Maleficent is the main antagonist of Disney's 1959 animated feature film Sleeping Beauty. An evil fairy, Maleficent is an incarnation of pure evil and is responsible for all the misfortune in King Stefan's kingdom. Taking offense at not being invited to the christening of Princess Aurora by Stefan and his wife, Queen Leah, Maleficent curses the princess to die by pricking her finger on a spinning wheel's spindle before the sun sets on her 16th birthday. She also appears to be particularly disdainful of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, her benevolent rivals. She is frequently accompanied by her pet raven, Diablo.
With her dark, elegant design, dramatic and flamboyant animation, and an unlimited arsenal of magic powers at her command, Maleficent is one of the most popular and recognizable Disney Villains, in addition to being one of the primary members of the official franchise.
The style for Sleeping Beauty was based on the art of Eyvind Earle, who claimed to have a 'Pre-Renaissance' style, with strong vertical lines and gothic elegance. Earle was involved with the design of all the characters and designed and painted most of the backgrounds in the film. Though early sketches depict a hag-like witch, it was decided that Maleficent's final, elegant design suited Earle's backgrounds. Marc Davis' decision to make Maleficent a powerful witch rather than an old crone may also have been influenced by Eleanor Audley's voice, which he recalled suggested a very powerful character.
The design for Maleficent's clothes occurred to Davis when he was looking through a book on Medieval art; one of the manuscript images featured a religious figure with long robes, the ends of which resembled flames. Davis incorporated this into Maleficent's final design. He based the sides of her headdress on bat wings and the top of her headdress on the horns of the devil.
After Eleanor Audley's vocal and live-action performances for Lady Tremaine in Cinderella, Walt Disney personally suggested that she be considered for the voice and live-action reference for Maleficent. Davis praised Eleanor Audley's live-action performance for the character, claiming that she created many of Maleficent's expressions and mannerisms that were ultimately used in the animation. The animators were more limited to how their characters could move against the detailed backgrounds. The manner in which Maleficent moved, perhaps limited by her costume, later inspired Andreas Deja to take a similar route when animating Jafar for Aladdin.
Maleficent represents pure evil. She is ruthless, dark, devious, and will do whatever it takes to achieve her evil goals. Additionally, she is very sinister, which is shown when she taunts Prince Phillip after she captures him. Her most famous quote ("You poor simple fools, thinking you could defeat me. ME!? The mistress of all evil?") indicates that she thinks herself above everyone, even calling her closest allies "her pets" in a pseudo-affectionate manner. Other than herself, the only entity for which that she seems to have a genuine care is her pet raven, Diablo. This is especially evident in her horror at seeing the aftermath of Diablo getting turned to stone. Maleficent also seems to have some emotional instability. This is especially evident in her reaction to the discovery that her goons spent the previous 16 years looking for a baby, where she pitched a nearly truly evil laughing fit before reacting violently towards her goons. She is also shown to be very sadistic, which is especially evident when she proceeded to psychologically torture Prince Phillip simply for her own amusement late in the film.
On top of her deviousness, Maleficent is very misleading in her personality. But underneath the mask of stoicism, she unleashes the full brunt of her wrath with a smile, which shows how she relishes in the pain of others. This is displayed during her first appearance during Aurora's birthday ceremony. When Merryweather states bluntly, "You weren't wanted," Maleficent pretends to be shocked and hurt, remarking, "In that event, I'd best be on my way." But then she turned around and cast a curse upon Aurora, cackling while taking in the sweet revenge she had attained. Owing to her misleading personality, she also expresses sarcasm, which is especially evident during her psychological torture of Prince Phillip, where Maleficent states that when he leaves, he will be "up on his noble steed, straight and tall" despite the vision making very obvious that he and his steed were barely even able to leave due to being near-death.
Maleficent is soft-spoken, proper, and elegant and has two possible motivations for her crimes, either out of pride, considering she curses Aurora because Stefan didn't invite her to the christening, or she is simply a monster who enjoys being evil. The latter is further suggested by her admitting that she's not offended by them not inviting her before cursing Aurora.
Fauna indicated that Maleficent has no knowledge of love, or kindness, or joy that comes from helping others. However, her later capture of Prince Phillip, taunts toward Phillip regarding his role in undoing the curse, and later her attempts at preventing Phillip from reaching the castle implied that she knew enough about love to realize it was a massive threat to her curse on Aurora.
Maleficent is a tall, slender, pale green-skinned (although some appearances of her depict her with gray skin) woman with a narrow face and a prominent chin. She is also darkly beautiful and icily elegant. Her tall demeanor is such that she dwarfs the entire cast, as evidenced by her debut scene, with King Stefan only being able to stand eye-to-eye with her while atop the throne steps. She also has yellow eyes and black horns (it is unknown if those are her horns or a headdress), symbolic of her dark magic. She is clad in a black-and-purple robe with bat wing-like edges; underneath her robe, she wears a dress with the same color pallet but with some red instead of purple and wears a gold ring with a large mysterious circular black stone in it. Both the horned headdress and bat wing-like robe represent and foreshadow her dragon form. She carries a staff with a glowing green orb at the tip through which she casts her spells.
Maleficent is capable of shapeshifting at will into numerous forms, including a floating hypnotic light resembling a will-o'-the-wisp and a massive, monstrous black-and-purple dragon. Her dragon form is largely black, with her underbelly starting from just below her jaw up to the tip of her tail being purple-colored and ribbed. She has webbed fins underneath her horns and her eyes are a pupilless green or yellow, while her tongue and the interior of her mouth is colored yellow. Her claws and teeth are also colored black, and she possesses spines across her back, some of which form a three-pronged tip at her tail, bearing a faint similarity to the Chauve-souris. Her wings are fairly small especially compared to her overall size, although they still seem to allow her to fly to some degree.
Powers and abilities
- “Now shall you deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of HELL!”
- ―Maleficent to Phillip[src]
Maleficent is one of the most powerful villains in Disney history. She describes her own skills as "all the powers of hell". Her powers are magic-based, and it is also implied during the christening ceremony that her magic was far more powerful than even that of the Three Good Fairies, at least individually, as they admitted they could not outright remove Maleficent's curse but rather alter it. Using her staff, she can conjure up her spells, for example, lightning projection, divination, and teleportation. Merryweather also implied that she was capable of summoning frost storms. She can even cast powerful dark magic spells like her forest of thorns. She was capable of hypnosis, as she demonstrated on Aurora to make her prick her finger. She also conjured the spinning wheel and spindle, which she used to prick Aurora's finger, which shows she is capable of conjuration. She also implied that the sleeping curse's effects, even when not at full power, were sufficient to effectively halt aging so long as the curse was in effect. Maleficent was also capable of flying by conjuring energy from her staff, similar to a galaxy or a helicopter rotor. This was presumably used as an act of desperation, given the events that had her use it. She is also shown to be particularly skilled at pyrokinetic-related spells, as her teleportation sometimes has flames being involved, such as during the christening ceremony and just before confronting Prince Phillip for the final time. Her flames are always colored emerald green.
