What could possibly be endearing or forgivable about the actions of Maleficent, the villain at the heart of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty"? I'm not seeing much, but it turns out that Tim Burton may be looking to find the answer.
According to Ain't It Cool News, Burton's next project could be "Maleficent," a retelling of the "Sleeping Beauty" tale from the evil sorceress's perspective. It's clearly a page taken straight out of "Wicked," the "Wizard of Oz" spin-off that allows the audience to sympathize with the Wicked Witch of the West. Given how well that premise worked on Broadway, it's no wonder that Burton and Disney are looking to put that same spin on some other characters.
But Maleficent isn't the only Disney villain that could benefit from the reversal of perspective. After the jump, we've listed a few other baddies who could use a good image makeover.
Captain Hook: Peter Pan essentially baited Captain Hook into having his hand forcibly removed by a menacing crocodile, only to meet his maker at the same crocodile's jaws later down the line. Meanwhile, Pan gets to fly around, command a group of wild, homeless children and look like the hero. There's a word for that kind of group: it's called a gang. I'd be bitter too if I was Hook — it shouldn't be difficult getting mainstream viewers on board, as well.
Cruella de Vil: Loud dogs suck. Whether they're yappy pups or hulking hounds with a big bark, there's no denying that the noise can be bothersome. So who can really blame Cruella de Vil for wanting to turn these menacing mutts into fur coats and handbags? Really, she's doing a favor for the noise-fearing crowd, and her very own movie could certainly cement that fact in the public eye. We're sure at least Michael Vick would buy a ticket for this one.
Jafar: When you're ugly and old like Jafar the vizier is, your chances of winning over a beautiful lady like Princess Jasmine are slim to none. Can't you understand that the poor guy just wanted to build a whole new world with the love of his life? Instead, that street rat Aladdin got in the way and ruined all of Jafar's romantic plans. I'm not saying that sending Aladdin to the freezing ends of the earth was exactly a cool move, but I get where Jafar's coming from. A solo movie would do wonders towards reshaping the misunderstood magician's public image.
Scar: Irredeemable as Scar might seem, let's just acknowledge that we don't know much about his childhood days as a lion cub. Mufasa gets the kingdom, gets the beautiful wife, has a pretty cool son — but how deserved is all that good fortune? What if Mufasa was a horrid brother to Scar? Heck, what if he even gave Scar that scar? Combine that with one too many "Everything the light touches is my kingdom" speeches, and I'd probably toss my brother off a cliff, too.
Ursula: Just like Jafar, Ursula's got some serious body issues to overcome if she's to have a chance at wooing Prince Eric. But by stealing Ariel's beautiful voice and claiming King Triton's throne, her chances increase significantly. Honestly, people do wicked things in the name of love. With the right amount of explanation and a healthy heaping of deodorant, the sad story of Ursula could become a relatable tale for the heartbroken theater-going crowd.
Tell us which Disney villains you'd like to see in a redeeming light in the comments or on Twitter!