I’ve always loved Disney’s fairy tales, my personal favorite being a tie between Peter Pan and Mulan. By the time the first Descendants movie came out in 2015 I was already done watching Disney Channel for the most part and missed all the publicity for it. It wasn’t until both of my little sisters performed songs from Descendants 2 for their end of the year school shows over a year ago that I began to show any interest in the wildly popular franchise.
I figured now was a good a time as any, and in a matter of 24 hours I completed the franchise. (Weird fact: I watched the 1st and 2nd movie twice in the same 24 hours.) I decided to break up my thoughts and keep them separated by movie. Let’s begin with the 2015 release of the first movie; Descendants.
It opens with Mal explaining the history of Auradon; how Belle and the Beast united the kingdoms while also choosing to take all the villains and their sidekicks and locking them on the Isle of the Lost. This took place 20 years ago, and in present day, their son Ben is getting ready to be crowned King and he definitely dreams big. His first proclamation came as a shock to his parents; he wants to allow four children of the Isle to come to Auradon Prep and if all goes well, he wants to continue to bring children from the Isle past the barrier. Not afraid to make waves he goes with the biggest villains in Disney culture and chooses their kids. This is where we meet Mal (Maleficient’s daughter), Jay (Jafar’s son), Carlos (Cruella De Vil’s son) and Evie (Evil Queen’s daughter). Chosen by Prince Ben to come to Auradon Prep, they are very hesitant to leave the Isle but Maleficient tells her daughter that she must, and she must steal the wand from the Fairy Godmother (yes the one from Cinderella) so that Maleficient can escape and take over the world.
Throughout the movie, we are shown through little gestures that perhaps the kids aren’t as happy being evil as they wanted us to believe. Mal uses a love spell baked into a cookie to get Prince Ben to love her, which ends up washing away in the enchanted lake on their first date and lo and behold; he still wants to be with her. Completely dismissing the fact he had a girlfriend named Audrey (Sleeping Beauty’s daughter) who we saw as a self-centered princess who looks down on those who aren’t like her. At Ben’s coronation we see Mal actually didn’t choose to steal the wand until she was able to grab it from Jane, Fairy Godmother’s daughter. In a really sweet scene, she and her friends choose to be good, believing that their parents couldn’t get to them there.
Well, at least one of them was wrong because Maleficient shows up and even turns into a dragon. She and Mal have a battle of wits and Mal ends up winning, which leads to her mother turning into a lizard. Mal and Ben end up choosing to be together and there is a really big dance scene in the end.
Overall though, I think this movie may be the weakest of the franchise only because the personalities of the characters really shine through in the sequels.
- Prince Ben singing “Did I Mention” to Mal when he is under the love spell. It’s a really catchy song and may be one of my favorites from all of the movies.
- Carlos telling his mom that he loves dude the dog and that she needed to get over it.
Next week catch my review for Descendants 2!