Last weekend, two days after the 6.6 million debut on The Disney Channel I watched Descendants, the new Disney Channel Original Movie. I expected it to be cheesy and slightly dumb but I ultimately thought I would like it since I love most things Disney. My expectations were pretty spot on.
Now, I haven’t read The Isle of the Lost, which is the prequel, though I have heard good things about it. It’s the start to a middle grade series. I liked Melissa del la Cruz growing up. I was obsessed the Blue Bloods series. But I didn’t really feel a pull to read this.
Directed by: Kenny Ortega
Aired: 8pm on July 31, 2015
Starring: Kristin Chenoweth, Dove Cameron, Sophia Carson, Mitchell Hope, Melanie Paxson, Zachary Gibson, and many more.
Kristin Chenoweth stole the show a couple of times. She was fantastically evil and very much the opposite of all her other bubbly characters (I’m looking at you, Galinda). Bow down.
What I liked:
- I loved that King Adam & Queen Belle are the reigning monarchs and not Cindy & Prince Charming. That made me all kinds of happy.
- It’s a musical! I love musicals.
- Kristin singing. Yes please. More please.
- There’s a character named Evie! I really liked her and The Evil Queen.
- Dove Cameron (Mal) has a beautiful voice. I loved her song, If Only.
- So, the woman who plays The Evil Queen, is Kathy Najimy… you may know her as Mary from Hocus Pocus. That’s pretty awesome. I’ve always loved her was the perfect pic for that character.
- Actually, all of the casting was pretty great. I mean, nothing tops Once Upon A Time casting but this was pretty good, too.
- Maleficient has a pretty great evil laugh. I didn’t know Kristin had it in her.
- The villains had the best lines, I think. I loved their bits, they were a nice break from everything else in Auradon.
- The songs Evil Like Me and If Only were the best, hands down.
What I disliked:
- They used an iPad instead of a storybook in the opening? Really? REALLY?
- Who gets crowned king at 16 when the King still lives? In what place does that exist? Oh, right, the United States of Auradon.
- Some of the songs were clearly very auto-tuned and incredibly cheesy. Le sigh. I particularly disliked Rotten to the Core and the rest of the ensemble numbers.
- Were the flashbacks in If Only really necessary? I mean, we just saw all those scenes.
- Do we really need entire ensemble dancing & singing numbers? It’s very High School Musical. (I know that’s the majority of the songs, but it could be better)
- So, if everyone is good now, who’s going to evil? I’m sorry but there inherently needs to be some bad to balance out the good. It would be far more interesting if one of the heroes’ kids was “evil”. Though, I did like how it was someone unexpected who stole the Fairy Godmother’s wand. That was nice.
- Has Disney heard of canon? because with OUAT and this, nothing makes sense. Especially since Keegan Conner Tracy plays the Blue Fairy/Mother Superior in OUAT and Queen Belle in this.
- How’s this for suspension of disbelief… how is it that the villains are all single parents and the heroes’ kids have both parents? And they all had kids around the same time?
- Do all the children really have to have similar names to their parents? Isn’t it obvious enough who’s offspring they are without giving Maleficent’s daughter the name Mal, Evil Queen’s daughter the name Evie, Jafar’s son the name Jay, and of course, Cruella de Ville’s son is name Carlos. Like come on. *major eye roll* It’s not that their clothes would have made it obvious (sarcasm). Their names just sound like they’re nicknames for their parents, which is dumb. And it’s not just the villains, but Lonnie for Mulan’s daughter? But the others, I’ll admit aren’t so much nicknames just really obvious choices. Ben is Beast & Belle’s son, Audrey is Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, and Chad is Prince Charming & Cinderella’s son. I guess some people will think that it’s clever. But it just didn’t work for me. It was too obvious.
Though I thought the premise, the names, and some of the scenes were pretty cheesy, I think it was a really cute film. I’m glad it was a Disney Channel Original Movie instead of a Blockbuster film. It didn’t wow me but I didn’t hate it. I actually really enjoyed watching it but there a few cringe-worthy moments that made me wish for a better writer. It’s a fun movie to watch for entertainment value only. It doesn’t fit in Disney canon but it’s easily overlooked since Kristin and Dove SHINE. The musical numbers could have been better but it’s very in the realm of other Disney Channel Original Movies so that can be dismissed, too. The ending taunts at a sequel that I will probably watch. I can only hope that since this one set everything up, the next one is bound to be better.