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Disney plans "Descendants" sequel for 2017, will hold fan event at the Disneyland Resort this Saturday

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Disney plans "Descendants" sequel for 2017, will hold fan event at the Disneyland Resort this Saturday

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It's one of those hard-and-fast rules of the Disney Universe. That -- Flora (i.e., The leader of the good fairies in "Sleeping Beauty" put it) once put it -- " ... evil die and good endure!"

So how then to explain the success of Disney's "Descendants." This Disney Channel Original Movie -- which was built around the teenage sons and daughters of Disney's most infamous villains -- debuted back on July 31st and wound up being cable television's fifth highest-rated movie of all-time.


(L to R) Sofia Carson, Dove Cameron and Cameron Boyce pose with
a Disney's "Descendants" fan at during a Disney Channel photo
op at the 2015 D23 EXPOPhoto by Jim Hill 

And ever since then, Disney's "Descendants" has been ascending.  The soundtrack for this Disney Channel Original Movie debuted in the Billboard 200 in the No. 1 position. And the "Descendants" DVD (which hit store shelves on July 31st. The very same day that this TV movie premiered on the Disney Channel) is now the No. 1 TV movie and the third best-selling TV title on DVD, 2015 to-date.

And given that interest in this new Disney franchise just continues to grow & grow (Witness the huge trans-media audience that turned out when "Descendants: Wicked World,"  the new short-form animated series that debuted on the Disney Channel last month which is set in the worlds of Auradon and Isle of the Lost worlds. To date, 5.9 million people have viewed these shorts on the Disney Channel while nearly double that number of people -- over 10 million viewers -- have also watched them on YouTube), is it any wonder that -- earlier today -- The Mouse House officially announced plans to mount a sequel to this TV movie.


"Descendants" fans line up for the chance to get their picture taken with three of
the leads this Disney Channel Original Movie. Photo by Jim Hill 

To be specific, Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbons (i.e., the screenwriters of the original TV movie) have been commissioned to write "Descendants 2" (working title). Parriott and McGibbon will also serve as executive producers of this eagerly anticipated production. Which -- Disney Channel officials hope -- will begin shooting in 2016 and then air in 2017.

There is no official word yet as to whether Kenny Ortega (i.e., the Emmy Award-winning director / choreographer) will return to helm the sequel. But in an interview that Kenny did with the Huffington Post back in July, he was obviously eager to help map out the future of this new Disney franchise:


A huge crowd gathered on the show floor at this year's D23 EXPO to get a
glimpse of Sofia Carson, Cameron Dove & Boyce Cameron from Disney's
"Descendants." Photo by Jim Hill 

"So would I like to do Descendants 2? Sure. I think -- were you to ask the cast and the crew -- they'd agree that we'd all love to come back and play here again. The Descendants world really is a wonderful place to play in. More to the point, there are so many characters from Disney animated films that we could draw upon, pull in. There are so many more stories we could tell."

Perhaps someone can ask Ortega directly if he has plans to helm the sequel to this record-breaking Disney Channel Original Movie this Saturday, October 17th. Which is when Kenny -- along with "Descendants" cast members Dove Cameron (Disney Channel's "Liv and Maddie"), Cameron Boyce (Disney XD's "Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything," Disney Channel's "Jessie"), Booboo Stewart ("X-Men Days of Future Past") and Sofia Carson -- will be meeting with fans of this franchise at the Disneyland Resort. This open-to-the-public event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, California and will feature an on-stage, music and dance-filled celebration. 

This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post's Entertainment page on Thursday, October 15, 2015

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  • Indeed, how, then, to explain the success? Every review I read thought it was pretty bad -- and what Iittle I've seen of it comports. The acting is atrocious, the writing worse. Songs might be all right; is that enough?

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Look, as a 56 year-old while male, I realize that not everything that The Walt Disney Company produces these days is intended to entertain my specific demographic. But at the same time, I'm still able to acknowledge the care and craft that went into creating something like "Descendants." More to the point, when something does well in the ratings and/or zooms off of store shelves, I'm also able to admit that that particular production is a success. I don't dismiss things outright just because they're not my cup of tea.

    But then again, I'm not a Disney fan. I'm just a guy who makes his living writing about The Walt Disney Company and competition. And just like a sports reporter who has to report on wins & losses when he covers the local team, I find that it's very important to be somewhat detached -- keep some emotional distance -- on the subject that I'm writing about.

    So you -- as a Disney fan, Powers -- are free to be dismissive of Disney Channel Original Movies like "Descendants." (And just a quick observation here: I notice that the older people are, the less likely they are to like these Mouse-produced TV movies that are clearly aimed at the tween demographic). Me? It's not my place to do that. Because JHM is an entertainment news site, I always to try and report the news & then keep my own personal opinions out of the articles that I post here.
     
    Please note that I used the word "try." Because I'm not always successful. But I do try and approach all of the articles that I write for JHM & HuffPost from a persona-opinion-free position.

  • Well, since Kenny tweeted "#D2 Official!!! Thanks to all our #disneydescendants Super Fans We're making a sequel" (note the "we"), I'd say it's a safe bet he's helming or at least somehow staying connected. (twitter.com/.../654683641046429696)

    As for the first one - yeah, I'm an adult and I'm NOT In the target audience, but I managed to take that into consideration and find ways to enjoy it for what it was. All things said and done, I can look at it as a dad of two daughters who grew up with HSM and see that it's got the potential to be right up there, franchise-wise.

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