When Disney’s new TV movie “Descendants” was announced, I was excited by the idea. A movie about the kids of famous Disney villains sounded great. But now that the first image of the new kids has been released, and we know more about the casting, I’m getting a bit worried.
According to the plot details, the movie is set in the present day and will take place in a kingdom, Auradon, being ruled by Belle and Beast’s son, Ben. Why him? There are a lot of other characters that rule their own kingdoms. Maybe it’s Disney’s way of showing that Belle and the Beast (anyone know his real name?) are royally superior to the rest of the Kings and Queens. The villains and their kids have been exiled to the Isle of the Lost and Ben wants to give the kids a chance to prove that they are different from their parents. These kids will attend a prep school along with the children of Disney heroes. I know the whole thing feels like something we have seen or heard before. The idea immediately made me think of the Runaways comic series by Marvel (owned by Disney) in which the kids of Marvel villains made a team to prove they weren’t like their parents. I’m sure the villains will try to control their kids and force them to help escape the Isle of the Lost. I’m also sure there’s going to be a lot of romance in the film, and that love will change the kids forever. It’s a Disney film. What else do you expect?
The first look of the cast doesn’t impress me much. It looks like cosplay. It makes me think of X-Men if they were allowed to wear their colorful costumes on the big-screen films. The actress, Dove Cameron, playing Maleficent’s daughter, Mal, looks like a younger version of Psylocke in her purple attire. And don’t get me started on their names. Fine, Maleficent’s daughter is called Mal, okay! But the Evil Queen’s (Snow White) daughter is called Evie? It is way too close to Eevee from Pokemon. Seriously, what’s up with Jafar (Aladdin) naming his son Jay? Maybe it’s short for Jamil or Jamal? The weirdest name has to be Lonnie, the daughter of Fa Mulan and Li Shang. I’m hoping these are just nicknames and the character’s real names are much better.
Another thing I can’t understand is how some villains, that were old in the Disney movies, were able to have kids that are now teenagers. Jafar and Cruella De Vil looked too old to have kids this age. Maybe they will also age-down the villains? Oh! And Dopey, the dwarf from Snow White, also has a kid named Doug.
Who knows, the film might just surprise me when it airs. I’ve always been interested in the nature vs. nurture debate. It’s not set in stone that children have to be like their parents. The Runaways did an amazing job in giving the characters their own identity, and showing that you can be your own person, regardless of your parents. If Disney is able to adequately touch upon such this subject I think Descendants will turn out to be a fine film. Does evil run in one’s blood? I guess we will have to wait until 2015 to find out.
What are your thoughts regarding Descendants? Excited to see Disney’s take on the children of famous villains? Feel free to share in the comments section below.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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