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Film / Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

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"I remember the story of an evil witch, and the princess she cursed to sleep forever. The story became legend. But this is no fairy tale."
Queen Ingrith

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is the sequel to Maleficent. It's directed by Joachim Rønning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) and written by Linda Woolverton (Maleficent, Beauty and the Beast), Micah Fitzerman-Blue, and Noah Harpster. Angelina Jolie, Sam Riley, Elle Fanning, Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, and Juno Temple reprise their roles from the previous movie.

Set five years after the events of the first film, Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) has proposed to Aurora and takes her to meet his family. But tensions between Maleficent and Phillip's mother, Queen Ingrith (played by Michelle Pfeiffer), soon devolve into war.

The film was released on October 18, 2019.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil contains examples of:

  • Abdicate the Throne: When Queen Ingrith asks Aurora about her father's castle, Aurora mentions that the people of her old country have taken it, since she never lived there and considered the Moors to be her true home.
  • Achey Scars: Aurora's pricked finger swells and itches when near the cursed spindle, which helps her to find it. A similar mark on King John proves they were wounded by the same weapon.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The first film was a Perspective Flip of Sleeping Beauty; this is a wholly original story added onto the original fairy tale.
  • All There in the Script: The names of a few of the characters are in the cast list but not spoken onscreen. For example, Queen Ingrith's redheaded sadistic Mook/servant is named Gerda.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Queen Ingrith claims that her motivation for hating magical creatures is that her brother, who was sent as an emissary to establish a peace offering with the Moorfolk during a harsh winter, was killed by such creatures. However, the first movie shows that, even before the Moors were covered by a thorn wall, Stefan stealing a valuable object from the Moors merely garnered him an interrogation and a demand to return the object, much less death, which makes it sound unlikely that the Moorfolk would kill Ingrith's brother over something more minor, especially since they were shown to be peaceful. The true circumstances of his death are therefore unknown, and Ingrith assuming such a thing implies she already distrusted magical creatures before his death.
  • Awful Wedded Life: John and Ingrith. John snaps at her many times during the dinner scene when she provokes Maleficent, and later Ingrith claims she was forced into marriage with him. She also curses him to an eternal sleep with no remorse. After she’s turned into a goat, John unsurprisingly is completely content with her never returning to human again.
  • Beneath the Earth: When it became clear they could no longer fight the humans, all of the Dark Fey (except Maleficent) retreated to their "nest of origin," a huge cave in the middle of the sea that, possibly due to magic, has mini-ecosystems from around the world.
  • Big Damn Heroes: During the climax, it's the Big Damn Maleficent.
    • The soldiers corner Aurora and bury Diaval under a Dog Pile of Doom but Maleficent turns him into a bear. Solders break into a run.
    • When Queen Ingrith's soldiers have the Dark Fey on the ropes, Maleficent comes out of the glowing clouds, wings flaring, unleashing blasts of green magic like a demonic creature out of Hell, and singlehandedly turns the tide.
    • Later, she sacrifices her life to protect Aurora... and, as Queen Ingrith is about to imprison Aurora after Maleficent's death, she comes back to life as a giant phoenix and rescues Aurora again.
  • Big "NO!": Aurora screams it as she sinks to her knees in despair after Maleficent turns into dust.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • The human deaths usually happen off-screen, and the deaths of many, many fairies are softened by the fact that the iron powder causes them to turn into the plant they resemble (for example, a dandelion fairy merely becomes a dandelion) or dissolve in a puff of ashes. Big red puff of ashes.
    • Averted with Aurora, who has blood-leaking injuries on the left side of her face during the climax.
  • Bookcase Passage: The door to Ingrith's secret armory/lab is in her closet, and twisting a particular mannequin's head reveals the passage. Aurora discovers this using her Luck-Based Search Technique.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Lickspittle, the Queen's weapons inventor, who tests horrible weapons on other fairies when he himself is a pixie.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Aurora uses Maleficent's "Well, well" upon seeing her godmother restored to human form after her time as a phoenix.
  • Both Sides Have a Point:
    • The ongoing argument between Conall and Borra over what actions the Dark Fae should take to preserve their people against the encroachment of humans.
