Australian Council on Children and the Media

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

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Not suitable under 8, parental guidance to 11 (Violence, themes, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
  • a review of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 21 October 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to intense fantasy violence, themes and scary scenes.
Children aged 8–11 Parental guidance is recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 12 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild fantasy themes and violence, some scenes mat scare very young children
Length 119 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Aurora (Elle Fanning), now Queen of the Moors, accepts a marriage proposal from the kind-hearted Prince Phillip (Harris Dickinson) who has fallen hopelessly in love with her. King John (Robert Lindsay) is delighted and hopes his son’s marriage will secure peace with the fairy folk and unite the kingdoms. His wife, Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer), however, is secretly amassing weapons of war as she hopes to annihilate the fairy kingdom once and for all. Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) also opposes the match, however, she agrees to meet the King and Queen for the sake of Aurora. When the evening ends in disaster Maleficent is blamed for a curse upon the King and is shot from the sky by an iron bullet meant to end her life. She is rescued from a watery grave by Conall (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a creature much like herself, who takes her home with him to the last sanctuary of the fae where she learns that she is indeed different but also that she is not alone. Maleficent is, in fact, the last blood descendant of a phoenix-like creature whose powerful strength runs in her veins and gives her abilities others could only imagine. Conall hopes for peace with humankind but Borra (Ed Skrein), a warrior fae, wishes to fight humans and use Maleficent’s powers to win freedom for the fae, no matter what the cost. When Conall is killed in an ambush the fae prepare for war. Meanwhile, Queen Ingrith uses Aurora and Phillip’s marriage as a front to secretly exterminate the fairy folk. In the battle that ensues it looks as though the fairy folk and fae do not stand a chance against the evil of the Queen but when Maleficent is killed saving Aurora their unusual bond and their mutual love may be just the thing to save them all.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

War, prejudice against those who look different, violence to solve conflict, disrespect for nature, spreading lies until they are believed.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Numerous battle scenes between the humans and fae resulting in mass casualties.
  • Humans repeatedly kill fae with iron bullets and arrows. Maleficent is shot twice on two occasions and dies before magically being reincarnated.
  • The Queen throws Aurora off the castle roof after Maleficent transforms into a phoenix-like creature. She is saved at the last moment by Maleficent.
  • The Queen stabs her husband with the spindle in an effort to frame Maleficent.
  • Humans are captured in the faerie forest and fairies are kidnapped and held captive for experiments by the queen.
  • Aurora is slightly injured after trying to escape imprisonment by the Queen.
  • As the fae prepare for war they say they will kill the King and Queen as well as the young prince.
  • Maleficent’s magic blasts people against the walls.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There is a creepy, dark, forest with whispery sounds and foreboding music. After a fairy is captured, dark horns are seen in the shadows. Men are running and screaming as roots spring up from the ground. The men disappear and the scene ends with terrible screaming.
  • There are characters with scary looking, almost monstrous features, such as a creepy looking pixie that experiments on the fairy folk and tests ways to kill them. The pixie kills a fairy during an experiment.
  • The Fae put on war paint as they prepare to go into battle and some of the images of paint smeared, angry, faces could be frightening for younger viewers.
  • There are many transformations where a person, or Maleficent, suddenly transforms into something else such as a large, dragon-like creature or a huge, bear-like animal.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The fairy folk are locked in a chapel while an organ blasts out poisonous powder that kills fairy folk on contact. There is pandemonium and terror as they realize that they are trapped and that their loved ones are dying all around them. A couple of characters sacrifice themselves to try to save the rest.
  • The Fae are attacked with various forms of poisonous powder and instantly explode on contact. There are frequent explosions and deaths.
  • The Queen shoots at Aurora and Maleficent rushes in front of her. After a stunned moment Maleficent explodes into ashes in Aurora’s hands. The ashes fall to the ground and Aurora falls to her knees sobbing uncontrollably amongst them. Her tears eventually cause Maleficent to be reborn into a huge phoenix-like creature. The scene is very intense and could certainly distress younger viewers.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Nothing of additional concern.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

It is unlikely that children over the age of thirteen would be frightened by this movie.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • No product placement was noted in this movie, though parents can expect Maleficent themed merchandise to be available in store and on-line.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Phillip and Aurora kiss and embrace on a number of occasions.
  • Two little fairy creatures hold hands and kiss on the cheek.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • The King and Queen serve wine at a meal. The adults drink and during a heated moment Phillip asks for, “More wine!”.
  • A powdery substance made from the Tomb Bloom flower is used to poison and kill fairy folk.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • There is no coarse language noted in the movie. However, there are occasional comments meant to insult people such as, “You reek of humans.”

In a nutshell

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a fantasy adventure. It features stunning imagery, animation and costumes and, while darker than the first Maleficent movie, there are some powerful messages of tolerance and unity. This is a movie that families with older children are likely to enjoy together.

The main messages from this movie are that love will conquer hate, that curses don’t end but rather are broken and that we should not be defined by our appearance or origins but instead by who we are and what we love and believe in.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Peace
  • Kindness
  • Courage
  • Collaboration
  • Tolerance for others
  • Empathy

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Spreading lies about others until they are widely believed to be true.
  • Believing that one group of people or creatures is better than another.
  • Sabotaging efforts towards peace and sowing the seeds of hate and dissention.
  • Indiscriminate killing.

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