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Descendants

Fridge Brilliance

  • It may seem odd to some that Cruella is black in this film while her son, Carlos, looks white. The implication would be his father must be white. Since Cruella loves to wear half black, half white clothing and hair, it seems a bit funny. Especially considering the actor who plays her son, Cameron Boyce, is actually half black in real life so it seems the creators were going for just this.

  • Mal's primary color scheme makes sense when you consider that purple is the color associated with royalty and with mysticism - it shows that she's a magic-user. The Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you realize that this also symbolizes Maleficent's standing on the Isle; as the ruler of the island, Mal is by definition the Crown Princess and the only one who would wear royal colors to denote her status.
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    • This also explains the Queen's meltdown over Mal's appearance. Recognizing that color for what it is, she would think that Mal was a magic-user and a danger to everyone.

  • When Ben sung "kings and queens" there are literally two kings and queens around: Beast and Belle abdicated but their titles as King and Queen Consort (a queen that obtained the title through marriage to a king) are not removed; Ben is just crowned King, and Mal who was the Crown Princess of the island is forced to take the crown as Queen Regent (a queen that ascended to the throne on her own right.)
    • This will also make the second film's handling of Ben and Mal's relationship a bit trippy: their courtship will not only affect themselves but also their respective kingdoms. There is no real life precedents regarding single reigning monarchs dating each other.

  • "Rotten To The Core" seems out of place, since the four main characters aren't particularly evil, but that's probably the point: they are trying to convince themselves that they are evil to live up to their parents' expectations. It also explains the rougher, more provocative style of the song.

  • The reason it's called the Isle of the Lost instead of Isle of Evil or something like that is that they're just misguided people and need someone to show them the way to get on the right path.
    • It also refers to how many of the inhabitants of the Isle are only there because they chose to join the side that lost the conflict. During the song "Rotten to the Core", most people seem to be trying to live their life as best they can.

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  • The fact that Ben knew about Mal's love spell is foreshadowed by "If Only": if you listen closely for a little while near the end, he's singing backup/harmony with her.

  • Resurrecting villains just to send them into exile might seem to be cruel and serve no purpose until we remember that the dead won't necessarily stay dead. Jafar himself became an example of this in "Hercules and the Arabian Night".

  • Cinderella's son being a jerkass makes some sort of sense. The only way Cinderella used to see maternal love while growing up was by seeing how Lady Tremaine treated Anastasia and Drizella.
    • Also, what if Chad is the way he is because Cinderella didn't want any of her children to have to suffer or work the same way she did and unintentionally spoiled him while he grew up resulting in Chad being like her stepsisters?
      • This brings up an Alternate Character Interpretation for when Drizella's daughter Dizzy and Lady Tremaine appears in Descendants 2 and 3. The former is more like a Cinderella-expy (having to do menial chores around the family shop, enduring her grandmother yelling at her, but remaining to be an optimistic person) and the latter is first described as "wicked grandmother" but by the last film appears as more affectionate (internally) and is supportive of Dizzy's dreams of going off to Auradon and her designing hobby (giving Dizzy her glue gun). Was making Dizzy do all the sweeping just Lady Tremaine's old ways, or was it so Dizzy could know hard work and turn out better than her own daughters did?
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    • And her husband Prince Charming was one of the less well-developed Disney Princes, so far as living up to the "charming" appellation was concerned. His facial animation was so limited that he actually looked bored most of the time. Even Snow White's Prince, who didn't even have a name in their movie, showed more expressiveness.
    • Bizarrely, Cinderella had been made to work like a dog for others without reaping anything tangible, while she wound up doing none of the work that got her into the ball. Though she'd experienced labor and profit, she'd never experienced the link between them.

