- “A forest of thorns shall be his tomb! Borne through the skies on a fog of doom! Now go with the curse, and serve me well! 'Round Stefan's castle, CAST MY SPELL!!!!”
- ―Maleficent casting her spell to stop Prince Phillip
Maleficent is an extremely powerful and evil fairy and the main antagonist in Disney's 1959 animated feature film Sleeping Beauty , and returns as the main character in the live-action 2014 spin-off film of the same name. She takes offense at not being invited to the christening of Princess Aurora, and attempts revenge on King Stefan and the Queen by cursing Aurora. Like Chernabog, Maleficent is an incarnation of pure evil, responsible for all misfortune in King Stefan's kingdom. She appears to be particularly unfond of the three good fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, her polar opposites, who do all in their power to keep Maleficent's overwhelming evil magic at bay. Maleficent is also famous for her role as one of the primary antagonists of the Kingdom Hearts series. With her Gothic, elegant design, dramatic and flamboyant animation and unlimited arsenal of magic powers, Maleficent is currently one of the most recognizable and most popular Disney Villains in addition to being one of the franchise's official members.
Simply put, Maleficent in the original film represents true evil, She is ruthless and devious, and will do whatever it takes to achieve her (evil) goals. Additionally, she is very sinister, which is shown by taunting Prince Phillip after she captures him. Her most famous quote "You poor simple fools, thinking you could defeat me. Me, the mistress of all evil." indicates that she thinks herself above everyone, even calling her closest allies "her pets". Other than herself, the only entity that she seems to have genuine care for is her pet raven, Diablo. This is especially evident in her horror at Diablo being turned to stone. Maleficent also seems to have some emotional instability. This is especially evident in her reaction to the discovery that her goons spent the previous 16 years looking for a baby, where she pitched a nearly a truly evil laughing fit before reacting violently towards her goons.
Maleficent, on top of her deviousness, is very misleading in her personality. But, underneath the mask of stoicism, Maleficent unleashes the full brunt of her wrath with a smile. A sign she relishes in the pain of others. This is displayed during her first appearance during Aurora's birthday ceremony. When Merryweather states bluntly, "You weren't wanted," Maleficent pretends to be shocked and hurt, remarking, "In that event I'd best be on my way." But then she turned around and cast a curse upon Aurora, cackling in the sweet revenge she attained.
In her starring role, however, it is shown that she was originally good, but betrayal hardened her heart.
Maleficent is one of the most powerful villains in Disney history. Her powers are magic based. Using her staff she can conjure up her spells, for example, lightning projection, divination, and teleportation. Merryweather also implied that she was capable of summoning frost storms. She can even cast powerful dark magic spells like her forest of thorns. She was also capable of flying by conjuring energy from her staff in a similar manner to a galaxy or a helicopter rotor. This was presumably used as an act of desperation, given the events that had her use it. One of her most powerful abilities is to transform into a massive black dragon that breathes fire.
Maleficent appears in the form of a tall, slender, beautiful, pale green-skinned (although some appearances of her depict her with gray skin) woman with a narrow face and a prominent chin. She also has yellow eyes and a horned headdress (though potentially those may be her horns, or simply a hair style), which is symbolic of her dark magic. She is clad in a black-and-purple robe with bat wing-like edges, and wears a gold ring with a large mysterious circular black stone in it. Both the horned headdress and bat wing-like robe represent and foreshadow her dragon form.
Maleficent is an evil fairy, unlike the other three fairy godmothers in the movie and her evil enables her to perform many magical and powerful spells. She carries a staff with a glowing green orb at the tip through which she casts her spells, which include an ability to teleport herself, or send bolts of lightning at enemies. She is also capable of shape shifting at will into numerous forms, including a floating hypnotic light resembling a will-o'-the-wisp and a massive, monstrous black-and-purple dragon. She is not at all comical or goofy like some of the other Disney villains, although she does at times display something of a dark sense of humor. Her minions are a legion of goblins and troll-like creatures. She is also frequently accompanied by her pet raven called Diablo. She seems to have a minor quirk in regards to holding light objects, as she seems to extend her pinkie when holding a torch in the forward direction, as evidenced during her capture of Prince Phillip.
