From Animation To Live Action: Disney Show Off Cinderella And Maleficent At D23 Expo

MaleficentDisney are deep into a program of adaptation, taking their animated classics and “reimagining” them in live action.

Next out of the traps will be Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie as the evil* witch from Sleeping Beauty. One year later we’ll get Kenneth Branagh‘s take on Cinderella.

It wasn’t clear before today how closely Branagh was following the template of the Disney animated Cinderella, but the answer now seems to be: pretty closely. They showed off costume tests and behind the scenes footage, and it all seemed in-step with the world evoked in the toon, just that bit less stylised.

After presenting their Cinderella preview, D23 moved onto Maleficent and brought Angelina Jolie on stage to regale the audience with anecdotes about how scary her makeup and costume made her, and how kids were left a little shaken by her. As a result, her own daughter got to play the younger version of Aurora simply because she wasn’t too frightened, being “the only four year old on set that wasn’t terrified.”

The trailer for Maleficent was screened, showing just how scenes from Sleeping Beauty are part of this story. The footage opens with a ceremony celebrating the birth of Princess Aurora, quickly crashed by Maleficent who places a curse on the babe.

There were some shots of the fairies, played – I believe – by Juno Temple, Lesley Manville and Imelda Staunton. They’ve not only been shrunken by the FX, their proportions have been skewed.

I expect this trailer, or something like it, will make its public debut very soon…

*Or just minsunderstood? That’s their angle anyhow.