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Thursday, May 20, 2021 

Maleficent is another example of villain worship, from a Disney screenwriter who's an early feminist propagandist

There's a screenwriter named Linda Woolverton who's working for Disney, and she has to her credits Maleficent, a movie that's another dismaying example of villain worship. First, from the LA Times, the earliest article in 1992 giving a clue to her politics at the time she wrote the screenplay for Beauty and the Beast in 1991:
“I wasn’t on a soapbox," she says of her first big-screen outing--the highest-grossing first-run animated film ever and a possible best-picture Oscar contender. “But Belle is a feminist. I’m not critical of Snow White, Cinderella . . . they reflected the values of their time. But it just wasn’t in me to write a throwback. I wanted a woman of the ‘90s, someone who wanted to do something other than wait for her prince to come.”
Well gee, that's fine and all, but why frame it all as a "feminist" argument, and not simply that women need inspirational figures who can take proactive positions? Come to think of it, why even base it all on Beauty and the Beast? Depending on your viewpoint, this sounds like there could've been early tampering with classic fairy tales for the sake of political correctness in the wrong way. And just because she said she wasn't soapboxing doesn't mean she really wasn't. I do wonder, however, what she thinks of the recent live action remake, which makes a mockery out of even the most questionable parts of her original screenplay.

From Time magazine, here's where things began to get more ludicrous several years ago, when Woolverton produced Maleficent:
Linda Woolverton knows her Disney princesses. After all, the veteran screenwriter worked on Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, the 2010 Alice in Wonderland and the Sleeping Beauty reimagination Maleficent, which arrives in theaters today.

So she speaks from experience when she says that Maleficent, which stars Angelina Jolie as the titular villain, couldn’t have existed until this point in time — because the world wasn’t necessarily ready for such a strong, complicated female protagonist.
A villainess makes a "strong, complicated protagonist"?!? This is so insulting to the intellect, it makes Woolverton's earlier take on Beauty and the Beast look tame by comparison.
When Woolverton worked on Beauty, she says, it was shortly after the arrival of The Little Mermaid; the Disney princess was well aligned with Ariel’s interests, like combing her hair and giving up her voice for a boy she barely knows. It wasn’t that there was explicit pressure to make Beauty‘s Belle behave like that, but that, Woolverton recalls, those attitudes just went without saying. “It was very difficult to change the point of view of the Disney princess,” she tells TIME. “It was just that the point of view of a Disney heroine is this; it isn’t somebody who does this. That was hard.”
What she's missing big time is that a lot of Disney's cartoons of the past, save for the cast of Mickey Mouse and other anthropomorphic animals created by Walt himself, weren't all original, but rather, based on famous fairy tales, like Snow White, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland. Why say you're changing "Disney princesses" specifically, but not the original source books? That's where logic goes into a lapse.

Entertainment Weekly tells a bit more (via Bustle):
You might not recognize her name, but you definitely know her work. Screenwriter Linda Woolverton, 63, has penned such moderns classics as Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. In 2010, with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, she became the first solely credited female writer of a billion-dollar-earning movie.

She followed that up with 2014’s Maleficent, her retelling of Sleeping Beauty, which was a massive box office hit and spurred a trend of Disney remakes from the villain’s point of view. (Emma Stone is set to star in the studio’s Cruella and Woolverton is currently writing a Maleficent sequel.)
And when the crooks take the foremost focus, that's why it's such a tragedy the films wound up becoming box office successes, though it also paints a worrisome picture of the audience: are they really that indoctrinated they believe villainy is something to admire, or worse, sympathize with? With the way this world's been going, it's chilling to think about.
You thought that the one-note princess thing was a bit tired?

Well, yeah. I just didn’t think anyone was going to buy it, honestly. By the time I rolled around, I’d been through the women’s movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s and I definitely couldn’t buy that this smart, attractive young girl, Belle, would be sitting around and waiting for her prince to come. That she was someone who suffers in silence and only wants a pure rose? That she takes all this abuse but is still good at heart? I had a hard time with that.
And until recently, I might not have thought anybody would buy into villainy as entertainment. But this is the Orwellian university-indoctrinated world we live in now, where people have become so desensitized to negative beliefs, you can't be shocked if they bought into this any more than the 80s audience would buy into the whole Friday the 13th series of horror movies. Funny they don't mention a story like Rapunzel, where the leading lady was locked up in a tower by her wicked witch captor. That could've just as well made for a wellspring of a woman figuring out how to defeat her captor. And the biggest irony is that now, Woolverton, a woman apparently influenced by feminism in the 60s, has a viewpoint that's now being shunned by feminism of today: Belle is, in her words, smart and attractive. Practically both are being written off as outmoded by modern feminists of the 2020s, and Woolverton's turn to spotlighting villainy suggests even she doesn't believe what she's saying now.