At the christening of the newly born Princess Aurora, the Three Good Fairies come to bestow three gifts on the child: Flora's gift is Beauty, and Fauna's is Song. Before Merryweather has a chance to give the child a gift, Maleficent appears with Diablo, perched on her staff. Angry at not receiving an invitation, she curses the child, decreeing that before the sun sets on Aurora's 16th birthday, the child shall die by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. She then disappears, cackling. Merryweather, unable to undo the entire curse herself, is able to alter it such that Aurora will not die, but merely enter a deep sleep that can only be broken with true love's kiss.
As Aurora's 16th birthday draws near, Maleficent punishes her Goons, who have stupidly been searching for a baby for 16 years to find the princess. After angrily calling the goons idiots and imbeciles and intimidating them into running away by conjuring dark lightning bolts with her staff, she then sends her raven Diablo to search for the princess. After managing to find the hiding location of Aurora and the fairies, Diablo flies back to Maleficent to inform her of Aurora's whereabouts. With this new knowledge, Maleficent plans her next move. When the three fairies return the princess to the castle late that afternoon and leaves her alone for a while, Maleficent finds Aurora and, as a hypnotic apparition resembling a will-o-the-wisp, lures her up a secret stairway in the castle atop a high tower to a spinning wheel conjured by Maleficent. Maleficent orders Aurora to touch the spindle; she does, pricking her finger in the process, and subsequently falls to the floor, motionless. The fairies, who have been frantically trying to stop Aurora, arrive to find Maleficent, who briefly mocks them of their efforts to stop her. She then uncovers the fallen princess before their eyes and vanishes. She then recruits her goons, and they go to the cottage to wait for Prince Phillip, who have previously arranged to meet Aurora (whom he only knew to be as a peasant girl). Upon his arrival, they immediately capture him and take him to Maleficent's domain, the Forbidden Mountain. Only the prince's hat has been left behind at the cottage when the fairies arrive, allowing them to deduce that Maleficent has captured Phillip and imprisoned him at the Forbidden Mountain.
At the Forbidden Mountain, Maleficent visits the imprisoned Phillip in the dungeon. She taunts him with the knowledge that Briar Rose is actually Princess Aurora, who is currently in ageless sleep in the topmost tower of King Stephen's castle, and how Phillip will be free to exit Maleficent's domain a hundred years later to wake Aurora with love's first kiss, making Phillip struggle against his chains. She then leaves Phillip locked in the dungeon and states to herself that she will sleep well for the first time in 16 years as she heads up to her tower to sleep. Flora, Fauna and Merryweather melt the dungeon lock, cuts the chains that are restraining Phillip and arm him with the Shield of Virtue and the Sword of Truth. As they make their escape, they are confronted by Diablo, who fetches the Goons. As the prince and fairies dodge the Goons and make their escape, Diablo flies to warn Maleficent of Phillip's escape, with Merryweather in pursuit. Diablo reaches outside Maleficent's tower, where Merryweather finally turns the raven into a statue. Awakened by Diablo's constant cawing, Maleficent emerges from her tower and, enraged at the sight of Diablo now a statue and that of Phillip escaping, she attempts to strike him down with lightning. As he continues, she summons a forest of thorns to surround Stefan's castle. When she sees that Phillip, with help from the Good Fairies, has managed to hack through the thorns, she appears before him, blocks his entry and transforms into an enormous dragon.
Phillip charges at the dragon, who drives him backwards with her blasts of flame. As Phillip retreats, Maleficent chases him up onto a high cliff and corners him at the ledge. With another powerful flame blast, she blows his shield off. As she is about to finish the now defenseless Phillip off, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather magically empower the Sword of Truth, and Phillip immediately fires the sword at the dragon's chest. Maleficent screams in pain and collapses onto the ledge, attempting to devour Phillip for the last time, but he dodges. Her enormous weight, upon impact, causes the ledge to crumble, sending Maleficent tumbling down from to her demise below. Phillip looks down to see what remains of Maleficent to see nothing more than her shredded cloak on the ground, plus the Sword of Truth, still embedded in the cloak, turning black.
