Ten Differences that Set 'Maleficent' Apart from 'Sleeping Beauty'

By on

What makes "Maleficent" special? "Sleeping Beauty" is such an iconic fairy tale, well-loved all over the world and the images in the 1959 Disney film are forever etched in the minds of viewers regardless of age. How does "Maleficent" differ from the original and does the spin-off really give a deeper twist to the original story?

The original movie was obviously a fairy tale. Very tame and as violent as can be allowed back in the days when a spot of blood was already a big deal. Nowadays, with the dawn of anime and a lot more violent animated features, "Maleficent" proves to be more risqué.

Here's a look at some of the differences between the two films:

1.      The Birth of Princess Aurora.

Sleeping Beauty- As the title suggests, the birth of Princess Aurora, or Sleeping Beauty is the center of the storyline. The royal birth sets off the story and the christening sets up the conflict as the antagonist first makes an appearance and lays down the cures. The premise: Maleficent wasn't invited.

Maleficent- The birth of King Stefan's baby comes around, sure but not before the real story behind Maleficent's wrath comes out based on her history with the King.

2.      Maleficent's Flying Abilities:

Sleeping Beauty-While Maleficent appears to apparate into several scenes, there does not seem to be any real flying involved. This makes sense though as she lost her wings as explained in "Maleficent."

Maleficent- The extent of the characters abilities were featured in the film including her majestic wings and flying abilities,

3.      King Stefan's rise to the throne: Sleeping Beauty- None of this was shown as the movie starts with him already sitting on the throne with his beautiful Queen and baby daughter.

Maleficent- It turns out, King Stefan was not really born with blue blood. He was in fact a peasant boy who romanced Maleficent then subsequently drugged her and hacked off her wings. Yes. She has a reason beyond not being invited to the christening after all.

4.      The Fairy Godmothers:

Sleeping Beauty- The three adorable godmothers are named Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.

Maleficent- While retaining the storyline of having the three godmothers whisk the princess away into the woods, a stark contrast lies in their names. The spin-off names them Thistletwit, Flittle and Knotgrass.

5.      Aurora's Character Development:

Sleeping Beauty- Not much is really interesting about Aurora apart from being a princess who likes playing with the forest creatures. Beyond that, She was well, a snooze fest.

Maleficent- A more down-to-earth princess is portrayed with Elle Fanning getting down and dirty during her time in the woods She also shows more emotional involvement and in what's going on unlike Aurora in the 1959 film who didn't seem to mind the complexities of the situations surrounding her.   

6.      Aurora's time in the woods:

Sleeping Beauty- In the fairytale, The godmothers were successful in hiding Aurora for 16 years as she was raised peacefully and happily in the woods.

Maleficent- The villain is a constant presence and knows exactly where Aurora is the whole time during her exile and is an essential part to her survival.

7.      The Curse:

Sleeping Beauty-The curse is reversed or at least was altered by Merryweather to make Aurora fall into a deep sleep instead of dying

Maleficent- The villain tries to remove the curse off Aurora

8.      Prince Philip: The Hero

Sleeping Beauty- Well, he falls in love with the princess who he has never actually met and viewers are led to believe that this is true love. His kiss wakes her up and saves the day.

Maleficent-This movie isn't entitled "Maleficent" for nothing. The tearful godmother gives Aurora a kiss on the forehead to save the day with her real affection for the princess.

9.      The Dragon.

Sleeping Beauty- Maleficent turns into a dragon which the hero, Prince Philip kills as he is rescuing Aurora.

Maleficent- Well, the dragon here isn't Maleficent and it was meant against King Stefan's army. Meanwhile, Prince Philip has become irrelevant.

10.  Maleficent's death:

Sleeping Beauty- With Maleficent being the dragon and as all fairy tales must end, the evil antagonist is killed in the end and they all live happily ever after.

Maleficent- King Stefan ans Malficent's true natures are revealed and it turns out that the real villain is Kng Stephan.