It was 2:22 am, and it's summer for me so what do I spend my Monday night during the summer holidays doing? Getting my laptop and putting on a Disney film like any other wild teenager of the 21st century. Okay, bad joke let's get on with this anyway. Descendants 3.
My On and Off Relationship With Descendants😂
So, I wasn't exactly sure if I was going to watch this movie. I remember when the trailer came out, and if I am completely honest with you, for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I remember watching the trailer for the first time and I never watched it again because I found it incredibly cheesy and underwhelming. And I suppose part of that is because I am growing up. The first Descendants movie came out when I was 12, and after listening to the songs when I was 12, I couldn't wait to see the movie. But me, being me, I took my time with things and ended up watching it on my 14th birthday. I know, I know, I'm bad at watching things, I have a load of series I haven't finished yet either... But anyway I watched the movie when I turned 14, and oh, did I love it. The story, the actors/actresses, the songs- I loved everything about it. And what was even better was, the second movie was going to come out in July of that school year. So I was stoked.
And when the trailer for the second movie came out, I could not stop watching it because I was so excited for the second movie. And after Ramadan, I listened to all the new songs on Eid and I could not stop listening! I loved them even more than I loved the songs of the first movie!
2017 was like a field year for me when it came to movies. Descendants 2, Spider-Man Homecoming- it couldn't get any better than that.
And I remember I watched Descendants 2, straight after it came out and it didn't disappoint little 14-year-old me. The story, the songs, the characters, the actors/actresses I loved this movie even more than the first one.
But it pained me that I had to wait more or less 2 years for the third movie to come out.
And 2 years is a long time. Things happen, experiences, priorities change because you're growing up and finally when the trailer came out as I said I was underwhelmed.
I guess I was just growing out of the movie itself, I stopped listening to songs from the movie slowly, I stopped being in awe of the actors/actresses, the story was still nice I suppose but it didn't feel great like it used to.
It's safe to say I was much more excited for Endgame and Spider-Man Far From Home, and I wasn't really apart of the hype for Descendants 3.
But earlier this summer, something really unfortunate happened... One of the lead actors in the movie, Cameron Boyce who plays Carlos De Vil (son of Cruella De Vil) passed away due to an ongoing medical condition. I remember waking up and hearing that news and I was sad, I mean sure, I didn't know him in real life or anything but I grew up watching his stuff on Disney Channel. Jessie, Gamer's Guide, Descendants and he was actually a really good role model for young people.
Rest In Peace
He wasn't the kind of Disney Star you'd catch fighting in the club, or getting arrested for DUI. One time I saw him on Instagram doing a walk to end homelessness, another time I saw him raising awareness during Black History Month, and there was this one thing he said in an interview which just made me think: "what a good guy":
A lot of things that happen in the industry can really change you for the worst sometimes, so for me it's important to just remember who I was before the industry, and just continue to be that.
The biggest thing that people need to understand about the industry is that it does have effects on your personal life and it's important to just remember that, while chasing your dream is important, you continuing to be yourself is also what you should prioritise.
And when he wanted to move on he didn't completely throw Disney to the curb claiming he never asked to be a role model to children. He explained that as an actor he's growing up, so it would be natural for him to want to move on to more mature content, but he said he'd stay with Disney for one last time to make Descendants 3 and then he would move on.
And to me, it makes sense why any children's actor might want to move on from being on a children's network. Acting is a job, and some people like child actors start work early. Moving on from that children's network is like getting promoted. But the way some actors move on from that children's channel is disgusting. I won't name anyone but some say "we never asked to be role models" it's like: "no, you didn't but you're on a children's channel, children will be watching you and see you as an older cooler person, so obviously they're going to aspire to be like you. If you don't want to be a children's role model don't go on a children's channel."
Anyway, the fact that Cameron was respectful about moving on, just showed his maturity at an extremely young age.
He was just 20-years-old when he passed away and that's really sad because he was only young, and with his attitude, he had an extremely bright future ahead of him. I mean when he started Descendants, he would have been the same age as me, just 16, and he was making children smile across the world.
So, I will say this- Rest In Peace, Cameron Boyce and thank you for everything. :)
Background On Descendants
So, I watched this movie mainly because Cameron Boyce passed, and because I did hear a song from the movie and it sounded pretty good.
A little bit of background on the movies for those of you who haven't seen them, if you've seen 1 & 2 then you don't need to read this.
