Biographical Information
Film: Sleeping Beauty
Maleficent (Film)
Physical Description
Race: Fairy
Gender: Female
Voiced by: Eleanor Audley
Appears in: Sleeping Beauty

Maleficent is the main antagonist of the 1959 full length animated feature film Sleeping Beauty.

Disney History

Spoiler warning!
Narrative secrets ahead.

Sleeping Beauty

Maleficent is first seen during Princess Aurora's christening. She seems to think she was invited, but acts surprised when Merryweather tells her she wasn't. She then bestows a curse on Aurora, saying when she turns sixteen she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. She then fends off King Stephan's guards and disappears into thin air.

Sixteen years later, Maleficent storms with rage at her goons because Aurora had not yet pricked her finger, and time was running out. Her goons reveal they were looking for a baby all sixteen years, and Maleficent laughs and then chases them out. She sends her crow to find Princess Aurora.

When Flora, Fauna and Merryweather leave Aurora, Maleficent hypnotises Aurora and sends her up a secret passageway, leading to a small tower room, where Aurora pricks her finger on the spinning wheel's spindle. Maleficent meets a desperate Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, and reveals the now sleeping Aurora to them.

Maleficent sets a trap for Philip and catches him. She imprisons him, hoping to keep him there for a century. The fairies free Philip and turn Maleficent's crow to stone. Maleficent sends a thorny forest between Philip and Aurora's sleeping chambers. Philip cuts the thorns, and Maleficent turns herself into a dragon to fight Philip. Philip manages to impale her, sending her falling off a cliff. When Philip looks over the cliff, the sword is point-down in a pool of blood, no Maleficent to be seen.

In the Movie

At the christening of the newly born Princess Aurora, the Three Good Fairies come to bestow three gifts on the child: Flora's gift is Beauty, and Fauna's is Song. Before Merryweather has a chance to give the child a gift, Maleficent appears with Diablo, perched on her staff. Angry at not receiving an invitation, she curses the child, decreeing that before the sun sets on Aurora's 16th birthday, the child will die by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. She then disappears, cackling. Merryweather, unable to undo the entire curse herself, is able to alter it such that Aurora will not die, but rather enter a deep sleep that can only be broken with true love's kiss.

As Aurora's 16th birthday draws near, Maleficent punishes her Goons, who have stupidly been searching for a baby for 16 years to find the princess. After angrily calling the goons idiots and imbeciles and intimidating them into running away by conjuring dark lightning bolts with her staff, she then sends her raven Diablo to search for the princess. After managing to find the hiding location of Aurora and the fairies, Diablo flies back to Maleficent to inform her of Aurora's whereabouts. With this new knowledge, Maleficent plans her next move. When the three fairies return the princess to the castle late that afternoon and leaves her alone for a while, Maleficent finds Aurora and, as a hypnotic apparition resembling a will-o-the-wisp, lures her up a secret stairway in the castle atop a high tower to a spinning wheel conjured by Maleficent. Maleficent orders Aurora to touch the spindle; she does, pricking her finger in the process, and subsequently falling into a deep sleep. The fairies, who had been frantically trying to stop Aurora, arrive to find Maleficent, who briefly mocks them of their efforts to stop her. She then uncovers the fallen princess before their eyes and vanishes. She then recruits her goons, and they go to the cottage to wait for Prince Phillip, who have previously arranged to meet Aurora (whom he only knew to be as a peasant girl). Upon his arrival, they immediately capture him and take him to Maleficent's domain, the Forbidden Mountain. Only the prince's hat has been left behind at the cottage when the fairies arrive, allowing them to deduce that Maleficent has captured Phillip and imprisoned him at the Forbidden Mountain.

At the Forbidden Mountain, Maleficent visits the imprisoned Phillip in the dungeon. She taunts him with the knowledge that Briar Rose is actually Princess Aurora, who is currently in ageless sleep in the topmost tower of King Stephen's castle, and how Phillip will be free to exit Maleficent's domain a hundred years later to wake Aurora with love's first kiss, making Phillip struggle against his chains. She then leaves Phillip locked in the dungeon and states to herself that she will sleep well for the first time in 16 years as she heads up to her tower to sleep. Flora, Fauna and Merryweather melt the dungeon lock, cuts the chains that are restraining Phillip and arm him with the Shield of Virtue and the Sword of Truth. As they make their escape, they are confronted by Diablo, who fetches the Goons. As the prince and fairies dodge the Goons and make their escape, Diablo flies to warn Maleficent of Phillip's escape, with Merryweather in pursuit. Diablo reaches outside Maleficent's tower, where Merryweather finally turns the raven into a statue. Awakened by Diablo's constant cawing, Maleficent emerges from her tower and, enraged at the sight of Diablo now a statue and that of Phillip escaping, she attempts to strike him down with lightning. As he continues, she summons a forest of thorns to surround Stefan's castle. When she sees that Phillip, with help from the Good Fairies, has managed to hack through the thorns, she appears before him, blocks his entry and transforms into an enormous dragon.

