In 2013, they released Oz the Great and Powerful to theaters. It didn't have the caliber to match Burton's film. In-fact, it wasn't even able to achieve half of what Alice in Wonderland did.
However, it made a nice chunk of money.
They were onto something.
In 2015, they have plans of releasing live-action adaptations for The Jungle Book and Cinderella. Then, in 2016, there will be a sequel to Alice in Wonderland. While those are steps in their new obsession, those aren't the next step...
Besides holding the World Heavyweight Championship for words that I can't seem to pronounce, Maleficent is a 2014 dark fantasy adventure film directed by Robert Stromberg. This is Robert's directorial debut, however, he already has two Academy Awards under his belt for his special-effects in Avatar and Alice in Wonderland. The film stars Angelina Jolie as the Disney villain for which the films gets its name. It's a live-action re-imagining of the 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty, however, it portrays the story from the perspective of the antagonist.
The film begins with Maleficent as a sweet little girl, albeit with wings and horns. She is a fun-loving little sweetheart that smiles wide while she flies around merrily. A boy is found trying to steal from the forest, and instead finds himself becoming her boy-toy. They tell about them being together, and finally, he starts to be a douche, and cuts off her wings, and becomes king. And then, basically, that starts up the story that most people already know. That is, Aurora being cursed to an eternal sleep after her sixteenth birthday, unless a true-love's kiss can break the spell.
I remember whenever I saw trailers about this film, I wouldn't say that I was intrigued, but I acknowledged its existence. I remembered being disappointed with Alice in Wonderland, and figured it might have been cut from the same clothe. Although, I will say that I was drawn to this idea of seeing the story from Maleficent's point-of-view. I had remember reading reviews that praised Angelina Jolie's performance in the role.
After watching the movie, I found myself thinking one or two things. (1.) The film isn't exactly revisiting the tale from Maleficent's perspective, because it isn't the same tale. They tweaked and modified elements of the story to get across a different idea, and so, it wasn't revisiting a tale, it was changing a tale. (2.) Angelina Jolie didn't have an amazing performance. She had a halfway decent performance that looked better in-comparison to everybody else.
It wasn't their fault.
They didn't exactly have very much to work with. Aurora smiled and nodded, but was never really established as anything more than an indistinguishable checker-piece in a grander game. King Stefan didn't have nearly enough depth. He betrayed Maleficent, but he spared her life. He seemed like he had some goodness in him, but it never actually amounted to anything.
I have never had too much of a problem with computer-generated imagery. I know that there are some film aficionados that dislike it. And that's all well and good. I would certainly not call myself a fan of it, but I never really hated it with the same passion as some others do. However, I hated it in this movie. It was just felt so artificially whimsy. The pixies looked terrible, (and they were also incredibly annoying as characters. They were meant to be funny, but they were just ... just ... terrible.) and I never really felt the emotion that they wanted me to. I don't even know that I would say that this is a criticism about the special-effects. They simply never focused on the scenery long enough to instill any worthwhile impressions. They tried to make the forest seem whimsical and imaginative, but something about it just lacked enchantment.
I didn't want to be a dick, bashing for the sake of bashing, and so, I asked some of the friends about it. I didn't even have to finish my question, they were ready to rant and rave about some of the things. One of them made a point in saying that from beginning to end, they just "didn't care".
In conclusion, I feel like the movie never really amounted to one singular thing. It was a jumbled and contorted mess of nothingness that ended with feeling like a colossal waste of time more than it did with closure.