Why Does 'Maleficent' Look So Much Like 'Avatar'?

There's a simple explanation.

If you've seen trailers or TV spot's for "Maleficent," you may have noticed a few similarities to other recent blockbusters.

Like how the floating lights Princess Aurora examines look like the ones from "Avatar."

Or how the flying sequence from "Maleficent" resembles another scene in the James Cameron hit.

The answer is actually very simple (and not just one studio trying to recreate the success of another).

Robert Stromberg, who makes his directorial debut on "Maleficent," won an Oscar for his production design work on "Avatar." The distinctive look he gave Pandora led to other jobs, which had his signature look all over them.

For example, take a look at these stills, one from "Maleficent," the other from "Oz the Great and Powerful," another film he did the production design for.

Stromberg clearly has a style, and it's one that's won him two Oscars. So if you think there was some less-than-cool borrowing from other movies for "Maleficent," you're just seeing the director's touch.

"Maleficent" is in theaters now.