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Headscratchers / Descendants

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  • So, Dragon!Maleficent "shrunk down to the size of the love in her heart". Which makes her a very tiny lizard. Well, okay, but… one, since the lizard is the diminished version of her dragon form, can she still turn back into a human form from there? It would be a small human form, if it is still in scale with her lizard form — the size of an ant, probably. Two, assuming she can (or even if she can't), can she still practice magic, even if it's brought-down-to-scale magic?
    • Considering how the shrinkage stripped her of her dragon wings, leaving her an ordinary lizard, it seems likely that it stripped away everything else overtly magical about her too. So she probably can't change shape, breathe fire, or cast spells unless some outside person or force releases her from lizard-form.

  • In the scene where the kids find the statues of their parents, does Maleficent actually appear to sing the song "Evil Like Me?" Or is it just Mal's imagination? On one hand, Maleficent couldn't have appeared because she has no magic on the Isle... But if it wasn't her then how could she have hummed the song later on in the film when she crashes the coronation? In an attempt to answer my own query, I offer that Mal, in her first verse, actually unintentionally summons Maleficent to her. But if that were the case, the entire movie is moot. Maleficent could have then gotten the wand herself if Mal could have just magicked her out of the Isle.
    • I'm pretty sure it's in Mal's head; her mom may not love her but Mal knows her well.
    • It's possible that Maleficent sang that song with Mal before the movie, and the scene was an elaborate flashback.
      • When Maleficent hums part of the song later, so she definitively has sung it before. She probably has sung it before to Mal (Hell, knowing her, it's possible it's even a lullaby!) and Mal imagined the whole thing. Since it's implied to happen very quickly and none of the other characters comment on it, that also points to happen in her head.

  • How in the world is this movie possible? Some of the children are from villains who were killed in their respective movies and they didn't even get paired with anyone as I know.
    • Actually the prequel novel establishes that villains who were killed off in their original movies were brought back to life magically solely to be imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost.
    • Which raises the question of why the "heroes" don't think that death is a good enough punishment.
      • Or the heroes brought the villains back to life because they're heroes, and the imprisonment thing is because they deserve to be punished, or they brought villains back to life because when you trap humans on an island, they're going to get busy, and they needed a large(r) gene pool.
      • "Hercules and the Arabian Night" shows that death isn't enough to stop Jafar.
    • Possibly one of King Beast's first acts as ruler of united Auradon was to ban the death penalty, and given that resurrection-magic does exist in this Verse, enacting that ban entailed reversing prior villain deaths, commuting their sentences to life in prison.

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  • I'm wondering if we will see Melody. For those who don't know, she's Ariel's daughter and one of the only children of a hero to appear in a Disney film before the film. And I'm not counting Once Upon a Time.

  • Never mind Melody, is Snow White even going to get a kid of her own? It still bothers me how sidelined she was. She's Disney's first animated heroine and the original Disney Princess, and yet all she gets is a reporter role while Belle gets to be the high queen? It's especially jarring considering the existence of Evie and Doug.
    • I would point out that Snow White is one of the youngest princesses (14), while Belle is one of the oldest of the "classics" (17 or 18)... but then they added Alice's daughter, who is even younger than Snow White... about the High Queen stuff... well, being realistic, Belle and Beast are one of the few couples were both are interesting and flawed.
    • Beast and Belle were the best choice to fill that role, because their story is exactly the sort that would get their heir thinking that villainous-seeming youths might be reformed. Theirs was also a story with no direct supernatural antagonist - the enchantress who cursed Beast was long gone and Gaston was just a mundane thug - which makes it plausible that they'd underestimate how dangerous the imprisoned villains could become, leaving the Wand's and Isle's defenses lax enough for Maleficent's escape-plan to seem viable in the first place.
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    • It's even debated on how bad the Enchantress who put the spell on Beast was - some people say she was wicked, others say that she just went overboard, so they would have taken the magical villains more lightly too.