Phillip charges at the dragon, who drives him backwards with her blasts of flame. As Phillip retreats, Maleficent chases him up onto a high cliff and corners him at the ledge. With another powerful flame blast, she blows his shield off. As she is about to burst out laughing and to finish the now defenseless Phillip off, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather magically empower the Sword of Truth, and Phillip immediately fires the sword at the dragon's chest. Maleficent screams in pain and collapses onto the ledge, attempting to devour Phillip for the last time, but he dodges. Her enormous weight, upon impact, causes the ledge to crumble, sending Maleficent tumbling down from to her demise below. Phillip looks down to see what remains of Maleficent to see nothing more than her shredded cloak on the ground, plus the Sword of Truth, still embedded in the cloak, turning black.

Other History

Once Upon a Time

Maleficent plays a role in the ABC drama series Once Upon a Time, in which she is a sinister rival of the series' primary nemesis, Regina (The Evil Queen from Snow White). Maleficent is played by Kristin Bauer van Straten.

She first appears in the second episode of the first season, "The Thing You Love the Most". She is visited by Regina who seeks to retrieve the Dark Curse that she gave to Maleficent in exchange for the Sleeping Curse she inflicted on Snow White. In this continuity, it was revealed before Maleficent afflicted Princess Aurora with the sleeping curse, she went after Aurora's mother with the same curse. After she cursed Aurora, Maleficent moved on with her life and she spends her days in a remote castle with a small black unicorn pony rather than her trademark black raven from the Disney film. She wears purple in varying tones and still carries her trademark staff. The two women battle but the Queen wins, breaks the staff open, and takes the Dark Curse despite a warning from Maleficent that the curse will leave a hole in her soul. When Maleficent challenges Regina to kill her, she then tells her she won't because Maleficent is her only friend.

Maleficent returns in "A Land Without Magic" during which Charming fights her after Rumplestiltskin forces him to make a deal. In exchange for his mother's ring back, Charming has to take Rumplestiltskin's bottle of true love encased within a protective egg and hide it in a great beast. The beast turns out to be Maleficent transformed into a fire breathing dragon. After he succeeds with his task, he jumps out the window of Maleficent's castle to safety.

She was kept in dragon form in Storybrooke and lived in a cave that could be accessed via an elevator in the boarded up closed library/clock tower. Emma, using her father's sword, kills her in order to retrieve the protective egg containing True Love Potion.

Maleficent returns in "The Evil Queen" when Captain Hook stumbles upon her remains. Her ashes revive her as a zombie-like creature that attacks Hook, making incoherent noises like a ghost. As Hook fights her, she grows in size and swats him aside. Hook escapes her, but what becomes of her afterwards is unknown.

Once Upon a Time's Maleficent does not virtually appear in the show's spinoff, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, only her voice in flashback. When Robin Hood, Will Scarlett and the Merry Mens steals the gold in her castle during her absence, Maleficent throws them an ultimatum by telepathy. It turns out that she is not angry for the disappearance of the gold, only for a magic mirror, effectively stolen by Will Scarlett. This object has the peculiarity to be able to make travel in various worlds.

Maleficent will return in the second half of the show's fourth season in a major story arc.

Maleficent (Film)

In the movie, Maleficent becomes the main character in her own feature film Maleficent, which tells the untold tale of how she became evil. She was performed by actress Angelina Jolie while Isobelle Molloy portrayed her as a child.

When she was still a good fairy, Maleficent lived a peaceful life in an enchanted forest known as the Moors. One day, a young boy named Stefan was caught trying to steal something. Despite this, Maleficent becomes best friends with the boy and on Maleficent's sixteenth birthday, Stefan showed her true love's kiss. However, over the years, Stefan stops seeing Maleficent and goes to the human kingdom, while Maleficent, being the strongest of the fairies, becomes the fiercest protecter of the Moors. Later, Stefan betrays Maleficent and steals her wings so he could lie that he killed her and become king. Maleficent becomes enraged over his treachery, and as her heart of gold turns to stone she becomes the most evil magical being in the land.

