I CAN'T SAY I AM TOO EXCITED to see this year's live-action re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty, although I do look forward to watching Angelina Jolie saunter about in ravishing costume. Flowing flame-like capes, a bat-wing collar and a pair of very prominent horns, 2014's Maleficent incorporates into its set of costumes, animator Marc Davis' original design for Maleficent in 1959. Doing away with anything hag or witch-like, Davis' elegant villain is said to have been inspired by a medieval portrait that was religious in nature. Ironic for a character crowned with "the goat horns of a devil figure".
Contributing too to Maleficent's qualities were live action models shot for reference or sketched directly by artists. Eleanor Audley, who also provided the villain's speaking voice, as well as dancer Jane Fowler, were both cast to model for the role. Lending movement to Aurora, on the other hand, was Helene Stanley, who previously modeled for Cinderella and her stepsister Anastasia, and subsequently for 101 Dalmatians' Anita.
A sneak peek of Helene Stanley in action, amidst live-sketchers, is quite fascinating. Unfortunately for Eleanor Audley and Jane Fowler, only a handful of possibly-mislabeled images are to be found online. Nonetheless, their shared Maleficent was always one of the strongest characters in Sleeping Beauty, proving 55 years later to be just as iconic and esteemed.
In the real world, this villain may just have won the happier ending.
Eleanor Audley, Ed Kemmer and Jane Fowler images from disney.wikia.com and disneytrivia.tumblr.com Helene Stanley live-action film from Rômulo Rocha on Youtube, www.youtube.com