Lately I’ve been seriously obsessed with Disney’s DCOM trilogy, Descendants. If you don’t know what that is, let me tell you! Its sort of a “what happens next” after the happily ever after of the Disney fairy tales that we all know and love. The main characters are Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos – four kids that are the children of villains – Malificent, Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella de Vil. All of the villains and their offspring live on what is called the Isle of the Lost, cut off from the rest of society. Ben is the son of the Beast and Belle and about to becoming the newly crowned king of Auradon, the kingdom in which the Beasts rules with allll the other fairy tale characters and their children. Ben decides to give a few of the Isle kids a chance to live in Auradon and the story goes from there.
It is directed and choreographed by Kenny Ortega – who you might know from his work with Newsies, the High School musical trilogy, Dirty Dancing and more. I adore Kenny and this movie series kept sort of popping up on my radar but I just never took the time to do anything about it. I know that Melissa de la Cruz has also written a book series in tandem with the movies but I’ve never read them.
With all these movies now so readily available on Disney+, I decided to give them a shot. I watch a lot of movies and stream a lot of shows because, well, one, I like to watch stuff but two, I also like background noise when I’m reading, blogging, writing, cooking, cleaning, whatever so I’d felt like I’d worked through a lot of things on Disney+ and I thought it was worth a try.
I’ve watched the movies multiple times since then and have the soundtracks on repeat nearly every day, either at work or when I’m out working out or running. I absolutely am addicted to it and I love it. I changed my icon on Disney+ to Evie because I’m just loving it all. Its not changing the world, its not even particularly unique but I super adore it and here are some reasons that I do –
1. The Music is SOOO Catchy
Seriously. I love musicals. I love Broadway musicals, Tony-award-winning musicals, made-for-tv musicals, local theater, whatever it is. I love any story that has music that comes along with it. So this was easy enough to fall in love with this soundtrack. Its a simple soundtrack – nothing groundbreaking – but the songs are dance-y and fun and I enjoy them. Some of them are a little hokey and overly YAY TEAM, if you get what I mean, sort of like “We’re All in This Together” from HSM but it just works. There’s a lot of underlying messages in the songs that hint at bigger issues than just the story at hand and honestly, I like that. I like how fun the music is and how its easy to sing along to, especially during a long run.
2. I Love Alternate Fairy Tales
If you know anything about my book taste, I absolutely love fairy tale retellings and alternate fairy tales and the “what happens next?” This movie hits so much of this. Don’t get me wrong – there are so many plot holes and questions that I need answered because seriously, who had babies with these villains? How on earth did Malificent and Hades end up married? What happened in this world and why does it make little sense? But it doesn’t matter. I like that the story continues with the children of these iconic characters, both living in the shadow of the good and bad and also trying to figure out who they are separate from that. Again, not groundbreaking stuff but still – so enjoyable. I like that the daughter of Evil Queen ends up with the son of Dopey (WHO HAD SEX WITH DOPEY?!). Its just kind of cute and silly and I’m here for it.
3. The Dancing! Anything with Dancing is Great
Kenny Ortega has choreographed Newsies and Dirty Dancing and SO many of my favorite dances. Newsies is one of my favorite musicals and a big part of that comes from the excellent dancing. I think the dancing in here is seriously fun too and dancing is one of those things that I love, wish that I could do but absolutely cannot do so I get a huge kick out of other people doing it. There are some great dance sequences in these movies and I’m here for it.
4. The Cast is Great
I genuinely enjoy everyone on this cast. I didn’t have a lot of experience with Dove Cameron but she’s absolutely adorable as Mal in these movies. I ADORE BooBoo Stewart to the ends of the earth from Twilight. I was sad when Cameron Boyce passed this past year but after watching these movies and see how adorable and talented he was, it breaks my heart even more. But I totally fell in love with Sofia Carson, who plays Evie, and am in full crush mode. FULL crush mode. But also the rest of the cast – Kristen Chenoweth and Kathy Najimy. Even the unknowns who play Jane, Fairy Godmother’s daughter, Doug, Dopey’s son, and so on are all so great too. Its just a well done ensemble cast.
5. Its Just Plain Fun
It honestly just is! Its catchy music, fun dance numbers and a cheesy but just plain fun story. There’s nothing groundbreaking or fully unique about it but I am in such a great mood every single time I watch these and I have watched them so many times now. The colors are so bright, the costumes are creative for both the Villain Kids and the Hero Kids. I just love it. Its become something I watch when I’m in a bad mood because it immediately puts me into a good mood and honestly, I think you can call that a win for anyone who made the movie. It makes me laugh and it makes me sing and it entertains the hell out of me and at the end of the day, that’s what matters most so again, I’m here for it and I won’t stop being obsessed for awhile!
PS. Seriously I just adore the hell out of Sofia Carson. She’s just…swoon