    • Borra argues that they should go to war, taking back the places stolen from them. He believes Maleficent, with her great powers, would work in their favor.
    • Conall wants peace with the humans, in part because the Fae simply are not strong in numbers and humans are. He thinks Maleficent, with her proven track record of caring for humans, would be a bridge between their peoples.
    • Ultimately, Conall dies and Borra leads the Fae to avenge his death, and a lot of Fae are killed in the assault on the castle before Aurora helps Maleficent see who the real villain is. Peace is achieved, but only after significant bloodshed.
  • Cassandra Truth: The reason Diaval wasn't trapped with the other non-human guests at Phillip and Aurora's wedding is because the guards don't believe he's a raven in human form.
  • Category Traitor: Queen Ingrith considers Aurora one because the latter doesn't hate the Moors like she does.
  • Cats Are Mean: Queen Ingrith has a pet cat that harasses Diaval and Pinto.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang:
    • From the first movie. Queen Ingrith obtained the spindle that caused Aurora's curse and used it against King John. Aurora, whose finger started to sting and almost swell as she got nearer the spindle in the first movie, uses that power to prove Maleficent did not curse King John.
    • Aurora's Bedsheet Ladder. First, she uses it to trick the guards. Then, she actually swings on it to escape them once more and get into Phillip's room.
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • Aurora asks Maleficent if she intends to turn Prince Phillip into a goat. In the end, she does this to his mother, Queen Ingrith.
    • Similarly, early in the film, Diaval asks Maleficent to turn him into a bear one day. Guess what happens during the finale.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The wedding dress Queen Ingrith gives to Aurora. After Queen Ingrith locks her in her chamber, Aurora tears the dress apart and makes a Bedsheet Ladder to get out. Well, she tricks the guards into thinking she got out so they would open the door and rush to the window, and she can sneak out and lock them in.
  • Cold Iron: Like in the first movie, humans weaponizing The Fair Folk's vulnerability to iron plays a major role in the story.
  • Color Contrast:
    • Throughout the movie, Maleficent is seen wearing her normal black robes and skintight black catsuits, while Queen Ingrith wears white, even into battle. They are the protagonist and antagonist, respectively.
    • Ulstead's color is red, as seen in the drapings at the castle, the uniforms of the soldiers, and the red iron dust. Prince Phillip, as the White Sheep of the Ulstead faction, wears blue.
    • Fairies hit by iron dust turn into red ashes. Maleficent's magic is green and especially bright as she pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment in the final battle.
    • The dust Maleficent turns into after her Heroic Sacrifice is dark grey. As she begins to come back from the dead, it turns gold.
  • Conflict Ball: Maleficent and Aurora grab it firmly through the middle part of the movie, each believing the other has chosen to betray them.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Costume Porn: Everywhere, starting with Queen Ingrith's Unlimited Wardrobe of blinged-out dresses and escalating from there.
  • Darker and Edgier: How do you get darker than the first film's rape allegory? Explicit genocide!
  • Depraved Dwarf: Lickspittle, the Queen's weapons inventor.
  • Disney Death: Maleficent gets this, and in recovering becomes the fairy version of a phoenix to boot.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Gerda suffers this when Knotgrass and Thistlewit fly in her face to stop her from trying to release anymore red iron dust and cause her to fall off a balcony.
    • Subverted with Ingrith; the fey do have her hauled out a window, but rather than letting her fall to her death, they lower her on their vines until the fall is survivable. Then Maleficent transforms her into a goat (with her own husband indicating he's perfectly okay if she's never changed back).
  • Disproportionate Restitution: As punishment for manipulating her family and Aurora, bringing about war between the humans and fairies and nearly massacring the fairfolk, Queen Ingrith is merely transformed into a goat as part of a Brick Joke.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The opening narration tells of how the story has been spread that it was Phillip who saved Aurora and makes Maleficent out to be an evil witch. The movie soon makes it clear that Ingrith is the true "Mistress of Evil" that Maleficent must fight.
  • Earthy Barefoot Character: Aurora, who walks around her kingdom conspicuously shoeless.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Queen Ingrith is never seen without some jewelry, but some of her Pimped Out Dresses are full-on Gem-Encrusted in the front and the back.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Inverted. Queen Ingrith's cat appears to sense that Diaval is actually a bird.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Just like the first film, it's a rather dark PG-rated film. That is, until the final third, which is basically a giant battle with a huge body count and an attempted genocide by "gas chamber".
