AskDefine | Define maleficent

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maleficent adj : harmful or evil in intent or effect [ant: beneficent]

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  1. harmful or evil in intent or effect


Extensive Definition

Maleficent is a dark fairy and the self-proclaimed, "mistress of all evil" and main antagonist in Walt Disney's 1959 adaptation of Sleeping Beauty. She was animated by Marc Davis, and voiced by Eleanor Audley (who also voiced Lady Tremaine, the stepmother of Cinderella). She cursed the infant Aurora to "prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die" before the sun set on her sixteenth birthday after not being invited to the baby's christening. She is viewed as one of the most powerful and sinister of the Disney villains, as she lacks any of the "goofiness" generally present in the later ones, while still exhibiting something of a dark sense of humor.


Maleficent appears in the form of a tall, pale skinned woman with yellow eyes and massive black horns, symbolic of her evilness. She is clad in a black and purple robe with bat wing-like edges, and wears a gold ring with a large circular black stone in it. She has a pet raven called Diablo, and a legion of goblins and troll-like entities at her command. In addition to this she carries a staff with a glowing green orb at the tip, through which she casts her spells, which include an ability to teleport herself from place to place or send bolts of lightning at enemies. She is also capable of shape shifting at will into numerous forms, including a will-o-the-wisp and a massive black and purple dragon.
During Sleeping Beautys initial release, it was reported that many small children in the theaters were actually terrified of Maleficent's appearance both as a woman and dragon, and that some parents therefore had to leave the film early.


Maleficent first appears in the film Sleeping Beauty in King Stefan's castle during the christening of Stefan's daughter, Aurora, upset and enraged that she didn't receive an invitation to the ceremony like Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. In retaliation, Maleficent places a curse on Aurora for her to prick her finger on the spindle of an enchanted spinning wheel and die on her sixteenth birthday, although Merryweather is able to weaken the curse into a deep sleep rather than death.
But Maleficent's anger is further aroused when she hears that Aurora has been taken into hiding by the three fairies, so she starts a manhunt for her, although her incompetent pig and goblin-like goons spend the next sixteen years searching for a baby. Infuriated, Maleficent smites them with lightning from her staff and tells her pet raven, Diablo, to "Circle far and wide. Search for a maid of sixteen, with hair of sunshine gold, and lips red as the rose."
Maleficent's plan is successful, as, on the night of Aurora's return to Stefan's castle (her sixteenth birthday), Maleficent takes the form of an energy-orb and lures Aurora through a secret passageway into the tower of the castle, where she transforms into the spinning wheel and goads Aurora into touching the spindle. Aurora does so, and Maleficent reveals her motionless body to the three fairies, laughing in triumph.
To keep Aurora from awakening ever again, Maleficent and her goons sneak into Aurora's old forest cottage (where she was to meet her lover, in reality Prince Philip, her future husband) to trap Prince Philip and stop him delivering Love's First Kiss to Aurora (the only cure for her slumber). They succeed, and take him to Maleficent's castle, situated in the dreaded Forbidden Mountains.
Maleficent spends the next few hours in her castle, enjoying the victory festivities with her goons. Finally bored with the same celebration, she decides to pay Philip a visit and taunt him about how he failed to marry Aurora and that he will most probably be an old man by the time he escapes from the dungeon he is in. Laughing maniacally at Philip's anger, Maleficent retreats into her own tower "for the first time in sixteen years, I shall sleep well."
But she is disturbed before long by her goons making noise. She orders silence, only to see that Diablo has been turned to stone and that Flora, Merryweather, and Fauna have broken Philip out of prison and are escorting him back to Stefan's castle. Enraged once again, Maleficent throws all sorts of spells at Philip (lightning bolts and a forest of thorns), but his mystic weapons given to him by the fairies (the Shield of Virtue and the Sword of Truth) break the curses, forcing Maleficent to face Philip herself and wields "all the powers of Hell" to reach her final form: a dragon.
Maleficent and Philip start their battle, with Maleficent gaining the upper hand with her fire breath and forcing Philip to a nearby cliff. She manages to blast the shield out of his hands, but the three fairies transfer some of their power into the sword, making it powerful enough for Philip to throw it directly into Maleficent's heart before she can attack again.
Slowly dying, Maleficent falls forward and tries to devour Philip, but she misses, and her weight causes the cliff to collapse, taking her with it and crushing her to death, leaving behind only her robe with the sword still in it.

