|Disney Descendants (2015)|
(L to R) Carlos, Evie, Mal and Jay
"Ben, the teenaged son of King Beast and Queen Belle, invites the exiled children of defeated villains to attend a prep school with the heroes' children."
The colorful costuming and Villains Vs Heroes (Royals Vs Rebels?) makes me think of Ever After High, the singing makes me think of High School Musical --- and the vapid and vain heroines Vs the quirky and interesting villains? Is like they took a page from the School of Good and Evil.
I knew it was going to be a trainwreck the moment I heard about it. However, out of my love for the original I decided to watch without any biased feelings.
Apparently, I didn't need them. Even without knowing anything about the original movies, it is still a horrible adaptation. It had cute moments, but I personally didn't think they were enough to save the whole film.
The children acted better than the adults. The adults either over-acted or had lukewarm acting. Considering they are playing beloved characters, it was disappointing.
I like Dove Cameron's Mal and Sofia Carson's Evie. But while I think Booboo Stewart is absolutely hot, I am not so certain about his character. He and Carlos got the worst end of the stick when it came to character development. It is a shame since I thought Carlos was a decent actor and cute too.
|(L to R) Carlos, Evie, Mal and Ben|
The dolls were made by Hasbro Toy Co. The company that gave us G.I. Joe and Jem and the Holograms.
Anyone remember Jem and the Holograms? Anyone? I guess not.
|Mal narrating with touch screen.|
While most people had been happy with this change (with the exceptions of the villains), the son of Belle and the Beast, Ben wasn't as sure. With his coronation drawing near, he told his parents that he made the decision of bringing to Auradon children of the villains, whom he had deemed innocent of their parents' crimes.
|(L to R) Maleficent's henchman, Maleficent, Mal, |
Evie, Carlos and Jay.
Maleficent tells the children about their new school.
Once in Auradon, the divide between the children from Good and Evil was made clear. We will meet the daughter Sleeping Beauty, Audrey, Jane, daughter of the fairy godmother and Doug, son of one of the seven dwarves (Dopey).
|(L to R) Prince Ben, Fairy Godmother and Audrey|
Mal was also getting attention for her magic. She was helping other girls, like Jane and Lonnie the daughter of Mulan --- with their hair. Jane especially wanted to be more beautiful, being so insecure of her looks.
However, they had a mission to do and that was to steal the fairy godmother's magic wand. It didn't take them long to find it. Unfortunately for them, the wand was tightly protected by a barrier that made it impossible for them to infiltrate without getting caught.
|Prince Ben ridiculously singing, Did I Mention to Mal.|
Ben was so in love with Mal that he sang a song called, Did I Mention after they won their tourney game. This made his break up with Audrey official and began dating Mal. It is no surprise that Ben knew how to romance. He took her on a picnic by a magic lake. His efforts worked too well and even Mal was beginning to like him despite knowing that this was all only due to the love potion.
|Mal and Ben having their first date.|
While waiting for the coronation, the four had began to assimilate into this new life. After almost getting caught cheating and having her magic mirror taken from her, Evie learned that she was smarter than she thought and also discovered her knack for fashion. Carlos was now bestfriends with the school mutt and Jay was a a bit more comfortable with teamwork and his life as a jock.
This changed a few days before the coronation when Mal met Sleeping Beauty's mother. She was introduced as Ben's girlfriend. Unfortunately, Sleeping Beauty's mother had never forgiven Maleficent and in extension her daughter, Mal. It didn't help that Audrey and even Jane began making mean comments about them. Mal changed Jane's hair back to the way it was and made the decision to go ahead with the plan.
|Mal and Ben at Ben's coronation.|
Mal's doubts continued to increase.
The moment of truth arrived, the whole of Auredon and even the villains in the Isle of the Lost were watching. The moment opportunity came, someone had grabbed the wand and freed Malefient but --- it wasn't Mal. Instead, it had been Jane who had been insecure of her looks and wanted the wand to make her look beautiful. Mal managed to take it away from her.