  • Fantastic Racism: Carried over from the first film, as most humans and fairies have disdain for each other's respective races for their own reasons.
  • Females Are More Innocent: Averted with a vengeance by Queen Ingrith and Gerda.
  • Final Solution: Queen Ingrith's goal is to wipe out all fairies. She claims that fairies hoard resources and kill humans, but Aurora doesn't believe her.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • As seen in Chekhov's Gag above, Aurora asks Maleficent if she is going to turn Phillip into a goat. She does this to Queen Ingrith towards the end of the film.
    • Diaval hopes to turn into a bear one day, and sees many tapestries depicting the animal. Guess what he gets turned into later on?
    • While it's obvious that Maleficent wasn't the one who cursed King John, there's a subtle hint to the true source of the curse: as he's being taken to his bedchamber, a guard suggests checking him for marks, and Queen Ingrith opposes it, saying that the king should "keep his dignity." It's the visible prick mark from the spindle that convinces Phillip that Maleficent didn't curse him.
    • When they meet at the beginning of the movie, Queen Ingrith holds Aurora's face, except they are not enemies and Aurora is not her captive... yet.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: Averted. Phillip explicitly mentions that it's been five years since the events of Maleficent before he proposes to Aurora.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Before her body disintegrates into ashes, Maleficent smiled at Aurora after taking the blow from Queen Ingrith's arrow.
  • Good Princess, Evil Queen: Aurora (the Good Princess) and Queen Ingrith (the Evil Queen).
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Literally. Queen Ingrith repeatedly dismisses Maleficent's maternal relationship to Aurora and says that, by marrying into her family, Aurora will have a "real" mother. Maleficent's eyes get greener and she loses control of her magic due to her jealousy.
  • Heel Realization: It takes a bit but it does sink in to Lickspittle how he's serving a madwoman out to destroy his own kind. He makes up for it by handing the spinning needle to Maleficent to destroy and awaken the king.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Queen Ingrith purposely spun the events that happened in the first film to make Maleficent out as a villain, despite being surrogate mother for Aurora and it being her Mother's Love Kiss that broke the curse. Ingrith even says that she didn't care how Maleficent was portrayed, stories would always have her as the villain.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Early in the chapel scene, one of the plant fairies shields Flittle, Knotgrass, and Thistlewit from the iron dust. That's probably where Flittle gets the idea...
    • Flittle throws herself in to the pipe organ that's firing the iron powder/Tomb Bloom concoction. When the next shot fires and turns her into flowers, they clog up the pipes.
    • Conall shields Maleficent from the arrows of Queen Ingrith's soldiers.
    • Maleficent throws herself between Aurora and Queen Ingrith's arrow.
  • Human Resources: Or fairy ones, anyway. The iron dust is given its power through Tomb Blooms, which are the flowers that grow out of the graves of fairies. As we see later, dead fairies can also take the shape of flowers. Picking an entire field of Tomb Blooms is treated somewhere between destroying a graveyard and stealing dead bodies to harness their magic.
  • Hypocrite: Queen Ingrith.
    • She talks as though fairies are incapable of affection or concern for others, and yet she throws Aurora off a tower to distract Maleficent to exploit her archenemy's human affection for the girl.
    • There's also how she talks of fairies as monsters and she is protecting the kingdom when her attacks are leveling parts of the city while some of those "monsters" save her own subjects.
    • She says the most important aspect to ruling humans is making sure they are in fear (either of you or of a scapegoat). She is terrified of Maleficent in phoenix form and pushes Aurora off the tower to protect herself.
  • I Have No Daughter!: Used word-for-word by Maleficent, who in the moment is convinced that Aurora has betrayed her and chosen the side of the humans who attacked her and the Moors.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Aurora convinces Maleficent to come to the dinner party by saying that "[Phillip's] mother wants to meet mine." Despite the division caused by Ingrith, Aurora makes it clear in the final confrontation that she sees Maleficent as her mother, with even other Dark Fae referring to Aurora as Maleficent's daughter, culminating in Maleficent walking Aurora down the aisle.
