The classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty is turned on its head as the evil sorceress Maleficent becomes the focus of the story. Her back story is explored so that audiences will come to understand what it was that drove her to go to such drastic lengths to wreak misery in the life of an innocent princess named Aurora. Maleficent's past is marked with tragedy and unhappiness, which is enough to generate sympathy for this monstrous entity. While her malicious actions are inexcusable, it becomes possible to understand how she might have been driven to them. Establish characters are dusted off and get examined with fresh eyes, while new characters help round out a story that people may not understand as well as they think.