Disney has announced that charming, squeaky-voiced pixie-woman Kristen Chenoweth has been cast as a charming, squeaky-voiced pixie-woman version of Maleficent, the sinister Sleeping Beauty villain, in the upcoming Disney Channel original movie Descendants.
As previously reported, the live-action film will focus on the children of classic Disney villains and heroes going to school together, in a fairly blatant attempt to marry Disney’s stable of beloved animated characters to its teen-focused dramedies like High School Musical. And in fact, Kenny Ortega—director of said TV-movie-turned-zeitgeist-grabbing-money-machine—will be helming the project. He also directed Hocus Pocus, another Disney film featuring incongruously cheerful portrayals of witches.
By taking the role, Chenoweth will of course be inviting comparisons to Eleanor Audley, Maleficent’s original voice actress, whose silky aristocratic condescension provided much of the character’s appeal. But she’ll also be measured against Angelina Jolie, star of Disney’s own upcoming Maleficent film—who is, you know, Angelina Jolie.
Still, Chenoweth was in that thing with green-skinned witches on Broadway, right? So it’s perfect casting, as long as you don’t think about it for too long.