Other appearances

Maleficent is a recurring character on the TV series House of Mouse. She also appeared in the spin-off movie, Mickey's House of Villains where she was constantly shown, but delivered only a single song lyric, "Every evil queen gets due respect." In one scene from another episode, Maleficent sits across from Jafar in human form, and it was stated by Mickey that the two villains were on a date, after which Maleficent zapped Jafar. In another episode, Mickey had to help Hades win Maleficent's heart.
Maleficent is also mentioned in the Nightwish song "FantasMic" from their 2000 album Wishmaster, in the lyrics Maleficent's fury / The spindle so luring.
Maleficent is also the main villain in the novel, The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson. In the novel, primarily based in Magic Kingdom, she is able to leave the confines of the Disney Resort, enslave humans and try to take over the real world.
Maleficent was also the final boss on the North American version of the video game Mickey Mousecapade created in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Maleficent's theme is heard during the intro of World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, since at the end of the intro, the main villain is shown.

Kingdom Hearts series

Maleficent appears as a major antagonist in the video game Kingdom Hearts series. She was voiced by Susan Blakeslee in the English version and by Toshiko Sawada in the Japanese version.

Kingdom Hearts

In Kingdom Hearts, Maleficent led a group of Disney villains who sought ultimate power by controlling the Heartless and unlocking Kingdom Hearts, the heart of all worlds. The villains Maleficent recruited were Hades, Captain Hook, Oogie Boogie, Ursula, and Jafar. She directs their affairs from the Radiant Garden, the former home of Ansem the Wise. Following the goal of ultimate power, Maleficent uses Ansem Reports to help her control the Heartless and darkness, and recruits Riku to help her gather the "Princesses of Heart". The seven Princesses of Heart are explained by Maleficent as necessary to complete the Final Keyhole portal that led to Kingdom Hearts; the Keyhole itself is located at Hollow Bastion. She distanced herself from the arguments among her group, appearing to them only when it was of importance. Over time, Maleficent focused more of her attention on Riku while her group slowly dissolved due to each being defeated by Sora, most being defeated in ways very similar to how they were defeated in their respective films.
Inside Riku's heart, she sees both a powerful darkness and the ability to use the Keyblade, offering to help him revive his friend, Kairi, in return for his services. Riku agrees and Maleficent grants him the apparent gift to control the Heartless. Upon near-completion of the Hollow Bastion keyhole and the imminent arrival of Sora, Donald, Goofy, and the Beast, she battles them. Despite using her phenomenal powers of darkness, which included summoning meteors, casting lightning, and calling Defender and Darkball Heartless to attack the heroes, she is defeated, and has to hastily retreat. As the heroes catch up with her, Riku, who sarcastically asks about her well-being, appears. Unknown to her, however, Riku is now being possessed by Xehanort's Heartless, who went by the name of "Ansem" for the entire game. Failing to realize this, she is struck in the chest by the Keyblade Xehanort's Heartless created from the hearts of the six princesses she captured. The Keyblade, unlike the one Sora wields, is one that opens hearts; with her heart opened, Maleficent was vulnerable to the immense darkness that is attracted to her. The darkness overcomes her and transforms her into a dragon. In this form, she battles the heroes and dies, leaving only her robe. Upon her death, Xehanort's Heartless remarks that she was a puppet of the darkness all along, and that while she warned others about not underestimating the darkness, she ironically failed to see the darkness eating away at her own heart. He then steps on Maleficent's robe, which fades into thin air.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Maleficent appears in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as an aspect from the memories of Sora and Riku. In Sora's memory world, Maleficent seeks to steal both Beast's and Belle's (from Beauty and the Beast) hearts for use in her dark magic, resulting in Sora's involvement and her later "death". In Riku's perspective, Maleficent is aware of her status as a figment of memory and is the only figment besides Aerith in Sora's story to understand this. She mocks Riku for his dabbling in the darkness, and reminds him of how he once clung to her and her darkness. Unfettered by her comments, Riku finally stood up to his former mentor and "killed" her.