  • Cruella raised Carlos to be afraid of dogs. Why does he speak dog?
    • Well it's a common trait for Disney princesses to speak to animals. In this world, it's probably a legit language he learned. If not from Cruella then from school as a second language. Who needs French when you can speak French Poodle?
    • Know thy enemy, probably.

  • Something doesn't make sense - Mal and Evie cheered a spell that made everyone around them act like dogs. How was Carlos unaffected? Unless he has implicit, yet explainable Applied Phlebotinum, like Anti-Magic defense, the spell not affecting him defies a lot of rules of magic.
    • Carlos could have been speaking Dog the entire time, and the English translation was solely for the benefit of the audience.
    • Um, no, Carlos wasn't rolling around, panting or acting like a dog in any manner. He was acting like a normal human the entire time, and had no idea what was going on.

  • The implication from the "Genie in a Bottle" music video released prior to Descendants 2. Does something happen to Mal?
    • There doesn't seem to be anything in the video to suggest it. She just walks into a room and gets sucked in the lamp, and then released. There doesn't seem to be any implication at all.

  • How can Mal use magic at all? She has spent her whole life on an island where magic was not possible. How is it that she is just able to use it properly without any instruction or training?
    • With the Book of Spells that was given to her. She is following whatever instructions are on it, and never improvising. Wicked World is somewhat odd in that the magic ban has not been lifted, yet several characters use magic without a second thought.
    • It is fairly obvious that there are two different types of magic, explicit usage of magic and inherent magic. Only the explicit usage of magic is forbidden or blocked. There is no technical magic block among Auradon proper except the Isle of the Lost. The wishes from rubbing a genie's lamp are inherent and cannot be blocked, including the magical barrier of the Isle of the Lost. Mal just never observed the no-magic rule from the get-go. As for Jane, she didn't really expect magical ability to show up until Audrey coaxed her into trying (and botching her hair).

  • Who are the protagonists' other parents?
    • Background characters, minions of the villains, or even other villains of movies that haven't been out yet.

  • Why is Cruella even here? While she is (sort of) a supervillain, she is more along the lines of Lex Luthor or Justin Hammer than Darkseid, Loki, or Thanos. Why go with a Corrupt Corporate Executive with delusions of grandeur (and an obsession with fur coats) when you have the rights to (the Marvel version of) the Norse gods and their enemies?
    • Cruella's addition is rather random because she's not part of a fairy tale like the others, but that's probably the point: to show that all movies are fair game in the Descendants Universe.
    • It's also not that unreasonable for a non-magical villain to have quickly risen to prominence on the Isle: after all, she's used to accomplishing things without the advantages of magic, unlike her three colleagues who'd relied on it heavily before their defeats. Cruella may well have been accepted into Maleficent's inner circle because the top Big Bad found that she needed the advice of a mundane human baddie who's familiar with technology rather than (useless) spells. Note that her son Carlos is the most tech-savvy of the Villain Kids.
    • Fair enough. But there is a villain who is in the Disney Animated Canon that would have worked better than Cruella, Gaston (confirmed for the sequel), or Captain Hook (also confirmed): Hades.
      • The forces of Good keeping an actual god trapped on the Isle might've invited too many questions about why a mere Scaled Up witch-queen could pose a serious threat to them, however.
      • Hades' son is confirmed to live on the Isle in the tie-in books (although that doesn't mean much, the books, web series and movie seem to be three separate continuities); but you could explain it as Hades just not caring to try and rule - he has his own kingdom, and as discussed, holding him on the Isle would be difficult. Maybe he agreed to a sentence of time imprisoned on the Isle, as opposed to eternity?
      • Unlike most Disney villains, Hades actually has indispensable responsibilities that only he can perform, namely ruling the Greek Underworld. Possibly he was let off with a sentence of "house arrest" rather than imprisonment on the Isle, and simply can't leave his realm anymore.
      • Or Hades *is* on the Isle, and powerless like everyone else together because magic (and Wifi) is blocked.
      • Even if Hades's son is on the Isle, that doesn't prove Hades himself is. If Hadie is anything like his cousin Hercules, he'll have grown up as a mortal and had plenty of opportunities to become a spin-off villain in his own right.
      • Hades is on the isle. There's a poster advertising his Souvlaki business in Descendants 2.
      • Strongly suggestive, but not outright proof: it's possible that Hadie is trading on his father's name to advertise his Souvlaki.
      • In the third installment, it's revealed that not only is Hades on the Isle (and depowered), but that he's Mal's father. Just how powerful is the Fairy Godmother?
    • Of course, one must remember that Auradon has an All Crimes Are Equal mentality. Stealing puppies is held at the same level as terrorism in this continuity. Only Disney Designated Heroes are allowed to stay; everyone else not related to one is banished and deprive of technology and food.

