Disney's Maleficent looked like a take it or leave it affair, that is, until Lana Del Rey came along. Last night during the Grammys, the studio premiered a new trailer for the film featuring Lana Del Rey's rendition of "Once Upon a Dream," the normally cheery song from Disney's 1959 Sleeping Beauty. If you recall, the song from that film was a sunny little ditty sung by Aurora and her prince-to-be. It's the traditional first-act conditional love song, a song sung by lovers before the actually know each other well enough to sing a love song.
In the hands of Del Rey the song becomes completely creepy, and lends gravitas to a movie that otherwise looked like a very silly outing with a ton of overblown CGI, not unlike Disney's Alice in Wonderland. That's not to say that Maleficent could still be a very silly outing, but the song gets the tone we'd like to see from the film completely right. It's dark and a little campy, exactly what we'd hope from a film that involves Angelina Jolie vamping in prosthetic cheekbones.
Funnily enough, Del Rey also provided a song that served this purpose for The Great Gatsby. Say what you will about "Young and Beautiful," but it was great for Gatsby in that it was modern enough to be in tune with Baz Luhrmann's vision for the film but serious enough as a love scene to not seem as out of place as the contributions of say Fergie or Jay-Z to the soundtrack.
Maleficent could still be terrible—there were some late in the game rewrites and reshoots—but Lana gives us hope. Listen to the full track: