Last month, we were invited to a special screening of Disney Channel’s newest original movie Descendants at the ABC Building in New York City. We were counting down the days ’till we saw this movie for two reasons: 1) We wanted to see our favorite Disney Channel stars Dove Cameron (Liv And Maddie) and Cameron Boyce (Jessie) and 2) Disney Channel legend/choreographer Kenny Ortega directed, executive produced AND choreographed the film. If you’re like us, Kenny’s work was an important part in your life. You knew every single move and lyric from the High School Musical trilogy, dreamed of going to Barcelona like The Cheetah Girls and almost about gave up a limb to get your hands on a ticket to the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Tour. To say we were dying to see what Kenny has for the next generation is an understatement.
Disney’s Descendants is set in the idyllic kingdom of Auradon where Ben (Mitchell Hope), the benevolent teenaged son of the King and Queen (Beast and Belle from “Beauty and the Beast”), is poised to take the throne. His first proclamation: offer a chance at redemption to Mal (Dove Cameron), Evie (Sofia Carson), Carlos (Cameron Boyce) and Jay (Booboo Stewart), the trouble-making offspring of Maleficent (Kristen Chenoweth), the Evil Queen (Kathy Najimy), Cruella de Vil (Wendy Raquel Robinson) and Jafar (Maz Jobrani), who have been imprisoned on the forbidden Isle of the Lost for 20 years. These villainous descendants are allowed into Auradon for the first time to attend prep school alongside the teenage progeny of Fairy Godmother (Melanie Paxson), Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Mulan and may or may not act like their parents.
The film fuses castles with classrooms to create a contemporary, music-driven story about the challenges adolescent offspring face in living up to parental and peer expectations. With unexpected characterization, plot twists and turns, and dashes of wry humor, the movie is designed to appeal to kids and grownups alike as its story playfully presents the possibilities of what happened after the “happily ever after.”
I, a 21-year-old who grew up on Kenny’s films, actually enjoyed Descendants. It was refreshing to see Dove Cameron and Cameron Boyce in a movie, since I only knew them from their TV roles on Liv And Maddie and Jessie, respectively. I was able to see that they aren’t just a bunch of lucky kids that landed a good role on a Disney show. They showed their true colors and proved to me that they deserve all the success they have been given these past few years. Sofia Carson was born a star and you can see it in this film. Did anyone get vibes that she can be the next Selena Gomez, or is that just me? Although we didn’t expect anything less from Twilight’s Eclipse star Boo Boo Stewart, the actor executed his role extremely well. Its great to have the younger generation introduced to a such a talented and humbled person.
My prediction for Descendants? HSM success. It was that good. Nothing will ever replace Troy and Gabriella in the winter musical in my eyes, but for this generation it is the best movie I’ve seen on the network in awhile. Well done, Disney.
Descendants premieres tomorrow, July 31st @ 8PM on Disney Channel. If you can’t wait to watch on TV, download the WATCH Disney Channel app in the App Store and stream it right now!