  • Descendants 2 introduces Dizzy, daughter of Drizella. Why are Drizella and Anastasia even on the Isle? They did nothing criminal in their movie, and they can't be held legally responsible for Cinderella's treatment even if they participated in it because they were minors themselves.
    • Uh, because VILLAINS go to the Isle and they are still villains regardless of whether or not their actions are legally deemed criminal. Drizella and Anastasia were not kindhearted, sweet, loving or kind. They were cruel, wicked, and evil. They have no place in Auradon. They belong on the Isle.
      • That's verging on thought police.
    • Their mom was an Abusive Parent to her stepdaughter, and both stepsisters egged on that abuse. They also collaborated with their mother in attempted fraud and identity-theft, passing their own ugly feet off as Cinderella's.
      • Again, they were teenagers.
      • The stepsisters were roughly Cinderella's age, which was 19 at the time of the film. Definitely not legal minors, especially in a country where 16 is considered mature enough to be King.
      • Another thing to consider is that they attempted to defraud the crown prince in a Medieval world. That would probably be considered treason because at that time any betrayal of the king could be considered treason.
    • While the book is more explicit, the movie itself is ambiguous in regards if the sequels are canon or not, so it's entirely possible that Lady Tremaine and Drizella are on the island, but Anastasia isn't
    • If Auradon was aware of another universe where the two girls almost murdered Cinderella in cold blood, banishment is entirely deserved. That way, their extreme jealousy would result in all life on the Isle of the Lost being wiped out.
      • Expanding on this point, should Auradon know about the Cursed Coach incident, them putting the stepsisters on the Isle of the Lost could result in it summoned out of their fury, and everyone on the island, innocent or guilty, would end up killed. It fits the Knight Templar theme of Auradon, after all.
    • According to the prequel book, Anastasia and Drizella's crime was abusing Cinderella while she was their maid. Which doesn't seem like enough to banished to a prison island, but whatever.
    • Again, All Crimes Are Equal. But there have been cases in real life where tenants have abused their workers; for example, there was John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, who was believed to have murdered his nanny in 1974 before disappearing.
    • The other villains' kids were on the Isle for the "crime" of being their kids. Why would Anastasia and Drizella be treated as exceptions before someone like Ben intervened?
      • They're just as rotten as their mother. The prelude for the film implies that they always hated Cinderella, even before her father's death (a tie-in book implies he was murdered). They were around 18 - 20 as well, so they're legally adults, and thus, hold some responsibility for their abuse. Twice Charmed has them gleefully break both glass slippers, and Kingdom Hearts shows them as sadist monsters who would kill her out of spite when given the chance. Even if we don't count the sequels, stage adaptations, the live-action remake, or Kingdom Hearts, it is clear that Drizella and Anastasia deserve to rot on the Isle of the Lost.

