‘Descendants 2’ Will Put A Spell On You

Just who are The Descendants? Some may be thinking of the Alexander Payne film starring George Clooney. No no. I’m talking about Disney’s The Descendants. If you haven’t heard of them either you don’t have children or you are secretly ashamed to admit that you love seeing the heirs of some of the most famous Disney characters interacting in a musical shot by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical, Hocus Pocus).

To be honest I had never heard of The Descendants until a colleague told me that her five-year-old daughter was obsessed with the Disney musical. She knows the songs, has watched the 2015 original incessantly, and was totally psyched to see what would happen to Mal (the daughter of Maleficent) and her boyfriend, King Ben (the son of Belle and Beast). The great aspect about this stellar hit is its concept.

What if there was a movie in which your favorite Disney animated characters could interact with one another?

Sounds like fantasy, right? Well, Kenny Ortega takes that concept but instead of Cinderella, Mulan, or Jafar we focus on their kids. Considering that Disney has re-envisioned the likes of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast as live-action feature films I’m surprised it has taken this long to develop a musical fantasy that seemingly starts a new phase in the lineage. Just don’t think this will be like Marvel’s The Avengers. Though, in the original, we did have the teenage daughters and sons of Maleficent, the Evil Queen (Evie), Jafar (Jay), and Cruella De Vil (Carlos) working to steal the Fairy Godmother’s wand and free their parents from an island prison.

For The Descendants 2 we venture to more teen soap territory with Kenny Ortega’s musical stamp as Mal and Ben’s relationship is on the rocks. It seems that he doesn’t like her relying on magic, while she has her own issues with being the girlfriend to a king. When Mal decides to return to Isle of the Lost her feud is renewed with Uma, the daughter of Ursula. Of course, Ben learns of Mal’s departure from Auradon and goes to the Isle with Evie, Carlos, and Jay to find her. Some treachery is in store but I will refrain from spoilers. Besides, your kids undoubtedly watched the July premiere on Disney so they already knows what happens. For those that don’t I’d advise refraining from love potions.

It should comes as no surprise that The Descendants 2 was a hit when it premiered. The songs are catchy and there are great messages for kids all throughout. Even older audiences will find something to enjoy. The cast is already giving their wishes of what they want to see in the sequel, especially since it ends in a cliffhanger!

With the DVD release, Disney has a smattering of bonus features beginning with Cast Secrets, where stars talk their favorite musical numbers and characters and share secrets. Also included are bloopers, “If Only,” a song that didn’t make the cut, plus an extended version of the song “The Space Between.” Rounding out the features is Descendants: Wicked World, a collection of animated shorts from the first season of the program.

Easy recommendation if you have kids. Perfect for long road trips or a visual pacifier.

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