Disney’s Descendants has been one of the most hyped Disney Channel Original TV Movies in recent years. The TV film, which was directed by Kenny Ortega, is based around the premise that all of the famous Disney villains (and their little sidekicks, too) were banished to a magic-less island while the Disney protagonists joined their kingdoms and enjoyed years of peace and prosperity; that is, until the son of Belle and Beast is due to be crowned king, and makes his first proclamation: that four of the children of those exiled villains be invited to attend school on the mainland, since they are not their parents and do not deserve to be punished simply for being born.
Although there has been no official word from Disney yet, it is very likely that there will be a sequel hitting the TV airwaves sometime soon. Let’s take a closer look at why a Descendants 2 is almost guaranteed for the Disney Channel.
The film earned almost 7 million live viewers during its Friday night premiere, making it the #1 TV program aimed at children 2 to 13 in 2015 so far. The additional viewers from app viewing, legal online streaming and DVR recordings also bring the total ratings up to record-breaking heights. Disney is not shy about making sequels for its successful TV films, and Descendants is not likely to be an exception.
Descendants have already been supplemented by an extensive merchandise line which seems likely designed to encourage growth in the Descendants brand. The merchandise includes school supplies, books, clothing and fashion accessories, as well as a doll line which includes dolls exclusive to official Disney Stores.
When Descendants was first announced, many fans immediately brought up its similarity to a Mattel franchise: Ever After High, where the teen children from fairy tale heroes and villains attend school together and grapple with their supposed destinies. Disney may be hoping that Descendants has the edge over Ever After High, since it can include characters and other material that is officially Disney rather than generic “fairy tale.”
Perhaps the most prominent example of Disney intending to develop Descendants into a sequel and full-blown franchise is the existence of other Descendants material. Before the film aired, a web exclusive series starring the daughter of Rapunzel and Eugene was available to Disney fans; an animated web series was announced shortly after the film premiered on TV; and a prequel book by Melissa De La Cruz, titled Isle of the Lost, was published several weeks before the film’s air date. Not only did the book shoot to the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Seller List, it is also described with the subtitle: “A Descendants Novel,” which indicates more Descendants novels may be on the way. To watch the first Descendants movie, consider purchasing internet from Charter Spectrum.