  • Why doesn't Jane, despite being a powerful fairy's child, show any powers until Audrey convinced her to try in Wicked World? She said it herself that her mom hung up her wand years ago. The Fairy Godmother probably imposed her ethics on Jane, preventing any chances of testing for abilities.
    • That, or she could've absorbed enough of the wand's power to gain magic abilities when she stole it, and perhaps didn't know she did. Seeing that Jane is just as surprised as the audience is, her statement of having no magic was probably true up until a certain point.
    • We don't know who her father is, or how fairies get their power, so it's entirely possible that either her having a less magical father affected her, or fairies get their powers at a certain age
    • Or her low self-esteem lead to her not even wanting to try to do any magic and just assuming she couldn't.
    • Jane also seems very anxious to fit in with her schoolmates. Until the Villain Kids showed up, few of her named classmates used any magic, so she may have worried that developing her potential fairy-powers would only make her seem even less "normal".
    • To note the above, Jane's anxiousness about the social pecking at her school could mean that she unconsciously suppressed her abilities. The arrival of the Villain Kids and the effect their presence has on her may have caused the suppression to ease, allowing her the use of her abilities (albeit flawed in control).

  • The parts of "Evil Like Me" when Maleficent and Mal sing together sound off-key. That's a sign they can do more evil together than either of them can do by herself.
    • In the same song, Maleficent approves of Mal being "spiteful". Of course Maleficent would approve of spite, that's what the entirety her plot in "Sleeping Beauty" was founded on!
    • In addition to that, if Maleficent can't actually transfer herself to the island, it's all in Mal's head. The whole song and dance is representative of Mal's psyche and her conflicted guilty conscience, her struggle to determine whether she wants to live up to her mom's expectations or actually live them down.

  • Why did it look like Maleficent's spinning wheel is a dud when the guard woke up after a loud noise? Because the sleeping curse was created specifically to work on Aurora. On anyone else, the spell is weaker.

  • Ben is a handsome, kind-hearted, brainy, slightly eccentric young man, with a rather arrogant and vain initial love interest, who later is partial ostracized by his friends for pursuing a relationship with an ill-tempered individual, who later becomes a better person, because of his love. Guess Belle can relate, having had a similar adventure as her son.

  • Audrey's inability to cope with stress and disappointment makes sense when you remember that she has led a life consisting of luxury, privilege and mass adoration. Until the Villain Kids started shaking up Auradon, "second-best" was just a concept Audrey had only heard of.
    • It could also be an in-joke about how her mother, unlike most other Disney Princesses, never actually experienced prolonged hardship or had the chance to learn to cope with it. The worst thing that ever happened to Aurora, she slept through.

  • Why does Jafar in particular get a kick out of Carlos snapping at Cruella in defense of his newfound pet? Because Jafar is the only VK parent who still has a pet of his own! Diablo was turned to stone, the Queen's raven was terrified of her and fled after her defeat, and Cruella's cat must've died of old age and/or abuse years ago. But parrots live a very long time, and the prequel novel has Iago re-united with his old boss.

  • Ben's choice of major villains' kids for the initial cohort of students suggests he's a lot shrewder about people's darker tendencies than one expects from a Disney prince. Had he started out his program with the children of petty sidekicks or mooks, not only would he have faced a new round of prejudiced objections for every subsequent batch of admissions ("Sure, these kids assimilated okay, but those kids' parents are much, much worse..."), but the lowly minions whose children got admitted earlier might have faced retaliation back on the Isle, from envious inmates far more aggressive than themselves.
    • This is particularly apt when you realize that he selected Maleficent's daughter. Maleficent is considered the top dog of the Isle so when her daughter, the practically princess of evil, is able to overcome her heritage, it proves his theory is correct. Not necessarily uniformly at the moment but enough that more retrievals could be made.