One day, she comes across a farmer who has captured a raven. Taking pity on the small bird, she turns the raven into a man. After the farmer runs away in fear, Maleficent approaches the human bird, who introduces himself as Diaval. Since she saved him, he offers to be her humble servant and Maleficent gives him his first task: to find Stefan. Diaval flies to the castle and witnesses Stefan being crowned king, with a woman named Leila being his queen. When he informs Maleficent of what he has learned, she becomes enraged. She returns to the Moors as dark clouds loom across the forest, then, after roots form a throne, Maleficent sits there as the new Evil Queen of the Moors.

Bent on revenge, she places a dark curse upon the baby Aurora to fall into a "sleep-like death" for eternity when she pricks her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel on her sixteenth birthday before the sun sets. However, after Stefan begs her to spare his daughter's life, she also includes that the curse can be lifted only by true love's kiss and no other power on earth can change it.

Over the next 16 years, Maleficent watches over the young princess and despite her dislike for the little "beastie" she reluctantly takes care of her from afar since the three Pixies are incapable and struggle with their new life as humans. By the time Aurora is nearly 16, Maleficent brings her to the Moors and to her surprise she believes she is her Fairy Godmother. Over the next few days they spend more time together with the other fairies. All the fairies take a liking to Aurora, even Maleficent starts to warm up to her and comes to see her as a daughter as she enjoyed their little mud fight especially using magic to throw a lot of mud on Diaval's face when he laughed at her being hit. She tries to remove the curse from her, but she is unable too since no power on earth can lift it but true love's kiss.

When Aurora says she wishes to stay with Maleficent, she is delighted. However, after learning the truth about her past and her Fairy Godmother's identity, she sadly returns to her father. Although ashamed, Maleficent knows if she returns to the castle her life will be in danger.

As the sun begins to set Maleficent finds Phillip and hurries to the castle, but all is in vain when her evil prophecy has been fulfilled. Maleficent and Diaval sneak into the castle with Phillip and bring him to the sleeping Aurora, hoping his brief meeting with her will be enough to break her curse. Unfortunately, this fails and Aurora remains asleep. Maleficent sadly looks upon what her hatred has brought to her dear friend. She gives her a goodbye kiss on the forehead and just before she can walk away a miracle happens, Aurora wakes up. Maleficent's strong and genuine motherly love for Aurora was enough to break the curse that she herself had cast.

As they attempt to flee the castle, Maleficent is trapped under an iron net by Stefan's guards. Maleficent turns Diaval into a dragon, and he lifts the net off her and fights the guards. However, as Stefan enters the scene, Diaval is chained by the soldiers and Maleficent is surrounded. Stefan taunts Maleficent and cruelly beats her. However, just before Stefan can kill her, Maleficent's wings return to her after Aurora frees them. With her wings back, Maleficent frees Diaval, and together, they manage to defeat the guards with the treacherous king still standing. Maleficent carries Stefan onto a tower, but just when the fairy is close to choking him to death, she decides to spare his life claiming "It's over." However, Stefan refuses defeat and jumps on her. The two fall from the tower, but Maleficent manages to become airborne but leaves Stefan to fall to his death.

With peace finally made between the two lands, Maleficent passes her crown to Aurora making her Queen of both the human and fairy kingdoms. In the last scene, she flies happily through the skies with Diaval.

House of Mouse

Maleficent made frequent cameos as one of the guests on House of Mouse. Notably, one episode, "Halloween With Hades", centered on Hades trying to woo her. Maleficent initially rejects Hades, so Mickey tries to help him by teaching Hades how to be good. The technique fails and he becomes so mad he tries to kill the mouse. Maleficent likes the evil in Hades and agrees to go out with him. Later in the episode, they're seen dining together.

In "Mickey and Minnie's Big Vacation", Maleficent in her dragon form, alongside Mushu, Madam Mim, Elliott and The Reluctant Dragon, cause a fire in the club, with Mushu accusing her for this.

Maleficent has been approached by other villains who have tried to win her over, and in return she rejects them by zapping them with a wave of her staff. Captain Hook tried to charm her, only to be zapped away leaving behind his hook. Jafar also tried to woo her while they sat together, only to end up being literally burnt.

Maleficent also appears alongside the villains as part of their song in Mickey's House of Villains.