In this made-for-TV movie sequel, Ben (Mitchell Hope) and Mal (Dove Cameron) continue their plan to bring more Villain Kids (VKs) over from the Isle of the Lost to Auradon. Together with Evie (Sophia Carson), Jay (Booboo Stewart) and Carlos (Cameron Boyce), Ben and Mal travel to the Isle, where they select four kids to go back to Auradon with them. The lucky four are Dizzy (Anna Cathcart), Celia (Jadah Marle) and twins Squeaky (Christian Convery) and Squirmy (Luke Roessler). But just as they’re about to leave, Hades (Cheyenne Jackson) tries to escape through the barrier between the two kingdoms. Mal transforms into a dragon to repel Hades and seal the barrier.
Back in Auradon, Mal feels the responsibility of bringing evil to Auradon, so she decides to close the barrier to the island permanently. Mal doesn’t tell her friends what she has done, and they continue to think she’ll always stand up for the VKs.
When Ben and Mal announce their engagement, Audrey (Sarah Jeffery) feels upset and angry. She feels she has been good all her life and hasn’t been rewarded for it. She decides to transform into a wicked queen, which she does by stealing Malificent’s sceptre and crown. She casts a spell on the inhabitants of Auradon and puts them all into a deep sleep. Mal and her friends need to fight Audrey’s strong magic, but the only weapon more powerful is Hades’ amber.
Mal decides to return to the Isle to steal the amber from Hades, who turns out to be her father. In the process Mal learns that everyone is capable of good and evil, no matter where they come from. She decides that it’s better to remove the barriers that keep the two kingdoms apart so that everyone gets a second chance.
Fantasy; witchcraft; magic, abandonment by a parent; heroes and villains; good versus evil
Descendants 3 has some violence. For example:
- Hades projects laser beams from his hands. The beams knock out Ben, Evie, Carlos and Jay.
- Mal transforms into a dragon and breathes fire on Hades, repelling him back behind a barrier.
- Audrey smashes a glass case and steals a crown and sceptre.
- Gil and Harry break through the barrier and shove Jay and Carlos.
- Audrey throws an object at Chad and breaks a window.
- Armoured knights come to life and point their swords at Mal and friends. A prolonged sword fight ensues. This is very choreographed and no-one is injured. In the end, Mal and Uma send a powerful force into the knights, which causes them to crack and fall in a heap on the floor.
- Audrey points the sceptre at Mal in her dragon form. Mal fights back with fire and overcomes Audrey.
- There’s some mild flirtation and kissing.
- Ben and Mal kiss.
- Evie kisses Doug to waken him from a spell.
- Jane and Carlos hug.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Descendants 3 shows some use of substances, including when characters use substances to cast spells.
Descendants 3 has one instance of name-calling, when Audrey calls Celia a brat.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Descendants 3 is the last movie in this Disney trilogy.
This movie has plenty of singing and dancing, but it also has some darker themes. These revolve around Hades, a former god who steals souls and abandoned Mal as a baby. There are also some conflicting messages about good and evil and some quite scary scenes. Therefore, this movie isn’t recommended for children under eight years, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 8-10 years.
The main messages from this movie are that we’re stronger together and that all people are capable of good and bad, regardless of their backgrounds.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include forgiveness, teamwork, collaboration, redemption, second chances, fearlessness, togetherness, tolerance and celebration of differences.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like the following:
- At the start of the movie the Villain Kids sing a song called ‘It’s good to be bad’. But no-one is entirely good or bad and everyone should be accepted for what they are. Some of the movie’s messages about good and evil are a little confusing, but it’s important to know the difference between good and evil.
- Audrey has been a good person all her life and feels like she hasn’t been rewarded for this. She decides to be a bad person instead. Is there another way Audrey could have resolved her feelings?