Disney Descendants…The Descent Into Good?

Ok, as a mother of two girls and a Disney fan of my own I knew this movie would end up coming home. The days leading up to the release had already already been filled with playing the music video “Rotten to the Core” over and over again on the TV. Then there was the trip to the Disney store for the merchandise preview. Both girls had already chosen their characters and the demand for the costumes were made. So it was no surprise that the day the movie was released that the minute we walked into the store it magically appeared in the cart with two big smiles.

For those not aware of what I’m talking about, Disney has decided to enter the arena of Fairy tale children. More specifically, the children of the Fairy Tales. More accurately, the children of the Villains. I guess they felt “Ever After High” couldn’t have all the fun.

From the official synopsis:

A present-day idyllic kingdom where the benevolent teenage son of King Adam and Queen Belle offers a chance of redemption for the trouble making offspring of Disney’s classic villains: Cruella De Vil (Carlos), Maleficent (Mal), the Evil Queen (Evie) and Jafar (Jay).

The “chance of redemption” mentioned is allowing them to attend school at Auradon Prep where all the children of the heroes go to school. Ben the son of Adam (the Beast) and Belle want to give the children of the Island of the Lost a chance at a new beginning even though everyone tells him it is a bad idea.  He feels that the children should have a chance to be good.  So the Villains’ children arrive and must decide if they are going to stay bad or turn good.  That task is made more difficult since they are charged by their parents to retrieve the fairy godmothers’ wand and release the Villains from the Isle of the Lost.

First off, I have to say, my girls loved it.  Oh, yes, Halloween and many conventions after will see my girls as Mal and Evie.  They are already quoting their favorite lines and I know I will get a chance to re-watch this movie several times over the next month.

There have been many glowing reviews of this movie already and it really is a fun redemption story with catchy songs and great one liners.  I won’t ruin the ending for those that have not seen it.  Needless to say that Disney always knows how to give you a happy ending and they have set it up for the cartoon “Descendant” shorts that they plan to run on the Disney channel.

For me though, watching this show, there were things that bothered me.  First of all, I get it, this is supposed to be a fun show that treads lightly on the serious side sometimes.  However the Villains have been reduced to bad parents trying to regain their power through their children.  Except for a few scenes with Maleficent, there are no signs of the villains that these villains used to be.  They bumble around shouting at the kids and threatening them that if they don’t pull off the plan to steal the fairy godmothers’ wand… They have been reduced to a joke for the writers’ sake.

Then there are the kids at the school.  Granted you have to have villains.  And in a movie where the villains are the main characters, who in this high school movie are the villains?  Our heroes’ children are the man girls.  Audrey , the daughter of Sleeping Beauty, worries where she will be if Mal keeps helping everyone look as good as she is.

I think because I have been spoiled by “Ever After High” where they have been able to write stories with the Villain and Heroes’ children together without the same cattiness done in this film.  And the parents that are Villains there are still villains.  I wondered if maybe Disney isn’t sure how to handle the whole Fairy Tale children thing, but then there’s “Once Upon a Time” where they have introduced Villains and their children.  Then again they are not dealing with high school in “Once Upon a Time”

Truly that’s what the movie really is, a high school movie with magic, and everything that comes with it.  Fitting in, first dates, smart nerds, jocks and Prom.  Or, in this case, Ben’s coronation.

The main theme here is the message to be yourself, not who others want you to be, no mater whether those “others” be friends or family.  If you are true to your heart you will shine.

 

Check out the video “Rotten to the Core” below

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