A friend of mine coined a nickname for me during my junior year in college: “Aurora” (the Latin term for “dawn.”) No one ever quite understands why she calls me this, but if you take a peek into my habits during the 2006-07 scholastic year, you’ll know it was because I slept…all the time. Okay, you’re still confused. The name of the princess in Sleeping Beauty was Aurora. Granted, she pricked her finger on a spindle and was cursed into a deep slumber until she is awakened by true love’s kiss, and I just befriended Ambien for a few semesters.
What this reminded me of – was my fascination for the villain in this film, Maleficent. She wore a horned cape and could transform herself into a fire spitting dragon. Really, does it get any better than that? Other reasons why Maleficent is completely cool: She can turn into a will-o-the-wisp, and teleport herself anywhere. She has a staff adorned with a crystal globe. When agitated just the right way, the globe turns a shade of emerald green. She casts spells on whomever she chooses. This lady is all brains. Shafts of lightening cascade down over her spectacular castle, known as The Forbidden Mountains. And, even though he is loud and annoying, she has a pet raven named Diablo. It’s just enough just to hear her accentuate his name under her menacing voice. “Deee-ahhhhh-blo.”
Every kingdom has to have a force to be reckoned with. Disney has done an entertaining job of portraying extreme ends of the spectrum: pure innocence in the form of melodic voices and flowing locks, and shrilling cackles bellowing down a jagged cliff high in the sky. Yes, beyond the forest glen and across the murky moat is something powerful. But that whole part where the leather bound book softly closes shut and birds flock under the lettering is a serious downgrade. Disney wanted us to have our cake and eat it too. A cake loaded with sugary frosting. What does “happily ever after” even mean? Thinking the words sends chills down my spine and I envision Cinderella in a sparkling white dress running down the steps into a carriage with Prince Charming. But that’s not the immediate ending. It can’t be. Charms only get you so far. A single sword to a dragon’s heart cannot be a simple task. We’ve become enchanted by these pictures of romance, but without recognizing someone who opposes the suggested hero, we’re Maleficent’s favorite word – fools.