Maleficent and her pet raven, Diablo
|First appearance||Sleeping Beauty (1959)|
|Created by||Walt Disney Pictures|
|Voiced by||Eleanor Audley, Susan Blakeslee|
Maleficent is a fictional character, the wicked dark fairy and main antagonist in Walt Disney's 1959 adaptation of Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent is a Latin-derived word meaning harmful or evil. She was animated by Marc Davis, and voiced by Eleanor Audley (who also voiced Lady Tremaine, the stepmother of Cinderella). She cursed the infant Aurora to "prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die" before the sun set on her sixteenth birthday after not being invited to the baby's christening.
Maleficent is considered the classic Disney villain: imposing, serious, gothic, terrifying, and lacking any of the occasional goofiness seen in some later Disney villains (when she does resort to humor it is in a dry tone); this has frequently led to her being considered the most effective of Disney's many "evil" characters. An almost archetypal personification of evil, she is responsible for "all misfortune that befalls King Stefan's kingdom."  (King Stefan is the father of Princess Aurora.) Maleficent also possesses a range of magical powers and artifacts, which allow her to—for example—use the crystal ball on her staff to taunt Prince Philip with images of a bleak future. She also casts spells, such as inflicting Aurora with a curse of death (weakened to a curse of sleep by the good fairy, Merryweather), creating thunderstorms, sending frosts, projecting lightning, teleporting, and changing shapes. Some of Maleficent's forms in the film were that of a spinning wheel, a Will o' the wisp, and a dragon. Maleficent was often surrounded by eerie green flames; in the final battle she cries "Now shall you deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of Hell!" implying that she had phenomenal powers of evil at her disposal, even providing viewers with a demonstration by subsequently transforming into a tremendous black-and-purple dragon. Her pet raven, Diablo, and her army of inept goblin henchmen carried out most of her orders for her. She was slain by the sword of Prince Philip, after one final enchantment from Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather drove it directly into her heart. She fell to the ground. Nothing was left of her but her cloak with the sword still in it.
According to the book, Disney Villains: The Top Secret Files (a tongue-in-cheek book not meant to be taken seriously) Maleficent's last name is Faery. It is also noted that she is extremely lonely and that she had very good grades in school.
Maleficent is a recurring character on the TV series House of Mouse. She also appeared in the spin-off movie, Mickey's House of Villains where she was constantly shown, but delivered only a single song lyric, "Every evil queen gets due respect." In one scene from another episode, Maleficent sits across from Jafar in human form, and it was stated by Mickey that the two villains were on a date, after which Maleficent zapped Jafar.
Maleficent is also mentioned in the Nightwish song "FantasMic" from their 2000 album Wishmaster, in the lyrics Maleficent's fury / The spindle so luring.
Maleficent is also one of the villains in the novel, "The Kingdom Keepers" by Ridley Pearson. The novel is based primarily in The Magic Kingdom Theme Park.
Maleficent was also the final boss on the North American version of the video game Mickey Mousecapade created in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Maleficent's theme is heard during the intro of World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, since at the end of the intro, the main villain is shown.
Kingdom Hearts series
Maleficent appears as a major antagonist in the video game Kingdom Hearts series. She was voiced by Susan Blakeslee in the English version.
In Kingdom Hearts, Maleficent led a group of Disney villains who sought ultimate power by controlling the Heartless and unlocking Kingdom Hearts, the heart of all worlds. The villains Maleficent recruited were Hades, Captain Hook, Oogie Boogie, Ursula, and Jafar. She directs their affairs from the Radiant Garden, the former home of Ansem the Wise. Following the goal of ultimate power, Maleficent uses Ansem Reports to help her control the Heartless and darkness, and recruits Riku to help her gather the "Princesses of Heart". The seven Princesses of Heart are explained by Maleficent as necessary to complete the Final Keyhole portal that led to Kingdom Hearts; the Keyhole itself is located at Hollow Bastion. She distanced herself from the arguments among her group, appearing to them only when it was of importance. Over time, Maleficent focused more of her attention on Riku while her group slowly dissolved due to each being defeated by Sora, most destroyed in the process.
