Disney has slowly been releasing information on their upcoming DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie), Descendants. The plot? The villains have children (yes, even the ones who died at the end of their movie) and all of them live on an island as punishment for their evil crimes. Princess Belle and Prince ADAMs’ son, Ben, has invited the evil children to attend Auradon Prep, the good school. The details get fuzzy after that, but basically the evil parents have sent their children with a mission they must fulfill.
Melissa De La Cruz released a prequel novel called Isle of the Lost, giving a background to the movie. Recently, Buzzfeed posted a “First Look” at the good kids, and a new trailer has popped up. The Daily Geekette staff have been having some strong feelings about what to expect:
I received a copy of the YA prequel novel to this movie, Isle of the Lost, for review. I tried very hard to suspend my disbelief as I read it, but there are so many things that are problematic with this universe. All the villain kids only have one parent. I’m praying this gets explained in the DCOM, because this is problematic on a big level. If all the good kids have two happily married parents, and all the evil kids have single parents, this movie is making a very bold statement about the results of single parenting, and one that needs to disappear now. Also, this had better form a major plot point because WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS??? The novel also bothers me because King Beast is the name of Belle’s husband. The fact that Disney still has not given this poor man a name bothers me so much. Beauty and the Beast is all about him finding his humanity. Yes, he’s probably still beastly for the rest of his life, but he is NOT a beast by any means. Lastly, there’s a whole bunch of funky time issues (are they all immortal and waited until the twenty first century to all procreate together, or did they all time hop from their various points in time? ) but I’m not going to question those too hard, because I honestly don’t think Disney did.
What bothers me most about the trailer is how cheesy everything looks. The most feared villains are turned into clowns, and I’m sure will provide the comic relief for this movie. I love Kristin Chenoweth, who is playing Maleficent, but she is not fearsome.
Descendants is trying to be a live action Ever After High, and failing. Ever After High, a series of novels and a TV show based on a collection of dolls, is the story of fairy tale children trying to rewrite their destinies. The show is adorable, the books, penned by Shannon Hale, are phenomenal, and the dolls are fairly cute. Melissa De La Cruz was definitely the right author for Isle of the Lost, because she is all about style, but I don’t think she was given enough world to work with. Where Hale provides depth and relevant backstory, De La Cruz provides unlimited questions. The costumes in E.A.H. also work better because they’re on dolls and cartoons. Several members of the DG staff have cosplayed E.A.H. characters, and while we looked adorable, no one would ever take us seriously. That’s the whole point. Descendants has so far shown poorly designed, and in some cases, downright tacky costumes.
Disney’s Descendants is every fan fiction nightmare I could have imagined and then some. It would be one thing if the story featured any sort of originality or dedication to the source material, but it is so painfully obvious that anyone involved with this project is just trying to capitalize on the trend of Monster High or any similar brands, but with a Disney twist.
My biggest issue with the TV movie thus far is their complete failure in continuing the plotlines of said parents to these kids or making the kids’ abilities make any sort of sense based on their lineage. Dopey, the lovable dwarf from Snow White, has a kid in this. And aside from the fact that he wears green and purple, the connections he has to his famous dad are few and far between. The same can be said of most of the kids, particularly Jafar’s son, who looks like a missing member of a boy band more than the biological relation to an all powerful genie.
I just wish that some effort was put into this show. From the story to the awful costumes, that seem to be made of the fabrics from the clearance section of Joann’s Fabrics, Disney’s Descendants seems to lack any sort of compassion and love for the movies and characters they are representing.
Clearly, we have very low expectations for this movie, but we’re both definitely going to watch it anyway. Keep your eye out for our review after it airs! Do you have expectations for Disney’s Descendants? Let us know in the comments!