Maleficent: Disney’s First Positive Steps in Female-Centered Film Making

It’s been a busy day covering the misogynist backlash which you can read here but I got a chance during dinner to watch Disney’s 2014 flick ‘Maleficent.’

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Faeries frpm ‘Maleficent’

If you’ve been turned off by Disney for it’s boring plot lines and endless reliance on sexist tropes then stop right there. They finally made a movie worth watching. Now, it is for little girls and is pretty simple but it kicks dudes to the curb. They are not the center of the story for like, maybe the 6th time in the HIStory of film making (sorry, but it’s true).

The 2 main characters Maleficent and Aurora, are women. The former is a wise winged faery living in her forest and the latter is the daughter of the evil King and his wife. The lesser characters are women as well. They play the 3 faeries that raise Aurora from her childhood. The story is really about maiden, mother and crone and the bonding and raising of women by women. It has important lessons for young girls and finally, the issues are truthful. If you think some dude enters the story to teach them shit or save them you’re SOL. Men in this story HARM women and the only male that has a persistent part is employed by Maleficent. She’s his boss.

I suppose the main King dude, who doesn’t take up much screen time, you could classify as sweet little boy who turns into toxic masculinity incarnate. He shows his abusive ways toward women pretty early in the film. It’s not a typical faery tale either. Dudes die, for good reason. Bad shit happens and there’s no bringing dead dudes back to life with spells or magic potions because a woman feels bad for him. Nope. None of that.

I won’t mention the ending except to say it’s not your typical Disney ending.

This movie is about being raised in a patriarchal society. It’s about the fact that men WILL harm you, even if you think he loves you. It teaches young girls they don’t need a man and can live happily in the company of women . It also has some interesting themes about fatherhood and men who are more intent on getting back at the ex than be present with their daughters.

If you’ve ever been abused by a man you’ll LOVE this film and I think whoever wrote it had that particular audience in mind, which is most women.

Have fun watching ‘Maleficent’ and tell me what you think below.

Here’s a link to watch it for free. It’s not HD but you’ll still love it.

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3 thoughts on “Maleficent: Disney’s First Positive Steps in Female-Centered Film Making

  1. This sounds like the movie I’ve been waiting for – for, at least, a year or two now!

    I hope i get a chance to see it before it leaves the local cinema!

    Thanks for this review.

  2. I’ve been curious about this movie. Most movies I stay away from for sanity reasons, or because I don’t feel like being disappointed in how she, or the other women [if they add more than one], is going to be treated.
    So thank you for your review.

    I’ve also been working on something that I call the FACT [Female Analytical Character Test]. I’ve been trying to work out all the bugs and such, but so far I’ve only been testing it on video games that supposedly star “strong female characters”, and so far they’ve been failing like some kind of miserable…
    Many have broken my test by going way off the chart [I clocked Tomb Raider Reborn at -350 just on the first page of my notes that I had taken. My chart stops at -100, which I label as “Shun and Run”. +100 is the highest and is labeled “Feminist/Female Friendly”. Not one game so far has made that label]. So it would be nice to test it out on a movie to see if I should make some improvements on it, because I want the test to be used on all sorts of media and sources of entertainment that depicts women. This way we can question what’s wrong with her imagine and then proceed in asking how would we fix or improve her [as well as her interactions with other female characters].

    I think by doing so, we create what’s currently missing in our society which is the female gaze. Because as it stands now, we don’t have anything that analyses female characters in-depth, which I think is dangerous because it allows the menfolk to rehash out what I like to call the broken blond/brunette over and over again with the label of “Strong”, “Feminist” or “Empowered”. I think if we have something to measure these characters with, it would allow for us to call them out on their bullcrap. Because there’s no way in the world we could label her as empowered if she’s way down in the minus zone.

    So, yea, when I get some time, I’m going to test out this movie using the FACT.

  3. I was excited about seeing this film because I couldn’t wait to see Angelina being beautifully evil, but I got a lot more than I bargained for. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Disney film that is female centered where a man doesn’t come in to save the day. Plus it features a more realistic relationship between a man and a woman who start out as young lovers and what happens to them as time goes on. and it’s not “happily ever after.” However, was also glad to see that it does feature a male friend/employee of Maleficent who stays friendly and well behaved, so it’s important to understand that it doesn’t paint all men to be the bad guys either.

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