One of her most powerful abilities is to transform herself into a massive fire breathing dragon, with the flame blasts being strong enough to effortlessly knock away Phillip's Shield of Virtue, and her hide in this form was apparently strong enough to even withstand the Sword of Truth barring significant enchantments on the Three Good Fairies part. In addition, her fangs in this form were shown to be venomous in Maleficent Returns, which ironically also led to her second defeat.
She also possessed some degree of divination and telepathy, as demonstrated when she was taunting Prince Phillip near the end of the film with the revelation that Briar Rose and Princess Aurora were one and the same. In the storybook sequel, she also was capable of petrifying people, which she demonstrated on the people of Aurora's kingdom, including Phillip after her revival, and also attempted to do so on Aurora at the latter's request to save the kingdom, although her protection charm by the three good fairies prevented this from happening.
At the christening of the newly born Princess Aurora, announced by the herald, the Three Good Fairies come to the castle and bestow three gifts on the child. Before Merryweather has a chance to give the child a final gift, Maleficent appears with Diablo perched on her. She then sarcastically addresses the horrified attendees and explains she must have not gotten an invitation until Merryweather bluntly told her she wasn't invited in the first place. While being hurt by the remark, Maleficent decided to leave. Queen Leah then asked if Maleficent was offended, with Maleficent claiming she wasn't, and then adding that in fact she intended to bear a gift of her own to Aurora. She then promptly curses the child, decreeing that before the sun sets on Aurora's sixteenth birthday, she shall die by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. A horrified Leah rushes to hold her baby in fright and an enraged King Stefan orders his guards to capture her immediately. But before they can get to her, she disappears, laughing wickedly, leaving everyone in despair and filled with worry. Though unable to undo the entire curse herself, Merryweather softens it so that Aurora will not die, but will merely enter a deep sleep that will only last until true love's kiss. As Aurora's sixteenth birthday draws near, over at her domain in the Forbidden Mountain, Maleficent punishes her Goons after finding out that they have stupidly been searching for nothing but a baby for sixteen years. After angrily calling the goons idiots and imbeciles and intimidating them into running away by conjuring dark lightning bolts with her staff, she sends Diablo to search for the princess. After managing to find the hiding location of Aurora and the fairies, Diablo flies back to Maleficent to inform her of Aurora's whereabouts. With this new knowledge, Maleficent plans her next move.
When the three fairies return the princess to the castle and leave her alone for a while, Maleficent uses a hypnotic apparition resembling a will-o-the-wisp to lure Aurora to a spinning wheel conjured by Maleficent. Though Aurora is momentarily snapped out of the trance by the fairies' loud voices (who call after her to not touch anything), Maleficent orders Aurora to touch the spindle while they try to stop Aurora from touching the spindle with her finger. But before the fairies can reach Aurora, she pricks her finger in the process and subsequently falls to the floor, motionless, having fulfilled Maleficent's curse bestowed on her when she was a baby. When the fairies arrive too late to save Aurora, they were horrified to see Maleficent, who briefly mocks her arch enemies of their efforts of trying to defeat her by uncovering the fallen princess before their eyes and vanishes, cackling maniacally, leaving the fairies to weep over Aurora’s fate. Following this, Maleficent, anticipating thanks to Diablo's intel that the man Aurora met earlier is her true love, summons her goons to head over to Briar Rose's cottage to set up an ambush, and they capture Aurora's true love (who turned out to be Prince Phillip, rather than a peasant). On Maleficent's orders, Phillip is taken to her domain in the Forbidden Mountain. When the fairies arrive at the cottage in search of Phillip, all they find is the prince's hat, allowing them to deduce that Maleficent has captured him. At the Forbidden Mountain, Maleficent presides over a bonfire with her minions celebrating their victory (the bonfire itself is implied to have been lit by Maleficent herself due to it using green flames) before deciding to visit the imprisoned Phillip in the dungeon to "cheer [Phillip] up." She taunts him with the knowledge that Briar Rose is actually Princess Aurora, and ridicules the notion that "true love conquers all". She then reveals her intent to keep Philip imprisoned until he grows elderly, then let him go to seek out Aurora, who won't have aged a day since.
Maleficent then leaves the dungeon to sleep, saying she shall sleep well for the first time in sixteen years. With Maleficent out of the way, the Three Fairies infiltrate Phillip's cell and arm him with the Shield of Virtue and the Sword of Truth. As they make their escape, they are confronted by Diablo, who fetches the Goons. As the prince and fairies dodge the Goons and make their escape, Diablo flies to warn Maleficent of Phillip's escape, with Merryweather in pursuit. Diablo reaches outside Maleficent's tower, where Merryweather finally turns the raven into a stone statue with a satisfied scowl before rejoining Phillip, Flora, and Fauna. Awakened by Diablo's constant cawing, Maleficent emerges from her tower, where she finds Diablo's petrified form. Shocked by Diablo's state and enraged at the sight of Phillip escaping to reach Aurora, Maleficent attempts to strike him down with lightning. As he continues, she summons a forest of thorns to surround Stefan's castle as a blockade. With the help from the Good Fairies, however, Phillip manages to hack through the thorns and towards the castle. Infuriated again, Maleficent angrily decided to stop him personally and transports herself to Stefan's castle to block Phillip's path. As a final attempt to kill the prince in order to prevent him from breaking her curse on Aurora, Maleficent summons all the power of Hell to transform herself into an enormous dragon.
Phillip charges at the dragon, who drives him backward with her blasts of flame. As Phillip retreats, the transformed Maleficent chases him up onto a high cliff and corners him at the ledge. With another powerful flame blast, she blows his shield off. As she bursts out laughing and prepares to finish off the now defenseless Phillip off, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather magically empower the Sword of Truth and he immediately throws the sword at the dragon's heart. She screams in pain and collapses onto the ledge, attempting to devour Phillip for the last time, but he dodges. Upon impact, her enormous weight causes the ledge to crumble, sending her tumbling down to her demise below into her own dragon flames and dissolves into a purple coloring dark smoke. Phillip looks down to see what remains of Maleficent, to see nothing more than her shredded cloak on the ground, plus the Sword of Truth, still embedded in the cloak, turning black, having its enchantment worn off. With Maleficent finally destroyed for good, Prince Philip reaches Aurora in her tower and kisses her, which successfully breaks Maleficent's curse.
Maleficent made frequent cameos as one of the guests on House of Mouse. Notably in one episode, "Halloween With Hades", centered on Hades trying to woo her. Maleficent initially rejects Hades, so Mickey tries to help him by teaching Hades how to be good. The technique fails and Hades becomes so mad he tries to kill the mouse. Maleficent likes the evil in Hades and agrees to go out with him. Later in the episode, they're seen dining together. However, her later appearances suggest that she broke up with him some time afterward.
Maleficent has been approached by other villains who have tried to win her over, and in return, she rejects them by zapping them with a wave of her staff. Captain Hook tried to charm her, only to be zapped away leaving behind his hook. Jafar also tried to woo her while they sat together, only to end up being literally burnt.
