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Official still from the film

Maleficent (2005) was a planned computer-animated film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, It was going to be produced by Don Hahn and written by Paul Dini until it got cancelled and was re-imagined as a Live-action film.

The development of the then-animated film lasted for two years, until the decision of making a live-action film has been concieved. After the big change has been made, Tim Burton joined the project as the director, but later left the project and was replaced with Robert Stromberg.


The story starts with the discovery of a newborn in a barren land that was once part of the Enchanted Forest. The Queen of fairies, who is responsible for raising all creatures born within the forest, finds the baby and is struck by its mysterious beauty. She names the child Maleficent and welcomes her into the forest where all fairies reside.

As Maleficent grows up, she proves to be a mischievous and selfish child and is hated by the other fairies due to her dark magical abilities and longer ears. Despite this treatment, Maleficent's greatest dream is to one day take the throne from the Queen of fairies. During one of her wild adventures, Maleficent stumbled upon a bright and colorful fairy named Amitola. The two quickly became friends and spent every moment they could together, laughing and playing in the forest. On the lunar celebration of the new year, all fairies from around the forest gather to be blessed by the holy dove, a white bird that gives them more power. However, the dove only visits certain fairies to bless them, and Maleficent is not one of them. Furious, Maleficent crashes into the Queen's hall and demands to see her. The Queen tells Maleficent that she does not give powers to young evil fairies and that Maleficent already has her own dark powers. The Queen then orders her guards to kick Maleficent out of the hall.

Feeling devastated and rejected, Maleficent retreats to her crooked tree and plots her revenge, she asks her friend Amitola for help, but when listening to Maleficent’s idea Amitola immediately refuse. Maleficent goes to the garden where all the fairies are celebrating and reveals a dark secret about the Queen: that she is in a secret love relationship with King Stefan of a nearby kingdom. The Queen quickly orders her guards to remove Maleficent, but the damage has already been done.

The revelation caused a stir among the fairies, as the Queen had always maintained that she was above such mortal affairs. Many fairies were shocked and disappointed, and some even began to question the Queen's leadership. Maleficent, however, was thrilled with the chaos she had caused. She revelled in the Queen's embarrassment and the dismay of the other fairies.

As the fairies began to disperse, the Queen called for her guards to capture Maleficent. The Queen cursed her with large long horns so that everyone will know Maleficent's true intentions. Maleficent ran, she was quick and agile. She ran through the forest, her cries echoing through the trees. She knew that she will live a life being known as evil.

From that day on, Maleficent was known as the "Mistress of All Evil" among the fairies. She became feared and respected, and many fairies came to her for guidance and protection. She began to gather a group of followers, and soon she was the leader of a powerful and formidable group of dark creatures. However, as time went by, Maleficent's personality started to change. She became power-hungry and began to see the world in a darker light. She became consumed by her own ambition, and her once kind and caring demeanor turned into one of cruelty and evil.

Amitola, meanwhile, remained true to herself, always spreading joy and love wherever she went. Despite the changes in her friend, Amitola never lost her hope for a better future and continued to try to bring light into Maleficent's life.

But their paths eventually diverged when Maleficent's thirst for power became too much to bear. She began to wreak havoc on the kingdom, causing destruction and fear wherever she went. Amitola, who could no longer bear to watch her friend cause so much pain, decided to leave the kingdom and spread her message of love and hope to other creatures.

After years of planning revenge on the Queen, Maleficent carefully planned her attack. She studied the layout of the Queen's castle and learned the routines of her guards. She also made alliances with other fairies who shared her hatred of the Queen.

One night, when the Queen was sound asleep, Maleficent and her allies snuck into the castle. They easily overcame the guards and made their way to the Queen's chambers. Maleficent personally killed the Queen in her sleep.

In the morning, the Queen's fairy sons discovered their mother's body. They were devastated and immediately began to plan her funeral. Meanwhile, Maleficent acted as if she knew nothing about the death, pretending to be shocked and saddened by the news.

