"Descendants" A Disney Channel Original Movie Review
A Disney Channel Original Movie Musical revolving around four teens who are the children of four Disney villains. Evie is the daughter of the Evil Queen. Carlos is the son of Cruella. Jay is the son of Jafar. And Mal is the daughter of Maleficent. It's decided by the soon to be crowned king of the land (who just so happens to be the son of Belle and Beast) that he wants to give opportunities to the children of the villains who are currently in exile on an island.
Kenny Ortega (known for "This is It", "Hocus Pocus", and "High School Musical")
Mal played by Dove Cameron ("Liv and Maddie")
Carlos played by Cameron Boyce ("Jessie", "Grown Ups")
Jay played by Booboo Stewart ("X-Men Days of Future Past", "Eclipse")
Evie played by Sofia Carson ("Austin and Ally")
Ben played by Mitchell Hope ("Down the Way")
Fairy Godmother played by Melanie Paxson ("Saving Mr. Banks")
Jane played by Brenna D'Amico
Audrey played by Sarah Jeffrey ("Rogue")
Doug played by Zachary Gibson ("Zapped")
Chad played by Jedidiah Goodacre ("Tomorrowland")
Lonnie played by Dianne Doan ("Big Time Rush: Music Sounds Better With You")
Beast played by Dan Payne ("Watchmen")
Belle played by Keegan Connor Tracy ("Once Upon a Time")
Cruella played by Wendy Raquel Robinson ("Miss Congeniality")
Jafar played by Maz Jobrani ("13 Going on 30")
Evil Queen played by Kathy Najimy ("Hocus Pocus", "Sister Act")
Maleficent played by Kristin Chenoweth ("Bewitched", "The Pink Panther")
"I'm rotten to the core."
My Review of "Descendants"
I tend to avoid Disney Channel Original Movies as they are often fairly cheesy. There are a few I like such as "High School Musical" and "The Halloweentown Series", which are by no means perfect but they just have a level of creativity I can appreciate. I only decided to watch "Descendants" because my daughter usually watches Disney Junior in the mornings and we saw some previews for "Descendants", and I thought it looked like an alright movie to watch during our Friday evening.
My daughter is still tiny and only says short sentences and single words so I was happy to see her interested in the movie and singing along with it. I judge if music is fun or good if she's willing to sing along with it or not. She even danced along to some of the songs. Now my take on "Descendants" is that it's purpose was met with entertaining children and tweens who enjoy Disney characters and musical style films. As a twenty something year old I don't fit into who they were likely aiming the film at exactly, but I do love sewing costumes and clothing and I'm a certified makeup artist and licensed esthetician so I loved the visual of all the character's costumes and makeup looks.
The music was entertaining to my child and I felt there were quite a few catchy songs and great choreography. My personal favorites were the intro song "I'm Rotten to the Core" and the song Mal sings titled: "If Only". I liked the cast too. I appreciated the diversity and that the leads were all interesting.
My only complaint about the cast is I really was disappointed that Evie, Jay, and Carlos basically disappeared at one point in the film and Mal became the main highlight. I wish the other three had gotten an equal amount of scenes as Mal did. I really enjoyed how in the beginning there were plenty of scenes with Carlos and Jay good-naturedly fighting with each other and how Evie had some relationships struggles. It just was somewhat of a let down that those scenes suddenly stopped and Mal was constantly at the forefront.
Other than a lack of a good blend of character screen time I liked this movie. Okay, so I won't say this movie is my favorite movie ever but I enjoyed it and thought it was very fun. I am even tempted to get my daughter one of the "Descendants" dolls, the soundtrack, or a "Descendants" t-shirt from Kohl's. I think Kenny Ortega did a great job with this movie and I honestly hope they will make a sequel.
I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a fun little musical to liven up their day. It's fairly similar to "Once Upon a Time", "Ever After High Cartoons", "Slumdog Millionaire", "Mirror, Mirror", "Halloweentown Series", and "High School Musical". If you like any of those series or movies you will likely enjoy setting aside some time to watch: "Descendants".