  • The fact that Ben is the one to suggest villain kids coming to Auradon is very clever on the writers' part — and entirely justified in both his character and the universe. Aurora never saw a villain change, nor did Snow White or Cinderella, or any of the other Princesses - hence why their kids are so wary of and horrible to the villain kids. Belle has seen a "villain" change; Beast is "villainous" at the beginning of the movie - bad temper, mean, shouts a lot, threatens her at times, he's basically a royal Gaston except he doesn't want to marry Belle at the time - and he changed; Belle has instilled that "everyone can change if given a chance or two" into her son and Ben rolls with it when making his decree. It's why, when Family Day goes wrong, the villains get another chance from him; Beast got two from Belle (as she says herself. "I gave you another chance".) so they get one too and, like Ben's father, it works.
    • Heck; this idea is outright stated in the song that is considered the theme for Ben's parents: "Bittersweet and strange. Finding you can change. Learning you were wrong."
    • This is actually acknowledged in the movie by Audrey. "Look, I know your mom fell in love with a big nasty beast who turned out to be a prince. But in my mom's story, the evil fairy was just the evil fairy."

  • All of the villains other than Maleficent are reduced to comic relief, and even Maleficent herself isn't immune to acting like the others at times. This may be a side-effect of their imprisonment on the Isle; you try living without the thing you value most, surrounded by people you tolerate at best, and not going cuckoo in the process.

  • A lot of viewers have complained about the Black and White Insanity of having Cruella De Vil imprisoned on the Isle along with the likes of the Evil Queen, Jafar, and Maleficent, when all Cruella did was steal puppies. If you're familiar with the original animated film, you'll know that she did more than stealing a few pets: she stole hundreds of baby dogs, and planned to have them brutally killed and skinned for their coats; that's not just theft, that's animal cruelty. (Given the size of her fur collection, it's almost a guarantee that she had other animals killed for the same reason, too.) Animal cruelty often carries a pretty hefty punishment in the real world — and when you take into consideration that Auradon recognizes (at least some) animals as sapient as well as sentient, Cruella's status as one of the worst villains in history makes a lot more sense.
    • Near the end of her film, Cruella also attempts to run the van which the soot-disguised puppies are riding in off the road and over a cliff. Never mind the puppies in the back; that's full-on attempted murder of the van driver.
    • Note that when Ben tells his folks the names of the chosen VKs' parents, he names Cruella first. Even if her exile to the Isle was justified for reasons mentioned above, Ben realizes that she's probably the least infamous of the four, so starts off with her name so he can ease his way up to Maleficent and get his parents used to the idea.

Fridge Horror

  • The off-handed joke about how Beast chose to marry Belle instead of the teapot may be a bit darker when you realize that we never found out who Chip's father is. After all, Beast wasn't exactly the model of goodness before his transformation into a beast ...
    • It was never implied that Mrs Potts was unhappy with her job, and she clearly wanted Adam to find love. She wouldn't have felt that way if he had done what you implied. I always assumed that Chip's father had died when he was a baby. It was just a joke.
      • Either that... or Chip's father was some inanimate object that couldn't speak, which is why he wasn't in the movie. If he had a different job to Mrs Potts, then he'd be transformed into something different.
    • Presumably Mrs. Potts had a Mr. Potts in her life at some point, else she wouldn't be a "Mrs.".
      • That doesn't have to be true, actually. Housekeepers and cooks were always Mrs. See Mrs Bridges from Upstairs Downstairs or Mrs Hughes and Mrs Patmore from Downton Abbey. They are all 'Mrs' before marriage (or never married at all) because that's how their job titles work.

  • The establishing that none of the villain kids know what familial love feels like. This is not helped by one of Carlos' reasons for Auradon Prep not being so bad is that his mom uses him as a slave and doesn't even provide him with a bed, forcing him to sleep on a mattress on the floor in her dressing room; Carlos is 14. Poor kid...
    • This might be Fridge Brilliance as to why they act the way they do, as good much of what the villain kids do is to gain approval from their parents. This would especially be the case with Carlos, as, he would like to be treated better by his mother and get more than her protection (she did condition him to be afraid of dogs, hence why he does what she says), along with why he quickly befriended Evie.

