What do you get if you mash 'Once Upon A Time' together with Monster High? The answer is the Disney Channel Television movie 'Descendants.' Is it just me or do these kids look like Joel Schumacher 'Batman and Robin' rejects? Warning, this photo may cause nausea, dizziness, confusion, excessive side-eye, and/or uncontrollable bursts of laughter.
Clockwise from bottom left: Mal (Dove Cameron), Jay (Booboo Stewart), Carlos (Cameron Boyce), Evie (Sofia Carson)
The premise of the movie is simple. Disney heroes have to live happily ever after. But as heroes they could never sully their reputations by killing their enemies, obviously. Instead all defeated villains have been regulated to the Isle of the Lost for all time, because living an immortal life trapped in purgatory is somehow more humane than a clean death? But then the son of King Beast (really?) and Queen Belle takes the throne.
Let's put aside the hilarious weirdness of the Prince from 'Beauty and the Beast' having BEAST as his actual name and focus on what's really important. How nothing here makes any sense and it is glorious. Take it away, Disney press release!
Disney’s iconic characters are living out their happy endings in Auradon, a present day idyllic kingdom. All defeated villains have been exiled to the Isle of the Lost, a remote island where they must spend their remaining days isolated from Auradon’s modern-day luxuries. Time passes, and the teenage son of King Beast and Queen Belle is poised to take the throne. His first proclamation: offer a chance at redemption to the trouble-making descendants of the villains stuck on the Isle of the Lost. The teenaged kids of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella de Vil are allowed into the kingdom to attend prep school alongside the teenage progeny of iconic Disney heroes. The villainous parents see this as an opportunity to use their children to carry out an evil plan that will finally free them all from the Isle of the Lost. Will these evil teens follow in the footsteps of their wicked parents?
Okay, I see what you're trying to do here. Monster High and their spin-off, Ever After High, are raking in money hand over fist. Kids and collectors alike lose their minds each time a new wave of dolls comes out and you want a piece of that sweet merchandise pie. I can respect that. But a few provisos, a couple of quid pro quo.
#1. Why is this live action? Seriously this was made for some 'House of Mouse' animation or a new chance to invent a wicked cool homogenized style for all these teenage villain progeny. Instead we're doing budget 'Once Upon A Time' goes to high school?
#2. Where the hell did these kids come from? Now, villains are adults and adults have needs. So we've got Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar, and Cruella de Vil getting busy with…who? They were trapped on an island with literally no one but other Disney bad guys. Who are these villains boning?! The implications when these four teens start hooking up is gonna be a little Lannisterly.
#3. Where is Auradon? It says all the heroes are living out their happy endings in the same kingdom so who put Beast and Belle in charge? Did the Princes all draw straws? Look Disney, there's idyllic bliss and then there's ignorance to the ramifications of shoving a dozen narcissistic royals in a room and expecting perfect harmony.
#4. What modern conveniences? So the kingdoms of Disney have gone from late Middle Ages to iPods? Was Auradon originally run by Snow White and Prince Charming since they got to Disney Princess Valhalla first? Then as each successive storyline concluded, maybe the heroes used quantumntam physics to sidestep into this reality and each brought their modern day equivalent of technology with them? So Sleeping Beauty brings microwave dinners, Rapunzel shows up with iPad minis.
#5. How are you keeping these villains banished? Was there a containment field? Some sort of magic? I can't imagine the brightest evil minds of their age just twiddling their thumbs and making babies for years. You know they were testing the fences for weaknesses. I mean, they're at least as smart as a velociraptor, right?
Hat tip /Film