A Maleficent version of Mr. Burns appears in The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror XXXI", during the segment "Into the Homer-Verse", as one of the alternative versions of Mr. Burns from different realities.
Maleficent appears in ABC's Once Upon a Time portrayed by Kristin Bauer van Straten. She debuts in the second episode of the first season and also makes an appearance in the spin-off series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. In the series, Maleficent is portrayed as a witch, as opposed to being a fairy.
After failing to kill Princess Aurora's mother, the original Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent inflicts a sleeping curse on Aurora, unintentionally allowing Aurora to escape the Dark Curse that sends everyone to Storybrooke. Maleficent also curses her true love Prince Phillip by transforming him into a beast called the Yaoguai and banishing him to another land so that he is incapable of reaching Aurora. He remains in this form until he is found by Belle who returns him to human form.
She is approached at some point by the Evil Queen, who trades the Dark Curse created by Rumplestiltskin, for Maleficent's sleeping curse, in order to punish Snow White. Later, Rumplestiltskin offers to give Prince Charming a spell that will allow him to locate Snow if he manages to hide a potion inside the belly of a beast. Upon arriving at the Forbidden Fortress Charming discovers that the beast is, in fact, Maleficent. During the subsequent fight, Charming manages to toss the egg containing the potion into the gill of sorts on Maleficent's neck. Eventually, Maleficent gives up on her vendetta against Aurora and her mother, finding solace in her pet black unicorn. However, the Evil Queen, frustrated at the failure of the sleeping curse, desires the Dark Curse once more, but Maleficent refuses. The Evil Queen magically duels with Maleficent eventually defeating her and taking back the curse. Despite defeating Maleficent the Evil Queen allows her to live, saying that she is her only friend.
After the Dark Curse has been cast, it is revealed that Regina Mills (the Evil Queen's counterpart) trapped Maleficent in her dragon form and imprisoned her beneath Storybrooke's abandoned library. Later, when Henry Mills falls under a sleeping curse to prove the curse's reality to Emma Swan, Emma is forced to kill Maleficent to retrieve the potion within her, later revealed to be a bottle of true love. Some time after the curse has been broken Regina travels beneath the library to retrieve the 'fail-safe' trigger to destroy Storybrooke, where she discovers that due to a spell she placed on Maleficent to ensure that the 'fail-safe' would always be guarded, her friend is trapped in a form that appears to be neither dead nor truly alive.
In season four Maleficent returned with a brand new look that was much closer to that in the 1959 Disney film. In the second half of the fourth season, a flashback reveals she allied herself with Cruella De Vil and Ursula, as they all sought their own happy endings. Part of this involved stealing a special gauntlet from Rumplestiltskin, though in order to do so, the villains concocted a scheme to kidnap his maid, Belle, and hold her hostage. After successfully doing so, Maleficent sent a raven out to deliver the message of Belle's capture, and the price for her return with the help of Ursula. Once Rumple arrived on the scene, Maleficent appeared and a confrontation followed; she was immediately pinned down by the Dark One's magic, only to announce the presence of her allies, dangerously outnumbering the sorcerer. Without a choice, Rumple hands over the gauntlet and Belle is freed.
Some time afterward, Rumple manages to take back the gauntlet. He warns the Queens of Darkness not to steal from him again, angering Maleficent, who claims that taking the gauntlet was part of the deal, and he never breaks his deals. In retaliation, Rumple claims that stealing from him is not a deal, and he always wins and wins alone, declining Cruella's offer to join the trio.
It is then revealed that Maleficent, Ursula, and Cruella teamed up with Snow White and Prince Charming to learn how to prevent Regina from casting the Dark Curse from the Tree of Wisdom. However, Snow and Charming choose to sneak away from the three villains to prevent them from also gaining knowledge. When Snow and Charming attempt to communicate with the tree, it refuses to give them the knowledge that they seek, something that is witnessed by the three villains who have just arrived on the scene have caught up to their erstwhile allies. Maleficent realizes that the tree has rejected the pair because Snow is pregnant with a child that, as the product of true love, can be a great force for good or just as great a force for evil. Maleficent later appears to Snow and suggests that they ally with each other to prevent Regina from casting the Dark Curse. At this time, Maleficent also reveals that she is pregnant and wishes to spare her child the pain of the curse; however, Snow rejects Maleficent's suggestion, believing that if she allies herself with a villain, then it will affect whether her own child grows up to be good or evil.
After Gold is banished from Storybrooke by Belle, he locates Ursula and Cruella and tricks Regina into allowing them into Storybrooke. They later go back for him, and once all three are reunited again, he says, "It's time to reunite the band," as he talks about resurrecting Maleficent.
After tricking Regina into letting them stay in Storybrooke, Cruella De Vil and Ursula secretly work with Mr. Gold to resurrect Maleficent. The women steal an ornament of Maleficent's from the pawnshop, which David and Mary Margaret believe will be used to resurrect the dead sorceress. Instead, this is only a ruse to bait the couple into venturing into the cave below the library where Maleficent's ashes reside, and after David and Mary Margaret are knocked out by Ursula, Cruella sacrifices some of their blood to Maleficent's ashes to complete the spell that proceeds to morphs her ashes into her undead form, then her dragon form before restoring her to life. Although Mary Margaret fears she will reveal their past dealings to Emma, Maleficent affirms she only cares about relishing in their suffering, which will be as long and as unyielding as her own had been. Departing with Cruella and Ursula, she later goes with them to a hilltop overlooking the town. Maleficent summons the ornament into her hand and connects it with the totem from her necklace, forming a small baby rattle, which she shakes as a pained look crosses her face.
As the villains have a get-together at the diner, Regina enters and persuades them to let her join their inner circle. Still skeptical, the ladies test their newest addition, in which Cruella drives her car onto railroad tracks while a train approaches. With everyone still seated in the vehicle, Regina must prove she is not heroic by not using magic to save them. Waiting until the train almost crashes into the car, only then, she teleports them out of harm's way. Having bet earlier that Regina would not save them, Maleficent loses the bet and pays up a necklace to Cruella. While the women think she's gone soft, Regina then suggests they stir up trouble elsewhere, and the foursome spends the night drinking and damaging public property. The next morning, Ursula, Cruella, and Maleficent report to a cabin in the woods telling Mr. Gold about Regina. He considers her a possible asset for their scheme since she's just as desperate as them to find the author, which convinces the women to trust her. That night, Maleficent borrows Cruella's car, which she enchants to drive automatically, and meets up with Regina alone, instructing her to kidnap Pinocchio, who they need to interrogate about the author. The plan goes smoothly, and they bring the boy to the cabin, where Regina is shocked to see Mr. Gold has returned. When Ursula and Cruella arrive, Mr. Gold reveals Pinocchio is no use to them, but the man he used to be remembers everything. Using his dagger, he reverts the boy into August, who they'll torture for information about the author.