  • A slight realization might hit some people; The Isle of the Lost is home to EVERY SINGLE DISNEY ANIMATED CANON VILLAIN KNOWN. That could imply that threats such as Chernabog, The Horned King and The Headless Horsemen are all likely on there. If, say, Chernabog ever did appear...welp, lets just say it's gonna need to have a LOT more than a Fairy Godmother's Wand to keep back the DISNEY DEVIL!
    • If he's still there after all this time, it's safe to say he isn't gonna get out anytime soon.
    • Alternately, Chernabog could still be sitting there on his mountain, undisturbed as Auradon's citizens keep their distance. Yes, he's evil, but in Fantasia he never actually does much of anything to invite heroes' wrath: he musters a bunch of evil spirits, they hang out partying far away from people for a night, then he shies away from the sound of a church bell and goes back to sleep for another year. There's no actual conflict in his short, no hero who's opposing him - except, figuratively, God - and no real need to haul him out to the Isle, because he hasn't committed an actual crime. Indeed, he already seems to be stuck there on his mountain, so there's no more need to drag him off to the Isle than to conjure up Dr. Facilier's Friends on the Other Side (who are already imprisoned on the Other Side) and dump them there.

Fridge Logic

  • What is it with those names? Last time I checked, Jay wasn't an Arabic name.
    • It's just a play on their parents' names. And not particularly unique either. In the prequel novel, Isle Of The Lost, we find out Mal's name is actually short for something: Maleficent. Yes. Her name is the same as her mother.
    • Oh. That's... Awfully unoriginal. Though Jay still doesn't sound remotely Arabic...
    • though I can't say for certain if it was an official source or something fan-made, I'm given to understand "Jay" is supposed to be short for "Jamal"
    • Perhaps Jay's mother isn't from Arabia or the cultural influence from the other places the island's inhabitants affected Jafar.
    • So... Everybody is part English now basically?
      • Part "European" is more accurate, considering most movies take place there.

  • Was it ever stated how the villains survived their fates?
    • It is heavily implicated that they were resurrected
    • One of the villains happens to be Hades, God of the Underworld. I think if they asked, he could have taken them out of his kingdom to have some less naggy villains. Plus there are villains like Dr. Facilier or the like stuck there.

  • Why is there a modern school when most of the inhabitants are from medieval kingdoms? And why does every royal family live in the same kingdom now?
    • The second questions is answered in the first moments of the movie: The kingdoms were united under Beauty and the Beast's leadership. Presumably there are other modern fairy tales that also joined and that's where their technology comes from.

  • So the continuities featured include Snow White, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast... And 101 Dalmatians? Um, what? As if this weren't a big Anachronism Stew already, but how does this universe make any sense?
    • Fairy Tale logic. All of them are set in "our world but not exactly" so saying that they all were more or less happening around the same time is a valid interpretation.
    • This same kind of logic also applies to things like House of Mouse, Who Framed Roger Rabbit or, to a lesser degree, Kingdom Hearts.
    • Intellectual Animal movies are a huge part of the Disney Animated Canon. For a project as all-encompassing as Descendants, the producers surely wanted to include a nod to that portion of their filmography, and 101 Dalmatians was chosen to represent them because movies like Bambi and The Lion King don't have any named human characters. Hence, no way to portray their characters' offspring unless they wanted to triple the budget using CGI animals.

Descendants 2

Fridge Brilliance:

  • The Dance Party Ending, with the Auradon and Villain Kids kicking up spray in a few inches of water, isn't just a unique twist on the usual Disney choreography-routine: it's a Call-Back to Mal's opening daydream-sequence, in which she imagined the VKs enchanting all her Auradon classmates so they'd forget about rules and have some trouble-making fun. Since they're drenched already, and with Mal and Ben already setting the carefree mood by breaking out of their "pretty princess" and "respectable king" public personas, all the folks who would normally act somewhat stifled even at a school dance get to cut loose, shake off all formal inhibitions, splash around like lunatics and party ... which, far more than actual evil-doing, is what Mal's really been longing to see them do, all along.

