Disney Channel's 'Descendants 2' news: brand-new characters, third prequel novel & Halloween costumes
As filming of Disney Channel’s “Descendants 2” gets underway this month, three new characters and the actors who will play them have been revealed.
The latest additions are offspring of additional Disney villains:
** Harry, the son of Peter Pan's Captain Hook, will be played by Thomas Doherty.
** Uma, daughter of The Little Mermaid's Ursula, will be played by veteran Disney Channel actor China Anne McClain.
** Gil, son of Beauty and The Beast’s Gaston, will be played by Dylan Playfair.
Fans of the record-setting, made-for-television original movie, “Descendants,” will be happy to know that all their favorite main characters are returning to the sequel. Booboo Stewart, Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson and Cameron Boyce will reprise their roles as Jay (son of Jafar), Mal (daughter of Maleficent), Evie (daughter of the Evil Queen) and Carlos (son of Cruella de Vil), respectively. Kristin Chenoweth returns as Maleficent, too.
“Descendants” explores the premise that the Disney villains (and some heroes) had children. The group is granted permission by the benevolent teenage son of King Adam and Queen Belle to leave the remote Isle of the Lost where they had been banished and attend prep school with the Disney heroes' kids. This, of course, leads to a battle of good versus evil set amidst the backdrop of typical teenage angst.
The movie would appear to have a happy ending -- after a large-scale musical production number – but Mal, with a wink, talks directly to the camera, promising the tale is not over. So, we assume that is where “Descendants 2” will pick up.
Kenny Ortega returns as the director, executive producer and choreographer of the sequel, which is as much of an early indicator of success as you can get. After all, Ortega is the force behind Disney Channel’s biggest franchise, “High School Musical.” Since its debut, “Descendants” ranks as cable television’s fifth highest-rated movie of all-time. It only falls behind “High School Musical 2” as the most-watched movie on Disney Channel. Those are some impressive statistics!
“Descendants 2” is scheduled for a summer 2017 release. In the meantime, fans of the Disney characters can immerse themselves in their world through other avenues. Two prequel novels – “The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel” and “Return to the Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel” – have topped best-seller lists. And Disney Publishing Worldwide just announced a third novel by Melissa de la Cruz with an expected release date in May 2017.
More immediately, kids can get their “Descendants” fix with Halloween costumes, which seem to be quite popular again this year. I spotted these Mal and Evie costumes at Walt Disney World last weekend. They come in children’s sizes extra-small (4) to extra-large (11-12) and can be purchased on property or through the Shop Disney Parks app for about $55 plus tax apiece. The Disney Store, which has mall locations and an online site, has its own collection of “Descendants” costumes.