Maleficent is a re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty which focuses on the villainous witch known as Maleficent and explores her origins. The film is technically a prequel and also a remake of the Disney Sleeping Beauty adaptation  from 1959.

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) was once a happy woman until her idyllic forest kingdom was ravaged by an invading army, she was also betrayed by those closest to her and this sequence of tragic events turned her heart to stone. Seeking revenge, she curses the newborn daughter of the invading king, Princess Aurora. Things change though as Maleficent starts to realize that Aurora may be the key to peace between the kingdoms and also her own redemption.

Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent cuts an imposing figure in the trailer: when she is confronted by a grown up Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning) in her black forest she slowly emerges from the shadows like Bela Lugosi in Tod Browning’s Dracula. Like Dracula, she also appears to be a solitary character who looks like she hasn’t seen another human being in years. Jolie’s outfit is suitably theatrical as she sports a shiny black skull cap adorned with large black horns. Her pale make up, bright eyes and black horned helmet are an arresting combination.

Maleficent also has an impressive supporting cast including Sharlto Copley, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton and Peter Capaldi. It will be fun to see how unique actors like Copley, Capaldi and Richardson etc will portray their characters.

The film is directed by Robert Stromberg who previously worked as a Hollywood visual effects artist, the man clearly knows about good special effects and this is evident on-screen. The trailer is visually stunning as the lighting is very good and the CGI effects are also top notch which is to be expected from a Walt Disney production.

Jolie is clearly the star of the show in the trailer and she looks very convincing. Not much else is shown though and the basic plot is not explained so fans looking for details may be disappointed. The supporting cast are not given much screen time either unfortunately but this is just a teaser trailer. Fans will no doubt see more of the other characters in the movie when a longer trailer is released at a later date.

Maleficent will be released on May 30th 2014, check out the trailer and share your thoughts.