Disney: PREMIERE Sunday 1 November, 3.15pm
The sons of Cruella de Vil and Jafar, Carlos and Jay (Cameron Boyce and Booboo Stewart) join Mal and Evie (Dove Cameronand Sofia Carson), daughters of Maleficent and the Evil Queen, as the new students at Auradon’s goody-two-shoes prep school. Back on the Island of the Lost, Maleficent (Kristin Chenoweth) and her villainous cronies plot to take over the benevolent kingdom ruled by Belle and the Beast.
Even by the standards of musical fantasy, this Disney Channel TV movie is incredible only in its contrivance. No magic, no wi-fi, sing the kids. No good, wails the audience. Filmed in Froot Loop colours and scripted in crayon, Descendants makes the Night at the Museum movies seem positively Mark Twainish.
The opposite of Enchanted, it’s like some attention-deficit sitcom full of screaming stereotypes, starry-eyed kids running around with the brat quotient turned up to 11. Monsters University may have had its faults, but it wasn’t entirely predicated on obnoxious pandering to some imagined demographic.
Director-choreographer Kenny Ortega is known for the High School Musicals, of course. But he also made the frightful Halloween comedy Hocus Pocus back in the 90s, with Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy (Descendants’ Evil Queen) as resurrected Salem witches. Oh how we booed. “This is tedious and very immature,” moans Maleficent as her grand plan unravels. Everyone’s a critic. The real Maleficent on Sky Movies Disney at 8pm.