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Diablo appears to have a similar role to the raven in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. However, he plays a larger role in the storyline and is in almost every scene that Maleficent appears in. In addition, unlike the raven in Snow White, he is completely and genuinely loyal to her and, unlike the rest of her servants, he is competent and easily succeeds in his task to find Aurora, and sometimes notices things even Maleficent fails to. He is also the only one she genuinely cares about, and she is visibly horrified when she discovers him turned to stone. In return, he apparently cares a great deal for her, specifically seen when he fell into despair alongside her after her goons were revealed to have been searching for a baby for sixteen years, as opposed to a teenager, which Aurora would have been at that point in time.
Unlike her goons, who Maleficent constantly abuses and treats as pathetic wastes, he serves as her confidante and assistant, more so than her lackey, joining her more often than not from scene to scene, and having complete knowledge of her devious plots. He's also second-in-command, having control over the goons, along with his mistress.
He shares his mistress' sadism. When Maleficent captures Philip in the cottage, and later when she torments him in his cell, Diablo shows just as much pleasure as Maleficent herself.
In Sleeping Beauty, Diablo is a black raven with pink bags under his eyes. He has a sharp, long yellow beak and yellow claws.
Diablo is first seen with Maleficent, crashing Princess Aurora's christening. There, Maleficent casts a spell on her that schedules her death to come before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday when she pricks her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. After the curse is set, Diablo and Maleficent depart. Oblivious to the villains, her rivals, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, change the curse so that Aurora would only fall into a deep sleep when she pricks her finger. Meanwhile, back at the Forbidden Mountains, Maleficent sends her goons on a hunt for Aurora but fail to find her after sixteen years. It is revealed that they were foolishly looking for a baby during the entire hunt. Maleficent explodes in rage and sends Diablo to find her. He begins his search in the forest where he spots magic from wands being blasted out of a chimney (and in the process gets hit with the sparkles when he takes a closer inspection). It is from Flora and Merryweather who have been hiding Aurora in their cottage to keep her safe from Maleficent.
Diablo, listening at the doorway, hears the Fairies confirm Aurora's identity, and tell Aurora that they are returning her to King Stefan's castle that evening. Hearing this, Diablo quickly flies off and sends Maleficent the news to her great delight. He also hears that Aurora has fallen in love, and that the man she loves will be coming to the cottage that evening. This allows Maleficent and the goons to capture Aurora's fiancé, Prince Phillip, to prevent him breaking the curse. They hold him hostage in Maleficent's castle but Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather break him out. Diablo, however, overhears them as Maleficent retires, and catches them escaping. The raven quickly rallies the goons to attack. However, they stand no chance against the fairies' magic, so Diablo heads for Maleficent's quarters to inform her of what's going on. Merryweather gets mad at him and turns him into stone. Maleficent emerges, planning to silence the goons after hearing all the commotion, but she finds his stone body instead, gasping in shock before witnessing Phillip and the fairies making their escape, prompting her to take matters into her own hands.
Diablo made frequent cameos as one of the guests in House of Mouse. He is perched on Maleficent's shoulder in all of his appearances. In the episode, Halloween with Hades, he doesn't seem to like Hades and even tried to bite his finger. He also appears alongside the villains in Mickey's House of Villains.
Diablo appears in the film under the name of Diaval, and actor Sam Riley plays his human form.
He is a raven and Maleficent's confidant who can under her command take on not just the form of a human, but also a variety of other creatures such as a wolf, a horse, and the dragon that Maleficent turned into in the original film. All his transformations appear very birdlike. In human form, he dresses in black and has a collection of huge visible scars all over his body.
Diaval first meets Maleficent when she saves him from a farmer's net by transforming him into a man. At first, Diaval is upset, protesting, "What have you done to my beautiful self?" Maleficent retorts that he should be thanking her. In gratitude for her kindness, he dedicates his life to serving her. Maleficent commands Diaval to be her ’wings’ and spy on the kingdom. Diaval brings news that King Stefan has had a daughter and a christening will be held the next day. Over time, he helps Maleficent to seek revenge against King Stefan for his treachery and finds where the pixies are hiding the princess. Despite her dislike for the little "beastie," she reluctantly has Diaval care for the princess since the Pixies are incapable, as they struggle to adapt in their human forms.