As the Queen's oldest son, Albrich, took the throne, Maleficent began to make her move. She started to gain support from other fairies who were unhappy with Albriech's rule and began to build her own army.

Her ultimate goal was to overthrow Albriech and take control of the fairy kingdom for herself.

One night, as King Stefan and his new wife celebrated the birth of their daughter, Maleficent snuck into the castle and placed a curse on the baby. She declared that on Aurora's sixteenth birthday, she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die.

The King and his wife were horrified and immediately set out to protect their daughter. They sought the help of three fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, who were known for their magical powers. The three fairies agreed to help the King and his wife and took the baby Aurora into hiding.

For the next sixteen years, the fairies raised Aurora as their own, keeping her hidden from Maleficent and the outside world. They taught her about the ways of the forest and how to control her own magic.

As Aurora's sixteenth birthday approached, the fairies knew that they had to act fast to break the curse. They set out on a quest to find the one person who could save Aurora: Prince Phillip, a brave and handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom.

As Aurora wanders barefoot through the springtime wood, she radiates in the glory of Flora's and Fauna's gifts of beauty and song. She hums operatically and her congenial friends, the happy animals of the forest, come out to play. Her sirenlike voice also mesmerizes a distant horse rider, who convinces his tired white steed, Samson, to search for its source. Aurora stops singing to tell the animals about a vivid dream she had in which she fell in love with a prince. The passing rider has meanwhile fallen in a stream because of his horse's urgency, and a chipmunk notices that his cape, hat, and boots hang nearby to dry. The animals swipe the clothes and humorously simulate the dream prince: an owl flutters in the cape, two hopping rabbits match steps in the boots, and the chipmunk sits on the owl's head wearing the hat.

Playing along good-naturedly, Aurora dances with her forest friends, sweetly singing. Midway through the dance, the mysterious rider finds his clothes and cuts in seamlessly, dancing and singing with a shocked Aurora. Confused and surely feeling the sparks of love at first sight, Aurora, having been told not to speak to strangers, tries to flee. The nameless rider asks for her name. Flustered, she doesn't reveal it, yet manages to yelp out an invitation to come to her cottage that night.

Back at the cottage, the bumbling and nitpicky fairies can't bake a legitimate cake or sew a proper dress, which Aurora will need to assume her rightful title as Princess Aurora. So, at Merryweather's urging, the fairies agree to make one exception to their no-magic rule and use their magic wands. dancing mops joyously sweep the cottage and anthropomorphic cake ingredients read their own recipe and waltz into the mixing bowl. Flora and Merryweather argue over the color of Aurora's dress.

Each wants it to be the color of her own dress: Merryweather's is blue and Flora's is pink. Riled, they start zapping with their wands everything in the cottage, turning it blue or pink. As a result, colorful magic dust spurts up the chimney. Maleficent's raven spots the dust and flies down to surreptitiously witness the scene of Aurora's return. He watches Aurora return a new woman, gaily dancing and singing, clearly in love. The fairies are forced to tell her the truth of her life, that she's a princess who is already betrothed to Prince Phillip. The news devastates Aurora, who flees in tears to her room.

King Stefan and King Hubert together await sunset, the time of Aurora's prophesied return. Standing by a sumptuous feast, the anxious men argue briefly, then drink to friendship. Prince Phillip returns to the castle, devilishly tricking Hubert into agreeing to his marriage to the peasant girl instead of Aurora. Phillip rides off before Hubert realizes what has happened, heading back to Aurora's cottage. But Aurora, teary-eyed, has been secretly brought to Stefan's castle.

Placing a gold crown upon her head, the fairies leave Aurora alone for a few moments to contemplate her future. Immediately, a glowing green ball puts Aurora in a trance and leads her through dark passages within the castle, up a staircase and into a tower, where it turns into the augured spinning wheel. Realizing their error too late, the panicked fairies follow and are able to make Aurora hesitate before touching the wheel, but Maleficent's powers are too strong. The princess touches the spindle and collapses.