Come up with a heroine built on courage, confidence and thinking for herself, that's all quite welcome. But the absurd way they tampered with classic fairy tales, not to mention the political approach used in many modern adaptations, doesn't do justice at all. It just runs the gauntlet of lecturing audiences, and all the while, useful messages like a man defending a woman's honor and dignity are unfortunately tossed out.

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"And until recently, I might not have thought anybody would buy into villainy as entertainment."

But what about Dracula? or Shakespeare's RIchard III? or the Godfather? Or Humbert Humbert? Or The Talented Mr. Ripley?

"I do wonder, however, what she thinks of the recent live action remake, which makes a mockery out of even the most questionable parts of her original screenplay."

It's a mixed bag for her. On the one hand, she really was excited to see it be made and promoted the heck out of it around the time Maleficent 2 was released:



But on the other hand, she wasn't too happy with a few of the changes, namely LeFou being turned gay and the whole portal book thing, mostly because she didn't view LeFou as being anything more than a mere lackey to Gaston (kind of have to agree with her there, and I don't even LIKE Woolverton for several reasons) and viewing the portal book as defeating the entire point behind the curse.

And, well, Emma Watson's take on Belle was actually pretty moderate compared to Woolverton's take. Say what you will about Watson's take on Belle, at least she didn't give her Kryptonian-level strength that went grossly underutilized at the worst possible times or cut out her baking a cake for such a petty reason as "a liberated woman wouldn't know how to bake/cook". And Watson's Belle at least has respect for the Church, unlike Belle in the animated version who most likely was as contemptuous of religion as Voltaire.

And right now, I'm scared of Belle thanks largely to how Belle might end up becoming a Jacobin and basically doing to Adam's castle and the village, what Sephiroth did to Nibelheim in Final Fantasy VII, all while screeching like a loon "Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite" thanks to reading Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, and possibly even Sade should she stumble upon them. That's pretty much how Robespierre and his ilk got their start, reading Voltaire and Rousseau. What's worse is that Disney got rid of its DTV sequels, meaning we'll NEVER find out if that's the case or not.

In any case, Woolverton's shilling for Belle, not to mention O'Hara and Hahn, basically bashing her predecessors as being wimps who "wait for their prince to come" also turned me off a bit from Belle, though not nearly enough to turn against her outright until College when I had to endure far-left professors doing a bully pulpit as well as research into the French Revolution.

Why are you concerned about a lousy villain like Maleficent? Try someone like Judge Frollo for starters.

"Why are you concerned about a lousy villain like Maleficent? Try someone like Judge Frollo for starters."

Maleficent cursed a baby for at best not being invited to her christening ceremony by her father, and at worst for a sheer laugh a'la the Joker, never even left the baby with a way out (remember, the only reason Aurora wasn't DEAD from the curse was thanks to Merryweather, who toned down the curse AFTER Maleficent fled laughing). She's not a lousy villain, she's more of a Dr. Weil-level villain (play Mega Man Zero if you don't know who that is). You want an ACTUAL lousy villain? Try Team Rocket from Pokemon, or Captain Hook from the Peter Pan stories, or Emperor Pilaf.

And for the record, I can't speak for Avi Green, but I'd argue Judge Claude Frollo is vastly overrated as a villain. Then again, you anti-Christian leftists always love the churchman as a villain. Even regarding that, I can name PLENTY of villains of that type who far outclass Frollo in depravity, like Barthandelus/Primarch Dysley from Final Fantasy XIII for example, or Pious Augustus from Eternal Darkness, or more specifically his Phillipe Augustine disguise.

I might as well add, I HATED how Woolverton depicted Maleficent in that film. She was NEVER meant to be a sympathetic, tragic anti-villain, like Big Boss or Sephiroth or Vader. She if anything was more of a Frieza-type villain, or Palpatine, or Dr. Weil.

And if you're going to spam threads, at least adopt an actual username rather than simply posting anonymously.

And just so we're clear, by "Team Rocket", I mean Jessie, James, and Meowth, who were complete jokes and not even close to threatening.

