Descendants 2 (2017)

In the first Descendants movie, there was no real clear cut villain. There were a lot of characters you could say were villains, but there was just too much going on to say that one stood out over another. Maleficent didn’t really count because she’s barely in the movie.

The writers stepped up their game in the sequel, giving us the main villain for the rest of the series, Uma (China Anne McClain), daughter of Ursula.

Even though this series is meant to be based on the children of iconic Disney characters, it is really about these kids forging their own identities away from their parents. This particular chapter in the saga showcases their efforts the best.

Some people crumble under pressure and don’t like the spotlight. Our hero, Mal (Dove Cameron), daughter of Maleficient, is supposed to follow in her mom’s footsteps, except that’s not what she’s meant to do. As fate would have it in this universe, she’s meant to be the future queen. This pressure forces her to contemplate her real purpose for most of the movie.

Thankfully the story is better in this one as Mal and her friends have a bad guy to fend off. There’s a lot at stake here, and you can tell more effort was put into the second chapter. The choreography and songs are better, which made it a little bit enjoyable to watch.

I liked the direction the story is going and look forward to the finale in Descendants 3. As I pointed out before, these are Disney movies without the typical Disney budget. These films are a staple on the Disney channel, which can be found on Disney+. 6/10

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