Maleficent (as a dragon) makes a brief cameo in the episode Guatemala Malarkey in a pit of fire as one of the cursed temples booby traps.
Maleficent made frequent cameos as one of the guests on House of Mouse. Notably, one episode, "Halloween For Hades", centered on Hades trying to woo her. Maleficent initially rejects Hades, so Mickey tries to help him by teaching Hades how to be good. The technique fails and he becomes so mad he tries to kill the mouse. Maleficent likes the evil in Hades and agrees to go out with him. Later in the episode, they're seen dining together. Maleficent also appears alongside the villains as part of their song in Mickey's House of Villains. In "Mickey and Minnie's Big Vacation", Maleficent, alongside Mushu, Madam Mim, Elliott and The Reluctant Dragon, cause a fire in the club, with Mushu accusing her for this.
Maleficent plays a major role in the novel that tells the story of Walt Disney World after dark. Maleficent is one of the Overtakers and believed to be the leader. Still, nearing the end of the first book, when Finn calls her the Overtakers' leader, she denies it and tells there's someone far more powerful than her.
Though captured twice, Maleficent manages to escape each and every time; the second time was with her master, Chernabog. She, the Queen and Cruella look for Disney's notes on Chernabog to find a way to bring him back to full power as the transitions into different forms, she's caused him to go through have severely weakened him. On board the Dream, Maleficent and the rest of the Overtakers blend in without much of problem as the crew mistake them for Cast Members in costumes. During the two week cruise, she may be plan to toss the Keepers overboard.
During the Sixth book, Dark Passage, Maleficent is nearly killed by Finn twice, with the second time seemingly working; he strangled her to stop her ability to cast spells, and ripped a hole in her chest using his DHI powers.
Maleficent plays a role in the ABC drama series Once Upon a Time, in which she is a sinister rival of the series' primary nemesis, The Evil Queen from Snow White. Maleficent is played by Kristin Bauer van Straten.
She first appears in the second episode of the first season, "The Thing You Love the Most". She is visited by the Wicked Queen who seeks to retrieve the Dark Curse that she gave to Maleficent in exchange for the Sleeping Curse she inflicted on Snow White. In this continuity, it was revealed before Maleficent afflicted Princess Aurora with the sleeping curse, she went after Aurora's mother with the same curse. After she cursed Aurora, Maleficent moved on with her life and she spends her days in a remote castle with a small black unicorn pony rather than her trademark black raven from the Disney film. She wears purple in varying tones and still carries her trademark staff. The two women battle but the Queen wins, breaks the staff open, and takes the Dark Curse despite a warning from Maleficent that the curse will leave a hole in her soul. When Maleficent challenges the Queen to kill her, the Queen states she won't because Maleficent is her only friend.
Maleficent returns in "A Land Without Magic" during which Charming fights her after Rumplestiltskin forces him to make a deal. In exchange for his mother's ring back, Charming has to take Rumplestiltskin's bottle of true love encased within a protective egg and hide it in a great beast. The beast turns out to be Maleficent transformed into a fire breathing dragon. After he succeeds with his task, he jumps out the window of Maleficent's castle to safety.
She was kept in dragon form in Storybrooke and lived in a cave that could be accessed via an elevator in the boarded up closed library/clock tower. Emma, using her father's sword, kills her in order to retrieve the protective egg containing True Love Potion.
Maleficent returns in "The Evil Queen" when Captain Hook stumbles upon her remains. Her ashes revive her as a zombie-like creature that attacks Hook, making incoherent noises like a ghost. As Hook fights her, she grows in size and swats him aside. Hook escapes her, but what becomes of her afterwards is unknown.
Maleficent is briefly mentioned in the animated series. In the episode "Make Way for Miss Nettle", the villainous fairy Miss Nettle plots to become the most powerful fairy of them all, and openly wishes to become as famous as Maleficent, though she claims she'll be more magnificent.
Maleficent don't virtually appear on the show, only her voice in flashback. When Robin Hood, Will Scarlett and the Merry Mens steals the gold in her castle during her absence, Maleficent throws them an ultimatum by telepathy. It turns out that she is not angry for the disappearance of the gold, only for a magic mirror, effectively stolen by Will Scarlett. This object has the peculiarity to be able to make travel in various worlds.
