The Fantasy Action Remake With A Giant Celebrity Disney+ Bungled On Streaming

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Published

In a mixed-up, crazy, wacky kind of deal that’s either incredibly prescient or outlandishly lacking in foresight, Disney+ can’t stream some of its own movies. One of the biggest films Disney has produced, Maleficent, is only available to stream on Starz, which can be added on through Hulu. But maybe, just maybe, this was Disney’s plan all along? 

The Ongoing Issue With Streaming


Maleficent has been available to stream on Starz since long before Disney+ ever hit the streaming scene thanks to contractual agreements between the two companies. After all, Disney didn’t have a streaming service of its own, so it gave the streaming rights to applications that did, like Netflix, Amazon Prime, AppleTV, and, of course, Starz. 

When Disney+ first entered the streaming world, it did indeed have Maleficent available to stream, but Starz requested the company remove the hit movie so as not to compete. After all, if Disney+ offers Maleficent, why would anyone need Starz? And Starz likely paid a good sum of money for the streaming rights.

For this reason, we won’t be able to see Maleficent on Disney+ until the contract between the two companies is up. 

Angelina Jolie Is Magnificent In Maleficent

Maleficent is easily one of Angelina Jolie’s best roles, making it worth the trouble to stream it on Starz or rent or buy it on Prime. She has played a few other interesting characters —- Lara Croft comes to mind —- but most of her roles are just evidence of her taking herself too seriously. While this film doesn’t have rave critical reviews (only 54 percent positive on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and 70 percent positive from fans as of this writing), most agree that Jolie does a magnificent job with this villain. 

Focusing On The Villain

angelina jolie maleficent 3

It has been refreshing in the last decade to see more and more films delve into what makes a villain a villain. Maleficent was one of the first, making Disney a kind of pioneer in the villain-centered genre, and making the film a must stream. After all, for so many years prior, we have watched “good guys” fight “bad guys” and win. But we rarely stop to ask whether the good guys are actually good and what makes the bad guys so bad. 

Maleficent tells a story of a pretty, powerful fairy in love with her magical world, complete with beautiful flora and fauna and pretty little fairies playing by a stream. Everything is perfect until the human boy she fell in love with grows up to be a man who cuts off her wings and leaves her for dead. As revenge, she arrives, as we remember from the fairy tale, at the christening of his firstborn daughter, Aurora, to bestow a cursed “gift.”

A Twist On Classic Fairy Tales

From this point on, the typical Maleficent story is through the eyes of the “good guys” and the stream of evil stemming from the villain. But in this Disney film, we see Maleficent fall in love with Aurora, taking her under her mentorship, and regretting the curse she laid on this lovely girl, played by the winsome Elle Fanning. 

It’s more than worth watching just to catch a twist on this age-old tale. Especially for girls and women tired of seeing themselves portrayed as either innocent, virginal, and pure, or wretched, wicked witches. Maleficent tells us that the area is much more gray than we’ve been told, and for that reason alone you should stream it on Starz. 

Streaming, But With Complications To Consider

And in the end, Disney has acquired Hulu, which has Starz as an add-on channel. So really, Disney+ does have Maleficent available to stream after all, just in a confused and roundabout way, begging the question of whether Disney knew where things were headed all along.