  • It makes sense for Gil to be The Ditz when one remembers what a raging anti-intellectual Gaston is.
    • And what shallow nitwits the young women who were always chasing Gaston seemed to be, that were so easily-charmed that he started pursuing Belle simply because she didn't drool over him. If Gil's mother was anything like those Gaston-groupies, no wonder he's a nitwit too.

  • Of course Queen Belle doesn't show the slightest dismay about how Mal can change into a fire-breathing dragon now. She'd be the last Disney Princess to object to having someone who'd turned into a monster join the family: she already married one!

  • It makes perfect sense for Evie and Dizzy to be so close: due to their specific Isle upbringings, they're both closer to the heroines of their tales than they are to the villains they're related to.

  • Jay explains one thing the Isle does better than Auradon is that they don’t care about gender if your skills are good, in order to argue why Lonnie should be allowed to join the fencing team whose rules state can only be made of men. What makes this statement even better is that the villain of the movie of Lonnie’s origin is a good example of such. When Mulan revealed to Shan Yu that she was the one that caused the avalanche killing nearly his whole army, unlike even her own fellow male soldiers who considered her actions dishonorable (either due to the law against women joining the army or because she lied to them about who she was... because of said law), Shan Yu only saw her as “the soldier from the mountains” who “took away his victory” and a powerful threat standing in his way.

Fridge Horror:

  • As one troper pointed out, in "What's My Name?", Uma declares "Leaving us here will be their last regret!"...meaning that the other villains' kids are still there! Seriously, Auradon; did you learn nothing!
    • To be fair, Ben admits he'd gotten too loaded down by his responsibilities as King to attend to his other commitments, and apologizes to Uma for letting his plans to invite other VKs to Auradon slide. The fact he'd also let his work interfere with finding time for Mal in his life suggests he really was overwhelmed, not just self-centered.

  • Even if Uma hadn't been tricked with a 3d printed version of the wand, who's to say that the real deal would have worked within the anti-magic barrier? Not only would Uma send Ben (and likely his rescuers) to his death believing she had been tricked, but she would have completely ruined her chance at freedom, and by extension, many other Isle of the Lost inhabitants.

  • Mal's dream sequence involves using apples to make people evil. This more closely resembles the forbidden fruit from the bible than the poison apple from snow white. Also, the apples are likely drugged or have some fairy tale equivalent of drugs on them. So Mal is fantasizing about satanic indoctrination and drugging the whole school.

Fridge Logic:

  • Jay's Loophole Abuse solution for Lonnie, as opposed to actually changing that stupid, nasty rule, isn't as clever as it seems, 'cause it still only allows for one girl on the team at a time. Feminism is about empowering all women.
    • Making her Captain may only be a temporary stop-gap. Once he gets the chance to think about it, Jay can call in the favor Ben owes him and ask that Auradon Prep's sports teams be made co-ed whenever feasible.
      • One hopes. But as it stands, it sends a harmful message that female empowerment is singular, and that a girl is only worth bothering with if she's good enough to be captain.
      • It really depends on how it's played later: Jay and Lonnie are playing by the rules, so other teams (and Chad) can't claim that a girl can't play. This in turn could make other girls join the other teams, which in turn will make them make change the wording of the rules.
      • Only this applies to what's in the movie, whether or not there are other girls interested in joining any of the other sports teams is unknown.

Wicked World

Fridge Brilliance:

  • Audrey's Poke the Poodle, "I won't invite you to my party," jab from "Lamp Sweet Lamp" really does display her capacity for meanness. She might be pathetic at acting Evil, but she can definitely be unkind.
    • Though to be fair, that could end up biting her in the back. After all, what was it that got her mom to get hexed in the first place again?

  • Why did Auradon take the Villains' birthright jewels for safekeeping? Each stone has a power of their own, that if put together, give the user untold power. As such, they were deemed too dangerous for anyone to have, that they had to be locked up someplace safe to keep ambitious individuals like Zevon from trying to find them.

