Hello Beasty.  This was surprisingly emotionally complex and nice to watch a Disney property that isn’t a live action remake.

CERTIFICATE: PG

DIRECTOR: Joachim Ronning

STARRING: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning and Michelle Pfeiffer

SCREENPLAY: Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster

GENRE: Adventure Family

RUNTIME: 118 mins

★★★ 3 stars

If you think you know the story of Sleeping Beauty, it is well past time that you thought again.  Following up after the first film five years ago, this film tells the story of what happens afterthe Happily Ever After.

So Aurora is now Queen of the moors, and is still happily in love with Prince Philip.  When he asks her to marry him, she obviously says yes and she and her godmother head to the neighbouring castle to meet the king and queen.  As you can imagine things go down hill from their, testing everyone allegiances and forcing some people to make tough choices for what they believe in.

Lets start by talking about how freaking beautiful this film was.  The opening scene, swooping over all that scenery….just wow.  For those of you who have visited Disney world, it really reminds me of the Soarin’ride, just without the smells.  It was stunning.  I dunno about you guys, but I would live in the Moors without a second thought.  All the effects were beautiful and it just came alive on screen.  Truly stunning.   Sadly though, the CG wasn’t that beautiful throughout the film and there were times when it came up just a little short of the standard I would expect from a Disney film. I have seen what Disney can do with effects and it is better that a lot of what you see here, especially during the battle scenes when everything is moving super fast.  That’s when it becomes the most obvious.  It’s not terrible, it’s just…noticeable. 

The problem with fairy tales is that the plot is always going to be predicable.  You know that by the end everything will work out OK.  And so just for once, I was that wasn’t true.  It isn’t the case here, but I can keep hoping.  The plot of this film was very predictable.  Even though they try very hard to keep you in suspense and to add wild card elements in an attempt to make you fear for the future of all the characters, it always is and was obvious that nothing will happen to them. Especially to those who we consider to be ‘in the right’ There is some fairly complex emotions dealt with here, but it all comes to light pretty quickly that there is no need to fret and that it will all be OK in the end.

The characters to me are the part that really let this down. It’s all well and good having a film that is visually stunning, but that is no good if you have nothing but wooden characters.  The character of Prince Philip to me, is the worse offender.  He has no personality whatsoever outside of being a love interest for Aurora.  He has one redeeming moment where he threatens a Fey with his sword, but other then that does very little throughout the film.  It’s good to have a very female lead film, but I would worry if my kingdom were left in this Prince’s hands.

And finally we can’t talk about this film without mentioning Angelina herself.  She always brings such a sense of majesty to every role she plays.  And this one is no different.  Her performance is spectacular.  There is an eerie elegance to this character that she does so well and during the movie so much happens to this character that she has to give a lot to it, a full emotional range, and it is done brilliantly.  I can’t imagine anyone else playing this role.

So for me this had it’s problems, but for a family film, if you have kinds that love Disney, or who loved the first film, there is plenty of Whimsy to go around.  Just don’t expect ground-breaking story telling.  You won’t find it here.   

MALEFICENT IS OUT IN UK CINEMAS NOW!

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