The fact that it was Merryweather's gift to the newborn princess that ultimately saves the day is awesome.
Merryweather: Sweet princess, if through this wicked witch's trick a spindle should your finger prick, a ray of hope there still may be in this, the gift I give to thee. Not in death, but just in sleep, the fateful prophecy you'll keep. And from this slumber you shall wake, when true love's kiss the spell shall break.
Aurora's singing is awesome; it charms every creature of the forest as well as Prince Phillip.
In a meta example: Aurora's voice actress, Mary Costa, did both her speaking and singing in the original movie while still having a pronounced Tennessee accent in her normal voice. She went on to become an international opera star.
While she only mentions it in a rather brief and offhanded way. It seems Merryweather was the one who did most of the cooking and possibly the sewing for the sixteen years the group lived in their self imposed exile. The fact that the one fairy many consider the Hot-Blooded bumbler was the one who did most of the human chores competently is impressive.
Especially when she was the one who was most unwilling to live like a mortal.
Merryweather turning the raven into stone. Hey, wait...
Merryweather: I'd like to turn her (Maleficent) into a fat old hop toad. Fauna: Now, dear, that isn't a very nice thing to say. Flora: Besides, we can't. You know our magic doesn't work that way. Fauna: It can only do good, dear, to bring joy and happiness. Merryweather: Well, thatwould make me happy.
On the subject of Merryweather, there's the fact that she repeatedly tries to take on Maleficent one-on-one. She's never allowed to, but still, it's pretty impressive that she has to be repeatedly restrained from attacking one of Disney's most dangerous villains.
When she casts a spell that causes thorns to sprout all around King Stefan's castle, Maleficent has this one particularly awesome line which can make anyone shudder with Emotional Torque. It's so short, and yet it was one of the most memorable scenes of the movie.
Maleficent: A forest of thorns shall be his tomb! Borne through the skies on a fog of doom! Now go with a curse, and serve me well! 'Round Stephen's castle, cast! My! Spell!
"The years roll by... but a hundred years, to a steadfast heart, are but a day. And now, the gates of the dungeon part, and our prince is free to go his way. And off he rides, on his noble steed, a valiant figure straight and tall! To wake his love, with love's first kiss, and prove that true love conquers all! Ahahahaha!"
Just before she casts the forest of thorns, Maleficent, who has just seen her pet Diablo turned to stone and has seen Prince Phillip escaping, wastes no time in climbing to the highest battlement of her Forbidden Castle, and then hurling a bolt of lightning at the fleeing Prince. This troper immediately thought: "Ooooh, the boss lady herself is about to show her stuff!" Maleficent did NOT disappoint.
The music changes at that point, indicating that the situation has become deadly serious.
Maleficent: Now shall you deal with ME, O Prince, and all the powers of Hell! Cue the most iconic One-Winged Angel in Disney Canon, as well as a great Oh, Crap! on Phillip's part, in which Maleficent bursts into the sky into a pillar of flames as her shadow becomes a draconic figure.
The climax is as epic as animation — indeed, film in general — gets (and much imitated since): the three good fairies successfully breach Maleficent's castle, rescue Prince Phillip, and provide him with weaponry and armor; from there they assist his escape and protect him from everything Maleficent throws at him on the way to the castle — boulders, a gigantic forest of thorns, and finally her One-Winged Angel form of a gigantic black dragon. When she knocks his shield away, the fairies respond by enchanting his sword to make sure throwing it does her in. Think about this a moment — how many Disney films include the heroines killing the villain?
Flora: Now, Sword of Truth, fly swift and sure, that evil DIE and GOOD endure!
It maintains its awesomeness in the vast majority of the foreign language dubs; the majority preserve Eleanor Audley's distinctive cackle. But avoid, with all your strength, the 2001 Spanish redubs — Maleficent was toned down, in an example of Disneyfication of Disney.
Maleficent's appearance in Aurora's fireplace is one of the most terrifying moments of the movie, but the commanding tone to her voice when Aurora's about to resist her spell is just straight-up awesome.
"Touch the spindle. Touch it, I say."
The fact that Aurora is able to resist mind control, even for a few seconds, from a supremely powerful sorceress despite being a mere human girl is pretty awesome itself, though many miss it.
Maleficent. Sure she was evil, but she was one seriously cool villain, elegant, commanding and so powerful all in a very evil way.
There's a reason she's one of the Oh, Crap! bosses in Kingdom Hearts I. She comes in, and instantly owns every scene she's in.
More or less everything Phillip does during the climax of the movie. Granted, he has the help of the fairies, but that doesn't change the fact that he jumps out of a window, rides through falling stones and other obstacles, takes on a giant wall of thorns, takes on a dragon, climbs a rock with one arm and finally emerges victorious, though a little bit worse to wear and (understandably) exhausted. Few princes have fought as hard for the woman they love as him.
Meta Example: Why is no one talking about the animation and art design itself?! Visual Effects of Awesome indeed. So beautifully crafted and the way the songs were orchestrated like a ballet. One of the best aspects of the film.