  • Karma Houdini: Ingrith and Lickspittle's actions have resulted in the deaths of dozens if not hundreds of Dark Fey and the worst that happens to the former is being turned into a goat and nothing at all happens to the latter.
  • Kill the Cutie:
    • Just to show how awful the iron dust is, Lickspittle demonstrates its capabilities on a tiny little dandelion fairy.
    • Exaggerated in the chapel scene where cute little fairies are killed en masse.
  • Let Her Grow Up, Dear: Gender flipped. Maleficent is extremely against Aurora marrying anyone (despite having known Phillip for five years); Diaval is the one who encourages the relationship and, at the end, tells Maleficent she needs to "let her go."
  • Light Is Not Good: Queen Ingrith is repeatedly seen dressed head to toe in white and covered in glittering jewels, and yet she's a genocidal warmonger.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The movie attempts to do this, but falls more into a Voodoo Shark. The sleeping curse of the first film was explicitly unbreakable except by True Love's Kiss - Maleficent tried to revoke it herself and failed. The spindle was recovered by Ingrith to instigate the same curse on King John and frame Maleficent, but the sleeping curse was never with the spindle, it was cast on Aurora and the spinning wheel magically formed to fulfill the circumstances of the curse. Even still, King John seemingly just woke up from his nap without a True Love's Kiss and a big deal is made of destroying the spindle to finally end the curse.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: The fairies fight with magic, the humans with iron weapons.
  • Meet the In-Laws: Maleficent and Diaval are invited to an engagement dinner with Phillip's parents. It ends with Maleficent being insulted by Queen Ingrith and throwing a magical tantrum.
  • Mook Horror Show: The film opens with some hunters breaking into the forest, only to be hunted down with vines by an unseen horned creature. It's later revealed to have been Borra.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: King John, Phillip, and Conall all push for peace between their warring kingdoms. Maleficent, Queen Ingrith, and her redheaded servant, on the other hand, advocate for war. The last two rack up a ridiculously high body count for a Disney movie.
  • Motive Rant: Queen Ingrith gives one explaining her animosity for fairies: she claims that, as a child, her father tried to peacefully bargain with the fairies for food during a harsh winter, but instead her brother (who was sent as an emissary) was killed and her father overthrown by the hungry populace. Aurora doesn't believe her, and none of the rant explains Ingrith's other power-hungry actions, like annexing the Midlands as seen at the start of the film.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Maleficent can sense the destruction of the Tomb Bloom field, but arrives too late to stop it.
  • Mythology Gag: Aurora wears a blue dress and a pink dress, both resembling the traditional gown of her cartoon counterpart. At her wedding, Knotgrass and Thistlewit argue over whether it should be green or pink... but settle on blue in homage to Flittle's sacrifice.
  • Nasty Party: Queen Ingrith invites all the people of the Moors to the wedding of Aurora and Phillip. In a scene shot frighteningly like a terroristic gas attack, a mook plays a rigged organ to release iron dust into the air, killing those inside.
  • Nature Hero: Aurora has grown into this over the past five years, to the point that she can understand the fairy language and even Diaval in bird form.
  • No Body Left Behind:
    • Conall becomes one with the earth after death.
    • The Dark Fae hit by the iron powder turn into dust. That includes Maleficent herself.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Subverted. While Diaval's default state is a raven, and "man" is only one of the many shapes he can turn into, Maleficent getting injured and falling unconscious actually causes him to turn from a raven into a man.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: At the climax, Aurora falls off the tower and is caught by phoenix!Maleficent. In a nod to reality, her fall is diverted and Maleficent wraps her in her wings in an attempt to cushion the fall.
  • Not Quite Dead: Fittle seems to still be alive after being turned into a flower, as she seems to turn Aurora's dress blue during the wedding, and Knottgrass and Thistlewitt turn to her and say they like the color.
