But Maleficent, rather than human, is an "evil fairy", an elemental representational creature of black magic and dark symbolism - - the self-professed "Mistress of All Evil" - - her existence is simply to create chaos. To rationalize or humanize that is to destroy the character and concept for the mere sake of politically correct deconstruction.
The value she posesses as a storytelling symbol/archetype (the embodiment of our greatest fears to be conquered) would be destroyed.
Completely agree. I think this is the reason most people see her as one of Disney's greatest villains, if not the
greatest (and I'm sure that's what most of the public would think). To some extent, all Disney's villains are a bit of evil personified, but I think that it could likely be best said for Maleficent. Ursula, Cruella, the Queen, etc. are all fairly human. Even if they're a little exaggerated, they're given motives, and pretty human one's. Maleficent isn't really given a motive, other than to be evil really; I always had the impression she was actually supposed to be more of a demon than a person (until this forum made me question whether she has horns or just a horned headdress). She's more of what the old idea of a fairy would be than Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather.
Like you said about the current "My Side" stories, they always try to make the characters better. Why can't they just make someone who goes bad? Those kinds of people do exist.
That would be much less cliche at this point.