- "You poor, simple fools; thinking you could defeat me! ME! The mistress of all evil!"
- ―Maleficent to the Three Good Fairies
Maleficent is the main antagonist of the Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants and Disney's 1959 animated feature film, Sleeping Beauty. She is the leader of the Disney Villains and also Mal's mother. Maleficent is considered the most dangerous and feared villain, such that invoking her name strikes fear and terror in people's hearts.
Maleficent is portrayed by Kristin Chenoweth.
After not being invited to a christening, she curses the infant Princess Aurora to "prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die" before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. However, Merryweather was able to soften the curse by changing it from death to enchanted sleep that will only last until True Love's kiss.
The night when Aurora returned to her father's castle, the moment Aurora was alone, she seized the chance to lure her into touching a spindle of a spinning wheel. Despite the efforts of the three good fairies, she succeeded in fulfilling her curse. She then proceeded to trap Prince Phillip and lock him in her dungeon. However, the three good fairies free Phillip after she left him. Upon learning of this from her pet raven, who got turned to stone in the process by Merryweather, she tried to stop him with a series of lightning bolts, but failed. She went as far as conjuring a forest of thorns, but Phillip easily cut his way to the gate. With no other choice, she flew to the gate of King Stefan's castle and turned into a huge dragon to battle the prince herself. Despite pushing Phillip to the edge of a cliff and making him lose his shield, Phillip threw his Sword of Truth, which was blessed by the three good fairies' magic, and struck Maleficent directly in the heart, she screams in pain then falls off the cliff. All that was left of her was a black and purple mess on the ground, with the sword still embedded in it as it blackens.
When Maleficent finds out about Prince Ben's proclamation to take her daughter along with Evie, Carlos De Vil, and Jay to take them to Auradon and to join society again, Maleficent "joins" forces with The Evil Queen, Jafar, and Cruella De Vil and orders Mal and her friends to steal Fairy Godmother's Magic Wand in order to use it to bend both good and evil at her will. Much for her disbelief, Mal doesn't want to go with the plan. Maleficent forces Mal into a magical "staring contest" in order to establish her power over Mal's, who loses and finally accepts to go on with the plan with the other three. Maleficent gives Mal her own magical spell book in order to make the task easier and warns Mal not to blow it.
When Mal and her friends show up in The Museum of Cultural History to steal the magic wand, they found wax figures of their parents. Mal asks her mother to tell her what to do and Maleficent's statue comes to life and encourage Mal to keep her evil ways, promising that they will rule together as mother and daughter and eventually she will take her place.
A few weeks later she and the other three villains got a video chat call with the kids; Maleficent makes jokes about the Fairy Godmother about the magic she performed for Cinderella (which Fairy Godmother didn't take very well) and asks Mal (hiding her real intentions as motherly love) when she will have the wand; she gets a little annoyed when Mal informs her mother that they need to wait until Ben's coronation, but when Cruella interrupts her to scream to her son so she can no longer interrogate Mal about the plan.
Days later, at Prince Ben's coronation, she is shocked when she sees Mal looking like a princess and by Ben's side (reported by Snow White), but prays to her daughter to "don't blow it". In the coronation, Fairy Godmother's daughter Jane steals her mother's wand in order to give herself a magical makeover like Cinderella's, but by mistake destroys the magical barrier of the Isle of the Lost. After recovering her old magic, Maleficent shows up in the coronation and orders Mal (who took the magic wand out of Jane) to give her the wand, unknowing that her daughter and her friends vow to be good moments earlier. Mal gives the magic wand to Fairy Godmother, but Maleficent casts a frozen spell on everybody (except herself, her daughter and her friends) and takes the wand out of Fairy Godmother's hand. Mal and her mother have an argument about Mal's choices and, even for Maleficent's astonishment, successfully cast a spell to take the wand out of Maleficent's hand. Maleficent becomes furious and demands Mal to give the wand back to her. But Carlos says "Maybe good really is more powerful than evil." Maleficent laughs at this and then Dude comes up to her. She shoves him off and Jay comes and grabs hold of her staff, causing it to glow green. She feels Jay's arms, commenting on how Jealous Gaston would be and thumps him on the forehead, laughs again, and transforms herself into her dragon form. After Evie blinds her with light from her magic mirror, she and Mal have another staring contest, but Mal cast a spell three times ("The strength of evil is good as none, when stands before four hearts as one!") and fights back. Maleficent's dragon form can't stand all the goodness and love and transforms into a little lizard, which is the same size as the love in her heart. Later propaganda states that Maleficent was put in a "tiny cell", but the Auradon residents don't know where she's been kept.
In Descendants 2, Maleficent only appears in lizard form. Her scales are green in the film. She's seen in a small box in Mal's dorm room with a sign next to the box that says "Don't Feed My Mom".
Although Maleficent does not make an appearance in the third film, her voice is heard in one scene and it is revealed that the unknown male with whom she conceived Mal with was actually not a "weak human" at all, but rather, Hades, Greek god of the Underworld, who was also banished to the Isle and he also Maleficent's ex-husband. At some point, the two powerful villains married (most likely common-law) and gave birth to Mal, with Hades walking out on Maleficent soon after. He later stated that his reasons for leaving included the fact that the evil fairy was not "the easiest person to get along with." It is unknown why Maleficent chose to lie to Mal about her father's status and say he was a "weak human." Speculations include that it could have been out of shame and embarrassment, as Hades as a god would potentially be more powerful than herself. Thus, she could have lied to protect her own pride. Or, on the isle, without his Godly Powers, Hades was a "weak human".
