The Walt Disney Company is one of the most famous and successful entertainment industries in the history of the world. Disney has produced some of the most memorable and compelling characters ever to be seen and their renderings of classic fairy tales have delighted and amused several generations. As of 2015, the company shows no signs of slowing down and is constantly outputting new content.
One of Disney’s latest projects is a film titled “Descendants.” The plot chronicles the lives of the teenaged children of some of Disney’s most notorious villains as they attend school with the children of Disney’s heroes and/or Royals. The live-action movie takes place in the kingdom of Auradon where the goodhearted son of Beast and Bell (from “Beauty and the Beast”) takes the throne and offers the children of Cruella De Vil, The Evil Queen, Maleficent, and Jafar a chance at redemption. At the start of the film these teens are imprisoned on the “Isle of the Lost” where all the villains and their sidekicks are quarantined. When the villain’s descendants are allowed to leave the Isle of the Lost and attend school on Auradon they face a personal dilemma about whether to follow in their parents footsteps or embrace goodness.
To celebrate the release of the film, Disney has released a series of merchandise to promote the series and its brand new characters and one such release is an app called “Disney Karaoke: Descendants” which highlights the catchy songs in the movie through singing, dances and video options. This app enables kids to sing karaoke and learn step-by-step dance moves that are inspired from the film. Once app users learn their moves and hone their voice, they can even record their own music videos and customize their videos with fun filters! The app will feature nine songs in total, five from the movie and four bonus songs from the novel “Descendants: Wicked World.” The songs, which typically run less than three minutes, are titled:
– Rotten to the Core
– Set It Off
– Evil Like Me
– Did I Mention
– If Only
– Rotten to the Core (feat. Sofia Carson)
– Good is the New Bad
– Night Is Young
– I’m Your Girl
The sound quality on this app is excellent and the graphics are colorful. The app has two main components: to teach users the songs and the choreography to go with each tune. The songs are mostly in the genre of “pop” (although “Evil Like Me” sounds like something straight from Broadway) and “Rotten to the Core” is strongly mixed with electronic elements making it sound as if it is intended for dance clubs. The lyrics are cleverly written with the villains’ personalities in mind yet everything remains completely age-appropriate.
The app gives users the option to listen to three full songs while watching an animated figure dance certain moves. The figure moves somewhat slowly so it is easy to follow and mimic the movements. As the dancing commences, the figure is the only thing on screen, which makes it easy to focus upon. Users have the option of watching the dance moves cycle along to the beat of the song and there are also “frames” that allow users to focus on one portion of the dance that might prove to be more challenging to master.
Alas, the app only comes with three songs that feature a “Dance Moves” options. The rest of the app requires users to record their own videos, although all the other songs included on the app can be listened to—and followed along via typed lyrics—via the “practice” feature and perhaps even image their own dance moves to fit each specific song.
Overall, this app offers a lot of fun for children, especially those who aspire to be dancers and/or singers and have a special appreciation for the “Descendants” series. The three dances included are fun to follow and children will undoubtedly enjoy creating unique dances for the other songs included. Parents should note that the songs are well sung and the music is quite catchy so the soundtrack to this app is not grating or repetitive. In fact, there is quite an impressive mix of song styles in this collection—from pop hits, to dance tracks, to Broadway-eques ballads.
“Disney Karaoke: The Descendants” is currently available for both iTunes and Android and it retails for $5.99. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it for children who are aspiring singers and dancers and also happen to be avid Disney fans.
To learn more about “Disney Karaoke: Descendants” see here. To learn more about the upcoming “Descendants” movie, see here.