I normally agree with the reviews on movieguide.org but after seeing Maleficent I have to disagree with their take on the movie. Did it have some dark elements? Yes. Was there a lot of magic? Oh yeah. Could you find some environmental messaging woven in…I guess. Was there confusion over who is good and who is not? Only if you are expecting a remake of Sleeping Beauty, but if you put aside any preconceived ideas about the characters it becomes very clear who is good and who is not.
The most powerful message in the film is this: you become what you focus on.
If you take your older kids to see the film, go out for ice cream afterward and discuss some of the following questions:
- What did Stefan want most?
- What was he willing to do in order to get what he wanted?
- After Stefan became King what was he focused on more than anything else?
- After Maleficent had her wings stolen, what did she focus on?
- When she began focusing on Aurora how did she start to change?
- How did Stefan’s focus destroy him?
- How did Maleficent’s focus save her?
- What do you think Maleficent learned about true love?
- Are you focused on anything that makes anger and bitterness grow in your heart?
- What can you do about it?
Maleficent and Stefan started off likeable characters, but Stefans fixation on power drove him to do the unthinkable. He couldn’t go as far as killing the one he claimed to love but by taking her wings he destroyed her just the same…almost. Once in power Stefan was haunted by what he did. It ate at him from the inside, but it did not lead to repentance. He dug in, held on and prepared to protect what his betrayal had provided. He focused on destroying Maleficent.
Maleficent became consumed by hatred after she had been betrayed but as she focused on the goodness, joy and innocence of Aurora her heart began to soften. The transformation of her heart is revealed not only in “true love’s kiss” but also when she chooses not to kill Stefan.
What we focus on will determine who we become.
…let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. –Hebrews 12:1b-2a NLT