Blu-ray Review: Maleficent

With a colossal $759M in global box office, Angelina Jolie's fairy tale blockbuster Maleficent stands as the third biggest worldwide smash of 2014 behind Transformers: Age of Extinction as well as Disney stablemate Guardians of the Galaxy from Marvel which just this past week edged ahead for the number two spot. The big-budget twist on the classic Sleeping Beauty story attracted scores of movie fans thanks to a huge star, a solid well-made film, and an early summer release which dropped the PG-rated pic right into a flood of male-driven super hero movies. Maleficent is essentially a super heroine film with a known character and brand with strong appeal to females while also having elements that sold it to action-loving boys too.

Jolie carries the film and deserves whatever compensation her agents negotiated for their client. It's on a whole different commercial level with any other star cast in the title role. And for the Mouse House, Maleficent follows Frozen as part of a new generation of fairy tale stories where women save the day and the handsome prince is nothing more than a pretty prop to look at. With over $2 billion in worldwide box office, plus countless more extracted from other lucrative platforms, these crowd-pleasing tales will no doubt spawn copycats.

Bonus content includes the usual deleted scenes but some interesting featurettes take the viewer behind the scenes of what was a mammoth production. One examines the special effects and another looks at the jewelry and head wraps used in the film (yes, I did come across one woman during trick-or-treating at Halloween this year who had the full on Maleficent costume complete with head gear).

Elle Fanning gives a standard sit-down interview talking about how Aurora was one of her favorite characters growing up and what it was like on the set, but a long in-depth interview with Jolie would have been a welcome addition to the materials given her central importance to the project. Maybe in a sequel!

Blu-ray Title: Maleficent

Review by Gitesh Pandya

Run Time: 97 minutes

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

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Bonus Clip: Complexities of Maleficent

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