Well, if you want an actual review about some of the movies you've mentioned in your posts WITHOUT political or theological aspects, I'd be happy to give them to you:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

I like this movie . Yes I know it's supposed to be a princessy stuff etc but here it works . I might be the only wacko on this earth to appreciate the character of SW for who she is . Sure she is not the toughest or the most cunning around , but she is kind , well-intentionned & she makes the best of her situation ( well , whe's the unpaid janitor of the castle & seeing the psychopath she works for , good luck with that !) . Not everyone can be edgy & rebellious even goody 2-shoes can make for really pleasant characters . It works for me because , well, I don't want to see her harmed, she's just a kid !
The 7 dwarfs are cool & make the comedy of this flick & my favourite is Grumpy !( Well, that's the one I'm the closest to in real life ...)
The villain now , Queen Grimhilde is FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC ! You heard right ! Unlike a certain overblown poor excuse we'll find later here, This one has Presence !Her facial expressions are just that intense , it's like she's looking right into the viewer soul( & that damn mirror ! That's how you draw & voice a demonic mirror a stare that could freeze your..blood due to how intense it is. As a kid I was scared of the witch form (which is still impressive. Especially when she just... walks in the fog ! Expect to enter your room...) . As for her motivation, not the best BUT I can understand her . You have to keep in mind that she's a megalomaniac, the kind of people who will react violently if it does not go their way (like this other royalty BTW fav.me/d4pu7q6).
Also her design is just beautifully bone-chilling (not to forget the perfect voice acting!).

Peter Pan (1953)
I like Wendy , she's pretty much a redhead version of Alice ! Pan on the other hand I'd shoot right on the spot for being such an unbelievable dickhead ! Tinkerbell ? If I caught that little bitch I'd have squashed her... GAAAAAH ! Hook is amusing but since I was a kid I emphasised with the Crocodile, I wondered if the Pirate would be tasty with mushrooms or tomato...

Sleeping Beauty (1959)
I'll say it out loud ... I HATE this flick. And I'm a forgiving dude when it comes to Disney flicks . I find Snow white much better than Aurora (at least SW does have a certain obvious kindness & innocence that makes me want to not see her harmed, Aurora ? Pfeh ... whatever! My sock could with a wig can play her). The fairies are obnoxious , & the prince is of course forgettable .
Maleficient is just OVERRATED ! AND THE BAD KIND OF OVERRATED, the design ain't that bad but her reputation is just overblown. Hell at least the queen of SW had much better ways to convey her vanity ! Here, even the pettiness , that I usually defend as a motive (well a good villain can be an irrational delusionnal wreck you know ?) does not even entertain me. WHy do they praise her is beyond me !
Maleficient has been so exposed even in stuff like KH as the biggest fish in the pound, but there is about every other baddie that is better than her ( Pete is Mickey's X-mas carol is far superior ! He was genuinely freaky? in that) , not to mention the "fight" as a dragon... & hop a toothpick in the heart (for example in Hercules the Hydra took actually a lot of efforts to defeat & I could emphasise with Hercules's struggle against the friggin monster ! You could see him being helpless! here ? Her crow was scarier than her !) . The bard was indeed the best thing in the movie... I'd drink too if I was in it .
Sorry guys , but I'll take any other Disney flick over this one

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Everything is epic about this movie ,IT STARTS BY KILLING A MOTHER ! Where in the Lion King waited for at least 30 mins, this one starts that way .
I even prefer the characters here rather than the books versions . Look at it as its own beast. ALL Characters are just great, even the gargoyles do have a point (yes they should have been imaginary , but hey , no one is perfect !)
Quasimodo ? It's impossible not to feel for this guy , he's just adorable . Phebus ? This is the regular hero done right, the guy is lawful yet follows his code of honor which does not make him just a goon . Esmeralda ? Where do I even begin ? She's just friggin sublime , I know she's a farcry from the book , but that's what I call an improvement .
And Frollo ... I can't add much other than OH YEAH ! Tony Jay & Jean Piat (yep, the french voice is also awesome !) . His presence is breathtaking & his cruelty is dosed well . And everyone forgets about Clopin ; WHY ? He's the greatest side character ever made !

And honestly, you seem more like the kind of guy who'd demonize games like Final Fantasy or Eternal Darkness rather than praise them.

