One of Disney’s popular live-action reimaginings of a classic animated property has been removed from Disney Plus… again. Unfortunately, unlike Netflix and certain other services, the Mouse House’s streaming platform doesn’t announce which titles are leaving its library ahead of time, so we only ever find out after the fact. Talk about true villain behavior.
In this case, 2014’s Angelina Jolie vehicle Maleficent disappeared from D+ at the beginning of this month.
As Disney Plus is still a relatively new enterprise, many of its titles are still subject to pre-existing licensing deals, which means certain movies tend to yo-yo on and off the platform over time. Maleficent is one of those, as it initially debuted on D+ last October before vanishing two months later. It then returned to the site this October and, continuing the pattern, has now been removed once more. This only applies to the United States, however, as Maleficent is still streaming in other territories.
Both a prequel and a retelling of 1959’s Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent retrofits the sinister sorceress into an anti-heroine who gets her revenge on the king of the invading army (Sharlto Copley) who stole her wings and marauded her idyllic forest kingdom by cursing his daughter. But an unexpected bond with the girl, Aurora (Elle Fanning), leads Maleficent to realize the princess may hold the key to bringing about peace.
Although reviews were mostly mixed, the movie’s magnificent $758.5 million box office gross ensured a sequel followed in the form of 2019’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, for which Jolie returned to her role. It wasn’t as much of a commercial smash, but MoE still made enough of an impact for Disney to move ahead with a Maleficent 3, which is currently in development. Another villain origin story, Cruella, featuring Emma Stone as 101 Dalmatians‘ Ms. DeVil, was also released this year.