Besides the well-known animated films Disney has been churning out the live action films that air directly on the Disney channel. Some of them have become really popular including the High School musical series while others have come and gone. Their latest, Descendants looks to capitalize on the same audience bringing a new twist to their popular animated features into live action, but can it hit the right note or will it be unhappily ever after?
Descendants follows 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). These movies are really hard to review as they are geared towards a specific audience with very little wiggle room. If you are not a young kid or hardcore Disney fan then you will likely not be able to get through it. The story is actually kind of clever with plenty of inventive elements in the story connecting it with the existing animated library Disney already has. It’s this moments that could have made the film work great, but the actual film falls a bit flat. The musical side of it is exactly what you would expect from these kinds of films with a lot of the numbers more annoying than catchy and never feeling like anything more than another generic Disney series as opposed to a film. Visually the film works well with some fun uses of magic as well as the world they have created. There is a campy tone to the whole thing that is expected due to the audience they are going for, but could have been so much better had they just let the clever story do its thing.
For anyone not a child or hardcore Disney fan this film is hard to get through, but thankfully for them that is the audience they are going for. There is no doubt that this one will likely be another big hit for them, but if you are expected something different than their usual fare then you are wishing upon the wrong star.