At the cabin, the trio awaits Regina, who returns with a snapshot of the door page since she wasn't able to steal the illustration. After Cruella notices a light glare on the photo, Mr. Gold deduces that it's magic and that the Author is actually trapped in the door within the illustration after being imprisoned by the Sorcerer. With the page more vital to them than before, Maleficent puts everyone in town to sleep, although those already once affected by a sleeping curse remain immune. As they head to the apartment to search for the page, Maleficent pressures Mr. Gold to provide answers about her lost child so as long as she continues to help him find the Author. When they find nothing at the apartment, Mr. Gold figures Henry must have disappeared to the mansion with the storybook. After he leaves to conduct other business, the women head to the mansion, and with Regina's persuasion, Henry forfeits a forgery of the door illustration. Regrouping outside the pawnshop, Mr. Gold examines the page, realizing it's fake, and then has Maleficent put Regina to sleep. Believing she is culpable, the trio hauls her to the vault. There, Maleficent once again asks Mr. Gold for her child's whereabouts. He asks her to let go of her pain since the truth may make it worse, but she adamantly wants to know her child's fate. Mr. Gold relents, and using Maleficent's baby rattle, he shows her the child, Lily, being adopted thirty years ago.
Maleficent confronts Cruella as to why she lied to her about her daughter Lily and tells her that she was dead. Cruella simply tells her that she's a terrible person and left her in the woods to die, claiming she isn't "mother material". She tells her that Ursula and herself took her dragon egg to absorb the magic and keep themselves youthful. Furious at her, Maleficent tells Cruella her death will last for days and turns into a dragon. However, Cruella uses her powers to put Maleficent under her control as she can control animals and tells her that today is the day she gets her happy ending now that the Author is here.
Regina, Mary Margaret, David, Hook, and Emma are all in Granny's diner, where Emma is asked by Maleficent to locate her daughter. Emma asks what her daughter's name and she reveals it to be Lillith (a childhood friend of Emma's). While Regina and Emma go look for her daughter, she is sent to guard Belle's heart which is used to leverage Regina against Gold. There Mary Margaret comes to apologize to Maleficent for what they did to Lily and tells her that they'll do whatever it takes to earn her forgiveness, but she replies that they turned her own daughter into a monster and if she can't forgive them, why would Lily.
Maleficent is finally reunited with her daughter, and the two go to Granny's Diner. Lily asks Maleficent about what they will do about Snow White and Charming, but Maleficent tells that she doesn't want to waste her time on revenge and that they should all look forward to telling her that they can either be happy for the future or angry about the past. Maleficent works to keep Lily in Storybrooke while warning her that she won't be able to get back into Storybrooke if she leaves, and she can't leave as the magic keeping her alive will wear off, and she will turn back into dust; however, Lily doesn't care and decides to leave (making Emma's quest to reunite mother and daughter a failure). So instead of seeking Emma's help again, she later approaches Mary Margaret and David to help her find Lily and convince her to stay, having appeared to have no grudge on them (probably forgave them. The trio later encounters Lily in her dragon form. Maleficent approaches Lily's dragon form as Mary Margaret runs after her. Then Maleficent confronts Lily, she regresses back to dragon form as Maleficent gives Lily her baby rattle, which she never got the chance to give her. Lily claims that she destroys everything she touches ever since Snow White and Prince Charming put Emma's darkness in her. Maleficent convinces Lily to stay for a week to teach her some tricks. Little did Maleficent and Lily know it, the charmings did not hurt them or put Emma's Darkness into Lily by free will. For Isaac heller was the cause of all this by making the Charmings do this under his writing. After Henry replaced Isaac as the new author and undid his writing by restoring everyone and their lives, the Charmings defeated Isaac by cutting out his escape from Storybrooke and arrested him for his sins. They confronted him and revealed, through a figurative expression, that it was he who made them hurt Maleficent and Lily against their free will in the first place, just like what he did to the Apprentice. Isaac fessed up that he did it to hurt them both and altered their lives, including turning real heroes into villains, just because he foolishly believed they represent his bad bosses. But Snow spoke contrary to him and that his actions made him the true villain.
Will Scarlet joins a group of thieves led by Robin Hood and convinces them to break into Maleficent's castle to steal a chest of gold. In actuality, his real intention is to get an object that can take him and his loved one (Anastasia), away from the Enchanted Forest. When Maleficent realizes the treasure is missing, she projects her voice around the thieves' campfire; warning of the consequences of taking something that will only have a bad outcome. Despite her threats, Will secretly leaves with the stolen item.
Maleficent becomes the main character in her own feature film Maleficent, which tells the untold tale of how and why she became evil. She was portrayed by Angelina Jolie, while Isobelle Molloy portrayed her as a child.
When she was still a good fairy, Maleficent lived a peaceful life in an enchanted valley known as the Moors. One day, a young boy named Stefan was caught trying to steal a jewel from the Jewel River. Despite this, Maleficent becomes best friends with the boy, which gradually blossoms into love as they grow. On Maleficent's sixteenth birthday, Stefan shows her what she believes is true love's kiss. However, over the years, Stefan stops seeing Maleficent and goes to the human kingdom, while Maleficent, being the strongest of the fairies, becomes the fiercest protector of the Moors. Later, Stefan betrays Maleficent and steals her wings so he could claim that he killed her and become king. After the painful loss of her wings, Maleficent becomes enraged over his treachery, and as her heart of gold turns to stone, she becomes the evilest magical being in the land.
One day, she comes across a farmer who has captured a raven. Taking pity on the small bird, she turns the raven into a man. After the farmer runs away in fear, Maleficent approaches the human bird, who introduces himself as Diaval. Although he is initially disgusted that she turned him into a human, because she saved him, he promises to be her humble servant. Maleficent gives him his first task: to find Stefan. Diaval flies to the castle and witnesses Stefan being crowned king, with Princess Leila, the daughter of King Henry, becoming his wife and queen. When he informs Maleficent of what he has learned, she becomes enraged by this act of betrayal. She returns to the Moors as dark clouds loom across the forest, then, creating a throne of dark and twisted roots, Maleficent sits there as the new Evil Queen of the Moors.
Bent on revenge, she places a dark curse upon the baby Aurora: to fall into a "sleep like death" for eternity when she pricks her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel on her sixteenth birthday before the sunsets. However, after Stefan begs her to spare his daughter's life, she also includes that the curse can be lifted only by true love's kiss and no other power on earth can change it.
Over the next 16 years, Maleficent watches over the young princess, and despite her dislike for the little "beastie," she reluctantly takes care of her from afar since the three Pixies are incapable and struggle with their new life as humans. As Aurora grows up and encounters her a few times as a small child, Maleficent begins to love her as her daughter, despite her best efforts not to. By the time Aurora is nearly 16, Maleficent brings her to the Moors to explore like she has always wanted and is surprised and touched to hear that Aurora thinks of her as her fairy godmother. Over the next few days, they spend more time together with the other fairies. All the fairies take a liking to Aurora, and as Maleficent grows closer to her, she begins to show her more lighthearted side again, even taking part in a mud fight with her and Diaval. Regretting her past choice, she tries to remove the curse from Aurora, but she cannot do so since no power on earth can lift it but true love's kiss.