On May 12, 2009, it was revealed that Brad Bird was developing a live-action motion picture based on Sleeping Beauty, retold from the point of view of Maleficent with Angelina Jolie starring as Maleficent.In January 2010, it was rumored that Tim Burton was to direct the film. Reports surfaced online in May 2011 stating that Burton had left the project to focus on his other upcoming projects; Disney began to look for a replacement director, with David Yates being cited as a potential candidate due to his experience with the fantasy genre, having directed the final four Harry Potter films. Linda Woolverton, who previously collaborated with Tim Burton on Alice in Wonderland, is writing the script for the movie. Angelina Jolie said in an interview that she is definitely interested in the role. Don Hahn, a producer of the movie, confirmed that Disney is developing a film about Maleficent and that it is in active development. On January 6, 2012 Disney announced that Robert Stromberg the production designer for Avatar and Alice in Wonderland will direct the film. The film will also feature 18-year old actress India Elisey as the Young Maleficent with Angelina Jolie playing the Older Maleficent.
Maleficent appears as the final boss of the North American version of the Nintendo game Mickey Mousecapade (in the original Japanese version, the final boss is The Queen of Hearts).
Maleficent appears in her dragon form in the Sleeping Beauty transition level in addition to several background cameos. In Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, she serves as the basis of Mizrabel's redesign.
Maleficent appears as a major antagonist in the Kingdom Hearts series. As opposed to other Disney villains featured in the game (with the exception of Pete) Maleficent serves as a major antagonist throughout the overall storyline of the series, unlike the villains who are only antagonists to the world they originate from. Her story begins in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, in her home world, Enchanted Domain, where she meets Master Xehanort. Their contact leaves Maleficent with the knowledge of the seven princesses of light, thus beginning her journey to gather all the princesses and unleash darkness upon the worlds, claiming them as her own, leading into the events of Kingdom Hearts. In order to do so, Maleficent enlists the assistance of several Disney villains: Pete, Jafar, Ursula, Captain Hook, Oogie Boogie, and Hades. Together, they wreck havoc upon their worlds and collect the princesses through the control over mysterious creatures known as the heartless. However, one boy stands in their way, that boy being Sora, the Keybalde's chosen one. With the help of Donald Duck and Goody, Sora manages to travel across the worlds, defeating each villain, and eventually finding himself in Hollow Bastion, where Maleficent has built her home base. A battle follows, and eventually, Maleficent is killed.
In Kingdom Hearts II, she revives from her death, the only villain still in contact with her being Pete. Together, they continue their quest for power, by merely invading worlds and attacking with Heartless, but a new threat known as the Organization XIII gets in the way of Maleficent's quest for power.
Maleficent would also appear in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, where she appears as a considerably minor character, looking to seek power and constantly antagonizing both Sora and King Mickey.
Maleficent makes a appearance in Disney INFINITY. In the 3DS version, she appears as a cameo where she will force the last place player to remain in last place by removing there emblems.
Behind the Scenes
The style for Sleeping Beauty was based on the art of Eyvind Earle, who claimed to have a 'Pre-Renaissance' style, with strong vertical lines and gothic elegance. Eearle was involved with the design of all the characters, and designed and painted most of the backgrounds in the film. Though early sketches depict a hag-like witch, it was decided that Maleficent's final, elegant design suited Earle's backgrounds. Davis' decision to make Maleficent a powerful fairy rather than an old crone may also have been influenced by Eleanor Audley's voice, which he recalled suggested a very powerful character.
The design for Maleficent's clothes occurred to Davis when he was looking through a book on Medieval art; one of the manuscript images featured a religious figure with long robes, the ends of which resembled flames. Davis incorporated this into Maleficent's final design. He based the sides of her headdress on the wings of a bat, and the top of her headdress on the horns of the devil.
