Disney’s Maleficent Movie Review – Is it ok for kids?

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Maleficent Movie PosterEver heard that there are two sides to every story? Well, now the world gets to see the scariest Disney villain’s side of the story and it’s a bit different than what you might expect! Disney’s Maleficent hit theaters today {May 30, 2014} – a movie I’ve been excited for since I first heard about it!

At Disney Social Media Moms, we had the pleasure of getting an extended look at the movie with the Executive Producer (which only added to my excitement). Plus, we got to hear from the adorable Elle Fanning about her work as Aurora in the film. We even helped her celebrate her 16th birthday! Maleficent #DisneySMMomsIt really was quite the glittering assemblage. So, it comes as no surprise that Maleficent crashed the party. She was every bit as regal, cold, intriguing, scary and exciting as you might imagine! Maleficent at Disneyland
So, we know she was magnificent in person. But, what about her movie?…
About the movie:
[From the press release…]

“Maleficent” explores the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the classic “Sleeping Beauty” and the elements of her betrayal that ultimately turn her pure heart to stone. Driven by revenge and a fierce desire to protect the moors over which she presides, Maleficent cruelly places an irrevocable curse upon the human king’s newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Aurora is caught in the middle of the seething conflict between the forest kingdom she has grown to love and the human kingdom that holds her legacy. Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land and is forced to take drastic actions that will change both worlds forever.

If the trailer alone doesn’t convince you, I am here to tell you that Angelina Jolie {Maleficent} is absolute perfection in this role. Truly, she is stunning as Maleficent. And, to be perfectly honest, I’m not normally a big Jolie fan. In this though, she is magnificent. One scene in particular, after her betrayal, is probably the most traumatic moment in any fairy tale story we’ve seen. Angelina’s acting is so incredible there, the moment is truly gut-wrenching. She does have many softer moments in the film though. And, it was extra cute to see her on screen with her daughter who plays the toddler Aurora. Maleficent Angelina JolieThe visual imagery in the movie is stunning as well! The moors, that Maleficent will stop at nothing to protect, are filled with every sort of magical flora & fauna. Those scenes really help to add to the fantasy and fairy tale nature of the film. Aurora MaleficentSo, it probably comes as no surprise that I LOVED the movie. The twist on the Sleeping Beauty story, the psychological conflict, the imagery – it’s fabulous. But, part of me was watching the movie with my “mom glasses” on, looking for answers on what to say when asked, “is it ok for kids”.  Disney's Malificent - is it ok for kids
So, when considering if this is “ok” for YOUR kids, here’s what you need to know:

  • the movie is only rated PG
  • On the whole, Maleficent herself actually is NOT really scary at all
  • There are some intense battle scenes (you can see glimpses of those in the trailer above). In these scenes it is made VERY clear that the goal is killing certain people/creatures.
  • Even with intense battle scenes, there is NO graphic blood & gore
  • There are DEEP psychological concepts presented (horrible betrayal, vengeance, obsession, etc)

Where does that leave us on an answer? Well, if you’ve read my other reviews like this, it’s going to come as no surprise that I say, “it depends”. It depends on the ages of your kids, their maturity level, their experience with other films like this, and your parenting philosophy.

For me personally though, I don’t think this movie is appropriate for kids under 9 or 10. Friends have asked if we are taking Big Brother to see it (he’s 7) and the answer is no. While I think he would love the dragon and the fighting and the magical creatures, there is really A LOT of deep emotional/psychological stuff going on in this movie that is way WAY above his level of understanding (some of which was even hard to watch as an adult). While I don’t think there is anything that “bad” (no nudity, sex, cursing, blood/gore) or really that horribly scary in the movie, the intense concepts and a few poignant scenes are just things I don’t think my boys need to see at such young ages. Honestly, even with a PG label, I really think the targeted audience of this movie is teens (maybe including preteens) and adults. And, for those older kids and adults, this is a GREAT movie!

I will say though, our kids have not seen many live-action movies (aside from the original Star Wars). They haven’t seen Narnia, the Avengers, Spiderman, Superman, Harry Potter, etc. They are plenty happy with animated Disney shows like FROZEN and Planes, so I’m happy to keep it that way while they are little. If your kids have seen live-action films like the ones listed above and they do ok with those, then there would be NO problem with them seeing Maleficent. But, for our family, we’ll be saving this one for a family night in a few years down the road. In the meantime though, I’ll happily go on a date night to see it again! 😉

Have YOU seen Maleficent? What are your thoughts?

For more about Maleficent, you can follow the movie on Facebook and Twitter!

Dis­clo­sure: We saw this movie at a free press screen­ing at the invi­ta­tion of Dis­ney.  All opin­ions and expe­ri­ences are 100% my own and your opin­ion of the movie may dif­fer from mine.

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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4 Responses

  1. I love your Honest review and the fact that you are a Mom that believes in age appropriate movies, etc… I have been alarmed on many occasions when my Son And DIL have watched movies with gore, nudity, etc… in the presence of the boys, now 3 and 6. Movies I DO NOT enjoy/watch myself. I still prefer FROZEN, etc… Yeah fo Mom’s like you Sara , Big Hugs to all of you. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Carol! Glad you liked the review! I loved the movie – I’m just all about trying to keep me boys “little” as long as possible. I know that there will be PLENTY of time & interest for live-action movies when they are older. So, there’s no need to rush into now! 🙂

  2. Thanks for this – I was debating if I should take my 5 year old niece to see it since she loves the Disney Princesses. I’m going to see it today at the El Capitan (yay!), but since I’m not a mom, it’s hard for me to judge sometimes & I’m glad to get your perspective on it.

  3. I really want to see this, even more now. Our son is far too young to go to the movies just yet, but I’m glad to read your review!

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