It was at this moment that Maleficent crashed into the coronation and froze time except for the four villain children. She told Mal to give her the wand but her daughter refused. Mal wanted to be good. Furious by this, Maleficent transformed into a dragon and tried to destroy them and take the wand herself. But Mal's power had grown thanks to her power of Good and ... won against Maleficent and transformed her into a lizard.
|Ending Dance Number with cast.|
The wand was returned to the fairy godmother, Jane learns a valuable lesson of loving herself and all was well.
The story ends with a dance number with the cast and hints of a sequel.
|(L to R) Lonnie, Evie, Mal, Jane and Audrey|
Not surprisingly, I think Mal and Evie were the luckiest in terms of costumes. They were flattering and pretty. They also gave hints of their parentage. Jane as well in fact.
Audrey and Lonnie however --- not so much. If they didn't tell me who their parents are, I wouldn't have guessed at all. I can't help but feel that just because Lonnie is Asian we are to believe she is the
|(L to R) Dolls. Jane, Audrey and Lonnie.|
I think the reason why I can't help think this was meant for franchising because the costuming process looked like the costumes were adapted from the dolls instead of the other way around.
Not surprising since the Jem and the Holograms process had been similar. The creator made a story from the dolls. Unfortunately, doing this makes the costumes look a bit too cheap.
- Rotten to the Core performed by Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay
|Villans' Descendants performing|
"Rotten to the Core"
Since it is a musical, I guess I should talk about the music. I might have liked this a lot more without it though. I will talk about the once that stood out to me the most.
I can't deny that I do like Dove Cameron's voice here. I am not so sure about the male cast though. While I think Booboo is a musician --- at least I think he is? I don't think this kind of song is to his advantage.
This song was unnecessary. While fun, they could have used this time to let us get to know these characters more. Maybe explain how their parents who used to move with class became the way they are. Anything. Because while they are all decent actors I can't feel for characters by getting to know them from what they are just telling me.
- Did I Mention performed by Prince Ben
However, he isn't actually the one singing though. His singing voice was done by Jeff Lewis from the Voice (Season 4), so it is no wonder his voice here just made me melt. I thought it was a little odd that his "Be Our Guest" Number wasn't as great.
As my friend, Kerri says --- he has the voice of a prince in Did I Mention.
While still unnecessary, I admit that this song is catchy. I found myself singing this song on my way to work. But I think it helped that the voice is really gorgeous and thinking about it --- it was a little sweet. Even if part of me also thinks it is a little mean that he broke up with his girlfriend like that and humiliating her further by courting another girl. I know it isn't his fault --- but it brought down the romance for me a little.
- If Only performed by Mal
This is probably the least unnecessary song in the whole movie and also my favorite. I want to sing this myself someday.
Another thing I like about this song sequence is that many times Mal looked like she stepped out of a painting and the fact that she is telling her story in this song. I wish all the characters had something like this. Even if it is silly for Carlos to sing about his fear of dogs getting cured. I am just kidding. The singing really isn't necessary.
In the end, I could still do without this though if it meant growth for the other characters.
|Mal, Daughter of Maleficent|
from Sleeping Beauty
Mal is played by Dove Cameron. Her character is the daughter of Maleficent with an artistic side.
I dislike what they did to Maleficent. In the original, she was elegant in her evil. Now, she just seems petty and pathetic at times.
If I were to be honest, I like Mal. She was the one who stood out the most for me. I like her voice and I think the actress acted well despite the material she was given. That is saying a lot since the story is basically a disaster. With a better story, I think she could have made this character work. However, that doesn't mean I like her enough to want to see her in a sequel. Please, do not make a sequel.
|Evie, Daughter of the Evil Queen|
from Snow White
Apparently, Snow White has a younger stepsister. Her name is Evie and she is played by Sophie Carson.
