Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table: Aurora, one of the secondary characters in the movie “Maleficent.”
So the new “Maleficent” came out recently, and as I said in my review, it wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t totally love it. One of my biggest issues was the fact that other than Maleficent and Diaval, the other characters weren’t up to my standards. Now although Maleficent was the main character, the lovely princess Aurora still had to be in the movie obviously, as it’s the story of Sleeping Beauty.
The story to the movie is Maleficent wanting revenge on her ex-lover, so to punish him she curses his daughter Aurora. To try and protect Aurora, the king has her sent off to live with three fairy godmothers until the day after her sixteenth birthday. The fairies live with Aurora off in the forest in this tiny little shack, and Maleficent watches as Aurora grows up.
When Aurora was born, the three fairy godmothers gave her magical blessings to help her in life. Maleficent also added to the blessing a bit, putting on the curse of eternal sleep and all that jazz. Part of the blessing was that Aurora would be always happy and hopeful, and let me tell you she was. The girl ran around smiling like a giddy idiot for the entire movie. It got really annoying because she was unnaturally happy. It was like if she got punched in the face she would say, “Oops that’s not nice!” and then smile and walk away. I can get behind being happy and all, but it felt like she had no regard for life. There was a point when Maleficent knocked her out with magic and then brought Aurora into her domain with all the fairy tale creatures. When Aurora wakes up, she sees a bunch of the creatures and goes “Oh, water nymphs!” and plays with them. She doesn’t question where she is or how she got there, like a normal person would, she is just happy and clueless. The whole time Aurora is playing, Maleficent is hiding in the tree. Aurora hears her and says, “Come out, you don’t need to be afraid.” Now, of course, because Maleficent is incredible, she says “Oh, I won’t be the one afraid.” and steps out. Most people would be like, “Oh god, scary lady with horns, maybe I should be worried”, but Aurora just looks at her smiles and says, “I know who you, are you’re my fairy godmother.” At this point, even Maleficent looks at her like “Girl you got a screw loose?” Aurora more or less acts like a ditz the whole time without a care in the world and it drove me absolutely crazy. I wanted to yell at her to be afraid or fight back or at least ask a few questions. But no, she was all water nymphs and smiles!
Okay, I might be able to get over this kind of overly giddy and annoying attitude if that was the only problem. But of course it isn’t. The major issues is that Aurora is just straight up boring. She doesn’t develop, she doesn’t do anything cool, she doesn’t have an interesting personality (or any personality really), she doesn’t even act or talk intelligently. The whole movie I was looking at her like, “Why are you even in this movie at all?” This was the key source of the problem. Aurora had no reason for being there at all. The only reason she was there was because they were sticking with stuff from “Sleeping Beauty.” Her character felt forced and pointless. They would have been better off just having the conflict be between Maleficent and the king. Maleficent only went after Aurora, so why not just have her go after the king instead?
What ends up happening is that Maleficent starts to love Aurora like a daughter and then becomes good, however she still hates the king. It ends up with Maleficent protecting Aurora, who she originally put the curse on. In the end, Maleficent gets her revenge on the king and kills him. One would think that Aurora would have some feeling about that, right? Yeah, no, not really.
There were two points where Aurora should have been mad or scared in some sort of way. The first time is when Aurora realises Maleficent was the one who cursed her in the first place. I thought Aurora was going to try and go home and send armies after Maleficent. Instead, Aurora gets sad, runs home to her father and gets locked in a room which she then breaks out of and enters into her eternal sleep. Maleficent goes to the castle to try and save Aurora from the sleep.
(Big spoiler ahead)
In the end, the kiss that wakes up Aurora is a kiss on the forehead from Maleficent. When Aurora wakes up, everything is okay and Aurora totally forgets about Maleficent cursing her in the first place. I could sort of get this point because Maleficent was sorry. The second time Aurora should have been mad was when Maleficent kills her father, the king. After the king’s death, Aurora does not bat an eye. I understand that Aurora didn’t know her father at all, but she didn’t react at all. She was like, “Oh cool, now I can just live with Maleficent.” It makes sense that Aurora accepts Maleficent as her mother in the end, but I was expecting at least some feeling for her father, even a little bit.
Alright, let’s smack down the verdict on the table. Aurora get Sack of Potatoes. Her character was boring, forced, annoying, and really not needed. I think that the movie would have done much better without Aurora in there at all. Character likes this can really drag down the development and strengh of the other characters.