A different true love’s kiss

“Maleficent” presents an alternate, heart-warming story for the beloved classic “Sleeping Beauty.”

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Hayley Langdon, Writer

It has become a trend to present the other side of stories that we all have come to know and love. The musical “Wicked” made this popular by telling the stories of the witches of Oz, completely changing the way viewers see the Wicked Witch of the West. Following suit, Disney’s 2014 movie “Maleficent” brings to light a new truth to the animated fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty” — that true love does not require one to be in love.


The story follows the skeleton of the 1959 animated film but adds the backstory of King Stephen and Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) that plays a pivotal role in the life of Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning). The movie reveals that the king and fairy were once childhood friends who grew to love each other but were separated by Stephen’s hunger for power, which drove him to abandon his childhood friend.

Using the character of Maleficent, the film shows that no one person is entirely good or evil, but that each has a hero and villain within. During Aurora’s childhood, Maleficent watches over her, keeping her from harm and eventually growing to love the young princess. Just before turning 16, Aurora meets Maleficent, whom she calls her “godmother” for the protection she has given her. The relationship the two form gives definition to the idea that even those we see as evil have good in them, an idea which comes to fruition in the movies climax.


Aurora’s finger is pricked, and she lies in a deep slumber where only the kiss of true love can wake her. Cue Prince Philip to come in and save the day — except his kiss has no effect. However, hiding in the shadows of the room is Maleficent, who comes forward to explain how Aurora stole what little bit of her heart she had left. She kisses the head of the girl she witnessed grow up and as she turns away the princess opens her eyes.

This moment is ultimately why I love the movie. It was not the kiss of a boy she met a few days prior that woke her up, but the kiss from someone who deeply loved, cherished and enjoyed her as an individual that broke the curse. Though she is the one who placed the curse upon the princess, Maleficent displayed character against her name, showing benevolence and that each of us can have our hardened hearts softened by love.


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