MALEFICENT featurette

From some angles, the fact that Maleficent retraces a familiar path is the whole point. The Sleeping Beauty villainness has remained popular over the decades, and Disney’s counting on that to turn her movie into a hit. At the same time, though, the studio would like to stress that Maleficent isn’t just more of the same-old same-old.

A new Maleficent featurette plays up what’s fresh about this take on the tale. It’s not a retelling but a “reinvention” of the story, according to screenwriter Linda Woolverton — but one that “respect[s] the classic,” star Angelina Jolie reassures us. Basically, as star Elle Fanning puts it, it’s “the classic story of Sleeping Beauty plus so much more. Watch the video and check out some new photos after the jump.

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Maleficent Japanese trailer

The movie may be called Maleficent, but it’s really a spin on the classic Sleeping Beauty fable. And the new Maleficent Japanese trailer is all about Sleeping Beauty — both the character and the 1959 Disney movie about her.

The promo establishes its connection to the earlier film right away, showing us clips of the animated film. Then, with the help of some new footage, it emphasizes the weird bond that develops between Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) and the child she’s doomed (played by Elle Fanning as a teen). Watch it after the jump.

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Maleficent trailer

It was only yesterday that we got our first look at Angelina Jolie‘s glorious wings, but if the new Maleficent trailer is any indication they play a key role in the movie. She’s doing all sorts of things with them in the promo — flying, fending off enemies, unfurling them for dramatic effect, and, most intriguingly, mourning their loss.

Not that she’s any less intimidating without them. The video also shows Maleficent at her most vengeful, putting a curse on a cute little baby and shoving the well-meaning fairies into a box. Watch the latest Maleficent trailer after the jump.

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Maleficent - Angelina Jolie (1)

With about two and a half months to go until the release, Disney has released two more Maleficent posters — one for the U.S. and one for the overseas market. Both feature Angelina Jolie‘s fairy tale villainess and her piercing gaze, but only one takes pains to point out that this is also a Sleeping Beauty movie. Compare and contrast the two after the jump.

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Maleficent header

The live-action fairy tale craze continues this summer with Maleficent, an origin tale of sorts for one of Disney’s most famous villains. And although star Angelina Jolie laughs that it’s “really funny when people say you’d be obvious for a great villain,” these new Maleficent images prove that she is indeed the perfect choice to play the Mistress of All Evil.

Also featured in this latest batch is Aurora a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty, in two different forms: as a teenager played by Elle Fanning, and as a small child played by Jolie’s daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. Check out all the photos plus a Maleficent EW cover after the jump.

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Maleficent (header)

In Disney’s original Sleeping Beauty, the divide between good and evil was a pretty clear-cut one. Aurora and her beloved Prince Phillip were good, kind people, and Maleficent was a horrible being who cursed an innocent baby to death. But the studio’s upcoming Maleficent suggests that the “real” story may not be so simplistic.

In the Robert Stromberg-directed film, Maleficent (played by Angelina Jolie) starts out every bit as pure and sweet as any Disney princess, until the destruction of her forest kingdom causes her to turn bitter and hateful. The newest promo contrasts the Mistress of All Evil we know from Sleeping Beauty against the complicated woman that Maleficent shows her to be. Watch it after the jump.

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The Boxtrolls

With only two completed feature films under its belt, Laika’s quickly proving itself to be one of the smartest, most creative animation studios working today. Coraline and ParaNorman were wonderful stop-motion pictures gentle enough for kids, but sharp enough for adults. Now an early teaser indicates that their third release, The Boxtrolls, is shaping up to be the same way.

Based on a book by Alan Snow, the film follows a community of monsters living under the streets of Cheesebridge. Despite their fearsome reputation among humans, the Boxtrolls are actually quite sweet, and are in fact raising abandoned orphan (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright, a.k.a. Bran from Game of Thrones) as one of their own. Watch the first brief teaser after the jump.

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Animation house Laika only has two completed features to its name, but thanks to the strength of those two outings (Coraline and ParaNorman), it’s already earned a reputation for unusually smart, creative family fare. Now they’re joining forces with Focus Features a third time for The Boxtrolls, an adaptation of Alan Snow‘s book Here Be Monsters!

Open Season co-director Anthony Stacchi and Coraline/ParaNorman story artist Graham Annable are teaming to direct, with an excellent voice cast that includes Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Jared Harris (Mad Men) and Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Game of Thrones). Hit the jump for more details.

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