The story of Sleeping Beauty is hundreds of years old, and some of the elements we know best are relatively recent developments–for instance, did you know that the character of Maleficent, the evil fairy who places the curse on the princess, was a minor part of the story until the 1959 Disney cartoon?
It was Disney who gave a name and a backstory to the “wicked fairy” of Charles Perrault’s original tale, and it’s Disney who will be fleshing that out in the live-action feature Maleficent next summer. Enlisted in that cause is Angelina Jolie, who–in the first trailer for the film–dons the character’s robes, horns, and glower as she plots the demise of her towheaded prey.
The trailer features a lot of brightly colored landscapes and characters who cast starkly contrasting figures against illuminated backdrops, which recalls classic Disney animation. We don’t actually see much happen–the princess prances against pastoral backdrops while Maleficent lurks, but there’s a hint of the power that the evil fairy holds when she calls forth an epic wall of brambles from the earth. It should make for an epic re-telling of the tale in which the way more charismatic villain gets the appropriate amount of screen time.DS