Maleficent was once a good powerful fairy that lived in the Moors, which is a magical forest realm that neighbors a human kingdom. She even had wings like an eagle, which would allow her to fly anywhere. As for Maleficent’s horns on her head, they’re actually a part of her. Until I saw that, I always thought she wore a helmet.

After the greedy King Henry (Kenneth Cranham) fails to conquer the Moors, he decides to pass on the crown to whoever manages to kill Maleficent. Of course everyone wants that reward. Unfortunately, that includes Stefan (Sharlto Copley) who used to be good friends with her.

Apparently, Stefan chose the crown over friendship, but instead of killing Maleficent, he cuts her wings off. It was that betrayal which drove Maleficent to evil. Now it’s clear why she goes to the castle and curses Stefan’s newborn child, like in the animated version.

From this point, the movie does follow the story line to the animated version, but with different twists from the other characters. For starters, Maleficent’s raven companion has a name, Diavel (Sam Riley), and can turn into a human among other things under Maleficent’s control.

The three pixies, which were originally named Flora, Fauna, and Meriwether, are named Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton), Thistlewit (Juno Temple), and Flittle (Lesley Manville). They are very comical while trying to put up with one another. Flora and Meriwether’s conflict over a dress being pink or blue was one of my favorite highlights on the animated version, but these three are more like female versions of the 3 Stooges, especially while in human form.

Then there’s Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning). She’s a sweet girl with a big smile. Even though Maleficent dislikes her and nicknames her Beasty, she tends to check up on Aurora very frequently and eventually likes her. It must be Aurora’s adorable beauty and kind nature that makes her so likable.

This was a great version of the Sleeping Beauty story from a different angle. It makes me wonder how the new Cinderella movie will turn out.

Feb 042011
 

When it comes to epic fantasy adventure, one of the main types of characters that really catches my interest are evil sorceresses with plans of world domination. Aren’ t they as lovely as they are dangerous?

I have here a list of ten witchy women that know how to leave their mark with magic spells, curses, and henchmen who serve them.

#10) Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) from Willow: This wicked queen is the evil ruler of the kingdom of Nockmaar. When Bavmorda hears about a prophecy about a baby that threatens her reign, she stops at nothing to keep it from coming true. Bavmorda’s power is strong enough to turn an entire army into pigs with only a few flicks of the wrists. I can remember how creepy that transformation process was.

#9) Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty: During the celebration of the birth of Princess Aurora at the castle, this wicked sorceress decides to crash the party and put a curse the princess. If Aurora pricks her finger on a spinning wheel before she turns 16, she will sleep forever. That resulted in having every spinning wheel in the kingdom destroyed. Do you suppose Maleficent chose a spinning wheel as the tool because she has a personal issue with seamstresses?

#8) Queen Morgana from King Arthur and the Knights of Justice: This very powerful sorceress is King Arthur’s half-sister, who is bent on taking over Camelot. Many of her followers are warlords she created from stone. Morgana’s only weakness is her castle because some of her life force is within it. I heard of being attached to a place, but this is ridiculous.

#7) Tempestra from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (80’s version): She was originally the main villainess in an arcade game Leonardo gets addicted to, until she breaks free to unleash her terror on the world. Tempestra has the power to control all of the natural elements and her laser blasts are lethal. However, her powers are limited because she’s still a computer chip, no matter how human she looks.

#6) Chlorhydris from The Smurfs: She’s a dangerous sorceress with the ambition to remove all love from the world. Chlorhydris was once kind, but became hateful when her true love was stolen away from her. Now there’s a sorceress with issues, considering that her spells are more intense than Gargamel and Hogatha combined.

#5) Madam Mim from Disney’s Sword in the Stone: Here’s a sorceress that makes practicing magic look easy because she can work a spell faster than you can say “Alakazzam”. She really shows it during the exciting wizard duel against Merlin. Mim also likes to brag that she is the greatest, which would explain why she has no followers.

#4) Apparitia from Ghostbusters (1986 version): This vampish vixen is an evil spirit, who uses her powers for haunting purposes. She may look gorgeous now, but she can change into a more frightening entity at any time as a response to those who stand in her way.

#3) Magica de Spell from Ducktales: Although her origin is unknown, she really stands out as one of Scrooge McDuck’s biggest enemies. Magica will stop at nothing to steal his number one dime because it is the source of Scrooge’s fortune. She believes it will make her rich and powerful. Now isn’t that just nutty?

#2) Evil-Lyn from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (80s version): She’s not just the only female in Skeletor’s army of evil masters. Evil-Lyn is the cleverest when it comes to deceptiveness. And like the other evil masters, she also hopes to someday overthrow Skeletor and become the most powerful.

#1) Rita Repulsa from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Who better to make the number one spot on this list than the very first major villainess in the Power Rangers franchise. She is the mastermind behind many attempts to take over the Earth with her henchmonsters and magic spells. Rita was also responsible for the evil Green Ranger and Dragonzord. Little did she know that they would turn to the side of good and give the Power Rangers more of an edge. So that would make how many headaches Rita has had with every failure?