I don't mind Snow White at all. And I only mentioned Peter Pan as an example of a truly lame villain as I understand it (usually when they say "lame villains", they mean the kind of villains who are closer to complete jokes and easily beaten, and by "easily beaten", I mean something akin to the Ewoks taking out the Empire, how Captain Hook tended to cower easily without being much of an actual threat, or heck, Team Rocket from Pokemon usually). As far as Sleeping Beauty, fine, hate Maleficent all you want. In fact, that's a good way to do a villain. At least Maleficent was depicted as PRECISELY the type of person you're supposed to hate, so your reaction is how she's SUPPOSED to be done, rather than this odd draco in leather pants reaction that for some reason gets her excluded from the Complete Monster trope page on troping sites despite being objectively far worse than most villains on the list, especially Claude Frollo.

And I'll be honest, I watched THOND once as a kid, and while a tad bit better ultimately regarding promoting the moral of true beauty coming from within than BATB (now that's one movie that actually WAS overrated. At least Maleficent did come across as a genuine threat for most of the movie, while Gaston was such an idiot the only reason he got far was because EVERYONE was turned into bigger idiots, even the so-called "smart one" named Belle, who BTW didn't even get foils for the actual moral. Doesn't help either that unlike The Little Mermaid, which actually WAS responsible for getting Disney out of the red and nearly getting bankrupt, Beauty and the Beast did absolutely NOTHING for the company besides MAYBE win accolades by leftist reviewers to the extent that it nearly won an academy award), it wasn't that good of a movie from my recollection (and it was ultimately inappropriate for audiences as well). I also was irritated that Claude Frollo was in the Complete Monster category for TV Tropes since, I'll be blunt, he really failed the definition as I understand it (Ursula, Maleficent and Jafar committed far worse actions than Frollo EVER did, and they don't even qualify, Maleficent especially, and that's despite Maleficent literally matching most if not all of the criteria). Want to see an ACTUAL Complete Monster as I understand it? Try Dr. Weil from the Mega Man Zero series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7CIxT9pnoU ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE9Hb3tq7ws ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrFvrndkQSY Also Kefka Palazzo from Final Fantasy VI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ynz68dsJcI (and bear in mind that was not even the first heinous act he conducted in the game, nor would it be the last). As you can see, Frollo doesn't even come CLOSE to his level (Maleficent does, however). I also wasn't happy with how they demonized Christians in that movie (sure, compared to Beauty and the Beast and how it depicted Gaston and the villagers, THOND treated Christianity well thanks to the archdeacon. Unfortunately, the archdeacon was pretty much the ONLY Christian actually depicted in a good light. Well, him and maybe Phoebus. Most of the other Christians, even the pastor, were villainized for the most part. And don't get me started on Frollo.). If anything, using the Dr. Weil measure, Maleficent came far closer to matching a complete monster than Frollo EVER did. Maleficent scares me, Frollo if you ask me was more like Elmer Fudd, even WITH his genocidal views. Hence why he comes across as grossly overrated in terms of villainy. Heck, despite what people say, Frollo doesn't even do attempted rape on Esmerelda, much less successful rape (the worst he did was a marry me or die, what Gaston essentially did with far less hesitance in Beauty and the Beast). Ironically, his BOOK self came far closer to actually doing attempted rape than the Disney version, and he's treated as an anti-villain compared to the Disney version.

And I'm not against the Final Fantasy series in and of itself. Actually, some parts of stories I come up with were in part inspired by that franchise, and heck, Mystic Quest was actually one of my first SNES games. I in particular am quite fond of Final Fantasy II (though not Soul of Rebirth), Final Fantasy I, and Final Fantasy IV. What I AM against, however, is the series' current tendency to demonize Gods (actual gods, I mean, not usurpers like Kefka, Mateus, or Sephiroth). As far as Eternal Darkness, again, that also inspired a few bits of storylines. In fact, I actually HELPED an editor get through the game. It also has some implicit promotion of Christianity in there due to the Ancients clearly being depicted as against God as well as blatant villains.

And just so you know, I also wasn't fond of Final Fantasy XIII and its handling of the gods, particularly Barthandelus or Bhunivizle, but that doesn't mean I can't respect the fact that, despite my distaste for how the series depicted gods as villains, they at least did a pure evil Claude Frollo far better than the actual Judge Claude Frollo by Disney (really, the closest he got to actually entering the Complete Monster territory was in Riku's story mode for Dream Drop Distance, and that's only because he showed a Joker-esque revelry in being sent to Hell). If Frollo had Galenth Dysley's characterization, for example he'd actually rival Maleficent as one of the most heinous Disney villains by a long shot. And just to give some indication of what he's like:




Heck, Dysley/Barthandelus's reaction when falling into that liquid thing would have worked perfectly regarding Frollo. Why didn't Disney do THAT?!

