This appears to tie in with what the IMDB "leak" was saying, that part of the inspiration for fleshing out Maleficent's character comes from Spenser's The Faerie Queene (as well as the ancient Welsh tale of Culhwch and Olwen).
Because this seems the perfect time to post these, here are some pictures of Walter Crane's magnificently illustrated pages from the volumes (note: the Folio Society reproduced these as a special limited edition, sadly way out of my price range). There's a free ebook available HERE. In case you're wondering, the Faerie Queene's name in the poem is Gloriana or Tanaquill (her name before she was queen).
And here is one of my favorite artist's rendition of Acrasia, a character from Spenser's The Faerie Queene.
|Acrasia by John Melhuish Strudwick|
from Spenser's The Faerie Queene
While you're here, have some extra screen caps from today's Maleficent clip (click to view larger). :)
I just adore these forest creatures. C'mon Disney, my office, ahem, I mean my son could use some toys of these guys! (Whom I kidding, he'd take them to bed with him he loves these little guys so much already.)