When Aurora says she wishes to stay with Maleficent, she is delighted, but when she tells her "aunts" that she wishes to leave, they reveal to her the truth about her past and about Maleficent. Aurora confronts her and is horrified and upset. She runs away to the palace, where she reunites with Stefan. Stefan locks her in her room to keep her safe, believing that Maleficent is coming for her revenge.
As the sun begins to set, Maleficent finds Phillip and hurries to the castle, but all is in vain when her evil prophecy is fulfilled, and Aurora pricks her finger on a spindle. Maleficent and Diaval sneak into the castle with Phillip and bring him to the sleeping Aurora, hoping his brief meeting with her will be enough to break her curse. Unfortunately, his kiss fails, and Aurora remains asleep. Maleficent sadly looks upon what her hatred has brought to her dear friend. She tearfully apologizes to her sleeping goddaughter and gives her a farewell kiss on the forehead. However, just before she can walk away, a miracle happens: Aurora wakes up. Maleficent's strong and genuine motherly love for Aurora was considered as an act of "true love's kiss" to break the curse that she had cast.
As they attempt to flee the castle, Stefan's guards trapped Maleficent under an iron net. Maleficent turns Diaval into a dragon, and he lifts the net off of her and fights the guards. However, as Stefan enters the scene, Diaval is chained by the soldiers, and Maleficent is surrounded. Stefan taunts Maleficent and cruelly beats her. However, just before Stefan can kill her, Maleficent's wings return to her after Aurora frees them. With her wings back, Maleficent frees Diaval, and together, they manage to defeat the guards with the treacherous king still standing. Maleficent carries Stefan onto a tower, but just when the fairy is close to choking him to death, she decides to spare his life, claiming, "It's over." However, Stefan refuses defeat and jumps on her. The two fall from the tower, but Maleficent manages to shake him off, and Stefan falls to his death. Afterward, with peace finally made between the two lands, Maleficent passes her crown to Aurora, making her Queen of both the human and fairy kingdoms. In the last scene, she flies happily through the skies with Diaval.
Maleficent returns in the 2019 sequel to the 2014 film Maleficent with Angelina Jolie reprising her role.
In this film, Maleficent serves as the protector of the Moors. Although she was heroic, Maleficent is deemed to be a villain by the kingdom of Ulstead. When Aurora accepts Prince Phillip's request to marry him, Diaval, Maleficent's ally, relays this news to her to announce to all the fairies of the Moors.
Meanwhile in Ulstead during dinner time, Queen Ingrith accuses Maleficent of crimes of what she did to two men last seen in the kingdom. Having a conversation with the Queen, Maleficent loses her temper and warns Aurora that Maleficent is a dangerous menace to everyone in Ulstead after noticing King John being cursed into an eternal slumber (reflecting the role of Princess Aurora in an eternal slumber in the animated incarnation of Sleeping Beauty). Maleficent retreats but is then hit by a projectile fired by Gerda, Ingrith's servant. Maleficent almost falls to her death but is saved by a mysterious creature with wings similar to hers.
Meanwhile in the underground caverns, Maleficent finds herself in a colony of winged and horned creatures that look like her called Feys, among their leader Conall who heroically rescued Maleficent from falling to her death and Borra, another of her kind who is misanthropic against humans preparing for war against. When exploring, Maleficent is described as one of the last Dark Feys, a species of dark fairies hunted down to near-extinction due to many of them killed by heroic humans. It is then known that Maleficent is the descendant of the Phoenix, a legendary mystical bird that is an ancestor to the Dark Fey. After interacting with Conall and Borra, they believe that Maleficent is to end the conflict with humans by peace or war. Throughout her discovery, the Feys residing in the kingdom prepare for war while Maleficent masters the power of the Phoenix while Conall gets wounded during battle while trying to protect her.
Meanwhile, when Queen Ingrith discovers a crimson powder that eradicates every single fairy, the Feys that Maleficent met begin fighting against humans to avenge Conall's death with the soldiers firing crimson powder at the Feys, eradicating them instantly while Maleficent remains in the kingdom. However, Maleficent arrives in the kingdom to join the battle to save her kind from being eradicated by the powder. Maleficent dodges the crimson powder fired by the soldiers and prepares to kill Ingrith for her tyranny and prejudice against fairies. When Aurora stops Maleficent from doing this to Ingrith, Maleficent ultimately sacrifices herself to save Aurora from Ingrith's arrow. Later, Maleficent revives in the form of a Phoenix to Aurora's delight and Ingrith's horror.
The Queen is later transformed into a goat for her crimes while Prince Phillip forms a peace pact between the fairies and humans. Maleficent reverts to her fairy form and breaks the spindle in the spinning wheel, awakening King John from his eternal slumber. When Prince Phillip marries Aurora, Maleficent flies away with a group of younger Dark Feys to promise to come back for their child's christening.
According to some press release information, Maleficent is the only villain featured who hasn't given up hope on conquering the kingdom and scolds her daughter for failing to reach her evil potential. Despite her drive, this incarnation of Maleficent has displayed a quirky and comical side, such as dolling out petty punishments upon her daughter, subjecting Mal to and competing against her in glaring contests, and forgetting where she stored her spellbook (which turned out to be inside the refrigerator that she believes to be the safe and has no knowledge on how to open without the Evil Queen's help). Also, she wanted to put good and evil in her will, but failed due to being shrunk by Mal's magic (the spell of being shrunk as a black and purple lizard.) which is the same size of goodness in her heart.
In Descendants 2, she briefly appears in her lizard form, only here she is green instead of purple and black.
In 1991 Italian comic crossover Paperino in: La storia (in)finita (parody of the 1984 movie The Neverending Story), published in the Italian magazine Topolino, Maleficent appears as the leader of the Disney Villains and she is the equivalent of the wolf Gmork in the original movie and book.
When a mysterious malevolent force known as the Nothing is slowly destroying the magic world of Fantasiland (parody of the original world of Fantastica). Maleficent is first seen in Madame Medusa's steamboat, where the villains are assembled. She arrives there to warn the other villains that Mickey Mouse (who plays of Atreju) has been tasked with fighting the Nothing and save the life of the Empress (played by Daisy Duck). She then explains that it is in the villains' interest to let the Nothing destroy the world; she claims that once the world is destroyed, they, with their black magic, will be able to remake it to their liking. She decides to take care of him herself and leaves for the forest of Broceliande (where Mickey Mouse is seeking advice from Merlin). Maleficent puts a curse on the forest to put everyone in it to sleep; although Mickey is able to get some advice from Archimedes, the spell soon affects him.
Later, Maleficent reappears at the climax of the story, on the now derelict Pleasure Island (which is slowly being eaten away by the Nothing), where she confronts Mickey Mouse. She brags about how she is going to kill him so that the Nothing may not be stopped. Mickey asks for her motivation, and she explains that at last, Good will be defeated, this time. Mickey answers that Evil cannot win if she and the other villains are going to be killed by the Nothing too; Maleficent admits that she lied to the other villains, controlling them so that they help her to kill him, and that she is ready to sacrifice her own life for the purpose of seeing the agents of good destroyed. She turns into her dragon form, but is sucked up by the Nothing before she can kill Mickey; Mickey makes a timely escape on the back of Dumbo.