Honestly Maleficent is kind of pathetic as far as villains go, even when its just against other Disney film villains. But look, if you want to see a more badass Captain Hook, try this little gem from the early days of Fox Kids: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/PeterPanAndThePirates

Still, since you talked about Beauty and the Beast, here's a review for it:

Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Yes, I love this movie. Belle is an awesome character all-around, she's the kind of person you'd really like to hang with because of how down-to-earth yet open-minded she is, How great is that!But she's not perfect, she gets scared or even downright pissed-off & she can actually react like a normal person (she does not always keep her calm When Push comes to shoves , she reacts rather impulsively ! the biggest example might be trying to run away from the castle during a blizzard with wolves on the outside... ). The Beast is the one who has a character arc. He's an asshole from the beginning & then becomes a better person as time passes by, it works because it actually takes time to develop !
On the other hand , I'm gonna disagree with the NC on one thing; NO , Gaston is not all that subtle . Hell, from his design I don't see the nice guy or prince charming, I see the DOUCHE ! Seriously, even from his mannerisms , a blind person could tell you " That's a douche indeed ! And since Beast is here that's the baddie !" . The guy just speaks & breathes jerkassery. He's a good antagonist but I prefer the one from the sequel (YEP, the sequel is inferior, BUT ITS VILLAIN IS SUPERIOR!He's much more subtle ! Also , Tim Curry baby !)... Thus he's not all that awesome or subtle !

Maybe they've gotten Hook to be more badass, I don't know, but what I DO know is that Maleficent was by no means pathetic at all. She certainly wasn't harmless, unlike, say, the Team Rocket Trio. She inflicted the main character with a death curse out of spite, that much can definitely be agreed upon (that it MERELY was reduced to sleep was due to the three good fairies interfering, and that's only because Maleficent's raw magical prowess was too powerful for them to outright remove it). She also managed to sneak attack and capture the prince, even inflict psychological torture on him during her captivity, and also came EXTREMELY close to killing him. To use Nintendo comparisons, she's more like a Ganondorf than a King Dedede. Actually, you want an ACTUAL pathetic villain? Try Pete in the Kingdom Hearts games, where he actually made Team Rocket in their dork age look threatening.

As far as Beauty and the Beast, I might have continued to like her had it not been for, 1., being subject to brainwashing by her types and narrowly escaping from that. Just to list one example: https://www.mediafire.com/folder/e02pmeur6q4yb/World+History+up+to+the+1500s ; 2. both Linda Woolverton and Paige O'Hara outright bragging that they used her to push radical feminism and bashed her predecessors to place her on top (which ultimately culminated in the garbage pit of a film called Maleficent), and 3., gotten extremely afraid of her after realizing from studying history (well, that, and witnessing Big Boss and Kazuhira Miller mindlessly singing praises for Che Guevara even when those two would have been the types to KNOW better than to do that due to prior experience even in-game, much less in prior entries) that she'll basically drink the Kool-Aid regarding Voltaire and Diderot and start slaughtering everyone in the name of Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite. For more details on that, read the blog here that I wrote: https://otnesse.tumblr.com/post/641728458692640768/rebel-rose-and-belles-role-in-the-french And while you're at it, watch this tape from Peace Walker as well for an idea of how Belle would act at best, and at worst (she'd be like that blonde bimbo at best, and at worst she'd be like the guy she's fangirling. Seriously, the triplets from BATB had better tastes in men than Cecile did, where Cecile's stupidly lapping up Sartre's moronic statements like a trained seal.): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44jJTlYtDGE

I'll admit Beast definitely had character development. In fact, he's definitely one of the better characters in the movie. Unfortunately, I'd argue that the character development was COMPLETELY screwed up, and unintentionally gives ammo to those who claim Belle IS a mary sue. It also doesn't help that said "development" in the climax ended up implying you basically die and not even help your servants, or heck, even defend yourself, unless your girlfriend is nearby. Say what you will about Beast's jerkish nature before then, at least before Belle "brought his better angels out", he actually KNEW how to defend himself, and you also got the sense he was ultimately aiming to restore his servants' humanity rather than just his own. I personally liked the older draft a LOT better than the one we got: https://web.archive.org/web/20151010071117/http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~ina22/splaylib/Screenplay-Beauty_and_the_Beast.pdf

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