The world has gone crazy over Descendants! Over 32 million people have seen this Disney Channel phenomenon. With all the hype leading up to the movie, it had a lot to live up to. Even before it was released, it was being set up as the hit of the year, often compared to Disney Channel’s other mega-smash High School Musical. With both sharing the same director and with both centering on teens who can sing, I wondered if it was going to simply be Monster High School Musical or Ever After High School Musical. But Descendants carved out its own niche in this fairy tale saturated market and is very much beloved as its own creation.
A lot of that love comes from the terrific acting of Dove Cameron who is proving to be a Disney Channel phenom herself. Carrying double duty on the hit Liv and Maddie, she quickly got tapped to star in her first full-length movie Cloud 9 which was also widely received as a hit. Playing the lead character Mal in Descendants, Cameron gave a stirring performance. Her vocal talents are obvious (she also sings the theme song for Liv and Maddie), but she is such an extremely likable person it’s hard not to root for her. And while the story was fairly predictable, it was sweet and touching with some ace musical numbers.
So what do you do when you have a hit? Make another one! A Descendants 2 script was commissioned from the original screenwriters and another book from Melissa de la Cruz who wrote the prequel The Isle of the Lost will be released in May 2016. But if you can’t wait here are three ways you can dive deeper into the world of Descendants right now!
Buy the books – Three books in particular do a great job of making you feel closer to the kids at Auradon and in particular our four “heroes.” Mal’s Spell Book ($11.99) is a journey into the thoughts and motivations of each of the four main characters. Each page is meant to be part of Mal’s Spell Book, but the characters all write inside of it as if it were a journal, interacting with one another from page to page. Mal’s Diary ($9.99) focuses on Mal’s character and the transformation she goes through during the course of the movie. It even has a clasp like a real diary might and the interior pages are written as if the character wrote it herself. Finally, The Isle of the Lost ($17.99) is a prequel novel that sets up the events in the movie and is told as a traditional narrative by New York Times bestselling author, Melissa de la Cruz.
Get the DVD – Not only will you be able to enjoy the movie over and over again, but you’ll get to enjoy all the bonus features available on the disc. Bloopers, backstage dance rehearsals and a cute little video through Mal’s social media (sort of like the “As Told by Emoji” videos Disney has produced lately) are all on the disc.
Enjoy the new adventures on the Descendants YouTube Channel – Disney has added short animated videos about the kids and their adventures (with voices by the original cast). These are short three minute segments about their lives and how they are learning to adjust to life with one another. It also adds new characters to the mix like Jordan (daughter of the Genie) and Freddie (daughter of Dr. Facilier). The stories are charming and definitely worth watching if you’ve fallen for these characters.
My 11-year old daughter, Emma, is a huge Descendants fan and has absolutely loved delving into this world through these added mediums. If you’re a Descendants fan or have someone in your house who is, you can’t go wrong with these Disney offerings!