Man, I have so many feels as I write this. I can’t believe Descendants which was the story about the kids of famous Disney Villians has finally come to end. Descendants 3 which aired on The Disney Channel Friday night, was the end of the saga. It was not without other sad tones off-screen, after the death of one of its main stars Cameron Boyce, who played Carlos (Son of Cruella DeVille). Even before the film started a short dedication was included to Boyce. I can tell you it was bittersweet watching his final performance. Descendants 3 delivered on everything it promised, even though the teaser trailers for it were quite vague.
For those of you who may not be aware of this Disney franchise, Descendants is a story about acceptance at its core. The people of Auradon (the good guys) wanted to keep the Villians and kids of Villains separate. They make them stay on the Isle of the Lost, which is basically a rat hole compared to the kingdom. Of course, that would cause lots of ill-will towards those who thrive there from the islanders.
The son of Belle and the Beast, who rule Auradon, Prince Ben wanted to change all that. He invites four villain kids to come to Auradon Prep to try and mend the gap between good and evil. He intends to start a new chapter for the kingdom before taking his place on the throne. Of course, the parents of these kids have other plans, mostly getting even with those who trapped them on the island in the first place. For those of us who grew up knowing famous villains such as The Evil Queen (Snow White), Jafar (Aladdin), Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), Cruella DeVille (101 Dalmations), this is a film for you. If you love the bad guys more than the “heroes,” Descendants delivers that all in one neat little package.
For the final film, Disney did give us a sneak peek at a returning character in a short recap video of Descendants and Descendants 2 featuring Audrey (daughter of Sleeping Beauty). She gets a full makeover and goes all Mean Girls in this film. I highly suggest you watch it to catch up before watching Descendants 3.We knew she was out for revenge on Mal for stealing King Ben from her because of teenage drama, but no one had any idea the scale of it. I was quite surprised by it, to be honest. It was a very very well kept secret. Well done Disney! The other big secret was Mal’s “Daddy Issues”. Yes, we finally learn who Mal’s real dad is, which has been a mystery throughout the entire series. She continues to face where her allegiance truly lies in this film. Is she good or bad? Are we born evil or can we become good through our own actions?
Now Descendants 3, like all the other films in this series, had some amazing musical numbers. There were way too many to count, but two really strong examples of good musical numbers would be “Queen of Mean,” performed by Sarah Jeffrey, who showed off the transition of going from good to evil really well. The second example is “Break this Down,” which features almost the entire cast which includes a well choreographed fight scene.
Every actor in this film embodies their respective characters well. Dove Cameron, who has played Mal since the first film, ended her character’s journey on a high note. Sofia Carson (Evie), Cameron Boyce (Carlos) and Booboo Stewart (Jay) really shine as well, all of whom have really come into their own over the course of the trilogy. The breakout actor however in the final film would be Sara Jeffrey who before was more of a side note.
Disney Movies made for TV can be hit or miss but there was something unique about this entire franchise. When I say that, I mean that when we think “Disney Channel” movie we think “oh it’s not good enough for the big screen.” This film could most certainly be in theaters and probably do as well as the High School Musical series, which for the record got a big-screen debut for its last film. Descendants may have its cheesy moments as is known with Disney but it gives us more flavor this time around, more heart. For die-hard Disney fans, we always wondered about what if some of the well-known villains had kids. Kenny Ortega who directed all three films answered that for us.
There were also so many little plot lines going on it was almost hard to pay attention to the main storyline. I guess they really wanted to pack as much content as they could. To be honest, it almost seemed like an afterthought. What I really hope for is a spin-off television series to maybe wrap up things but with Boyce gone, I don’t know if that will ever happen now. If you have stayed with the franchise until now you really need to watch this final film. It’s an ending but really a beginning to a whole realm of what a good TV Disney film franchise can be.