Monday, August 10, 2015

Review! Disney Descendants Movie

disney-descendants-movie-posterPre-Viewing Thoughts:

After viewing the trailer I must admit that my interest has been peaked in the movie. Although this isn't a high budget film that will be shown in all the theaters, I still have hopes that it won't be completely terrible. I can't say that I am a huge fan of the costumes, because they look kind The costumes seem to be designed well in terms of style, but making them actually look good in reality is a bit more difficult.
Judging from the trailer, there will be a romance between Mal (daughter of Maleficent) and the Prince whose name I currently don't know (son of Belle and the Beast). Can't say I'm really psyched for this either. Romance is always so hard in a Disney film, because in my opinion Disney TV can't really do it justice and for most of the time I just feel awkward when the romantic scenes play. In fact, often times when I re-watch movies with those kinds of scenes, I just skip them altogether.

I can already guess the general ending to the movie. Most likely, the four "evil" children become good and they get along great with everyone at their new school. Personally, I'm hoping there will be some scenes in which the "evil" children fight back to the nasty "good" children, because I think that there will definitely be those types that treat the "evil" children bad.

Overall, I'm relatively excited about this movie, and although I'm pretty sure that the movie will entertain me, I hope that it is good.


Post-Viewing Thoughts:

My first thought on the movie was that I had NO idea it would be a musical. I guess I should have guessed because, you know, it’s a Disney Channel movie mixed with Disney’s famous classic characters (who practically all came from musicals). You would think that after the opening musical number I would have figured out that it was a musical, but I thought it was just an interesting/fun way to introduce the characters and take a quick look at the Isle of the Lost so the movie could almost immediately jump into the plot, but boy was I wrong. It took my until the scene when they get to the museum and suddenly Mal breaks out into song about her confusion as what to do and the statue of her mother joins in that was where it hit me—this movie was a musical! Aside from the first song (“Rotten to the Core”), I wasn’t a big fan of the musical vibe. I felt like the songs were in weird places, didn’t add much to the story, and weren’t catchy or clever. For nostalgia’s sake there is a pop version of “Be Our Guest,” which though I appreciated the thoughts behind including a classic, I didn’t really much like. I would call the number “cute” at best, but I much preferred the original.

[caption id="attachment_1170" align="alignright" width="229"]DESCENDANTS - Disney Channel's original movie "Descendants" stars Dove Cameron as Mal, BooBoo Stewart as Jay, Sofia Carson as Evie and Cameron Boyce as Carlos. (Photo by Bob D'Amico/Disney Channel via Getty Images) DESCENDANTS - Disney Channel's original movie "Descendants" stars Dove Cameron as Mal, BooBoo Stewart as Jay, Sofia Carson as Evie and Cameron Boyce as Carlos.[/caption]

I'm a bit conflicted with how the classic characters were written. I felt as if the villains (the parent of the children) weren’t written with the personalities of their original counterparts and could have been written better. On the other hand, if they were written as their original counterparts they probably would be absolutely stiff and not treat their children in acceptable ways. When I first learned that Maleficent was considered the most evil villain, I wondered why it was her and not the Evil Queen (who I always felt was portrayed as the worst of the worst because she was the first classic Disney villain). I felt like the Evil Queen was the worst and Maleficent would be a close runner up. I like the way that someone wrote it on a Disney wiki page, "[The Evil] Queen is their leader, and Maleficent is their greatest weapon." I guess twenty years can really change a villain so maybe the Evil Queen went soft (actually they all went soft), but it was still a bit disappointing that they were changed so much.

The ending of the movie left something to be desired for me. I thought the “fight,” if you even want to call it that, between the four villain kids and Maleficent, could have been better and much more exciting. Just before the fight, Mal gives a rousing (…) monologue on how she chooses to be good and the other three follow her. It’s a Disney Channel movie, so the moral of the story has to be spelled out (with a monologue). Aurora’s daughter (the most unwelcoming of the villain kids) makes amends with Mal and by extension the other three villain kids, way too quickly. There was no lead up to it. Pretty much, one minute Aurora’s daughter hates the villain kids, she gets frozen in time (with everyone else), gets unfrozen (with everyone else), and then her and Mal make apologies.
1369880467023166275One of my biggest disappointments is that Snow White makes an extremely brief appearance and she mentions Evie’s name, but nobody mentions anything about Evie and Snow White possibly being related (step-sisters)! I had hoped that the Evil Queen would have mentioned something, but she didn’t. I thought that would have been a hilarious little reference to the classic Disney story, but alas it didn’t happen.
Overall, regardless of the flaws and predictable story, I found it to be rather enjoyable. My favorite parts of the movie are the scenes involving Doug and Evie (I was rooting for them!) and the sports scenes with Jay and Carlos. I was a bit disappointed when it ended and I actually immediately started it over again and re-watched my favorite parts again. I’m hoping for a sequel (which they kind of hinted at in the end)!

I would absolutely recommend watching this movie, but before you get your hopes up too much just remember: this isn’t a masterpiece like the Disney classic movies.

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