As the years' pass, Diaval develops a friendship with Aurora, and when she meets Phillip, who he believes could be the key to saving her. However, all this is in vain when Phillip's kiss fails to awaken her, but Maleficent's motherly kiss is true enough love to wake Aurora. When Stefan and his men capture Maleficent, she turns Diaval into a dragon, and he fights off the guards while Maleficent battles Stefan.
In the last scene, he witnesses Maleficent crowning Aurora the new queen of both the human and fairy kingdoms and flies happily alongside the reformed fairy, Maleficent.
Diablo made a small appearance in the season four episode, "Heroes and Villains" where, following the kidnapping of Belle, he delivers a message indicating her capture to the Dark One, Rumplestiltskin.
As another reference to the film, Maleficent can shape-shift to and from a flock of ravens.
On the night of a solar eclipse, fairy magic is drained away and spells are broken, resulting in Diablo's revival from the stone curse placed on him by Merryweather. He immediately searches for the deceased Maleficent, and upon finding her staff and remains, he uses her magic to revive her from the dead, thus initiating another plot to torture Aurora and dominate the kingdom.
Diablo appears from "Shell Game" to "Dark Passage", acting as Maleficent's scout on the Dream. He sends The Overtakers' henchmen to attack the Keepers, making sure to always stay out of harm's way. He attacked Willa Angelo and Philby in the kitchen, getting captured. Because of the injuries he had inflicted upon him, Philby considered killing him by cooking him alive. However, he was luckily spared by Willa not wanting to stoop to the Overtakers' level, mercifully trapping him in a microwave until it had to be opened for cooking. He later catches Walt's journal on how to completely revive Chernabog, when the Keepers toss it overboard to keep Maleficent and the Queen from getting it.
When Maleficent and the Queen search for Chernabog in a maze, Diablo attacks Finn Whitman, only to be knocked aside into a wall. His defeat only serves to let Maleficent's anger mislead her into turning into a dragon to kill Finn in revenge. However, he was used as a shield, so Finn could rip out Maleficent's throat. His fate remains unknown, but he may have chosen to die from a lack of nutrition as his master had died.
Diablo is said to remain petrified in Maleficent's castle in the Isle of the Lost. After Carlos De Vil accidentally makes a tiny hole in the magical barrier of the Isle, Diablo's curse is broken, and feeling that the Dragon's Eye (Maleficent's Staff) is awake, he travels to the Isle of the Lost, looking for his mistress. Diablo informs Maleficent about the Dragon's Eye and she sends her daughter, Mal, to recover the Eye, but since she really doesn't believe her daughter can complete the mission, Maleficent orders Diablo (without Mal's knowing) to follow her daughter and retrieve the Eye. Mal and her friends had successfully founded the Eye, but since the Eye was cursed to make the first person who touched the Eye fall into a 1000 years sleep, Diablo takes the Eye out of Mal's hand and takes it to Maleficent.
Diablo appears as a minor antagonist in the Kingdom Hearts series, mostly seen on Maleficent's shoulder on certain occasions.
He is known for announcing the presence of Maleficent many times throughout the series, but enacts this more importantly within Kingdom Hearts II when he not only appears before Maleficent but helps resurrect his mistress from her premature demise by bringing Maleficent's empty robe to Yen Sid's tower, from where the memories of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather bring her back to life. Later on, Pete travels to Hollow Bastion to see if the rumors of Maleficent being killed off was true. Just then, Diablo and the revived Maleficent arrives.
Diablo is the Spanish word for "devil" or "demon".
Diablo was not actually named in the original film.
In Irish folklore, crows are associated with the winged battle goddesses, the Morrigan. In most all other folklore, ravens are associated with death, the dead, and trickery. Thus, they can be "devilish" birds.
Like Jafar does with Iago, Maleficent treats Diablo more like an assistant than a pet. However, unlike Jafar and Iago's relationship, Maleficent and Diablo seem to mutually respect and care for each other. Unlike Iago, Diablo does not talk, though he shows signs of being sentient, being able to understand Maleficent's spoken orders.
In Maleficent, the name Diaval is pronounced similarly to "devil".
↑"Sotheby's Guide: Antiques and Their Prices Worldwide, Volume 5" published in 1989 (as "1990 EDITION") page 171 "A Walt Disney celluloid from 'Sleeping Beauty', 1959, the multi-sheet celluloid depicting Diablo the raven perched on the arm of Maleficent's throne, applied to a master watercolour background,"