How to make a movie around an iconic villain.

The unofficial start of Disneys live action classic remakes (not including Alice in Wonderland 2010). Came with Maleficent.

They did something that hasn’t really been done by Disney before nor since. (Cruella is coming in 2021 so we’ll see what happens there).

So how did they make Maleficient so good? A few things all came together.

1. Cast an amazing actress/actor

2. Show their origin, give backstory outside of the classic.

3. Don’t be afraid of giving them half a movie to flesh out.

4. Bring in the heroine and let the stort play out.

5. Redeem your villian

Maleficent followed this blueprint and executed beautifully. And I for one hope Disney revisit this model more often. It’s nice seeing the classic in live action. But they are getting more and more like their source material. Maleficent worked so well because it was different. Not afraid of taking risks. Also if you are not sure a Disney Villian redemption movie can be pulled off again…see Beauty and the Beast. That and Maleficent run very closely.

Disneys villains are as iconic as their heroes and deserve to be front and center more often. Ok maybe not all can be redeemed. But at least explore their origin. Find out why they are so bad.

Disney saw how well it worked by giving Maleficent a sequel. I fully support more movies of this kind going forward. Hopefully Cruella (2021) is the next step down this road.

Image: GlobalPanorama

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