13 September 2015

Movie Review: "Descendants"

Rated: TV-G
Starring: Dove Cameron, Kristin Chenoweth, and Cameron Boyce
Released: 2015
Synopsis: Once upon a time, King Beast and Queen Belle banished all the villains of the land—including Maleficent (Kristin Chenoweth) and the Evil Queen (Kathy Najimy)—to a secluded island and sealed it off magically.  Many years later, their son, who is about to take over as king, decides to give the children of the villains—including Maleficent’s daughter Mal (Dove Cameron, Liv & Maddie)—a chance to attend high school.  Maleficent and the other villains see this as the perfect chance to escape and take over; all they need is the Fairy Godmother’s super powerful wand, which will be given to the soon-to-be-crowned king at his coronation.  Mal, however, isn’t so sure that she wants to steal the wand and let the villains escape, as her wicked villain of a mother so desperately desires.  Will she give in to her mother and bring evil back into the land?
As seen on Disney Channel.  Also starring Cameron Boyce (Jessie).

The Good: Who doesn’t enjoy a Disney-style fairy tale? In the style of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, this takes the standard “happily ever after” formula and mixes it up, but in a much more light-hearted way.  Fans of old-school House of Mouse flicks will find plenty to enjoy about this story; it’s definitely a return to Disney’s roots.  Many moments are rather cute and touching, and the content is kept largely clean.

The Bad: As good as this is, I think this should have been a series instead of a Disney Channel Original Movie.  Are you listening, Mouse network executives?

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Kissing, flirting; totally innocent romance. 4/5
  • Nudity: Shirtless guy; dresses that show a bit of leg. 4/5
  • Language: Name-calling, i.e., “stupid,” “idiot”. 4/5
  • Violence: A scene or two of fantasy violence. 4/5
  • Drugs: Potions are used to make people do things, i.e., fall in love. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: A rather scary dragon in the finale. 4/5
  • Other: Usage of magic throughout. 4/5
Conclusion: As much as I am known for being a fan of Disney, their fairy tales aren’t exactly my style.  I’ve always been more drawn to their live-action productions: George of the Jungle, Flubber, Rocketman, and, of course, Lizzie McGuire.  Still, growing up on animated House of Mouse flicks helped me to understand and enjoy this movie…and, oh, boy, did I enjoy it! If the Teen Beach and High School Musical telefilms got sequels…this one should, too!

Score: 4.5/5

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