Maleficent has no real motivation for her evil, making her arguably little more than a vicious animal (which is later shown when she turns into a dragon). Although she is soft spoken, proper and elegant, underneath she is simply a monster who enjoys being evil.
Maleficent appears in the form of a tall, slender, beautiful, pale-skinned woman with a narrow face and a prominent chin. She also has yellow eyes and black horns (it is unknown if those are her horns, or a headdress, or simply a hair style), which is symbolic of her dark magic. She is clad in a black-and-purple robe with bat wing-like edges, 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 strongly resembles her daughter, Mal.
Role in the Film
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 glaring contests, and forgetting where she stored her spellbook (which turned out to be inside the refrigerator that she 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 by being shrunk by Mal's magic (the spell of being shrunk as a lizard.) which is the same size of goodness in her heart.
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.
Return to the Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel
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.
- Her name means "to do evil or harm; harmfully malicious". It can also be seen as a portmanteau of the words "magnificent" and "malevolent".
- All live-action versions of Maleficent are maternal figures.
- 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.