Basically, the movies are about the children of classic Disney characters. And there are the children of the Disney villains and the children of the Disney princesses and princes. Basically Belle and the Beast got married, and instead of a honeymoon they decided to unite all the kingdoms (basically all the other Disney princes and princesses) into one kingdom and they called it "the United States of Auradon" which is this idealistic land where everything is perfect and perky and the sun shines on constantly, and Ben and Beast were elected king and queen. And they decided to round up all the villains who wronged somebody and put them in a prison Island type thing called "The Isle of The Lost" where there was no wifi or magic or sunny weather. And there was some kind of magical barrier which meant the villains could never leave the Isle, so they were stuck there.
Belle and Beast's son, Ben was going to be elected the new king of Auardon, and he wanted his first act as King to be letting children of the Isle of the lost to come live in Auradon because he believed the children didn't deserve to be imprisoned because they did nothing wrong, you can't exactly choose your parents, can you? He started off slowly by picking four children who he believed needed his help the most, Mal (daughter of Maleficient), Carlos (son of Cruella De Vil) Evie (daughter of the Evil Queen), and Jay (son of Jafar).
I was going to write it all but I found some 60-second recap which will be much easier and faster so... I hope you can understand fast speaking...
Okay, so I know it's kinda cringey, to look back at and really cheesy but to a kid who has always been Disney obsessed this was like the best thing ever😂
My Thoughts On The Movie as A Whole
I found it to be a really fun film. Sure, there were points which made me cringe a little, points where I was like "that makes no sense" and "are you actually being serious?" And I do think at some points the acting was a little overdone but for most of the movie, the acting was spot on. Then there were times when I was like: "Is now really the time to be singing?"
But if you just let the movie flow, and forget how things work in real life, it's actually a pretty fun movie. This is a movie primarily aimed at children, and children do seem to like overacting, and despite them breaking into songs at inconvenient times, the music was pretty awesome. I think the cast had pretty good voices, and the songs were cleverly written.
My favourite thing about this movie was the messages it portrayed to children about acceptance, change, and forgiveness.
At the beginning of the movie, the antagonist Audrey(daughter of Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip) strongly disliked VKs (villain kid/kids) and were judgmental of them:
A) Because of their background
B) Because Mal is a VK and Ben left Audrey for Mal so she is jealous that she doesn't get to be the queen and Mal does.
She does what every character does in a musical, especially a Disney musical, sing about her problems, and not even lying this was actually really good and cleverly written, her voice is beautiful and this was even #1 on trending above Ariana Grande's new song, so that's saying something:
Anyway, some stuff happens after that, let's just say Audrey does some evil stuff (no spoilers) and she realises she's done wrong, and it was actually a "villain" which saved her from something.
Audrey changes in the end. She realises her wrongdoing and is sorry, and because she's changed, the others who she wronged forgave her.
I'm glad they forgave her. And they let her explain why she did what she did, and to an extent from Audrey's point of view it is understandable, but it doesn't justify anything.
Putting this into a real-life perspective, I think if somebody commits a crime, society automatically label them the crime they have committed. But what society fail to look at, is why people commit crimes. Sometimes, it's just selfish reasons, and the criminal doesn't show any remorse. But sometimes, some kid might rob the first person they see because they haven't had anything to eat for days and they're starving. But society doesn't see reasonings as such. They only see the kid who robbed someone, they must be bad. Society just shouts at the kid, and don't let them explain, and make the kid even more bitter because the kid isn't given a chance to explain. And that goes for most criminals. It's sad but true.
So I think the way they made Audrey commit her crime, then suffer something in which she needed saving from, then they made her remorseful and realise her mistakes, then they let her explain why she did what she did, and finally, everyone forgave her.
Another thing which the movie showed that people can change and that your background doesn't define you.
People from Auradon are expected to be perfect, good, who never do anybody wrong.
People from the Isle of The Lost are expected to be evil, bad, and to wrong anyone they meet.
But in this movie, it was actually the person from Auradon who wronged her own people, and it was people from the Isle of The Lost who helped save everyone from her.
Yet when Audrey first started committing her acts of evil, people believed it was someone from the Isle of The Lost until they saw it was Audrey for herself.
And at the end of the movie, Mal made a speech which stated something along the lines of:
"People from both sides are capable of good and bad"
Which was clearly true, and even applies in real life. Countless times, I've seen whole communities of people be stereotyped for a crime in which certain people who happen to be in their community commit. And I have seen people give off the vibes that they believe everyone in their own community is complete angels, and they have some kind of right, to go around bashing other communities. Why do they bash other communities? Because a number of people within that community commit a crime. They act as if people in their own community don't commit crimes.
Even people in political campaigns have stereotyped people.
I've been stereotyped on this website. I told people anonymously my gender, ethnicity, religion, and nationality and I got some crazy assumptions which are nothing like me at all. In fact, only one person said there wasn't enough information to assume something about me.
