Today we are talking all things Descendants. As most of you probably know by now, I’m a HUGE Disney fan. However, when I was younger I wasn’t really allowed to watch Disney Channel.
That all changed when a little movie you might have heard of came out.
In 2015, Descendants premiered, breaking the classic Disney Channel film High School Musical record for being the most widely watched and broadcasted Disney Channel Original Movie (keep in mind that these statistics are not factoring in the amount of television watched, the amount of kids watching, and other important stuff. But still. Pretty impressive, right?). I had no idea what this new “Descended” thing was, but it looked intriguing. The more advertisements and trailers that came out, the more excited I became.
When I finally watched the movie, I was beyond enthralled. Children of Disney’s greatest villains meets cotton candy high school? Yes, please. And it only got better when the animated series, Descendants: Wicked World, premiered that fall. I bought Melissa de la Cruz’s book before even seeing the movie and now that it had garnered such popularity, there were now multiple books for the reading. Since the newest film has come out and within a short week become such a hit both with myself (seriously, I watched the film twice in the first two days) and fans everywhere, I decided to do a little post on the Descendants storyline.
Keep in mind that this is about the sequential storyline. Any books mentioned actually have a story independent from the movies, unlike the junior novelization , Mal’s Spellbook, and Mal’s Diary, which are basically retellings of the movie’s story.
Without further ado, shall we begin?
The first item on this list is Melissa de la Cruz’s original novel: Isle of the Lost. In this wicked tale, we are first introduced to the core players of the Descendants universe. Here Mal, Evie, Carlos, Jay, and all the other unfortunate misfits/villains eke out a living. When a mishap causes Carlos and Evie to break through the magical barrier surrounding their island, Diablo awakes bringing news that Maleficent’s staff has been awakened – and it’s all on her daughter’s shoulders to bring it back. With a bitter bond between Mal and Evie already separating the group, can they manage to bring it back and prove they’re rotten to the core after all?
This book is a real treasure. Melissa de la Cruz’s creative storytelling and engaging narrative kept me loving the characters, the plot, and everything else. I fell in love with these characters the minute I met them.
Next up is the original movie itself. Descendants premiered on July 31st of 2015. It became an instant success. With its showstopping musical numbers and memorable characters, this movie was a classic in the making. When soon-to-be-king Ben decides to grant amnesty to villain kids, he opens up a whole new world of discovery, fun, and adventure. Mal, Carlos, Evie, and Jay are the wickedest of the bunch and Maleficent doesn’t plan to let this perfect opportunity go to waste. Their mission? Steal Fairy Godmother’s wand and break the villains out from their prison. But Auradon proves to be more enticing than expected, especially when Mal finds her love spell on Ben providing unexpected side effects. Can these VKs follow their parents’ plan? Or will they discover that being good isn’t so bad?
The movie was amazing, even if it has slightly embarrassing moments. This is still one of my favorite movies (sue me; I like a Disney Channel film that much) and I was over the moon by the credits. And I discovered a strong desire for purple hair and leather jackets…. In all honesty though, I loved the message of the movie, that good is stronger than evil. I also loved that the movie shows high school as being loads of fun and that teenagers can be positive. This is what I wish high school was like.
Moving on we come to Descendants: Wicked World. This series probably takes place in the first month or two after the events of Descendants. In the series the focus is on Mal and Evie as they try to prove that they have changed, not including the new characters introduced, evil plots thwarted, and multiple parties thrown. My favorite new character was probably Freddie, daughter of Dr. Facilier. She’s sarcastic and funny, traits I appreciate in a place where your dress being ruined is the end of the world. During the run of the series, there were three books released under the smaller title School of Secrets. These include CJ’s Treasure Chase, Freddie’s Shadow Cards, and Ally’s Mad Mystery. Within the last month there was a new title released to take place around the events of Descendants 2, titled Lonnie’s Warrior Sword. I haven’t read the latter, but hope to as soon as it arrives at our local library.
We then arrive at Return to the Isle of the Lost. Like the first book, it is a wonderful ride. In this story, the original VKs (in case you were confused by this nickname previously mentioned, it stands for villain Kids. The AK’s are Auradon kids) have finally settled into a regular, evil-free lifestyle. That is, until they each receive mysterious messages, threatening them to return to the Isle. When a dragon that looks strangely familiar begins terrorizing the country, Mal and her friends must return to the place they never thought they’d see again. Home sweet home.
This was also a great read. I hope Melissa de la Cruz does not stop writing these books, or at least doesn’t stop for a while.
The next book in the Descendants lineup is Rise of the Isle of the Lost. This is another de la Cruz novel, although I believe Ally’s Mad Mystery is supposed to take place between the last book and this one. In this book we first meet Uma (daughter of Ursula) and her pirate gang, including Harry (son of Hook) and Gil (son of Gaston). While the threesome make an unlikely team, they’re determined to find the recently lost Trident of Triton and break through to wreak havoc on Auradon. Mal and her friends (of course) are the only ones who stand in her way. With a little help from King Ben and a little luck, they’ve got to stop one of their biggest nemeses – before it’s too late.
Again, this was a great book. I enjoyed this one, although I think I preferred the original two books better.
That brings us back around to Descendants 2. This movie came out not even a week ago, but it’s already become as popular as its predecessor. I can’t stop singing the music and I don’t think there’s a friend I know that hasn’t seen it or doesn’t want to.
In this amazing sequel, Mal is feeling the pressures of Auradon life. Stuck trying to be the princess to Ben’s royal status, she feels the call of evil more than ever. When a fight breaks out, she decides it’s time to save Auradon – by taking herself out of the equation. Back on the Isle of the Lost, Uma’s sick of seeing Mal win every time. She’s ready to break free and luckily a hapless Ben, trying to get his girlfriend back, seems like just the right tool. With large musical numbers that will make you want to dance, new characters (plus original characters’ development), and plot twists that will keep you begging for more, this sequel proves that the second movie can be just as great as the first.
Whew! Crazy, right? There’s so much to enjoy in the world of Descendants and at the heart of it, there’s a powerful message of good conquering evil, and positivity and diplomacy. There’s action, there’s music, and there’s a tad bit of romance. This is the Disney Channel movie series that you’ve been waiting for. To finish off today’s post, I include a quote from both Descendants movies:
“What? You didn’t think this was the end of the story…