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Walt Disney’s Maleficent stirred up quite a few controversies on its way to a massive $757 million global gross. Was it too scary for kids? Did it misuse Angelina Jolie? Was there a rape-vengeance angle? These issues, and others, are raised in the latest Honest Trailers clip. Dig in:
Screen Junkies can be merciless when picking apart a movie like Maleficent, and the best dig in this 3:30 minute lecture has to revolve around the fact that giving a classic villain a backstory tends to eliminate everything we thought was cool about them. Take, for example, the villain they use as a comparison in this clip. Did we really need to know what happened to Anakin Skywalker before he was betrayed, burned and encased in that Darth Vader suit?
Back to Maleficent. The Honest Trailer has fun at pointing out how uncomfortable parents have to address the fact that Angelina Jolie’s character is raped by the one man she trusts most. It notes that all of the characters not named Maleficent are one-dimensional, easily lampooned caricatures in the live-action retelling. It has a great Jennifer Aniston joke. And it gets some good mileage out of the fact that no one is able to pronounce Jolie’s character’s name. Heck, I’m mildly annoyed that I have to go back to retyping it now that this Honest Trailer is out. I thought I had moved on, Maleficent!
Also, yes, this dude looks exactly like Harry Styles of One Direction. Well played, HT.
Here’s the part where we praise Maleficent for all that it accomplished. Because while critics do like to lambast these recent live-action versions of classic animated movies, and Alice in Wonderland -- to name two – have broken the bank, proving that audiences do respond kindly to this type of storytelling. Does that mean Kenneth Branagh is in for a massive payday when his take on Cinderella opens in theaters on March 13, 2015? It’s wholly possible. And we look forward to the Honest Trailer you know Screen Junkies currently is preparing, just in case the movie tanks.