Disney Descendants [movie review]

I’m sure by now you have all heard of the hype over Disney Channel’s newest original movie, Disney Descendants.  If you haven’t… get out from under that rock!

Disney Descendants follows the tale of the next generation of villains, as well as princes and princesses – but the focus in on the villains.  Born and raised on the Isle of the Lost after their parents had been banished there, four teens – Mal the daughter of Maleficent, Jay the son of Jafar, Evie the daughter of Evil Queen, and Carlos the son of Cruella De Vil – are chosen by Prince Benjamin to be taken from the island and live as normal teens in the land of Auradon, under the rule of King Beast and Queen Belle.

The reluctant teens are pushed to go by their parents, so they can steal the Fairy Godmother’s wand to break the magical barrier over the Isle of the Lost, which would allow all the villains to escape and finally get their revenge on their enemies.  Along the way, the teens inadvertently make friends with most of their fellow students at Auradon Prep and learn what true friendship and love is, which leads them to question if being evil is really the right thing for them just because they were born into it.

When I first saw the teaser for this movie, I have to admit, I was intrigued right away.  I mean, villains having kids?  That’s not something most of us would think about.  Then again, most villains die in the end…

If I’m correct, the only two villains of the four – Jafar and Cruella – did not die at the end of their original movies (though Jafar was trapped in a lamp as a genie for eternity).  So somehow Maleficent and Evil Queen were brought back to life just to be banished to the Isle of the Lost, or this Disney movie just decided not to acknowledge their deaths.  So, from the logical standpoint I can see where people will criticize the movie for this aspect of the movie, but let’s not let this petty issue ruin it.

We’re all adults here.  Ones that watch Disney movies, but still… adults.

To be entirely honest, I loved nearly everything in this movie!  When I got around to watching it on my DVR, I figured I would probably turn it off after 10 minutes, but I was hooked the entire time.  I’ve seen it a few more times since then and made sure to watch it with my grandma (because I knew she’d like it) and I’m still not sick of it.  I might be a little sick of the songs, but that’s because there’s no way for me to get them out of my head… they’re stuck in there!

Since it’s Disney Channel, they put a comical spin on the villains, making them seem not as evil as they could be, especially when it comes to Maleficent.  Kristen Chenoweth absolutely rocked that Maleficent outfit and cracks me up just about every time she’s on screen.  Evil Queen and Jafar seemed to have more level heads, but Cruella… I think being trapped on the island for 20 years made her lose her mind even more.

Let’s not forget the most important part, which is that Disney Descendants was directed by the infamous Kenny Ortega!  (You know, the amazing man who directed the High School Musical movies?  Yeah, now you remember him)  Even though musical numbers are not always my favorite parts, I have to admire the work these actors and dancers put into making those scenes happen, because Kenny Ortega comes up with some pretty hardcore dance numbers!

Overall, I give the movie 4.5 out of 5 stars, only because there are things I’d like to see done differently.  I mean, I admire the musical numbers and all, but if they weren’t in there I think we could’ve gotten a longer battle at the coronation and it wouldn’t have seemed like a rushed ending.  Other than that, and wondering where the other parent to each villain child is, the movie was excellent and I definitely recommend it to Disney movie fans and parents who want a new movie to see with their children!

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