Inside Riku's heart, she sees both a powerful darkness and the ability to use the Keyblade, offering to help him revive his friend, Kairi, in return for his services. Riku agrees and Maleficent grants him the apparent gift to control the Heartless. Upon near-completion of the Hollow Bastion keyhole and the imminent arrival of Sora, Donald, Goofy, and the Beast, she battles them. Despite using her phenomenal powers of darkness, which included summoning meteors and casting lightning to attack the heroes, she is defeated, and has to hastily retreat. As the heroes catch up with her, Riku, who sarcastically asks about her well-being, appears. Unknown to her, however, Riku is now being possessed by Xehanort's Heartless. Failing to realize this, she is struck in the chest by the Keyblade Xehanort's Heartless created from the hearts of the six princesses she captured. The Keyblade, unlike the one Sora wields, is one that opens hearts; with her heart opened, Maleficent was vulnerable to the immense darkness that is attracted to her. The darkness overcomes her and transforms her into a dragon. In this form, she battles the heroes and dies, leaving only her robe. Upon her death, Xehanort's Heartless remarks that she was a puppet of the darkness all along, and that while she warned others about not underestimating the darkness, she ironically failed to see the darkness eating away at her own heart. He then steps on Maleficent's robe, which fades into thin air.
Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
Maleficent appears in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as an aspect from the memories of Sora and Riku. In Sora's memory world, Maleficent seeks to steal both Beast's and Belle's (from Beauty and the Beast) hearts for use in her dark magic, resulting in Sora's involvement and her later "death". In Riku's perspective, Maleficent is aware of her status as a figment of memory and is the only figment besides Aerith in Sora's story to understand this. She mocks Riku for his dabbling in the darkness, and reminds him of how he once clung to her and her darkness. Unfettered by her comments, Riku finally stood up to his former mentor and killed her.
Kingdom Hearts II
In Kingdom Hearts II Maleficent is resurrected when Diablo, her faithful raven, brings her robe into the Tower, the home of Yen Sid, and the power of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather's memories revives her. In Kingdom Hearts: Another Report, it is hinted that Organization XIII is responsible for Maleficent's return. Xemnas sent Axel and Roxas to Hollow Bastion to wipe out heartless and release Diablo from a cage suspended from the ceiling. The organization may have planned to use Maleficent to create more heartless for their plans. After her revival, Maleficent appears before Pete who just returned to Hollow Bastion after hearing of her "demise" while he was off gathering allies for their cause. After being updated on the events that had occurred after her death, Maleficent's goal of dominion over the worlds was placed on halt for both the finding of a new base of operations and getting revenge on Sora. She eventually made herself known to Sora and company when she attempted to take over Disney Castle by having Pete go back in time to get the Cornerstone of Light, the mystical object that protected the castle from forces of darkness, from Timeless River, which is Disney Castle in the past. She had Pete continue gathering Heartless while working with several Disney villains, including Hades, Captain Barbossa, Jafar and Scar. To further her goals, she hired the three little fairies, Yuna, Rikku and Paine, to spy on Leon and the Hollow Bastion Reconstruction Committee as well as resurrecting Oogie Boogie. Both alliances were short-lived; Maleficent abandons the fairies when the Heartless invade Hollow Bastion while Oogie drives her away with disrespect due to amnesia.
Despite being Sora's enemy, Maleficent decided to use Sora to destroy Organization XIII for her when it became apparent they were a far greater threat than Sora to her mission to control Kingdom Hearts. At the Radiant Garden, she kept some Nobodies at bay and ordered Sora to deal with the Organization in hopes of both enemies destroying each other. She was seemingly overwhelmed by the sheer weight of enemy numbers. Despite this seeming act of goodwill, Maleficent assured Sora that it changed nothing between them. By the time she and Pete arrived in the World That Never Was, Maleficent's power over the Heartless was fading, as the world itself was too close to the darkness on which the Heartless thrive. She later assisted Sora, giving him safe passage to Xemnas while she and Pete held off the vast army of Heartless created by the ravaging of Kingdom Hearts by DiZ on the condition that she would take Xemnas's castle as her own.
In the night time show Fantasmic!, performed at the Disneyland and Disney-MGM Studios theme parks, Maleficent is the most deadly and awesome of the Disney villains portrayed in the shows. Although the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is traditionally seen as the leader of Disney villains (due to her position as the first classic Disney villain created), Maleficent is seen as the worst weapon in the Disney villain arsenal.
In the shows, the Evil Queen decides it is time to finish off Mickey Mouse once and for all, and invokes Disney villains to help her. They strike Mickey through his dreams and imagination, and Maleficent is the final villain to attack Mickey - the battle between Maleficent's European dragon incarnation and Mickey serves as the climax to the show. It is to be noted that Maleficent cries out before becoming the dragon: "Now you will deal with me and all the powers of my imagination!", whereas, in the original film, she proclaimed "Now shall you deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of Hell!"
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