WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie, now streaming on Netflix.
Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie introduces someone with close ties to the fall of the Silver Millennium. Queen Nehelenia has returned after thousands of years of being trapped within a mirror belonging to Queen Serenity to take over the universe, starting with Earth. This isn't her first time of trying to claim the title of Moon Queen for herself.
However, many Sailor Moon fans will note the similarities between Nehelenia and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty -- and this isn't just a coincidence.
In the Disney adaptation, Maleficent curses Aurora because her parents had failed to invite the sorceress to the celebration of the princess's birth. In the original version, the lack of invitation comes from a misunderstanding. Maleficent hadn't left her tower for over 50 years, so she was assumed dead or incapacitated. While a place was set for her, she didn't receive the same gifts as the other fairies, which triggered her outburst.
During the Silver Millennium in Sailor Moon, Nehelenia intrudes on Princess Serenity's formal reveal to the kingdom. Queen Serenity had invited everyone to attend -- except the Dark Moon Queen. Nehelenia and her ilk made their home within the dark center of the moon, but she wanted to extend her own territory to the White Moon Kingdom and beyond. When she approached Queen Serenity, she was offered to live in harmony with her lighter counterpart but she declined. Once Queen Serenity had perceived Nehelenia as a threat to her and the kingdom, she sealed Nehelenia away in her mirror -- but not before a curse was placed on the Silver Millennium and Princess Serenity.
Nehelenia's Disney counterpart, however, was not invited because she, as Merry-weather so delicately put it, "wasn't wanted." This is a major insult to Maleficent because literally everyone in the kingdom was in attendance. To not be invited to such an event is the biggest insult one could receive. She curses the child in retaliation, because harming her would hurt her parents more than anything. Because of the curse, all spinning wheels and spindles are destroyed.
The parallels between Maleficent and Sailor Moon Eternal are indisputable, as Naoko Takeuchi has taken inspiration from sources spanning from Greek mythology to fairy tales. Queen Nehelenia represents the dark side of the moon, and what can happen when someone allows their vanity and ego to take control of their life.
She makes a good point when speaking to Queen Serenity, though. Light cannot exist without dark, and it's just a part of nature. Just because something is dark doesn't necessarily make it evil. In Nehelenia's case, however, the stereotype just happened to be true. She hungers for power because she is an incarnation of Chaos, but that doesn't make her words any less true. To achieve balance, both light and darkness are needed. So the next time you have a party, remember to invite the big looming darkness -- otherwise it'll put a curse on you and your family.