  • I'm curious to what exactly happens to morally gray characters. Are they banished to the Isle of the Lost like all the other villains? Are they welcome in Auradon? Are they banished to some far away land because they neither belong to Lawful Stupid Auradon or the Isle of the Lost?
    • Banished with the villains, by the looks of it. A lot of people on the Isle of the Lost seem to be average joes who just had the unfortunate luck of being caught up in a world where even the most minor infringements warrant life imprisonment. Auradon has spent 20 years as a police state, after all, and racism is still very widespread.
    • Or maybe they're placed on trial for whatever misdeeds they've been involved in, and either banished or not as the verdict as to their culpability decrees. They can then stay in Auradon and put up with all the goodie-goodies, opt for voluntary exile to the Isle anyway - probably not a popular choice, but conceivable if they're very loyal minions or loved ones of an actual villain - or most someplace else, beyond Auradon's borders. (Do the non-Disney Animated Canon Disney flicks have countries of their own out there somewhere?)
    • Auradon runs on Black-and-White Insanity, and is willing to deny Morality Kitchen Sink. For example, if someone jaywalks at a traffic light, even when there's no traffic coming towards them, because they don't want to miss their bus for work, they're labeled evil and banished. If they wait for a green light, giving up the bus, they're allowed to stay but may lose their jobs because they're late.
      • If Auradon's standards were that strict, why would they ever have let Beast become king? Why wouldn't people like Aladdin or Eugene have been exiled for their long history of thievery and deception? This troper thinks the above post is seriously misconstruing how severe a crime is necessary to get banished to the Isle.

  • It baffles me that Simba, Quasimodo, and Hercules would not object to banishing the families of the villains to the Isle of the Lost, considering they are related to their respective villains by either blood or adoption. Heck, Quasimodo should easily make a case by simply being raised by someone cruel should not warrant life imprisonment.
    • Why would they object? None of their relationships with said family members were exactly warm and loving. And Frollo did far more than just be a bad parent; he killed Quasimodo's mother, persecuted the Gypsies, and would have killed Esmeralda had Quasimodo not saved her.
    • The relatives of the villains weren't exiled just for being related to villains; at most, they'd be exiled for their own crimes while acting as the villains' minions and sidekicks. There's no indication that anyone apprehended the villains' blood relatives who'd had no part in their films' evil deeds: sure, Drizella is stuck there, but she'd played a willing part in her mom's attempt to cheat Cinderella of her happiness and trick Charming into marrying someone he didn't even like. Most of the people on the Isle who aren't actually evil are either ex-baddies, mooks and henchmen who only abandoned villainy because they have a living to make, or else young people born on the Isle after their parents were already sent there. The latter aren't technically "banished" at all, it's just that social inertia and suspicion had prevented King Beast from getting around to doing anything on their behalf until Ben insisted. Heck, Ben may even have gotten the initial idea of letting the VKs enroll in school after talking to Quasimodo about the matter.
    • Why would Simba object? The plot of the sequel to his movie was about a tribe of lions who were banished for following Scar- exactly like the villains in this film.

  • I always thought the whole magic ban was a bit ridiculous. I mean, several of the Disney heroes owe their success in life and happy endings to magic of some kind. I get they had the whole "the next generation should make their own dreams come true" mentality, but isn't it hypocritical not to let their kids have the same advantages?
    • I'm sure there were ulterior motives. The barrier is only unbreakable from the inside. Outside, the slightest magic can break that Cardboard Prison.

  • OK, seriously, how does Auradon exist? Forgetting for a minute that these movies all take place in different centuries and therefore all of them wouldn't exist at once, are we really supposed to believe that various independent countries with varying different cultures and rulers that have no connection to each other really just agreed to bind themselves into one nation and to make Beast, who was not even a king in his movie, but a sovereign prince, as king over them all? Is Beast really that charismatic?

