Maleficent

The basic premise of Disney’s Maleficent has been clear from the get-go: It is, as Disney’s fond of saying, the “untold story” of the famous Sleeping Beauty villain. But thanks to D23, we now have a clearer idea of what exactly that entails.

New plot details were disclosed at the event, along with the very first bit of footage from the fairy tale film. Hit the jump to find out what we learned.

As we’ve previously heard, the Robert Stromberg-directed fantasy will reveal how Maleficent came to be the Mistress of All Evil, intersecting with the classic Sleeping Beauty tale at clear points to show us those familiar scenes from a different perspective. For example, we’ll relive the epic battle with the dragon, but we may find ourselves rooting for the other side this time around.

The film will introduce Maleficent as a teenage fairy, depicting the ruthlessness of human king Stefan (Sharlto Copley), and revisiting the christening of Princess Aurora (played as a young woman by Elle Fanning). The three magical pixies (Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton, and Lesley Manville) turn out to be not so good at raising a child, and Maleficent becomes intrigued by Aurora after she casts her curse.

The first-ever clip came from the christening scene. Fairies fly toward a castle and toward the baby, gifting her with wishes. Then things get dark and windy, and chandeliers start to shake. Maleficent’s horns appear, and then her shadow.

She sweeps into the room in a giant gown that envelopes the stairs. “Well well,” she laughs. “I must say I felt quite distressed not receiving an invitation. What an awkward situation.”

“You’re not welcome here,” the king declares. But Maleficent isn’t listening. Green energy and smoke surround her as she starts to cast her curse. Intercut with this scene is footage of an older Aurora running around happily. As we all know, the end result is that Aurora will fall into a deep slumber as a young adult, from which she can only be woken by true love’s kiss.

Peter described the first footage as as “really look[ing] like a Disney fairy tale come to life.” But star Angelina Jolie promised that the villainess’ point of view would have some “edge” and be a little “sexy,” so we can likely look forward to something a little more grown-up than the 1959 animated classic. Either way, the reaction in the room seemed quite positive.

Maleficent arrives July 2, 2014. Here’s the newer, more detailed official synopsis:

“Maleficent” is the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.” A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.

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