My pet... you are my last hope. Circle far and wide... search for a maid of sixteen with hair of sunshine gold and lips red as the rose. Go, and do not fail me.
~ Maleficent ordering Diablo to find Princess Aurora.
Diablo the Raven is the secondary antagonist of Disney's 16th full-length animated feature film Sleeping Beauty, and the supporting protagonist in the 2014 Disney live action film Maleficent. He is Maleficent's pet raven and right-hand.
In Sleeping Beauty, Diablo is a black raven with pink bags under his eyes. He has a sharp, long yellow beak and yellow claws.
Unlike the rest of Maleficent's servants, Diablo is actually competent so he easily succeeds in his task to find Aurora - finding the princess in one day whereas the rest of Maleficient's minions failed in 16 years. He is also the only one Maleficent genuinely cares about, and is horrified when he is turned to stone. In return, he apparently cares a great deal for Maleficent, specifically seen when he fell into despair alongside her after her goons have been revealed to have been searching for a baby for sixteen years, as opposed to a teenager, which Aurora would have been at that point in time.
Unlike her goons, who Maleficent constantly abuses and treats as pathetic wastes, he serves as her confidante and assistant, more so than her lackies joining her more often than not from scene to scene, and having complete knowledge of her devious plots. He is also second-in-command, having control over the goons, along with his mistress.
Diablo is first seen with Maleficent, crashing Princess Aurora's christening. There, Maleficent casts a spell on her that schedules her death to come at her sixteenth birthday when she pricks her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. After the curse was set, Diablo and Maleficent departed. Oblivious to the villains, her rivals Flora, Fauna and Merryweather changed the curse so that Aurora would only fall into a deep sleep when she pricks her finger. Meanwhile, back at the Forbidden Mountains, Maleficent sends her goons on a hunt for the princess but fail to find her after sixteen years. It is revealed that they were foolishly looking for a baby for the entire hunt. Maleficent explodes in rage and sends Diablo to find her. He begins his search in the forest where he spots magic from wands being blasted out of a chimney. It is from Flora and Merryweather who have been hiding Aurora in their forest cottage to keep safe from Maleficent.
Diablo, knowing about where they live, quickly flies off and sends Maleficent the news to her great delight, and the villains capture Aurora's husband-to-be, Prince Phillip, instead. They hold him hostage in Maleficent's castle but Flora, Fauna and Merryweather break him out. Diablo quickly rallies the goons to attack. However, they stand no chance against the fairies' magic, so Diablo heads for Maleficent's quarters. Merryweather gets mad at him and turns him into stone. Maleficent emerges, planning to silence the goons after hearing all the commotion, but she instead finds his stone body, gasping in shock before witnessing Phillip and the fairies making their escape, prompting her to take matters into her own hands.
In other media
House of Mouse
Diablo made frequent cameos as one of the guests on House of Mouse. He is perched on Maleficent's shoulder in all of his appearances. In the episode, Halloween with Hades, he does not seem to like Hades and even tried to bite his finger. He also appears alongside the villains in Mickey's House of Villains.
Diablo is renamed Diaval in the 2014 live-action film Maleficent, and is portrayed as a raven given the ability to transform into a human. He is rescued by Maleficent after he found himself nearing death at the hands of a farmer. Out of gratitude, he offered to join her side as her minion, which she accepts. From that point on, he served as her stubborn and snappy, yet loyal, assistant, though he is portrayed as much kinder and more affable than his animated counterpart.
On the night of a solar eclipse, fairy magic is drained away and spells are broken, resulting in Diablo's revival from the stone curse placed on him by Merryweather. The loyal raven immediately searches for the deceased Maleficent, and upon finding her staff and remains, he uses her magic to revive her from the dead, thus initiating another plot to torture Aurora and dominate the kingdom.
Diablo appears from "Shell Game" to "Dark Passage", acting as Maleficent's scout on the Dream. He sends The Overtakers' henchmen to attack the Keepers, making sure to always stay out of harm's way. He attacked Willa Angelo and Philby in the kitchen, getting captured. Because of the injuries he had inflicted upon him, Philby considered killing him by cooking him alive. However, he was luckily spared by Willa not wanting to stoop to the Overtakers' level, mercifully trapping him in a microwave until it had to be opened for cooking. He later catches Walt's journal on how to completely revive Chernabog, when the Keepers toss it overboard to keep Maleficent and the Queen from getting it.
When Maleficent and the Queen search for Chernabog in a maze, Diablo attacks Finn Whitman, only to be knocked aside into a wall. His defeat, only serves to let Maleficent's anger mislead her into turning into a dragon to kill Finn in revenge. However, he was used as a shield, so Finn could rip out Maleficent's throat. His fate remains unknown, but he may have chosen to die from a lack of nutrition as his master had died.
Kingdom Hearts series
Diablo appears as a minor antagonist in the Kingdom Hearts series, mostly seen on Maleficent's shoulder on certain occasions.
He is known for announcing the presence of Maleficent many times throughout the series, but enacts this more importantly within Kingdom Hearts II when he not only appears before Maleficent but helps resurrect his mistress from her previous demise by bringing Maleficent's empty robe to Yen Sid's tower, from there the memories of Flora, Fauna and Merryweather bring her back to life. Later on, Pete travels to Hollow Bastion to see if the rumors of Maleficent being killed off was true. Just then, Diablo and the revived Maleficent arrives.
In Birth by Sleep, Diablo appears briefly as he watches Prince Phillip and Aqua trying to escape the Forbidden Mountain. He is the first to notice them escaping and quickly summons the goons to attack them.
In Dream Drop Distance, Maleficent gives the raven Queen Minnie's crown as well as a letter to be delivered to Mickey at Yen Sid's tower to lure him back to Disney Castle.
Diablo has made a few appearances in the Disney theme parks around the world, always seen alongside Maleficent. He appeared on her staff in the Magic Kingdom parade Celebrate A Dreams Come True Parade. He would sometimes appear on her shoulder in some Disneyland Paris shows. He also appeared in a few attractions including Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through and Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. A statue of him can also be seen near Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant.
Despite being named, Diablo was not actually named in the film itself.
"Diablo" is the Spanish word for "devil" or "demon".
In Irish folklore, crows are associated with the winged battle goddesses, the Morrigan (they sound similar to Maleficent as well). In most all other folklore, crows are associated with death, the dead, and trickery. Thus, they can be "devilish" birds.
Like Jafar does with Iago, Maleficent treats Diablo more like an assistant than a pet.
However, unlike Jafar and Iago's relationship, Maleficent and Diablo seem to mutually respect and care for each other.
In Maleficent, the name "Diablo" is pronounced similarly to "devil".
The scene where Maleficent reacts to Diablo's transformation into stone, prompting her to attack the heroes at the end of Sleeping Beauty, may have inspired a similar scene near the end of The Little Mermaid, where Ursula attacks Ariel and Eric after accidentally killing her pet eels.
There are some differences between Diablo from Sleeping Beauty and Diaval from Maleficent, although both of them are ravens:
Diablo is a villain, and Diaval is a hero.
Diablo does not transform into anything, while Diaval transformed into various things throughout the film by Maleficent (most notably a human and a dragon).