Disney’s “Maleficent” & the Truly Heroic Life

Disney’s “Maleficent” & the Truly Heroic Life

Maleficent Pic

“It took a great hero and a terrible villain to make it all come about. And her name was Maleficent.”

Disney’s Maleficent (2014 release)

What is the vital difference that sets heroes apart from villains? One loving choice? A single, defining moment? That is often how it works in fairy tales. We’re given a hasty snapshot of a character’s life and we immediately assign a label. But as we all know, a person’s character develops from a lifetime of decisions, and not a few solitary actions. Anyone can act heroic for an hour or two, but remaining faithful and consistent… living a heroic life – these are the marks of a truly honorable person.

And as we all know, real life doesn’t follow the “Fairy Tale Formula.” The love of our life may see us as a Perfect Prince Charming for a fleeting moment, but eventually they’ll see through our shining armor and discover that we can be spiteful and selfish from time to time. And if we take the time to get to know that Beastly Villain at work, we may just find a beautiful soul who is temporarily struggling through a difficult phase of life. So is it really fair to categorize human beings as heroes and villains? Does it really have to be an “either, or” situation? Isn’t it possible for one person to be both?

This is what I love most about Disney’s recent movie release, Maleficent. Directed by Robert Stromberg, this film does an excellent job of taking an old villain and fleshing out her story, showing that while she could indeed be fierce and intimidating, she could also be soft, kind, and – well – downright loveable! Angelina Jolie delivers an outstanding performance as Maleficent (you’ll swear she jumped right out of the 1959 Disney cartoon) and Elle Fanning will steal your heart by being every bit as sweet and innocent as a charmed princess such as Sleeping Beauty must be. And while the film earned a PG rating for mild violence, this one really is squeaky clean. If your child is past the point where watching The Wizard of Oz gives them nightmares, then this film is safe for them to watch.

Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of assuming you know this story. When a coworker of mine heard that I had seen the movie, his response was, “Oh, let me guess…she’s an evil villain but had a hard life, so it’s okay for her to be cruel?”

“No, the movie isn’t making excuses for Maleficent,” I answered. “It admits that she did some terrible things. But it also shows that nobody is all bad, and that nobody is perfect, either. The point is that we’re all human – and that means we all have a little hero and a little villain in us.”

Which begs the question: when you reach the end of your life, which “character label” will win out? Will you be defined as a hero or a villain?

Keep in mind that it isn’t life’s “big, shining moments,” that will end up defining us, but the consistency we’ve shown day in and day out. Be faithful to make heroic decisions in the small, mundane things of life, and a true hero you shall be.


“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”

Luke 16:10

5 thoughts on “Disney’s “Maleficent” & the Truly Heroic Life

  1. I did not realize what a spiritual lesson this movie held. I am quite looking forward to seeing it now. Great lesson!!


    1. Thanks! I’m the type of person who finds spiritual significance just about anywhere, ha! It’s the great thing about viewing life through a Christian lens…hope you enjoy the movie!


  2. I related to her in this film so much! Her wings being stolen by someone she trusted could easily be symbolic of a sexual assault or molestation. That kind of experience, especially at a younger age can be incredibly damaging. From 15-24 I made a lot of bad choices trying to protect myself and take care of myself. The first time I stepped foot in a strip club I was 15, this was my first step towards becoming what I would later become, a drug addicted prostitute (escort). I was definitely evil. I had my son at 20 and my mother love for him was one of the ways God was working to answer family members prayers and soften my heart towards Him. By the time I was 24 I realized that as much as I wanted to be a good mother and as deeply as I loved him, the things I was doing, although not with him around, were bad parenting. I was able to forgive me father by realizing my own sin, which led to my own salvation.


  3. Also, I left my ex, the father of my child when I was pregnant after having endured horrific physical, mental and sexual abuse. I actually tried to give my son up for adoption, feeling it would be the best thing for him, to keep him safe from that man. Thankfully, he wouldn’t sign the papers and I ended up deciding to keep him. My son being linked to that man was definitely hard for many years. Although he did take me to court and visitation when Forrest was 4 he abused him too and I was able to get a restraining order. After that was over I told him if he tried to restart visitation I would run and do whatever it took to keep him away. By the grace of God he finally gave up the fight. It was only months later I came to The Lord. God knew neither Forrest or myself could ever be free with that man in our lives.


    1. Emily – you have a powerful testimony of the healing and forgiveness we can find only in Christ. Thanks for sharing your difficult story so that others could be encouraged today. Glad you joined the conversation!


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