Kingdom Hearts II

In Kingdom Hearts II Maleficent is resurrected when Diablo, her faithful raven, brings her robe into the Tower, the home of Yen Sid, and the power of Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather's memories revives her. After her revival, Maleficent appears before Pete who just returned to Hollow Bastion after hearing of her "demise" while he was off gathering allies for their cause. After being updated on the events that had occurred after her death, Maleficent's goal of dominion over the worlds was placed on halt for both the finding of a new base of operations and getting revenge on Sora. She eventually made herself known to Sora and company when she attempted to take over Disney Castle by having Pete go back in time to get the Cornerstone of Light, the mystical object that protected the castle from forces of darkness, from Timeless River, which is Disney Castle in the past. She had Pete continue gathering Heartless while working with several Disney villains, including Hades, Captain Barbossa, Jafar and Scar. To further her goals, she hired the three little fairies, Yuna, Rikku and Paine, to spy on Leon and the Hollow Bastion Reconstruction Committee as well as resurrecting Oogie Boogie. Both alliances were short-lived; Maleficent abandons the fairies when the Heartless invade Hollow Bastion while Oogie drives her away with disrespect due to amnesia.
Despite being Sora's enemy, Maleficent decided to use Sora to destroy Organization XIII for her when it became apparent they were a far greater threat than Sora to her mission to control Kingdom Hearts. At the Radiant Garden, she kept some Nobodies at bay and ordered Sora to deal with the Organization in hopes of both enemies destroying each other. She was seemingly overwhelmed by the sheer weight of enemy numbers. Despite this seeming act of goodwill, Maleficent assured Sora that it changed nothing between them. By the time she and Pete arrived in the World That Never Was, Maleficent's power over the Heartless was fading, as the world itself was too close to the darkness on which the Heartless thrive. She later assisted Sora, giving him safe passage to Xemnas while she and Pete held off the vast army of Heartless created by the ravaging of Kingdom Hearts by DiZ on the condition that she would take Xemnas's castle as her own. What happens to the two is unknown.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Recent screenshots have confirmed that Maleficent will feature in the upcoming prequel to Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.


In the night time show Fantasmic!, performed at the Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios theme parks, Maleficent is one of the Disney villains portrayed in the shows. In the shows, the Evil Queen decides it is time to finish off Mickey Mouse once and for all, and invokes Disney villains to help her. They strike Mickey through his dreams and imagination, and Maleficent is the final villain to attack Mickey - the battle between Maleficent's European dragon incarnation and Mickey serves as the climax to the show. It is to be noted that Maleficent cries out before becoming the dragon: "Now you will deal with me and all the powers of my imagination!", whereas, in the original film, she proclaimed "Now shall you deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of Hell!" Because of the weight of the costume, she is usually played by a man.

Dream Along With Mickey

In the Dream Along With Mickey stage show at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Maleficent is one of the villains who appear onstage to threaten Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. Maleficent states that since people no longer believe in dreams, it's the perfect time for her to return to power and make the Magic Kingdom "the Place Where Nightmares Come True" - a play on the Disney parks' slogan of "the Place Where Dreams Come True." But Mickey leads the crowd in a chant of "Dreams Come True!" and scares away Maleficent's minions, Captain Hook and Smee, as well as defeating Maleficent herself.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Maleficent also makes appearances during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. She makes an appearance through her voice in HalloWishes, a Halloween-themed fireworks show along with Ursula The Sea Witch, Jafar, and Oogie Boogie. Susan Blakeslee provides Maleifcent's voice in those cases.
During the Disney Villains Mix and Mingle Halloween Dance Party at that same event, Maleficent, along with Captain Hook, hosts the party and summons up all the villains that attend, including her co-host Hook and other villains, such as Cruella De Vil, Judge Claude Frollo, The Queen of Hearts, Jafar, and The Evil Queen.
maleficent in Spanish: Maléfica
maleficent in French: Maléfique (Disney)
maleficent in Indonesian: Maleficent
maleficent in Italian: Malefica (Disney)
maleficent in Dutch: Maleficent
maleficent in Swedish: Maleficent
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