Maleficent also acted as the eponymous antagonist in Maleficent's Revenge, a short story included in Disney's Scary Storybook Collection.
Two years after the film's events, Aurora and Prince Phillip have married, and the couple, as well as the entire kingdom, prepared to celebrate their anniversary. As the Three Good Fairies began work on decorations, they notice their powers have been drained away. This was due to the solar eclipse. When such an event occurs, fairies lose their magic and their spells are undone, much to Merryweather's discomfort.
Meanwhile, Merryweather's spell over Diablo is broken at the Forbidden Mountains, and the raven is revived from his petrification. Immediately, he begins searching for Maleficent and eventually founded her cloak, with her staff nearby. Diablo manages to use the evil fairy's magic to revive his mistress, and together, the villainous duo makes way for the kingdom, plotting to break Aurora and Phillip apart and dominate the land.
On the day of the celebration, Maleficent storms in and places a curse upon the castle, turning every soul into stone, except Aurora. Tortured and desperate, Aurora pleads for mercy upon Phillip and her people, going as far as to asking the wicked fairy to turn her into stone, as well. Maleficent refuses, as she's unable to place a curse on the princess due to Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather's protection spell, but she is able to grant a wish, resulting in Aurora sacrificing her life in exchange for her loved ones and people.
With Aurora once again put into a sleep-like death, the kingdom citizens are freed, including Phillip, who rushes to the Forbidden Mountains to save his bride. There, a battle between Dragon Maleficent and the prince takes place. The evil dragon attempts to bite Phillip with her venomous fangs, but she accidentally strikes her own tail, killing herself. When Maleficent is destroyed once and for all, Phillip once again wakes Aurora with a kiss of true love and the fairies and the other royals in the kingdom turn back to normal.
In the manga series, Maleficent returns disguised as "Lady Malecent" and attempts to curse Aurora at the princess' seventeenth birthday using magic rose thorns. However, the story's heroine, Kilala Reno, shields Aurora and falls under the curse. When Prince Rei delivers a kiss to a sleeping Kilala, Maleficent's evil plot was once again undone by true love's kiss, this time, ending Maleficent's life.
Maleficent plays a major role in the novel that tells the story of Walt Disney World after dark. Maleficent is one of the Overtakers and believed to be the leader. Still, nearing the end of the first book, when Finn calls her the Overtakers' leader, she denies it and tells there's someone far more powerful than her. In this version, Maleficent will become weakened if in warm places; thus she gives off a cold chill, which cues the Keepers into when she's nearing their location.
Prior to the first story, Maleficent cursed a girl named Jess into becoming her servant, to keep her from giving predictions to the Keepers. She was set free thanks to Finn's DHI powers; Maleficent held a grudge against both of them and tried numerous times to incapacitate them.
Though captured twice, Maleficent manages to escape each and every time; the second time was with her master, Chernabog. She, the Queen, and Cruella look for Disney's notes on Chernabog to find a way to bring him back to full power as the transitions into different forms she's caused him to go through have severely weakened him. Onboard the Dream, Maleficent and the rest of the Overtakers blend in without much of the problem as the crew mistake them for Cast Members in costumes. During the two-week cruise, she plans to toss the Keepers overboard.
During the Sixth book, Dark Passage, Maleficent is killed by Finn (who had become blinded by rage at being tricked into killing his best friend for them), who ripped a hole in her using his DHI powers. In the Seventh book, The Insider, Tia Dalma retrieved some of Maleficent's bones and enacted a ritual to resurrect her. Upon meeting Ursula, Finn wondered if Maleficent was a double-agent secretly working for the sea witch.
In The Return trilogy, Maleficent is brought back as a Frankenstein-like misshapen being with stronger powers by Tia Dalma. She attempts to attack Amanda and Jess.
Maleficent is mentioned numerous times in the novel by Serena Valentino. It is explained that she and Ursula have a heated rivalry. When Maleficent hears of The Odd Sisters' deal with Ursula, she sends her raven to give them a warning to break ties with the Sea Witch, because the Dark Fairy knows how far Ursula will go to get what she truly wants, even if it means to betray the sisters.
Maleficent was the central character of the novel. Similar to Maleficent, she was given a tragic backstory, where she had been abandoned while she was still young and taken in by ravens until she was formally adopted by a fairy named Nanny, and even enrolled in a fairy academy. However, she was rendered an outcast by both Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather as well as her adopted aunt, the Fairy Godmother, the latter of whom even viewed her as evil. She ultimately fell under the influence of both Lucinda, Ruby, and Martha and Nanny into becoming a dark witch, and learned a significant amount of dark magic, although she intended to become a wish-granting fairy. However, after Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather had accused her of sabotaging their exams (when in reality Maleficent had been framed), she became furious and transformed into her dragon form, and knocked out Nanny in the process. Filled with grief under the belief that Nanny was killed by her by accident, she then frequently attacked various places before resuming her original form and becoming a recluse in the Forbidden Mountain (which had formerly belonged to Hades). Maleficent, at the behest of the Odd Sisters, decided to cast a spell to create a daughter with all of Maleficent's best aspects. Unfortunately for her, it came at the cost of eliminating all of Maleficent's good aspects, thus forcing her to be pure evil. She then had Aurora adopted by King Stefan and Queen Leah, knowing she cannot love her daughter and would only be a danger to her. Sometime later, she cursed Aurora, partly in order to ensure Aurora doesn't turn evil like Maleficent did on her own sixteenth birthday, and after successfully enacting the curse, attempted to get the Odd Sisters to ensure she can never be awakened. She was eventually killed in a final battle with Phillip.
Descendants: Isle of the Lost
Maleficent sends her daughter Mal to retrieve her scepter from the Isle of the Doomed when her raven Diablo reverts from its petrified state. She also warns Mal that the weapon is enchanted with a sleeping curse, and expects her to put one of her comrades under the spell. In the end, Maleficent gets the scepter from the raven and finds out that Mal tried to sacrifice herself instead of one of her team, causing disappointment in Maleficent.
As Maleficent is now a harmless gecko, she is put in a small cage safe-guarded constantly. Maleficent only sleeps in the cage, ignoring even Mal. When inhabitants of Camelot Heights report spotting a dragon, they suspect it to be Maleficent's doing. Ben goes on to investigate, going as far as Neverland to look through the fairies' records on magical beings. In the end, they learn that it was Madam Mim causing all the disturbances.
In the Disney Villains: Top Secret Files, Maleficent is featured in her own section. According to the pieces of information provided, Maleficent's last name is Faery. She attended a magic school in her youth, where she (already) showed remarkable interests in dragons. In her younger years, she tended to accidentally transform into her dragon form (only learning to control it much later); this happened at a birthday party where she was invited. The resulting disaster is why she was traditionally never invited to parties. On the other hand, it turns out she was actually invited to Aurora's birth ceremony and that the invitation simply never got to her castle because she burnt the postman to death (believing him to be a trespasser) before he could deliver it.
