The evil, evil villainess in Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is tall, dark, has two pointy satan-esque points to her headdress, and is perhaps the most sinister Bad Guy in any of disney's films. Where other villains have foolish quirks, senses of humour, or human failings, she is simply and quietly evil and powerful, only defeated with great drama and equally great effort by the valiant prince.

The story: angered by not receiving an invitation to the christening of the newborn princess, Maleficent descends in rage on the celebration and lays a curse on the babe: that if she ever touches a spindle before her 16th birthday, she will fall in to eternal slumber. She is hidden away in the woods with three good fairy witches to protect her, but alas, her destiny fulfills itself and she pricks her finger and falls asleep in the castle. Meanwhile, the prince, with whom she has fallen in love, is captured by Maleficent and held prisoner, to prevent him from freeing her from her sleep with the kiss of true love. The good fairies free him and bless his sword, and he escapes Maleficent's castle, narrowly avoiding the falling bridges and forests of thorns she places in his path, at last confronting her directly in the form of a giant black fire-breathing dragon she has transformed in to, and after a mighty battle, landing the killing blow in her chest with his blessed sword. He kisses the sleeping princess, and the spell is broken. This is one disney film that's never had a sequel and thank god - it would somehow sully Maleficent's wonderful pure evil to think that she could suffer any defeat less than death.

Ma*lef"i*cent (?), a. [See Malefic.]

Doing evil to others; harmful; mischievous.

 

© Webster 1913.

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