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A Time-Bending Quest for Redemption

Descendants: The Rise of Red

TV-G -     

Genre: Action, Adventure, Family
Year Released: 2024
Runtime: 1h 31m
Director(s): Jennifer Phang
Writer(s): Dan Frey, Ru Sommer
Cast: Brandy, Rita Ora, Kylie Cantrall, Malia Baker, China Anne McClain, Jeremy Swift, Dara Reneé, Ruby Rose Turner, Morgan Dudley, Paolo Montalban, Melanie Paxson, Leonardo Nam, Grace Narducci, Joshua Colley, Peder Lindell
Where To Watch: premiering exclusively on Disney+ July 12, 2024

RAVING REVIEW: In the latest iteration of the beloved series DESCENDANTS, we are whisked away on an ambitious journey that continues to bridge the magical worlds of Auradon and the Isle of the Lost. Central to the tale is Red (Kylie Cantrall), an energetic and wild protagonist with royal lineage to the infamous Queen of Hearts (Rita Ora). Her quest for self-discovery and resilience in the face of adversity makes this chapter particularly compelling, introducing alliances that shift the narrative unexpectedly.

While Mal (Dove Cameron) and Evie (Sofia Carson) are on a journey to continue bringing together the kingdom, Auradon Prep's leadership is left to the care of Uma (China Anne McClain,) a reformed villain who now serves as principal tasked, with navigating the choppy waters of a divided school. Her controversial decision to enroll Red, directly challenging ancient grudges, sparks challenges that stretch the mettle of everyone involved. This pivotal choice dredges up age-old conflicts and stirs potential chaos.

Red’s alliance with Chloe (Malia Baker) and Cinderella's (Brandy) straight-laced and goody glass-shoed daughter forms the cornerstone of the story. Despite their contrasting pasts, the duo embarks on a crucial mission that blends time travel with profound personal growth. Fueled by a magical pocket watch, their odyssey promises to reshape their destinies and the pasts and present of Auradon’s very fabric.

Visually, the film continues to set high standards, painting the enchanting landscapes of Auradon with a rich palette that draws viewers into a vividly realized fantasy. The series’ signature musical backdrop complements the visual experience with a soundtrack that weaves catchy anthems with soul-stirring melodies, amplifying the emotional and thematic depth of the plot. The series has always shined when it comes to music, and this time is no different!

The musical component of the film truly stands out, with songs that resonate and enhance the emotional landscape of the narrative. The cast shines in their musical performances, injecting each scene with an infectious energy that captures the spirit of the series. Their vocal skill and dynamic presence elevate the musical numbers, turning them into memorable highlights that underscore crucial moments of the story.

The narrative spotlights character evolution, with Red’s transformation at the forefront. This metamorphosis mirrors the trials and triumphs of adolescence, making her journey relatable to a young audience. Chloe’s journey underscores the power of understanding and adaptability, reinforcing the story’s underlying messages of redemption and the impact of personal choices.

The ensemble cast delivers fun and welcomed performances that breathe life into their characters and enhance the intricate dynamics of their relationships. The burgeoning camaraderie between Red and Chloe becomes the emotional linchpin of the plot. With this entry into the franchise, we get introduced to a new generation while paying homage to the films that laid the groundwork for the series.

Honoring the legacy of its predecessors, this chapter carves out its own with a blend of adventure, character growth, and mystery. It invites seasoned fans and newcomers to delve into a tale of bravery and friendship, set against a backdrop that captivates and inspires, securing its place as a noteworthy series expansion. I can’t wait for our next journey back to the grounds of Auradon Prep!

@DisneyPlus, @DisneyChannel, @DisneyDescendants
#DisneyDescendants, #TheRiseOfRed

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[photo courtesy of DISNEY+]

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Chris Jones
Entertainment Editor

Chris Jones is the Mail Entertainment Editor covering Movies and Television topics. He is from Washington, Illinois, and is the owner, writer, and editor of Overly Honest Reviews.