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‘Descendants 3’ Review: Why D3 is the best one yet

"To make the world a better place, we have to do it face to face."

We all love a good Disney movie. We love the catchy songs, the epic dance numbers and the usual happy ending. The latest Disney made for TV movie, Descendants 3, the third movie in the Descendants franchise has all of those things, but so much more. Here’s why this edition to franchise is the best of the series.

DESCENDANTS 3
(Disney Channel/David Bukach)
CAMERON BOYCE, SOFIA CARSON, DOVE CAMERON, BOOBOO STEWART

The Message

Now, this message can definitely be looked at in a more political light and you can draw some definite comparisons to our current immigration issues, stereotyping and the building of walls. These hot button issues are unavoidable on the internet and, while we stay clear of politics here at Pure Fandom, we will take the time to stop and applaud Disney’s bold and thoughtful take on these topics.

There are some that will take issue with this movie tackling the issues that it did, but we think that it’s vital in today’s world.  The young viewers that are singing and dancing along to Mal and her VK squad are the ones who will inherit this world, so it’s important that they see the characters they idolize show compassion, forgiveness and tolerance. King Ben was the perfect example of this when he reminds his father that taking down the barrier is no longer his decision.

DESCENDANTS 3
(Disney Channel/David Bukach)
DOVE CAMERON, CAMERON BOYCE, CHINA ANNE MCCLAIN

Girl Power

In Descendants 3, you can see so many great examples of female unity. As always, Mal and Evie are such a solid example of the strength of female friendship, but it’s Uma and Mal that steal our hearts in this movie.

Uma and Mal were brutal enemies when Uma was introduced in Descendants 2. They had lifelong beef and it only intensified when Uma kingnapped Ben. D3 gave these two bright and powerful women the chance to unite against a common threat and they realized very quickly that they were stronger together than against each other. It’s a welcomed change from the usual ‘girl vs. girl’ drama we are used to.

DESCENDANTS 3
(Disney Channel/David Bukach)
CHEYENNE JACKSON

Hades

What an amazing addition! We loved all of the new characters, but Hades added such a fun new aspect given his parental ties to Mal. Going into the movie, it seemed like he was going to be the villain, but in the end he was just a snarky hero with the best hair EVER.

DESCENDANTS 3
(Disney Channel/David Bukach)
DOVE CAMERON

The Songs

All of the songs in this franchise are amazing, and D3 is no exception. The opening song was once again a bop featuring the (Rotten to the) Core 4 with some epic dance moments. Each song and singer feels more mature and elevated in this movie, especially Dove Cameron (as Mal) singing “My Once Upon a Time.” That song felt like an absolute Broadway showstopper and she would have had everyone on their feet clapping had this been on stage.

Audrey’s “Queen of Mean” is also a wonderfully haunting song that showcased her twist toward evil in a super fun way. King Ben’s sweet callback to his serenade to Mal in the first movie as he proposed was adorable and we are still dancing to “One Kiss” and “Do What You Gotta Do.”

DESCENDANTS 3
(Disney Channel/David Bukach)
CAMERON BOYCE

Cameron Boyce and his incredible talent

It was impossible not to tear up when Cameron Boyce’s Carlos took center stage to dance in the opening number and again during the tribute that played after the movie. His talent was endless and his loss was always in the corner of our minds while watching this film. This franchise will always be that much more special because of the incredible talent and light he brought to it. He will be missed beyond measure. (Click here to donate to the amazing foundation set up in his honor.)

DESCENDANTS 3
(Disney Channel/David Bukach)
BOOBOO STEWART, CAMERON BOYCE

The Unity

It was just so much fun to see the enemies come together in this movie! Harry and Gil teamed up with Carlos and Jay was such a treat. We spoke about the amazing female bonds above, and we also want to highlight the comradery that quickly evolved between the guys. We also absolutely loved that at the end, Jay and Gil decided to take a road-trip together. If this franchise ever has a spin-off, THAT is what we need to see!

Descendants 3 is premiered on FRIDAY, AUG. 2 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on Disney Channel and available to stream on DisneyNOW. 

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Meg Bonney

Meg is a TV obsessed writer based in the Midwest. She is also the author of the award winning YA-Fantasy novel, EVERLY and tends to be overly caffeinated. Find her on Twitter to chat about TV, books and Bellamy Blake's freckles.

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