From Animation to Live-Action: Reconstructing Maleficent

  • Larissa SchlöglEmail author
  • Nelson ZagaloEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


With respect to the Walt Disney Pictures repertoire of the past few years, there has been a considerable increase in cinematographic adaptations from animation to live-action. We can identify different types of adaptations, from narrative modifications, extensions of the story, to the remakes of first versions. Contextualizing these sorts of transformation in the animation universe, we propose to study the modifications of the character Maleficent from two of the studio’s movies: the animated film Sleeping beauty (1959) and its recent live-action film version Maleficent (2014). Starting with the aesthetic and narrative modifications of the most recent film compared to the earlier one, our aim is to observe how the deconstruction of the villain occurs between one movie and another. In the animation, Maleficent appears as merely a supporting character, an evil person presenting a counterpoint to the main heroine. In contrast, in the live-action movie, Maleficent becomes the main character and a back-story is provided to justify her assuming protagonism. Consequently, we need to understand what social and commercial forces are at work to change totally the understanding of the story. It is shown that these adjustments have happened because of the changes in the social roles of women and in the cinematographic and aesthetic choices now available to animation and live-action.


Disney Animation Live-action Transformation Remediation Feminism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.University of AveiroAveiroPortugal

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