Welcome to another installment in the What You Missed series.
To recap, this is a series of news stories that fell off our radar during the 2014 year in animation. So consider this a way of catching up with the stories you may have missed out on.
Descendants Teaser Trailers + Prequel Novel
Not simply content with reinventing its animated characters and properties on the big screen via live-action remakes/retellings, Disney is also bringing some of that thought process to the small screen as well.
Descendants is an upcoming Disney Channel original movie that tells the story of the titular offspring of all the classic Disney villains (and heroes), providing a young-adult accessible take on the Disney mythos (make of that what you will).
As always, it’s been some time since we last gave any serious updates about the project. So now we give you not one, but two updates on it.
First, we have this very short 15-second teaser from Disney Channel’s Descendants YouTube channel. You can see it here:
Again, very short and not much to look at. For what it’s worth, we do get a look at Dove Cameron’s Mal (Maleficent’s daughter) in motion.
Next is a slightly longer 30-second teaser that has some actual footage (and dialogue!), but it’s mixed in with two other Disney Channel movies premiering this year:
From what little we see here, we get quite a bit of Kristin Chenoweth’s Maleficent and her interaction with Mal. Again, say what you will about this movie but it looks like Kristin’s having a bit of fun with her character.
Interestingly enough, it appears that the makers behind Descendants have further aspirations for it beyond it just being a Disney Channel movie.
Courtesy of Hypable, Disney had announced back in July that a prequel novel based on he film was in the works and that it will be written by Melissa de la Cruz (Blue Bloods, Witches of East End, Heart of Dread).
Titled The Isle of the Lost, the summary of the book reads as follows:
“Legend has it that long ago, the most infamous villains were imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost, cut off from the rest of the world as punishment for their misdeeds. In this dark and dreary place, the likes of Maleficent, Jafar, Cruella de Vil, and the Evil Queen reside and evil reigns supreme. Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos are their descendants, teenaged sons and daughter of the Isle’s most villainous characters, and they are coming of age on the Isle of the Lost.”
Cruz weighed in on her opportunity to play in this universe, stating: “I am absolutely thrilled and honored to have been chosen for this fantastic project…The opportunity to write and expand the story with these beloved characters is a dream come true for this Disney aficionado!”
Having a prequel novel written for a Disney Channel movie is intriguing, but the fact that it’s being written by a very high-profile name in the world of YA supernatural fiction further hammers in the idea that this is Disney Channel’s attempt at appealing to an audience that would be more drawn to The Vampire Diaries rather than, say, Frozen.
Not very many Disney Channel films go on to become huge franchises. It’s possible that Descendants might be one of those films that gets to do so.
The book will hit shelves on May 5. No premiere date has been set for the film itself, but it is scheduled to hit the small screen sometime this year.
Are you looking forward to Descendants? Any thoughts about the novel?
Edited by: Morgan Stradling