We were pretty slow to jump on the princess bandwagon with our girls. Part of it was me working through my thoughts on others’ views of princess films and coming to a conviction of my own. Part of it was having Little first and her lack of interest in watching long films. Once KB got old enough to care I had gotten my thoughts together, Little had gotten interested as well, and we hit the ground running.
Sleeping Beauty was one of the last of the classics that I let the girls watch. KB has always gotten nervous easily (just like her uncle) and I remember Maleficent being the scariest of all the Disney witches. I remember hating the end of that movie and I just knew KB wouldn’t be able to handle it. Incidentally, when she did finally see it she did fine. She hid her face in my arm once and then, with great bravado, announced that it wasn’t that bad.
Maleficent was the only witch I remember ever being scared of and that is why, when the Disney movie Maleficent came out last year, I did not even consider seeing it. It never crossed my mind. What did cross my mind? Questions about why Disney would ever think to make a movie about one of the most horrifying of their witches and judgmental thoughts of Angelina Jolie for starring in a movie that glorified said witch. I remember scoffing when I heard Angelina Jolie quoted as saying she wanted to make a movie her kids could see and appreciate. (I’m real gracious that way.)
Six months after the movie came out the DVD was released and the film that had been forgotten by me became an issue in our home. Little girls in KB’s class were sharing that they had seen the movie and KB, not wanting to be left out, was coming home asking to watch it as well. It made it to KB’s Christmas list and Bubba even mentioned that he would watch it with KB when she got it.
Then I read an article praising the film for qualities I was slow to consider. THEN a friend asked for a suggestion for a film for an eleven-year-old’s sleep over and Facebook blew up with the recommendation to watch Maleficent. WHAT? I went to Redbox and designated that week’s movie night as an Adventure into Maleficent.
I cannot say enough about this film. I loved it. It is a GREAT story and the picture of redemption is explicit. I kept crying and the kids kept asking why and we had some wonderful conversations about life choices, resentment and bitterness, love and repentance, forgiveness and Joy. Man. It might be my favorite film of the year for 2014 . . . I mean Guardians of the Galaxy was fun but it didn’t spawn conversation and contemplation.
Have you seen the film? What did you think? I think maybe I should take some time and try to write a redemptive story for the magnificent, marvelous, mad Madam Mim!