After Eleanor Audley's vocal and live-action performances for Lady Tremaine, Walt Disney personally suggested that she be considered for the voice and live-action reference for Maleficent. Davis praised Eleanor Audley's live-action performance for the character, claiming that she created many of Maleficent's expressions and mannerisms that were ultimately used in the animation. The animators were more limited with how their characters could move against the detailed backgrounds. The manner in which Maleficent moved, perhaps limited by her costume, later inspired Andreas Deja to take a similar route when animating Jafar for Aladdin.
Deviations form Source Material
In the Sleeping Beauty ballet the evil fairy was named Carabosse. In some versions of the fairy tale, she only appeared to curse the child at the beginning, and did not appear elsewhere in the story; in these versions, the spinning wheel the princess pricks her finger on is not magical but simply a normal spinning wheel. One version of the story shows the fairy who curses the princess as old and grumpy, but not necessarily evil; this version of the character lived (most of the time sleeping) in a tower at the top of the castle, and, after cursing the princess, goes back to sleep, not appearing afterwards.
Maleficent appears in various shows and parades. She does not appear as a meetable character very often at the parks, although she has recently been released into the meet-and-greet mix at Walt Disney World's annual event, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
At Hong Kong Disneyland, she hosted the 2010 Halloween festivities, with an animatronic dragon Maleficent being placed in the hub and hosting a variation of the HalloWishes fireworks show. Maleficent can be seen in One Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!, Mickey and his Magic Halloween Night and formally Celebrate A Dreams Come True Parade just to name a few.
Maleficent is one of the villain suspects in the Midship Detective Agency interactive attraction on the Disney Cruise Line ships and sometimes the culprit. Maleficent also appears in Disney Dreams! where she is summoned by Captain Hook to torment the living shadow of Peter Pan.
In the live nighttime spectacular Fantasmic!, Maleficent is called forth by The Queen, who plans to kill Mickey Mouse once and for all. In order to battle Mickey, Maleficent transforms into her dragon form and burns the area with her fire-breathing abilities, but is killed along with the other villains by Mickey when he uses the Sword in the Stone.
Maleficent is the lead villain in the show and celebrates Halloween with her fellows villains. After, she joins in a meet and greet.
One of the villains in Fantasyland, Maleficent is brought back from the dead by Hades to steal the crystal of the Magic Kingdom, though like Ursula, Maleficent plans to double-cross Hades and instead use the crystal for her own gain rather than let him have it. The guests have to help Flora, Fauna and Merryweather defeat her and retrieve the crystal.
In the live castle stage show in the Magic Kingdom park in Walt Disney World, Maleficent attempts to take over the Magic Kingdom. However, Mickey uses the power of dreams to defeat Maleficent. Maleficent decides to leave but reminds Mickey they have not seen the last of her.
Maleficent was the leader of the villains in the show as she and some other Disney Villains come together, to fight against Mickey and Friends.
- Maleficent was nominated for a place in 'AFI's 50 Greatest Villains list', along with the Queen, Stromboli, Man, Lady Tremaine, Cruella De Vil and Ursula. The Disney Villains to make the final list were the Queen (10), Man (20), and Cruella De Vil (39).
- The original voice actress for Maleficent also voiced Lady Tremaine from Cinderella.
- Maleficent is one of the ten villains featured in the tongue-in-cheek Disney's Villains' Lair. Maleficent's section of the book includes the catalogue she chose her costume from, and an invitation to Aurora's christening arriving 17 years late (with a small 'oops!' scrawled in the corner). Maleficent is ranked as the second greatest Disney Villain at the end of the book.
- The noise Maleficent makes when she strikes her scepter on the floor is the same than when she snaps her jaw as a dragon.
- The exact same sound effect was used for Tick Tock the Crocodile's biting sound.
- The scream that Maleficent lets out when Prince Phillip hurls the Sword of Truth into her heart is the same as the Witch's scream when she falls down the cliff from her failed attack on the Dwarves.
- Since the death of Eleanor Audley, Maleficent's original voice actress, Susan Blakeslee has taken on that role in, the Kingdom Hearts video game franchise and the "Happy Hallowishes" fireworks show held at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party among others. Blakeslee also replaced Audley as the voice for Lady Tremaine in Cinderella. She was voiced by Lois Nettleton in both the TV series 'House of Mouse' and the movie 'Mickey's House of Villains'. In the stage show 'Fantasmic' she is voiced by Linda Gary.
