The third and final Descendants movie has recently premiered, bringing the trilogy to a close.
Since premiering in 2015, Descendants, a film focusing on the teenage children of Disney’s most popular heroes and villains, has become one of the most popular Disney Channel Original movies. It built on this success with a sequel in 2017.
1. ‘Rotten To The Core’
After a brief prologue establishing the film’s premise, Descendants launches straight into it’s first musical number. ‘Rotten To The Core’ is a perfect introduction to the Isle Of The Lost and the characters who live there. This includes our heroes, the ‘Villain Kids’: Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos.
After three films and many more musical numbers, ‘Rotten To The Core’ remains the most loved song from the franchise. A remix of the song was recorded for the third film, adding new verses for Uma and Audrey.
2. Carlos meets Dude
Carlos, the son of Cruella de Vil, was raised to be terrified of dogs. This soon changes after he meets Dude, the campus mutt of Auradon Prep.
Carlos’s new bond with Dude leads to him becoming the first of the VK’s to openly defy his evil mother. His new love for dogs becomes a central element of his character for the remainder of the series. Carlos eventually expresses a desire to become a Vet.
3. Jane accidentally damages the barrier around the Isle
The main plot of the first Descendants film has the Villain Kids on a reluctant quest to steal the Fairy Godmother’s wand and free their evil parents from the Isle Of The Lost. As the movie goes on, they become increasingly more reluctant to carry out this mission.
Before the VK’s can make a final decision, Jane, the daughter of the Fairy Godmother, snatches the wand for herself, annoyed with her Mother for not using her magic to help her like she did for Cinderella. Unfortunately, Jane is not powerful enough to control the wand, and it misfires, accidentally destroying the barrier around the Isle Of The Lost. Mal, still undecided between good and evil at this point, takes the wand from Jane before too much damage is done.
The fact that Jane brings down the barrier rather than the VK’s starts an important theme that runs through the entire Descendants trilogy. Good people are capable of bad things, just as bad people can sometimes be capable of good.
4. Mal and Evie reunite with Dizzy
During a trip back to the Isle in the second film, Mal and Evie are reunited with their young friend Dizzy Tremaine. Dizzy is the daughter of Cinderella’s stepsister, Drizella, and shows a deep fascination with Auradon.
Dizzy’s introduction serves to prove why Ben’s ultimate goal from the first movie – to eventually bring all the Isle’s children to Auradon- is so important. There are some truly innocent souls on the Isle.
5. Uma’s decision not to fight.
Descendants 2 features an even more epic battle sequence than the first film, with Mal embracing her heritage and transforming into a dragon to battle Uma, the daughter of Ursula, also transformed into Sea-Witch form.
The fight ends when Ben intervenes, offering Uma the chance to help him and Mal reform the Isle. While she declines, she also chooses not to pursue her battle with Mal any further, instead quietly retreating into the ocean.
This foreshadow’s Uma’s role as a more heroic figure in the final film.
6. Uma’s return
A year passes between the events of the last two films. During this time, Mal fears that Uma, free from the restrictions of the Isle Of The Lost, will be back for revenge.
When Uma does reappear, it is revealed that she wasn’t bothered with revenge at all. Instead, she had spent the year searching for a hole in the barrier around the Isle. Not to free everyone inside, just the children. All Uma needs to agree to help save Auradon is a promise that all remaining VK’s will be freed from the Isle.
This proves that Uma was, as Ben predicted, never a true villain. Ultimately, she wants what is best for everyone.
7. Hades saves Audrey
The unexpected villain of Descendants 3 is Audrey, the daughter of Sleeping Beauty. Jealous of the relationship between Mal and Ben, Audrey becomes corrupted by Maleficent’s sceptre, and places a sleeping curse upon most of Auradon.
While Mal manages to defeat Dark Audrey with help from Uma, the process leaves Audrey comatose. The only person who can wake her up is Hades, Mal’s estranged Father. At Mal’s request, he does so. While he receives little thanks from most of Auradon, Mal acknowledges her Father’s good deed, remembering that there is potential for good and evil on both sides of the barrier.
This realisation drives Mal’s decision to permanently bring down the barrier around the Isle of the Lost.
With a great story and likeable characters, Descendants has easily earned its place among the great Disney franchises. It will remain loved by fans for years to come.