I took my kids to the Drive-In this weekend (along with just about every other family in Niagara County, it appeared) to see Maleficent. I’ve got mixed feelings on this one. I liked that it took the familiar story and showed it from another character’s perspective, and while that’s what I liked about it, it’s also what I didn’t. After the third or fourth instance the initial aah was lost and it started to feel stale. At first I thought it was the acting, or maybe the script itself, but after much thought I think I’ve figured out the problem, and that’s only because I’ve just dealt with a similar problem myself with Blackbird. For those of you who don’t know, Blackbird is Newstead from another character’s perspective. My first plan was to follow Newstead exactly, but that was extremely limiting. So I didn’t. Instead, I had the stories intersect only on a few points, a very few. That’s what saved it. The opposite was true of Maleficent. The stories intersected too often. It felt forced. In their case I don’t know if they had a choice. The story of Sleeping Beauty is too well known, too dear to too many people. If they had strayed too far that might have been even worse. I guess that’s one of the benefits of doing a companion novel with a lesser known work: the freedom to make it what it will be.