It’s kind of weird that Disney – named for a man who more-or-less invented the modern American concept of consumer-nostalgia – seems to have only figured out within the last decade that there are ways to mine it’s back catalog other than the perpetual re-release cycle. MALIFICENT, for example, is a two-fer: Part live-action remake of SLEEPING BEAUTY, part spinoff/prequel giving as “tragic origin story” [eyeroll.gif] to its iconic villainess:
Someone is going to have to explain to me how an infodump of background-detail actually helps this particular character beyond getting her Disney Store merch to move a bit faster. The idea of giving Disney bad guys franchises of their own to go be entertainingly evil in – PG-rated versions of slasher/monster “villain as main character” series, basically – is a good one… but Malificent’s whole appeal in this pantheon is that she’s really the only straight-out Satanic “evil for evil’s sake” major heavy Disney ever bothered to generate.
Seriously. Even Scar, Ursula and Jaffar at least have political “seize the throne” power as goals. Cruella DeVille had vanity. The Wicked Queen had both. Captain Hook wants revenge. Malificent is their “pure evil” baddie – there’s no motivation for what she does in the story beyond what’s played as feigned-outrage over a minor sleight, and she never seems to have a bigger goal beyond “feels good to be bad.” That black-pit lack of depth and nuance is entirely where the interest lies.