Malificent has been all over the place lately. From her trailer before Captain America: Winter Soldier to her slew of Disney posters, gothed-out Angelina Jolie has been stealing our hearts this week. Her cheekbones are up, her horns are spindly, and her wings almost made me choke on a Junior Mint at my local Marvel cinemaplex. Her latest appearance, though is been on a classic Disney movie banner, which came out Monday. Maleficent's new banner, along with three trailers and slew of character posters, has been a part of the ramp-up to the May 30 release.
Because I adore both pale Disney villains and overreaching predictions, I have a slew of possibly-incorrect thoughts about her banner. It has already been pointed out by Business Insider's Kirsten Acuna that this banner looks very similar to banners for two other Disney fantasies: Alice in Wonderland and Oz The Great and Powerful. All three films involve Robert Stromberg, which might explain the poster triplets. Also, both Alice and Oz did fabulously in theaters, so if you didn't already predict a rosy reception to Sleeping Beauty: Dark Side Edition, you can start placing your bets on the number of box office records it will break.
But what does the poster tell us about the movie itself? From the trailers and our cultural obsession with Sleeping Beauty, we already know the plot. Angelificent Jolie befriends Aurora and explains how the "evil in this world" stole everything from her, and what she will do to get it back. The trailer shows a few of the magical beasties that Malificent commands, but this poster might give us a deeper look. On the left of the poster are a group of earthy-looking trolls, with one clear leader near Malificent's face. Hopefully, this leader is Malificent's friend and fellow rebel, who wishes to reclaim the forest from the unwieldy and ecophobic king.
Behind Mr. Green Troll are his followers, along with a large Ent, who must have been borrowed from Lord of the Rings for this movie. Obviously, he's related to Treebeard, because Treebeard is the oldest of the three original Ents. If he's found a portal between Aurora's world and Middle Earth, that's great, but I'm sure he'll probably fight against anyone wearing white robes. So watch out for that.
Finally, the structure of the poster symbolizes Malificent's inner struggle: one side is dark and thorny, and the other is lush and community-oriented. She's a friend to the forest and brilliant community leader, but her deep and self-serving need for revenge often beats out her feelings of community with other oppressed forest creatures.
Or maybe Disney has just made another cookie-cutter banner, and we should all wait for the movie to come out in May.