If you didn’t see Maleficent then, spoiler alert, she lives! Maleficent: Mistress of Evil takes place five years after the first film, mirroring the real-time that has passed since 2014. For those who can’t wait to see it again or who missed its theatrical run, the wait is now over with the digital release from all major providers and you can pick the film up on 4K, Blu-Ray, and DVD starting January 14th. This review covers the Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Multi-Screen Edition.
With Aurora as queen of the Moors, there is finally peace between her two worlds. But when Philip proposes, the future inlaws must meet and Maleficent and Queen Ingrith have irreconcilable differences. A new war is brewing and Aurora appears to have found herself on the wrong side this time.
I went in to Maleficent: Mistress of Evil feeling strongly that a sequel was unwarranted. However, it’s the rare sequel that improves upon its predecessor and is the more solid of the two films. No longer beholden to existing within the events of Sleeping Beauty, Mistress of Evil is allowed to become something new. The basic premise is a bit of a rehash, but the execution is entirely new.
Angelina Jolie returns to a role that is now iconic and most of the original cast joins her for another high-flying adventure. New to the cast is screen legend Michelle Pfeifer who steals every scene she’s in. You love to hate her as Queen Ingrith and she really steals the entire show.
The world of fairies is expanded in the sequel. The first film gave a few glimpses of some Avatar-level incredible sights, but the story didn’t linger in them as long as you’d like. In the sequel, enough of the film takes place in the magical Moors and beyond that you feel like you receive the right dosage.
The biggest oddity about Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is the fact that in this film, the men are all nearly perfect. The previous installment had a girl power theme and the main male characters were either villains (King Stefan) or inconsequential (Prince Philip). In this film, the men are good, save for one fairy, and the baddie ends up being Queen Ingrith and to a much lesser extend Maleficent, which is ironic considering the title and the fact that she is far out-eviled by her rival.
- Origins of the Fey (3:02) – The world of Maleficent’s kind is explored, including the biome sets and character designs.
- Aurora’s Wedding (2:31) – Costume design and decor from the wedding of Aurora and Philip are examined in a comedic way with 1990’s style home video footage from the set.
- If You Had Wings (4:15) – An exploration of how the film’s many flying scenes were achieved and how computer effects make Maleficent’s wings possible.
- Maleficent: Mistess of Evil VFX Reel (2:11) – This visual effects reel allows you to see how much of the sets were practical vs. how much was digital to help you appreciate the artistry that went into bringing this film to life.
- Extended Scenes
- The Queen Confronts Aurora (2:05)
- Philip and Aurora Dance (1:37)
- Outtakes (1:55) – The cast goofs off in front of the camera in this short blooper reel.
- “You Can’t Stop the Girl” Music Video (2:43) – Bebe Rexha performs her end credit song from city streets and sets from the film.
- Lickspittle (4:15) – Go behind the scenes of Warwick Davis’ character with an exploration of the actor and Lickspittle’s laboratory set.
- Art Galleries (iTunes Exclusive)
The high-definition transfer presents the film in its extra wide aspect ratio of 2:39:1. Details are crisp and clear and the transfer handles the film’s wide color spectrum well, with blacks coming across as inky but moments of nature’s splendor revealing eye-popping greens and blues.
The primary audio track on the Blu-Ray is a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix. It makes excellent use of the rear speaker channels to not only isolate elements of the score, but also to place you at the center of the action during the film’s big battle sequence. Other audio options include a 2.0 Descriptive Audio track plus French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.
Packaging & Design
This Multi-Screen Edition release of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil comes in an embossed holofoil slipcover. The standard Blu-Ray case holds the Blu-Ray and DVD disc on either side of the interior. Inserts include a digital copy code through Movies Anywhere that can also be used to redeem points on Disney Movie Insider, as well as a flier for Disney Movie Club.
Both discs open with ads for Pixar’s Oward and the live-action Mulan. The main menu features a still image of Maleficent, Queen Ingrith, and Aurora while score from the film plays.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a lot better than the first film, albeit with different themes and messages. If you love the behind-the-scenes process, the sampling of short bonus features reveal a lot about how the film was made. But if you’re looking for a deep exploration into the making of the film, you’ll be left a little underwhelmed by the supplements.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.