In Disney Villains: My Side of the Story, Maleficent claimed her actions in the film were portrayed incorrectly, and that her efforts were merely meant for Aurora and Phillip's best interests.
Maleficent appears as the final boss of the North American version of the Nintendo game Mickey Mousecapade (in the original Japanese version, the final boss is the Queen of Hearts).
Maleficent appears in the game as one of the playable characters that are unlocked with eighty tokens, her ability to become a dragon is the same as it happened in the movie, it is also worth mentioning that the invocation of the forest of thorns is the same but only to stun enemies, he also has a friendship with Scar and Ursula.
Maleficent appears as a major antagonist in the Kingdom Hearts series. As opposed to other Disney villains featured in the game (except Pete), Maleficent serves as a major antagonist throughout the overall storyline of the series, unlike the villains who are only antagonists to the world they originate from. Her story begins in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, in her homeworld, Enchanted Domain, where she meets Xehanort. Their contact leaves Maleficent with the knowledge of the seven princesses of light, thus beginning her journey to gather all the princesses and unleash darkness upon the worlds, claiming them as her own, leading into the events of Kingdom Hearts. In order to do so, Maleficent enlists the assistance of several Disney villains: Pete, Jafar, Ursula, Captain Hook, Oogie Boogie, and Hades. Together, they wreak havoc upon their worlds and collect the princesses through the control over mysterious creatures known as the Heartless, with Maleficent managing to capture Aurora before having Enchanted Domain consumed in darkness. However, one boy stands in their way, that boy being Sora, the Keyblade's chosen one. With the help of Donald Duck and Goofy, Sora manages to travel across the worlds, defeating each villain, and eventually finding himself in Hollow Bastion, where Maleficent has built her home base. A battle follows, and eventually, Maleficent is killed after facing Sora in her dragon form after Ansem, Seeker of Darkness, possessing Riku, awakens her inner darkness in her heart with his own Keyblade.
In Kingdom Hearts II, she revives from her death, the only villain still in contact with her being Pete, thanks to Diablo taking her cloak to Master Yen Sid's tower, where the memories of her from Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather resurrect her and sets up her new base back in Hollow Bastion at Villain's Vale when she discovered she could no longer use the castle as her headquarters like before. Together, they continue their quest for power, by merely invading worlds and attacking with Heartless, along with allying with fellow Disney villains, both new and old, such as Oogie Boogie and Hector Barbossa, but a new threat is known as the Organization XIII gets in the way of Maleficent's quest for power. Maleficent and Pete appear to sacrifice themselves in order to hold off a horde of Heartless so that Sora, Riku, and their allies can defeat Organization XIII's leader, Xemnas at the summit of the Castle That Never Was.
Maleficent also appears in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts coded, and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, where she appears as a considerably minor character, looking to consolidate power and antagonize both Sora and King Mickey.
Maleficent returns as one of the main antagonists in Kingdom Hearts III. She and Pete searched through the worlds in order to find the Black Box. Eventually, they found the Black Box surrounded by Luxu and the Foretellers.
Maleficent appears in her dragon form in the Sleeping Beauty transition level in addition to several background cameos. In Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, she serves as the basis of Mizrabel's redesign and final form along with her dragon form in the Final boss level against Mickey Mouse.
Maleficent makes an appearance as a townsperson in Disney Infinity. In the 3DS version, she makes a cameo appearance, where she will force the last place player to remain in the last place by removing their emblems.
Her 2014 film incarnation appears as a playable character in Disney Infinity 2.0. She was voiced by Rajia Baroudi, due to Jolie having prior obligations. However, Jolie did approve the design of Maleficent's figure personally.
Malfeficent appears as a playable character in this game.
In the 2015 rendition of World of Color, Maleficent appears during the montage celebrating villains.
Maleficent is one of the villains that appear during Halloween Screams as part of Mickey's Halloween Party.
In Disney Villains Mix and Mingle, until 2011, Maleficent was the lead villain and celebrates Halloween with her fellow villains. Dr. Facilier took over in 2011 as the main villain. After she joins in a meet and greet...if one is not too scared of her, of course.
Maleficent also plays a role in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. One of the villains in Fantasyland, Maleficent is brought back from the dead by Hades to steal the crystal of the Magic Kingdom, though, like Ursula, Maleficent plans to double-cross Hades and instead use the crystal for her own gain rather than let him have it. The guests have to help Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather defeat her and retrieve the crystal.
Maleficent's dragon-form makes a cameo in the Skipper Canteen of the Magic Kingdom's Adventureland. In the S.E.A. room is a map by Jason Chandler and Captain Brieux of, "Legendary flying creatures" which shows a bronze scaled version of Maleficent's dragon form.
In Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, Maleficent is the third villain to help the Sanderson Sisters with their Halloween celebration by conjuring various Disney Villains the sisters call "frightful friends". Maleficent and the other villains can be seen singing "I Put a Spell on You" with them during the finale of the show.
In Dream Along With Mickey, the former live castle stage show in the Magic Kingdom, Maleficent attempts to take over the Magic Kingdom. However, Mickey uses the power of dreams to defeat Maleficent. Maleficent decides to leave but reminds Mickey they have not seen the last of her.
She currently appears in her Dragon form battling Prince Phillip, in the Festival of Fantasy Parade, and in the nighttime fireworks show Happily Ever After, where she transforms into a dragon to battle Phillip; her defeat ends the segment centered on adversity.
In Starlight Dreams, Maleficent was the leader of the villains in the show as she and some other Disney Villains come together, to fight against Mickey Mouse.
Maleficent can also be seen in One Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!
In Villains Night Out!, Maleficent joins the festivities of Jafar and the Evil Queen by inviting a cast of Disney villains to the castle.
She also makes an appearance during the final scene of The Nightmare Experiment, seen turning into a dragon.
As part of the park's Halloween celebration, Maleficent joins Dr. Facilier and Hades in the Villain's Cavalcade night show.
In the live nighttime spectacular, Maleficent is called forth by the Evil Queen, who plans to kill Mickey Mouse once and for all. In order to battle Mickey, Maleficent transforms into her dragon form and burns the area with her fire-breathing abilities, but is killed along with the other villains by Mickey when he uses the Sword in the Stone. The depiction of Maleficent's dragon form differs between parks: at Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, Maleficent is a 45-foot tall Audio-Animatronic, the largest ever built. Disneyland's dragon is codenamed "Snaps McGee", and frequently referred to as "Murphy" by fans (referring to the dragon's constant technical difficulties leading up to its debut in the Summer of 2009; it did not debut until September 1, 2009), while the Tokyo dragon's nickname is unknown. At Disney Hollywood Studios (and the original Disneyland version), the dragon is a 40-foot mechanical puppet on a JLG cherry picker. California's original dragon was codenamed "Dymo" (often misreported as "Bucky"), while Florida's dragon is codenamed "Vivian".