Fridge Horror:

  • The 15th episode of "Wicked World" is called "Carpet Jacked", which is a play on "car jacked", which usually involves someone attacking you and your passengers before stealing your vehicle. At no time in the short does anyone question just why Jay and Carlos are so late (even Mal and Evie assume they let them down on purpose) nor do we find out if they're okay.
    • In episode 17, "Neon Lights Out", it's revealed that the above troper was completely right - Jay and Carlos were 'carpet jacked'. However, it also explains why no one was concerned - that's simply so rare in Auradon, no one ever considered it. Not to mention, it wasn't an Auradon citizen who robbed them anyway, so it's reasonable that no one would have expected it. Additionally, Jay and Carlos can take care of themselves, something everyone present would be aware of.

  • Maleficent had enough magic while on the Isle to set up a spell that enables her to possess her daughter and turning her evil.
    • Then the only people who care that Mal isn't herself are her fellow Villain Kids solely because Audrey is the one calling her out. Even if Audrey's popularity and luck has taken a dive, that doesn't bode well for the future.

Descendants 3

Fridge Brilliance:

  • Although we never saw Doug's family, it's likely that at least some of them were hesitant to see him taking up with Evie, the daughter of the Seven Dwarfs' old enemy. But after the events of this film, even his Uncle Grumpy won't have any grounds to complain about Doug dating the Evil Queen's daughter: if True Love's Kiss was good enough to validate Snow White's relationship with Prince Florian, it's certainly grounds to validate Doug's and Evie's love for one another, too!

Fridge Horror:

  • A Real Life example, with the news that Cameron Boyce died around release time. He planned on having this film be his sendoff from Disney; now it's his absolute ultimate sendoff!

  • This film shows that even the "heroic" characters have the potential to fall to the Dark Side. And Audrey is clearly enjoying every minute of it. Also, it is established that the Fairy Godmother is (presumably) capable of depowering even the likes of Hades as not even he can pass through the barrier.

  • With the barrier now down, it's likely the Isle also no longer has restrictions on magic anymore (let alone it being restricted again for Isle residents now in Auradon). But while some of the villains we see like Jafar, Evil queen, Dr. Facilier, Lady Tremaine, Mr. Smee, and even Hades seemed to have at least mellowed out a bit since the events of their original stories took place, it's not likely all the Villains have to that extent. We know Disney villains are also good at holding grudges, and the ones that did use magic before have been deprived of it for quite some time...
    • Uh, you do remember that the Queen of Auradon is Mal, AKA the daughter of Maleficent and Hades, making her a demigod with fairy blood, right? Yes there's probably going to be some trouble but Hades will also have his powers back and the love and attention of his little girl so he's probably up for putting down some miscreants.
    • Dr. Facilier is likely to toe the line too, for Celia's sake, and Evie's mom won't be as dangerous with Evie in possession of the magic mirror. Jafar's power is likewise limited due to his staff being locked up in the (hopefully finally better-guarded!) museum. And whether the barrier stands or falls, Maleficent is still a lizard. So aside from Ursula, whom Uma can potentially face down with a little help from her friends, and Yzma, whose transformation-magic is exactly the sort of thing Fairy Godmother can counteract, there aren't so many villains whose reawakened magic poses a major threat.
    • Although considering all magical artefacts are locked up in the museum, the heroes would have a hard time stopping the villains. After all, if Audrey could stop Fairy Godmother, what's to stop Madam Mim from doing the same thing. Not to mention if Yzma recreates the potion that make Hercules mortal. Plus most villains' strong point was patience, who's to say they won't secretly plan the ultimate heist to take over Auradon?
    • Nothing whatsoever. Which puts them right back in the position of their parents' generation, of having to deal with active, functional potential villains ... albeit villains whose identities and powers are, at least, a known quantity, and who've been soundly beaten before. No longer pure happily-ever-after, but at least the worst baddies won't all be queens, viziers and warlords on top of being nasty.
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