In the prelude novella, it is stated that Maleficent became the official ruler of the Isle of the Lost. Since the Evil Queen also wanted to rule the Isle, they became rivals. In some point before the events of the book, Maleficent had a "moment of weakness" with an unknown human male (who is later revealed to actually be the god Hades, not a human at all) became pregnant with a girl. Maleficent named her baby girl her own name, but nicknamed her "Mal" since she didn't believe her daughter can be truly evil. She is half human. Six years later, after finding out that the Evil Queen didn't invite Mal to her daughter Evie's birthday party, she banished both females from the main city and for eternity; however, after ten years, Evie and her mother returned to the lone isle, but Maleficent wasn't aware of that at first, as she doesn't really care. When Carlos, the son of Cruella De Vil, breaks the magical barrier for a second, Maleficent's pet Diablo is freed of his stone curse and senses that The Eye of the Dragon (Maleficent's Scepter) awakes too. He travels to the city in the Isle of the Lost and finds Maleficent, who orders her daughter Mal to recover the Eye of the Dragon (which is located in Maleficent's Castle). Mal departs to find the Eye with Carlos, Evie and Jay (the son of Jafar), but since Maleficent doesn't trust Mal, she secretly orders Diablo to follow Mal and retrieve the Eye. Although her suspicious became true when Diablo comes back with the Eye and Mal with empty hands, she was shocked when she realized Mal was able to find the Eye of the Dragon in her old throne hall, but quickly becomes disappointed when Mal admits that she touched the Eye instead of tricking someone else to touch it first, since Maleficent cursed the Eye to make anyone else fall in a 1000 years sleep (which was Mal's original plan; Mal wanted revenge on Evie, so she was supposed to force Evie to touch the Eye's crystal.)
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.
Mal kept Maleficent's lizard form as a pet.
Maleficent, on top of her deviousness, is very misleading in her personality. But, underneath the mask of stoicism, Maleficent unleashes the full brunt of her wrath with a smile. A sign she relishes in the pain of others. This is displayed during her first appearance during Aurora's birthday ceremony. When Merryweather states bluntly, "You weren't wanted," Maleficent pretends to be shocked and hurt, remarking, "In that event I'd best be on my way." But then she turned around and cast a curse upon Aurora, cackling in the sweet revenge she attained. She is not at all comical or goofy like some of the other Disney villains, although she does at times display something of a dark sense of humor. Her minions are a legion of goblins and troll-like creatures. She is also frequently accompanied by her pet raven called Diablo.
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. When Maleficent and Mal have a disagreement they stare into each other eyes until one of them gives up.
She's sadistic and merciless, which is proven when she mercilessly places a sleeping spell on Stefan's baby daughter, Aurora, that before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a sleep like death, leaving Stefan's castle with a sadistically laugh at the sweet revenge she just attained. She also forces and enjoys watching Stefan plead for his young daughter's life.
Maleficent appears in the form of a tall, slender, beautiful, pale green-skinned (although some appearances of her depict her with gray skin) 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.
Maleficent is an evil Fairy, unlike the other three fairy godmothers in the movie and her evil enables her to perform many magical and powerful spells. She carries a staff with a glowing green orb at the tip through which she casts her spells, which include an ability to teleport herself, or send bolts of lightning at enemies. She is also capable of shape shifting at will into numerous forms, including a floating hypnotic light resembling a will-o'-the-wisp and a massive, monstrous black-and-purple dragon. It appears that she posses some level of enhanced strength as she was Jay aside. She seems to have a minor quirk in regards to holding light objects, as she seems to extend her pinkie when holding a torch in the forward direction, as evidenced during her capture of Prince Phillip.
- She's the mother of Mal.
- She's the leader of the Disney Villains.
- Her name is resembled as Magnificent and Malevolent.
- She later shrank to the size of the love in her heart.
- In The Isle of the Lost, it's revealed that Maleficent suffered a pain in the chest, due to Prince Phillip stabbing her in the chest while she was in her Dragon Form fighting him.
- She does vocals on 1 song ("Evil Like Me").
- The way Maleficent said when she came to Auradon, "I'M BAAACK", was somehow a reference to the film,"Independence Day", which the quote was previously said by the character, Russell Casse.
- In The Isle of the Lost, Maleficent states that after she was killed by Prince Phillip, she woke up in a abandoned island (later to be revealed to be the Isle of the Lost).
- Maleficent's crimes were:
- She was voiced by the late Eleanor Audley in Sleeping Beauty, who also voiced Lady Tremaine.
- She's the first Disney Villain to turn into an animal. The second is Madam Mim, the third was Jafar, the fourth and fifth were Pain and Panic and the sixth was Yzma.
- In some media, Maleficent's last name is Faery.
- Even though this wasn't confirmed, in a novel based on the film, Maleficent (2014), she was the daughter of Lysander and Hermia (A Midsummer Nights Dream).
- There is a possibility that they're Mal's maternal grandparents in this continuity.