In the magical land of Auradon, everyone lives in peace and harmony under the reign of Belle (Keegan Connor Tracy) and Beast (Dan Payne). All of the villains, including Maleficent (Kristin Chenoweth), the Evil Queen (Kathy Najimy), Jafar (Maz Jobrani) and Cruella de Vil (Wendy Raquel Robinson), have been exiled to the Island of Livevil.
The royal couple’s son, Prince Ben (Mitchell Hope), is about to ascend the throne. He decrees that the descendants of the villains should be allowed to enter Auradon to attend college and get a chance to do good with their lives. Consequently Mal (Dove Cameron), Evie (Sofia Carson), Jay (Booboo Stewart) and Carlos (Cameron Boyce) are chosen to come to Auradon. They’re the children of the four most notorious villains, and their arrival causes much displeasure to some residents of Auradon.
Maleficent, Mal’s mother, has long wanted to retrieve a wand from the Fairy Godmother. The four teenagers arrive in Auradon with the aim of getting the wand, but they soon start to question who they are and who they want to be. Do they have to follow in their parents’ villainous footsteps, or can they be their own people and make their own choices? Will they choose good or evil? The fact that Ben and Mal fall in love also influences their choices.
Fantasy; magic; witchcraft; heroes and villains; good versus evil
Descendants has some violence. For example:
- Jay and Carlos often play fight.
- Carlos and Jay fight with a character in a video game.
- Jay tries to grab the wand that’s floating in space. A force sends him flying.
- There’s some rough play on a hockey field. Boys run into each other and knock each other over.
- A dragon breathes fire on Jay and chases after him.
Descendants has some sexual references. For example, Ben and Mal go to kiss each other several times and then stop. At the end they do kiss.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Descendants shows some use of substances. For example:
- Mal bakes some cookies using a substance that casts a spell on the person who eats the cookies.
- Evie sprays a substance on Charming Chad, which knocks him out.
Nudity and sexual activity
There is some name-calling in Descendants, including ‘jerk’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Descendants is a Disney movie that includes many well-known fairy tale characters, both good and bad. The movie is basically a teenage college romance story, but it has a lot of positive messages. Older children and teenagers are likely to enjoy this movie.
These are the main messages from Descendants:
- Redemption is possible.
- We are who we choose to be.
- People should be given a second chance.
- Good triumphs over evil.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:
- not judging others by the actions of their parents
- giving people a second chance
- listening to your heart
- making your own choices
- not stealing things
- appreciating the power of love.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like the following:
- Why do the teenagers think they have to prove they’re evil, ruthless and malicious?
- Why do villains want to destroy everything that’s good and beautiful?