I have a confession to make. I like Disney movies. I’m not talking about the big animated movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love love LOVE Disney’s major releases. But in this case, I’m talking about Disney Channel Original Movies. DCOMs for the informed and not at all lame.
I try to resist their siren call, but I’m not too proud to admit that I’ve seen an unfortunate number of them. I have an opinion on which one is the best (Color of Friendship, don’t @ me) and whether Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam is better than the first one (it is). I’m literally watching Lemonade Mouth right now. I’ve completely destroyed my Netflix recommendations.
This proclivity toward the House of Mouse’s more lowbrow entertainment means I’ve also seen both of the Descendants movies. For those with better taste, allow me to enlighten you as to the plot of these colorful films. Both feature the children of all your favorite Disney characters, from Beauty and the Beast to Sleeping Beauty to Cinderella’s idiot son, Chad. They are full of children who will make you wonder if you’re doomed to become more ridiculous versions of your parents with terrible names. But the real stars of the show are the children of the villains -- Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos -- who are freed from the island that houses the villains and allowed to attend school with the super boring hero children.
Also, they dress like they were at ground zero during an explosion at a Hot Topic circa 2005.
Yes, the movie looks insane -- and it is -- but it’s far from the craziest thing the Disney Channel has ever made. And as with Camp Rock, it’s the sequel where things really pick up. That’s because the sequel includes this girl.
Her name is Uma, she’s Ursula’s daughter, and she’s kind of awesome. She’s also played by China Anne McClain, who will be playing Black Lightning’s youngest daughter on the upcoming CW show, which just gives you another excellent reason to tune into that show this fall.
You don’t realize just how “fine” the rest of the cast is until she shows up and performs what is easily the best song in both movies, complete with a rap break by Hook’s son, Harry. You heard me.
Uma is crazy charismatic and the only one in the entire franchise who really sells her entire look. Seafoam is a really good color on her. Oh, and she turns into a giant octopus during the climax of the film. Yes, I’m calling this a film.
If you want the audience to root for your heroes, maybe don’t make the villain the best character in the entire movie. Another good tip? Don’t make them face off in a rap battle on a pirate ship. The heroes will lose and we will not feel bad about it.