The sun begins to set, and the celebration nears. But Hubert has yet to tell Stefan about Phillip's intentions, and Aurora lies comatose in an upper chamber. Unsure of how to proceed, the fairies decide to put everyone in the kingdom to sleep as well. As Flora sprinkles fairy dust over those around the throne, Hubert reveals that Phillip met his peasant girl "Once upon a dream." What luck- Phillip and Aurora are already in love but they just don't know it. Phillip can break Maleficent's curse with a kiss, so the fairies regroup and fly back to the cottage. However, Maleficent and her henchmen have already captured Phillip. Expecting a peasant boy, Maleficent is overjoyed at her luck and steals the prince away.

Finding only Phillip's hat at their cottage, the fairies try to sneak into Maleficent's castle, but they fail, Maleficent taunts Phillip, revealing the identity of his true love but refusing to release him to her for one hundred years. Phillip was locked in the dungeon for the next three years.

Over the years, Maleficent often visited the castle, where Princess Aurora slept to clear her thoughts and ease her heart, she was lonely. Maleficent knew that even though Aurora was in a deep sleep, she could still hear her and all of her conversations. She took comfort in this, as she had no one else to talk to.

Aurora, though asleep, was able to hear all the conversations and knew of Maleficent's pain. She felt empathy towards the sorceress and understood that beneath her harsh exterior, Maleficent was hurt inside. She could also hear the obsession in Maleficent's voice and realized it was not normal behavior, Maleficent was obsessed with her.

After knowing Maleficent's regular visits to the castle, the three fairies take the opportunity, The fairies finally sneak in when Maleficent went to Stefan's castle, zap open the chains that bind Phillip, and arm him with a Shield of Virtue and Sword of Truth.

An army of one, with three helpers, Phillip must navigate a brutal path to return to his true love. First, Maleficent's castle crumbles and goes up in flames around him. Then she makes a forest of thorns grow in front of Stefan's castle. But he finds a way to go inside the castle and awaken the sleeping beauty. Finally, she turns herself into a dragon to stop them from leaving the castle, But Phillip brandishes the Sword of Truth and slays her with one thrust, Aurora shouts, feeling sorry for Maleficent. Despite all the terrible things that she did, Aurora insists on giving Maleficent a proper burial in a stone mausoleum, laying her to rest.

In the final scene, the Fair Folk come together to bid farewell to the fallen woman who once fought so bravely for the Enchanted forest. In a scene eerily mirroring Aurora's christening, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather give Maleficent three final blessings, praying that she will finally know peace, that she will find a kind afterlife, and that the darkness in her soul will trouble her no more. Maleficent’s old friend, Amitola, came back to give her final blessing after knowing what happened to her dear old friend, she whispered her blessing and left with a smile. In a last gesture of kindness, Aurora lays a chain of flowers atop her tomb before leaving with Phillip. Moments later, with a final shot of Maleficent's silhouette as she rises from her stone tomb, slips Aurora's chain of flowers into her pocket, and silently walks out into the night. The End.

Why Was It Cancelled[]

  1. According to Don Hahn, it was difficult to make as they've had a lot of creative ideas that was considered too difficult, therefore the idea of the live-action approach was formed.
  2. According to Writer Paul Dini, although the project was temporarily shelved in 2005, it still had hope of reviving, but after the Disney Pixar Merge which happened in early 2006, the film was completely cancelled.;_2003-2005)



  • The animation concept was scrapped, and Disney has decided to realise the concept in the form of a live-action movie.
  • The final product was released in 2014, with Angelina Jolie as the titular character. The film, while did became a huge commercial succes and have also won an Academy Award, it have recieved mixed reviews from critics.
  • The film has gained a sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, wich was released in 2019. It met with mixed reception, but became a commercial success and won an Academy Award.