There are quite a few key differences between the animated Disney film Sleeping Beauty (1959) and the live action adaptation. This version of Maleficent is in no way truly evil. She's simply out for revenge after Stefan betrays her. In fact, the film portrays Maleficent in a much more heroic light. King Stefan is depicted as a sinister, yet unstable tyrant, and serves as the film's main antagonist. In the animated film, he's a humbler, more kindhearted leader. Also, Stefan speaks with a thick Scottish accent as opposed to his English RP in the animated film.
Maleficent does not have wings in the original. Rather, she has the ability to magically teleport from one place to another. She also has the ability to transform into a fierce, fire-breathing dragon; in Maleficent, Diaval is the one who turns into a dragon in order to fight off Stefan's men. Diablo, Maleficent's crow companion, is renamed Diaval in the new film, and he can transform into a human, a dragon, or any other being through ways of Maleficent's powers. Maleficent's trademark green skin is replaced with pale white skin in the new film. However, during the scene in which Maleficent casts a spell on Aurora, her skin is illuminated by green flames coming from her hands, temporarily giving her the classic green-skinned appearance.
In the original film, Maleficent's staff is a weapon; it's used to deal powerful spells and attacks. In Maleficent, she uses it as a walking stick after Stefan cuts off her wings and leaves her helpless. Maleficent uses her magical powers through her hands rather than through her staff. The three fairies (renamed Thistletwit, Knotgrass, and Flittle) are generally more clownish and comical than their animated counterparts. They're also depicted as dysfunctional guardians who lack the ability to take care of a child; this leads Maleficent and Diaval to take care of baby Aurora themselves. Maleficent's pig-like minions are not present in the new film. Instead, she leads an army of tree-like forest creatures.
The climax and ending of Maleficent is completely different from that of Sleeping Beauty. In Sleeping Beauty, Prince Phillip is the one who awakens Aurora by giving her true love's kiss. In Maleficent, he attempts to kiss her, but it doesn't work. Instead, Maleficent is the one who awakens her with a kiss on the forehead; this version of true love's kiss depicts a motherly love rather than a romantic one.