Throwback Thursday to 1959: Disney Pictures' Sleeping Beauty Villain Maleficent

Orlando , Disney World , Disneyland , Disney's Hollywood Studios , Disney Films , Character Meet and Greet , Maleficent , Throwback Thursday
Throwback Thursday to 1959: Disney Pictures' Sleeping Beauty Villain Maleficent
Nine things you need to know about Disney Pictures' 1959 villain Maleficent!
Maleficent is the Disney villain and main antagonist in the 1959 Walt Disney Picture Sleeping Beauty. Arguably the most prominent, memorable and darkest of all the Disney villains, even five decades later, what is it that makes this Disney villain so remarkable? Check out ATD's Maleficent stats and facts for Throwback Thursday!

We thought that Attraction Tickets Direct should join the social trend and start our very own Throwback Thursday posts, taking a look back to the past at our favourite theme park moments, much loved Disney characters, vintage Universal films, historical SeaWorld animal shows and forgotten theme park rides. To kick off our first ever Throwback Thursday, we're heading all the way back to the late fifties, some five decades ago, when Walt Disney Pictures presented the world with Sleeping Beauty, the 16th film in the Walt Disney Classic Series. To put this all into context, Disneyland California had only opened just four years prior, in 1955, and Walt Disney World wasn't even in existence. Of course, many of the Disney adaptations wouldn't work without an antagonist, but the tale of Sleeping Beauty is entirely dependent on Maleficent, she is the spine and the stimulant of this tale.  She has also been coined Disney's most menacing villain of all time - so powerful is Maleficent, that we thought we'd start ATD's Throwback Thursdays with some fun facts and stats about the queen of the Disney villains!

1.Maleficent - What does it mean?



First and foremost, maleficent comes from the describing word 'malefic'. In the Oxford Dictionary the definition of 'malefic' is, 'causing harm or destruction, especially by supernatural means'. Sleeping Beauty's Maleficent is the self proclaimed 'Mistress of all evil'.

2.Who created her?

Cruella Deville

Maleficent was created by American artists and Disney animator Marc Davis. Davis also created Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmations1961, Tinker Bell from Peter Pan 1953 and Thumper from Bambi 1942, as well as many other characters and illustrations for the Walt Disney Company.

3.What inspired her design?


Although it might be expected that the creation of a female villain be isnpired by witches and vixens, Maleficent was illustrated like a giant vampiresque bat. She's green skinned, slender and graceful, whilst evoking a sense of malevolance and wickedness. 

4.What powers does she possess?

Maleficent Dragon

Maleficent possesses powers that allow her to create spells that cause lightning projection, divination and teleportation. In the film she also uses her powers to create a forest of thorns. Her ultimate power is the ability transform herself into a giant fire breathing black dragon.

5.What is the spell she casts on Princess Aurora?

Aurora and the Spinning wheel

Maleficent curses baby Aurora because she hasn't been invited to her christening. The curse Maleficent casts upon Aurora dooms her to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die before the sun sets on her 16th buirthday.

6.Who is the voice of Maleficent?

Lady Tremaine Disney films


In the Walt Disney Pictures' 1959 Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is voiced by actress and radio and animation voice Eleanor Audley. Eleanor Audley was also the voice of Lady Tremaine, the wicked stepmother from the 1950 Walt Disney Picture Cinderella. 

7.How is she received as a Disney villain?


In's top 30 Disney Villains countdown Maleficent comes in at number one. She is considered the most powerful and menacing of all the Disney villains. At the climax of Sleeping Beauty, the scenes featuring Maleficent are considered some of the darkest and most sinister scenes ever created by Walt Disney Pictures. Subesquently, in her appearances at the Disney parks Maleficent is often the more dominant of the other villains.

8.Maleficent the 2014 Walt Disney Picture

Maleficent movie poster

So prominent is Disney's Maleficent that Walt Disney Pictures are in the process of making a film of the same name, starring Angelina Jolie as the sinister villainess. Walt Disney Pictures' Maleficent tells the story of Sleeping Beauty from Maleficent's perspective and will be released some time next year.

9.Where can you see her at the Disney parks?

Maleficent at Disney World

Maleficent is still featured at the Disney parks. She has her own scene in the nighttime show Fantasmic at Disneyland California and Disney World's Hollywood Studios. She also makes an appearance at Disney World's Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and her voice is used in the HalloWishes Halloween firework display. Often the leader of the Disney villains, Maleficent is also the host of the Disney Villains Mix and Ming Halloween Dance Party, in which she invites other villainous characters like Cruella De Vil, Evil Queen and Jafar to attend. As part of Disney's Limited Time Magic Disney World's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland California will host an Unleash the Villains week, where park guests will be able to meet Maleficent and enjoy thirteen hours at the park on September's Friday the 13th, when the park will stay open till 1 am in the morning! Maleficent will be hosting another villainous party!

Check out Attraction Tickets Direct's Orlando pages for a whole range of Disney World and other Orlando theme park tickets. Keep reading ATD's Latest News page for all things theme park, recreation and Disney related.

Happy Throwback Thursday! 

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Orlando , Disney World , Disneyland , Disney's Hollywood Studios , Disney Films , Character Meet and Greet , Maleficent , Throwback Thursday

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