If I told someone the city I'm from, and the school I go to- they'd probably assume something which is nothing like me.
I don't tend to take it to heart even if the stereotype is really disgusting, and even then I'll just shrug it off and not let it affect me because I know I'm not like the stereotype.
However, stereotyping can spark hatred. Hatred within the people who are stereotyping. The people who hear and believe the stereotypes. The people who are nothing like the stereotype but are being stereotyped for who they are. And hatred leads to someone doing something which they cannot take back. And that's when people usually wake up.
But similar to what Mal said, everyone is capable of good and bad. Because putting aside what we look like, where we're from, our religion or non-religion, our political stance and basically all the labels we give ourselves- we're human. And all humans are capable of good and bad, nobody is a complete angel. And if we give ourselves the labels which may give us our identity- we're still capable of good and bad.
One message I also loved was how people can change. They say: "a leopard never changes its spots" which is true, but when they apply that to human beings, I disagree. People can change, if they're shown how. Of course, if a person only sees one way of life, then they're not going to change because that one way of life is all they know, but show them something else and they could change.
So I mentioned Audrey earlier, and it's evident she changed. But more people changed. Like the antagonists in the previous movie. They changed and realised evil isn't the way and realised working with people is better than working against them. And even Mal, Evie, Jay and Carlos changed. They stopped their fueds with the antagonists from the previous movie and worked together and also realised they're stronger with their so-called "enemies" and realised that having enemies isn't worth it and that it's better to have friends than fueds.
Fear. A very small message about fear was portrayed in this movie, which I no doubt love. In that speech Mal did she also said:
"You can't live in fear. Because it doesn't protect you from anything."
Which is actually really true. Sure, you can go around fearing a community of people because they're stereotyped, you can fear that bully at school, you can fear something, but what will fear actually do?
I'll try you what fear can do. I said previously that stereotyping creates fear, but what does stereotyping create before hatred? Fear. Then the fear can turn into hatred.
Mal then went on to say:
"Because you never know where the good or bad is going to come from"
Which is also true. You can fear a certain community because you believe a stereotype. But what if someone from that same community you, helps you in some kind of way? You can fear telling, the teacher about the bully because you think the bully is going to beat you up after school. But what if that teacher you tell is able to stop the bully from beating you up?
The truth is you don't know what is going to happen. So fear nothing because fear is the barrier to so many great things in life and most of the time what people fear, isn't scary. When I went on, my school residential last November, I was scared of climbing up a gyll and wet caving because of my partial-disability. But I did both those things regardless, and I climb as high up the gyll similar to (I was just a little slower) the rest of my group, even though I walk with a limp and didn't have anything to eat that morning because I woke up late, and the next day I went caving like everyone else and it was amazing. Had I listened to my fear and not done it, I wouldn't have had that great feeling I had, when I did those things.
And these messages being portrayed to little kids are amazing. Because young children are impressionable their brain absorbs information like a sponge, and the fact that they've got movies like this teaching them positive messages like these, just makes me happy that this is what kids will be learning today. :)
Something else which I loved what Mal decided to do in the movie was unite the people of Auradon and the people of The Isle of The Lost by breaking down the barrier which kept them apart because the whole point of the barrier being up is because people of Auradon believed whoever was on the Isle of The Lost must be "bad and evil" but that was quickly proven wrong, so why have the barrier up for such a silly reason?
Hey, they even dropped one mad bop (excuse my very own cringe) at the end with some amazing vocals and dance moves:
The movie was pretty awesome despite it's logic errors and somewhat cringeyness.
I know there will not be a fourth movie because the majority of the cast is ready to move on from Disney now anyway, and now the fact that Cameron Boyce passed... It's just not going to happen and I'm cool with that.
Three movies is enough. I think that goes for most franchises, four at max but after that- it is just ridiculous. I mean I don't even know what movie fast and furious is on anymore, I'll be surprised if they're not racing in area 51 by now, and after Transformers 3, the Transformers franchise just went downhill.
Plus, I'd feel extremely insulted if they replaced Cameron Boyce.
I think it's a nice moving on point. It'll probably my last time watching willingly watching anything on Disney Channel, I'd say 2019 is basically the year for saying goodbye to things.
Because personally, I said goodbye to my school, friends, teachers, we said goodbye to Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Widow, we said goodbye to a lot of famous people who unfortunately passed, and now we're saying goodbye to Descendants.
Sorry for getting a little morbid just then. To wrap it all up, I enjoyed the movie and I hope you enjoyed reading this and well done if you made it to the end of this lengthy MyTake. :P
Glad I watched the movie <3
Rest In Peace Cameron Boyce <3
Immense Praise For Descendants 3 :)