Differences from the source material
In the Sleeping Beauty ballet, the evil fairy was named Carabosse. In some versions of the fairy tale, she only appeared to curse the child at the beginning and did not appear elsewhere in the story; in these versions, the spinning wheel the princess pricks her finger on is not magical but simply a normal spinning wheel. One version of the story shows the fairy who curses the princess as old and grumpy, but not necessarily evil; this version of the character lived (most of the time sleeping) in a tower at the top of the castle, and, after cursing the princess, goes back to sleep, not appearing afterward. Also, the original story did not feature a battle with the prince, and Carabosse doesn't die. In addition, the reason she wasn't invited in the original tale was due to the populace believing that she either was cursed to not be able to come or dead, while in the Disney version, it is heavily implied that her evil nature was what made Stefan decide ultimately not to invite her.
- Her name means "to do evil or harm; harmfully malicious". It can also be seen as a portmanteau of the words "malevolent" and "magnificent".
- Maleficent was nominated for a place in 'AFI's 50 Greatest Villains list', along with the Evil Queen, Stromboli, Man, Lady Tremaine, Cruella De Vil, and Ursula. The Disney Villains to make the final list were the Queen (10), Man (20), and Cruella De Vil (39).
- Eleanor Audley, the original voice actress and performance model for Maleficent, also voiced Lady Tremaine in Cinderella. In fact, they specifically chose Audley to voice Maleficent because of her having earlier brought Lady Tremaine to chilling vocal life, as they needed a powerful voice for someone as evil as Maleficent.
- Maleficent is one of the ten villains featured in the tongue-in-cheek Disney's Villains' Lair. Maleficent's section of the book includes the catalog she chose her costume from, and an invitation to Aurora's christening arriving 16 years late (with a small 'oops!' scrawled in the corner). Maleficent is ranked as the second greatest Disney Villain at the end of the book.
- In the original French story, the wicked fairy had not been invited, because for more than fifty years she had never left a certain tower and was thought to be dead or enchanted.
- Unlike most Disney Villains who speak to their respective heroines, Maleficent does not have any direct contact with Aurora (aside from luring her to the spindle) in the animated film. She does, however, have direct contact with Aurora in the storybook sequel Maleficent's Revenge.
- Sleeping Beauty's sound effects designer Jim MacDonald used castanets for the sound of Maleficent's jaws snapping as the dragon. He got the sound of her fiery breath by asking the U.S. Army to send him some training films on using flame throwers. The snapping sound of the dragon was also heard when she bangs the ground with her staff to announce her curse and later to silence the goons. The exact same sound effect was used for Tick-Tock the Crocodile's snapping sound in Peter Pan. In addition, her growl when Prince Phillip briefly tries to slice her snout was taken from a lamp chimney.
- It is noted in the original 1959 animated film that Maleficent had not been sleeping well (or not at all) for the last 16 years since the day she cursed Aurora. It is clearly seen through her eye bags in the latter parts of the movie set after sixteen years, giving her a more fearsome look.
- In some tie-in storybooks based on the 1959 film and on the stained-glass portrait in the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris, Maleficent appears next to Aurora when she urged the princess to touch the spindle on the spinning wheel, despite the fact that she herself is the spinning wheel in the actual film.
- The scream that Maleficent lets out when Prince Phillip hurls the Sword of Truth into her heart is the same scream made by the Evil Queen, who fell off the cliff from her failed attack on the Seven Dwarfs.
- Maleficent was listed #7 in Empire Magazine's The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters. Stating her stroke of genius as "She turns into a frickin' dragon; what more do you need?".
- She is one of the few Disney characters to say the word "hell". Another Disney Villain to use the word "hell" would be Judge Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, during his song "Hellfire".
- Maleficent is mentioned in a song sung by Miss Nettle from Sofia the First.
- She is often referenced as both a witch/sorceress, and a dark fairy. Both of these are different types of supernatural beings. These phrases may be labels rather than true to what she is, as she has been confirmed to be an evil witch.
- Despite being an evil fairy, she is still viewed as a witch by other entries. One theatrical trailer for the 1993 scrapped re-release of the film, as shown on the 1992 Walt Disney Classics VHS of Beauty and the Beast, even referred to her as an evil witch.
- In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Xehanort refers to Maleficent as "The Dark Fairy."
- Birth by Sleep and Kingdom Hearts III likewise do so.
- Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II do not. She is referred to as a witch and sorceress.
- Maleficent's defeat was the goriest of the Disney villains' defeats during Walt Disney's lifetime and, to this day, is seen one of Disney's most graphic deaths ever; when she was stabbed in the heart by Prince Phillip, blood was clearly visible oozing out from under the sword on the area of her chest that was stabbed.
- On that note, she is also the only Disney villain to be deliberately and directly killed by one of the heroes within Walt Disney's lifetime. Most other villains, if they were killed off, usually were victims of their own actions with the heroes not playing any role in their demise.
- The only time Maleficent is heard singing in animation is during the song "It's Our House Now" in the film Mickey's House of Villains. However, she only sang one line here.
- Maleficent briefly alludes to Aurora's 100-year sleep in the original tale nearing the end of the film. When taunting Prince Phillip inside his cell, Maleficent tells him "The years roll by, but a hundred years to a steadfast heart are 'bout a day."
- Maleficent and the other good fairies appear to hold noble titles or a high form of status in the kingdom, as they are addressed at Aurora's christening with the term "excellency". It is used by the herald when he announces the arrival of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather by calling each of them “Mistress”, as well as when Queen Leah asks Maleficent if she was upset about not being invited, "...and you're not offended, Your Excellency?"
- Maleficent is the only member of the Disney Villains franchise to be a playable character in the Disney Infinity games.
- Despite the fact that her original incarnation cursed a baby to death, all live-action versions of Maleficent are maternal figures (In Once Upon a Time: Maleficent and Lily; in the 2014 movie: Maleficent and Aurora, and in Descendants: Maleficent and Mal).
- Ironically, her forbidding and eerie leitmotif in the film that is lifted from the ballet, is actually a comedic pas de deux between Puss in Boots and the White Cat.
- Maleficent's name is used in the name for a level in Disney Heroes: Battle Mode, entitled Maleficent Market.
- Maleficent is briefly mentioned in the Sofia the First episode "Make Way for Miss Nettle", when Miss Nettle plots to become the most powerful fairy of them all, and openly wishes to become as famous as Maleficent, though she claims she'll be more magnificent.
- Maleficent makes an appearance as a figment of Kenny's imagination in the ABC show, The Real O'Neals.
- The 1997 VHS cover plot summary for Sleeping Beauty claimed that the reason Maleficent cursed Aurora was due to jealousy of the latter's beauty, even though the film itself never indicated anything about Maleficent having any personal negativity towards Aurora herself. This was presumably due to the one who wrote the summary mixing Maleficent up with the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- It is possible to generate green flames similar to Maleficent's in real life, namely if a flame is exposed to Copper or Barium.
- According to the development documentary for the 2014 Maleficent film, "From Fairy Tale to Feature Film", Maleficent being depicted as good and sympathetic had been screenwriter Linda Woolverton's idea, and Angelina Jolie attempted to reign in on Woolverton's attempts at making Maleficent good and remind her that Maleficent is supposed to be a villain.