Considering how kind Snow White is, I am kind of surprised that she made no attempt to rescue her potential stepsister before. But then again, all of the adults in this movie are out of character.
Despite what I said earlier about being a trend, I generally like Evie. She is funny, cute and I find her alleged flirty character interesting. I also like that a pretty girl can be smart too.
|Jay, Son of Jafar|
I am not a fan of Twilight, so I am not really sure which character he was there. This is Jay, the son of Jafar and played by Booboo Stewart.
How Jafar has fallen. Any charisma he ever had is gone and now he is a pathetic man still rubbing on magic lamps.
I have to admit that Jay is pretty good-looking but he is the type of character that makes me want to roll my eyes. As I said earlier, his character development --- if there was any --- was really rushed. If they didn't, maybe I would have learned to like him more.
|Carlos, Son of Cruella de Ville|
from 101 Dalmatians.
Lastly, among the villains is Carlos, who is played by Cameron Boyce. He is just absolutely adorable, but I wished they gave him something more to work with. He had very little to no memorable screen time.
Another Disney villain bites the dust. His mother, Cruella in my memories was a truly horrible person. Still cruel despite all everything she had to go through to get those puppies. However, this Cruella again --- seems really pathetic.
Like Jay, his character build up was rushed. In fact, his development was simply, he used to be afraid of dogs and now he isn't. That was it and I find that sad because I think his character is the most likable among along the guys.
|Ben, Son of Belle and Adam|
from Beauty and the Beast.
Ben is played by Mitchell Hope.
Then again, with a character template like Ben there is really not much you can do. Ben is perfect and I don't know maybe he is so perfect it almost feels more like a template.
|Audrey, Daughter of Aurora and Philip|
from Sleeping Beauty
Played by Sarah Jeffrey, Audrey sort of reminds me of a character in the book, "The School for Good and Evil." A girl named Beatrix who was the most beautiful girl in the School of Good. She was as vain as she was beautiful.
Audrey feels like another character template. She is the rival, so she is meant to be someone you shouldn't like. I wish they did something like Apple White from Ever After High. Maybe not a carbon copy of Apple, but something less cookie-cutter. Apple is still likable despite being the rival.
Brenna D'Amico played Jane, the daughter of Cinderella's fairy godmother. She is the insecure girl that wants to be beautiful. Ironic, because I think she has the most incredible eyes. I could seriously look at them the whole day.
I would have liked her character more if she didn't switch personalities for no reason. It was one of the things that didn't make sense to me about her character. Why was she suddenly such a mean girl to Mal and the others? Did they just really need someone to grab the wand that wasn't Mal, so that they would have some exciting twist? If that is why, I feel sorry for Jane since I would have liked her better if she was written better.
|Jay, Carlos, Mal and Evie.|
There was a lot of hype given for this movie since last year.
Where do I begin? Many parts of it was cheap --- from costuming to the bad CGI effects. The story is poorly written, which makes me feel sorry for those younger actors who can act decently. I have said this over and over that the original Disney characters have changed to the point of being absolutely unrecognizable. I would also have liked it better if I found the characters recognizable outside their costumes.
I would have liked this much better if it wasn't a musical. There are songs that I like, but I also don't like that long hair makes a beautiful girl. That is the impression given to me when Mal was giving out hair styles. She basically just made their hair longer and you have great hair. It makes me sad because I love short hair.
The hair part is probably just me nitpicking.
It would have been nice to give Mulan a more significant role. While we do see her enough times, she seems to be there simply because they needed an oriental character. She might have worked for me, if the personality wasn't such a 180 from the original Mulan. Her "mother" had chopped off her hair for her family. Lonnie is a bit more vain for someone who is supposed to be Mulan's daughter.
While I liked small bits pieces of this movie, overall I really didn't like it all that much. I still look forward to see the young actors in other works in hopefully better movies --- but not here.