  • Novelization: It got one by Elizabeth Rudnick who novelized the previous film and most of Disney's other recent live action movies.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Diaval somehow manages to get to the Moors ahead of Aurora, despite being trapped in human form and on foot while she is on horseback. Of course, he was transformed back mid-flight and halfway to the Moors while Aurora is back, and given his own experience of flying straight as a raven he may just know a more direct route.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Weaponized. In the wedding chapel, a rigged organ is what is used to spread the iron dust on the assembled fairies.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Aurora tries to share the good news about her engagement with Prince Phillip. Maleficent simply says, "No." Aurora makes it clear she's not asking for permission, and after some further discussion the problem shifts from her marriage to her in-laws.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: The entire dinner scene. The first course is roast bird, which is awkward, as Aurora's surrogate dad is a raven turned into a human. Queen Ingrith "accidentally" lays the table with iron cutlery, forcing Maleficent to eat with her fingers, as iron burns fairies. The family cat is aggravating Diaval the entire time. Despite Phillip and King John trying to Talk About the Weather, the conversation devolves into Maleficent and Ingrith sniping back and forth, culminating in Maleficent losing her temper once Ingrith implies that Maleficent doesn't really love Aurora and the cat tries to pounce on Diaval.
  • The Scapegoat: Queen Ingrith makes Maleficent this by lying to her people about Maleficent's actions. It is revealed that she is the one who spread the version of the story we know where Maleficent is evil.
  • Setting Update: The original animated version was from Medieval France because of many evidence such as the style of the arts, designs, and architecture that are based off of a French Gothic manuscript and other French tapestries. But in the first movie, it is Medieval Scotland; however, in the second movie, it is both England and Scotland because of Ulstead, in which the castle and town has an English design and the village is both Scottish and Celtic, but mostly the Peasant's Costumes are Celtic. This implies that the second movie was set in Medieval England, though the names of Ulstead and Ingrith are also Swedish.
  • Shipper on Deck: All hands on deck are shippers. Most everyone in the Moors approves of Aurora and Phillip's relationship. This sadly gets used against them when they're all "invited" to Aurora's wedding. On the Ulstead side, the main conflict seems to be the Moorfolk themselves; when Phillip interprets a soldier's inquiry about his best man as asking whether Aurora said yes, the soldier insists that Aurora saying yes wasn't in question.
  • Shout-Out: Maleficent's attempt to practice smiling goes just as well as the Beast's (both animated and live-action incarnations).
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In the end, Ingrith has been dropped face first on the ground and is standing up to rant there will never be peace between humans and fairies. In the middle of it, Maleficent turns her into a goat.
  • Soft Glass: Aurora's Bedsheet Ladder loses its hold causing her to swing and crash through the glass door way into Phillip's room. Because her main point of impact is through the wooden frames of the two glass doors, as opposed to either glass door itself, less pieces of glass gets shattered and scattered, but she's still able to move around afterwards with little problem and only minor cuts on her arms and face. The cuts however do remain on her throughout the entire battle until Maleficent heals them.
  • The Soulless: The novelization says Lickspittle lost his soul when he lost his wings.
  • Splash of Color: The poster has a subdued palette except for Maleficent's bright green eyes and red lips.
  • Symbolic Blood: Fairies hit by iron dust turn into red ashes.
  • Taking the Bullet: Conall for Maleficent, and then Maleficent for Aurora. ...despite being in pushing distance in every event.
  • There Is Another: The original film strongly implied that Maleficent was the only fairy of her kind (i.e. with horns and wings, and human-sized instead of a pixie). It turns out that there are many more fairies like her, known as the Dark Fae.
  • Tie-In Novel: Holly Black wrote a prequel called Heart of The Moors.
  • The Unsmile: Maleficent's smile as she practices with her reflection in the river is creepily unnatural and more menacing then polite. Diaval even suggests to try it with a little less fang.
  • Villainous Face Hold: Downplayed. As she greets Aurora at the beginning of the movie, Queen Ingrith gets right into her personal space and holds her face in what she means as a motherly affectionate gesture; the queen is not doing anything openly evil yet, but she just oozes Faux Affably Evil and comes off as intrusive and creepy anyway.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Queen Ingrith's specialty. She uses a personal version during the dinner with Maleficent and Diaval, cowering behind King John and saying that she's frightened, and again on a grander scale by casting Maleficent and the fairies in general as the first aggressors in a war.
  • Written by the Winners: Subverted twice. Once in the sequel, and then a 2nd time if you count the animated movie being post-event propaganda.

Aurora: Godmother! This isn’t you. I know you.
Maleficent: You do not.