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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 that she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die when the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. 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 pet raven, Diablo, 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, forcing the Good Fairies to stop her. When Merryweather, Flora, and Fauna arrive too late to save Aurora, Maleficent taunts them for the inability to defeat her and reveals the now sleeping Aurora to them before disappearing, cackling.

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 Merryweather has changed Diablo into stone. Maleficent sends a thorny forest between Philip and Aurora's sleeping chambers. Philip cuts the thorns, but Maleficent is furious when her plan failed. Teleporting herself to Stefan’s castle, she appears before Phillip and turns herself into a dragon in order to defeat Philip. Blessed by the Good Fairies, Philip manage 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, never to be seen again.

Other History

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.