Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Now, shall you deal with me, oh Prince, and all the powers of HELL!

I'm not a Disney guy, but I'm convinced Maleficent is the most frightening villain in all of Disneydom (and maybe all of movies). Sleeping Beauty was a movie I grew up with, and I watched it again last year and was struck by how scary the whole spinning wheel sequence is. When Maleficent's green eyes flick open in that dark fireplace...jeepers. I watched this as a kid?

I Googled her. It brought up Disney's archives, which has this to say about Maleficent's decades-spanning quest to spread her wrath: "Beyond a matter of honor, this has become a matter of ego. Her pride, her evil, will not be denied." Insightful for a Disney synopsis, right? Just wait.

Here's what the site has to say about Ursula from The Little Mermaid: "She has the gross unsubtlety of Ratigan from 'The Great Mouse Detective' but substantially more brio."

Substantially more brio?
I'm loving this site. More: "Bejewelled and lip-pouting like an overweight, over-rich, over-pampered, over-the-top society hostess gone mad, she is all flair, flamboyance and theatricality mixed with a touch of con-artistry. Except when her wrath -- the only genuine emotion she seems capable of expressing -- bursts through, her every movement is a deceitful artifice, as if she's performing for an audience." Read the rest here.

I would love to meet the clever, smartass intern who was assigned to make these up. But suffice to say: Disney doesn't make villains like these women anymore. Can you imagine a G-rated movie character employing the word "hell" these days?


Jeanette said...

Seriously? You're going to compare Ursula to Ratigan?! Good job, sassy intern.

Ditto on Maleficent.

Also, the evil laugh for the live action Little Mermaid attraction that used to be at MGM in Disney World was provided by an Asian man.

Rusty said...

Sleeping Beauty absolutely terrified me as a child. It's the one Disney movie I couldn't watch. Looking back, I don't know if I've ever watched the entire thing from beginning-to-end.

Even at the tender age of six I knew that seeing a 100-yr-old ghost futilely searching for his long-lost love was profoundly depressing.

Also profoundly depressing: my aunt and uncle refusing to let me buy their 6-yr-old a copy of Wizard of Oz because it's too scary. Yeah, Sleeping Beauty terrfied me, but would I have wanted it any other way?

J.J. said...

Jeanette: I'm not going to ask how you know that Asian man fact. No wait, I am. How do you know that?

Rusty: I meant to post on Sleeping Beauty last year after I watched it. I remember it being this epic movie, but it's really quite short when viewed with adult eyes. But it's still intense -- even the "happy" parts have this hint of dread. The music hammers the terror home.

Jeanette said...

I saw it on the Disney Channel, and, like every other fact with no value whatsoever, it made itself a part of my memory.

ScreenwriterJ said...

If you're interested in seeing the worst fate of some of the most beloved Disney villains, watch Shrek the Third. For the first time in my life, I felt sad for the Queen Witch.