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‘Maleficent:’ The savior of live-action

In recent years, live-action movies have been the bread and butter of the Disney franchise, but rarely have they been done well. Instead of new cinematic masterpieces, we end up with rehashed and distorted versions of movies we already know and love.

I’m a huge Disney movie fan, but these films are garbage. When I saw their earliest live-action film, “The Jungle Book,” I fell asleep in the theater for the first and only time in my life. Why would I pay someone to ruin a film I already adore?

I would almost advocate that these films should be banned entirely, but there’s one exception: “Maleficent.”

The “Maleficent” series is brilliant. It follows one of the blandest story lines, “Sleeping Beauty,” and transforms it into something new, beautiful and profound.

The original film has a pretty cookie-cutter plot: Princess is cursed by villain, helped by fairy godmother(s), prince kills dragon and wakes princess up with a kiss. The new, live-action version, however, paints the villain, Maleficent, as the good guy, the fairy godmothers as bumbling and incompetent, the king as evil and the prince as insignificant.

Throughout the two films, we see Maleficent take on a mothering role for the child she cursed, causing her to desperately try to undo it. Additionally, the CGI enhances the original and rudimentary cartoon graphics, and the movie gives characters stronger motivations.

Maleficent is successful because it takes a boring, well-known plot and transforms it into something new and engaging. Instead of rehashing the classics, Disney needs to find more ways to retell them. I’m not talking about changing minor plot details; I want something new and original, something thoughtful.

“Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil” came out in theatres on Oct. 18 and features the talents of Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Elle Fanning as Aurora and Michelle Pfeiffer as the Queen. This is one live-action film you won’t regret seeing.

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