- The Nostalgia Critic listed Maleficent as Number 2 on his "Top 11 Disney Villains" list while his female counterpart, The Nostalgia Chick, listed her as Number 1 on her "Top 11 Nostalgic Villainesses" list.
- After the launch of Maleficent, Maleficent will be the first Disney Villain to have the starring role in a film.
- Although it's a remake, Maleficent, by far, will be the only Disney Villain to have a movie having her name as a movie title (clearly based upon her).
- Maleficent was listed #7 in Empire Magazine's The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters. Stating her stroke of genius as "She turns into a frickin' dragon; what more do you need?".
- The sound of Maleficent's dragon fire was created properly, with the use of a flame-thrower. The sound of the dragon's teeth snapping, however, was recorded using castanets.
- In the original French story, the wicked fairy had not been invited, because for many years ( in many versions, fifty) she had never left a certain tower and was thought to be dead or enchanted.
- Unlike most Disney Villains who speak to their respective heroines Maleficent does not have any direct contact with Aurora. (Aside from luring her to the Spindle)
- Maleficent will soon be in the Disney Villains Designer Collection.
- Maleficent might be based on a 1939 film The Wizard of Oz's the Wicked Witch of the West, as both have green skin, a black hat and coat, and a stick (Maleficent's staff and the Witch's broom).
- According to the book Disney Villains: The Secret Files, Maleficent's last name is actually Faery.
- In Kingdom Hearts 3D, Master Xehanort refers to Maleficent as "The Dark Faerie."
- She is considered the most popular Disney villain.
- She is one of the few Disney characters to say the word "hell".
- Maleficent is Disney's best representation of pure, deliberate, evil acting towards an evil goal without mercy or compromise, all over the perceived insult of being excluded from a celebration.
- Maleficent is mentioned in a song sung by Miss Nettle from Sofia the First.
- She is often referenced as both a witch/sorceress, as well as a dark fairy. Both of these are different types of supernatural beings. It is possible she is a mixed hybrid of both species, especially since her wings are not present in her most common form.
- Maleficent's name was referenced in the third part of the Star Wars official blog "The Imperial Warlords: Despoilers of an Empire," used as a title for the high ranking leader of the Sith-aligned group Sorcerers of Tund.
- Maleficent's defeat was so far the most gory of the Disney Villains' defeats during Walt Disney's lifetime; when Dragon Maleficent was stabbed in the heart by Prince Phillip, blood was clearly visible.
Sleeping Beauty | House of Mouse | Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: Follow Your Dreams | Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep | Maleficent
Charaters: Princess Aurora | Prince Phillip | Flora, Fauna and Merryweather | Maleficent/Dragon Maleficent | Diablo | King Stefan | Queen Leah | King Hubert | Forest Animals | Samson | Maleficent's Goons
Objects: Spinning Wheel
Characters: Kilala Reno | Rei | Snow White | Doc | Grumpy | Happy | Sneezy | Bashful | Sleepy | Dopey | The Evil Queen | Cinderella | Lady Tremaine | Anastasia Tremaine | Drizella Tremaine | Aurora | Maleficent | Ariel | Flounder | Sebastian | Ursula | Belle | Beast | Gaston | Jasmine | Aladdin | Jafar | Iago | Tippe | Erika | Sylphy | Kilala's Parents | Valdou
|Once Upon a Time|
Characters: Emma Swan | Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard | Prince Charming/David Nolan | The Evil Queen/Regina Mills | Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold | Belle/Lacey French | Red Riding Hook/Ruby | Huntsman/Sheriff Graham | Jiminy Cricket/Archie Hopper | Cora/The Queen of Hearts | Captain Hook | Pinocchio/August W. Booth | Victor Frankenstein/Dr. Whale | Grumpy/Leroy | Princess Aurora | Prince Phillip | Mulan | Blue Fairy/Mother Superior | Widow Lucas/Granny | King George/Albert Spencer | Genie | Magic Mirror/Sidney Glass | Mad Hatter/Jefferson | Baelfire/Neal Cassidy | Cinderella/Ashley Boyd | Fairy Godmother | Peter Pan