Something bizarre and maybe even prophetic happened on Friday, May 11 to the Maleficent Dragon in the Walt Disney World Festival of Fantasy Parade an the Magic Kingdom. As you can see in the picture here, it caught fire. Now the dragon is an elaborate parade float; a real, fire-breathing dragon. But it certainly not supposed to have fire like this! As you can see in the picture here and the video in this article below, the head of the dragon caught fire during the middle of the parade. Things like this just don't happen at Walt Disney World.
Why might this be prophetic? Read on and find out.
Disney released the animated movie "Sleeping Beauty" in 1959. As you may recall, the story is about Aurora (the daughter of King Stefan) and the deeply offended Maleficent who was not invited to Aurora's christening when she was a baby. To get revenge on the King and Queen for the insulting oversight, Maleficent curses Aurora with a decree that if she pricks her finger on the needle of a spinning wheel before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she will die. There are three good fairies in the movie who help the King. They try to break the curse but they are not powerful enough to do so. Instead, one of the three good fairies in the movie is able to change the curse from a death sentence to eternal sleep that can only be broken by true love's kiss.
Most of the rest of the movie is about the efforts to keep Aurora safe and of course it almost works. It's the end of the movie that's most relevant to what happened on May 11. But first, let's talk about who Maleficent is.
Maleficent is the self described "Mistress of Evil" and she is one of the most powerful villains ever included in a Disney animated movie. According to the Disney Wiki site "Maleficent is an incarnation of pure evil, and responsible for all misfortune in King Stefan's kingdom." She is ruthless, has what appears to be unlimited magical powers and she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. And what she wants is revenge.
Aurora is sent into hiding with the three fairies for 16 years in an attempt to keep her safe. During her time in hiding she meets Prince Phillip who is passing through the forest and of course she falls in love with him. But Prince Phillip knows Aurora by her common name, Briar Rose, and he does not know she is the Princess in hiding.
Excited about the end of exile to the forest, Aurora returns to her parents castle before sunset on her 16th birthday. When Maleficent learns that Aurora has returned she magical tricks Aurora into pricking her finger putting her into an eternal sleep.
Its not until Maleficent boasts to the Prince of what she had done, that Phillip understands what he must do. With the help of the three good fairies, Prince Phillip escapes from Maleficent's prison and he rushes to save Aurora. When Maleficent learns of the Prince's escape, she attempts to stop him with lightning and thorns. But Prince Phillip is relentless. He defeats Maleficent's initial magic and he keeps going.
How does Maleficent feel about being beaten by a human? Let's just say that she is as angry as any Disney villain I have ever seen. She is unbelievably ticked. Apoplectic with rage might be the best way to say it. Showing her own relentlessness she magically transports herself in front of Prince Phillip's horse to block his way. And then we see what real Maleficent evil looks like as she transforms herself into an enormous fire-breathing dragon.
Before she transforms herself Maleficent screams these words to Prince Phillip:
"Now shall you deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of HELL!"
And yes this is a G-rated Disney movie. This is certainly one of the scariest scenes I've ever seen in any Disney animated movie!
Intent on destroying Prince Phillip, the Maleficent Dragon chases after the Prince in a scene that is reminiscent of Dante's Inferno with fire everywhere in the background. Phillip fights heroically using only his special shield (the Shield of Virtue) and sword (the Sword of Truth) he was given by the three good fairies until he is backed up to the edge of a cliff. With nowhere to go, the Maleficent Dragon is able to knock away Prince Phillip's shield leaving him only with his sword for defense against the evil dragon.
Before the Maleficent Dragon can finish off Prince Phillip with one final blast of fire, the good fairies cast a spell on Phillip's sword, the Sword of Truth, enabling him to throw his sword into the belly of the dragon inflicting a fatal blow. The dying dragon collapses and falls of the cliff into the lake of fire below.
Of course at the end of the story Prince Phillip kisses Princes Aurora to wake her from her sleep, they get married and they live happily ever after. But that's not the part of the story we are focused on at the moment.
Here's a video of what happened in the Magic Kingdom during the parade.
And here's video of the fight scene at the end of Sleeping Beauty.
Two thoughts on all of this. First, we know that Satan is a defeated enemy. His ultimate doom at the end of the Millenial Kingdom is described in Revelation 20:7-10:
7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven[b] and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Second, even though Satan is a defeated enemy, we as humans are not strong enough to defeat him on our own unless we put on the whole armor of God as Paul described in Ephesians 6:10-17:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
So, with the seeminly imminent Rapture of the Church, the 70th birthday of Israel and the Pentecost feast upcoming was the fire at the Magic Kingdom prophetic or a cooincidence? And what do you think about Satan being a defeated enemy. Does that make your faith life easier to remember this or is it still a challenge.
Thanks for reading and God Bless!