Friday, August 18, 2017

Disney's "Descendants 2" Proves Villain Kids Aren't All That Bad

"Descendants 2" is an admirable follow-up to Disney's 2015 Emmy-nominated TV-movie. This sequel continues to act as an extension of what we saw in "Maleficent," where the so-called villains fight against their nature and save the day in the end. The idea that it doesn't matter what sort of family we grow up in, it's our personal decision to become the type of person we're going to be is a good message for kids. That's what I've always taken away from the "Descendants" movies.

When the pressure to be royally perfect gets to be too much for Mal, she returns to the Isle of the Lost in "Descendants 2." She discovers that Uma, the daughter of Ursula, has taken over as queen. Uma's gang is finalizing plans to bring down the barrier.

All the basic ingredients for a teen-geared Disney Channel TV-movie are here. Rebellious cool kids striking out on their own. Energetic dance numbers to groove to (even if they're not as memorable as they should be). A fashion-forward sense of dress, accessories, and great hair in different colors. However, in the end good outweighs bad and remains triumphant.

Disney continues to add to their roster of villain offspring in "Descendants 2." China Anne McClain ("A.N.T. Farm") plays Uma, the daughter of Ursula. Thomas Doherty ("The Lodge") portrays Harry, the son of Captain Hook. Dylan Playfair ("Some Assembly Required") is the son of Gaston named Gil. Anna Cathcart ("Odd Squad") plays Dizzy, the daughter of Cinderella's evil stepsister Drizella and granddaughter of wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine. You can definitely feel the influences of recent big-screen releases "Beauty and the Beast" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" in the characters incorporated in this new story.

"Descendants 2" is rated TV-G. It contains some mature themes and violence. If you've seen any of the action-oriented Disney Channel original movies, you know what to expect here.

Bonus features for "Descendants 2" take you behind-the-scenes of the movie and offer some nice extras the kids will love. "Cast Secrets" shines a light on actors Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Sofia Carson, Booboo Stewart, and Mitchell Hope. It also contains bloopers, a deleted song, and an extended song. "Descendants: Wicked World" collects all the Season One animated shorts.

"Descendants 2" is directed by Kenny Ortega (the "High School Musical" movies). It stars Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Sofia Carson, Booboo Stewart, Mitchell Hope, China Anne McClain, Thomas Doherty, Dylan Playfair, and Anna Cathcart. The movie is approximately 90 minutes long.

"Descendants 2" is available now on DVD and Digital HD.

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