  • Does anyone else think it's odd that Cruella and Queen Leah are black in the movie, when they're both white in their source materials? It's especially odd because Aurora briefly shows up in Descendants and she's clearly still white. I mean, Disney already has Black characters so what was the pointing in giving them a Race Lift?
    • Audrey's grandmother is fairly light-skinned, so if her other three grandparents were all white it's certainly possible. Aurora herself isn't listed for either film's IMDB page, so you may be thinking of Snow White's cameo, not her. As for Cruella, she was so pale - pretty much bone-white - in her own movie that she may have just been slathering on the pancake-makeup to better match the stark black-and-white motif of her outfits, back then.
      • Aurora appears at the coronation; she's standing with Audrey and Leah. It's a brief appearance but it's definitely she.

  • Shouldn't Snow White be a queen? I mean, with the Evil Queen gone, the throne would be vacant and its rightfully Snow White's, and yet in Descendants, she's working as a reporter. What happened to her kingdom that she isn't ruling it?
    • Part of the advantage of Beast (later Ben) assuming authority over all the Disney Animated Canon kingdoms is presumably so that any Disney Princess who'd prefer to be one of the Royals Who Actually Do Something can be free to pursue another career. Snow White may just like being a reporter. Florian can take care of any governing duties Ben hasn't subsumed; he's the one who was trained for it, growing up.

  • So, Cruella I can buy as having a kid. She is an old "school friend" of Anita's, so she could just be older than she looks. Even some of the other villains I could understand (like Clayton, Hook, Jafar, Grimhilde etc.) since at the oldest they could be in their late 40's, but how is it Frollo, Madam Mim, Gothel, and especially Yzma can have children?
    • Guys can have children at older ages, so Frollo and other male villains are on the clear. Gothel would depend on which age she was revived as, and Mad Maddy is Madam Mim's granddaughter, so the implication would be that Mim had a child long before being imprisoned (or that magic was involved, given that she was able to rival Merlin, that's not out of the realm of possibility). Yzma... I have nothing. They could be adopted(Or stolen) but that's doubtful.
    • Yzma's only 48 years old. Some women can still have children at that age, but it isn't easy. Let's hope her potions have not been confiscated because of her status as a villain.

  • Where's Kronk in all of this? I mean, we've established that The Emperor's New Groove exists in this continuity in some form or fashion, and he was a servant of Yzma, but he was a good person (if a little ditzy and easily fooled). He even turned on his boss, trying to crush her under a chandelier. So how does that hold up?
    • Given he was no longer Yzma's flunky by the sequel, presumably he's got a nice little catering business somewhere near Auradon. Spinach puff?

  • Don't get me wrong, he's nice and all, but why is Carlos there? I get that he's the son of a Disney Villain, but... his mother is not one of the best of worst. Let's look at the rest, shall we? Evie is the daughter of a woman willing to work with black magic and potions to murder a child, just because her vanity refused to allow those more beautiful than her to exist. Okay, so that's bad. Mal is the daughter of Maleficent, who cursed an entire kingdom out of spite (though the waters are muddied because of the rules of conduct at the time and how they were violated when it came to her) and turned into a massive dragon to keep the kingdom in an eternal coma. And Jay? His father single-handedly became the shadow ruler of a country, while acquiring the power to reshape the cosmos by his own wishes, and eventually became a villain of unlimited cosmic power (in his own words). And Carlos' mother... is Cruella De Vil, who kidnapped puppies to make into a fur coat. She wasn't targeting any humans, her plans would have, at best, maybe shown up on some runways in Paris and made a fashion trend for a few years. Her crimes, at best, would be kidnapping, and that's only if dogs are proven to be people (which it's not entirely clear that they are). So why is it that she's listed as one of the parents of the Four? Thematically, it doesn't make sense for her to be placed on a pedestal with the rest of these villains, given the reaction of Auradon to the Four. It would make more sense if Carlos was the son of someone with a bit more oomph to their name, like Doctor Facilier (who consorts with dark spirits and offers the souls of every person in New Orleans to said spirits) or even Frollo, who led witch hunts and manipulated a child the same way that the other parents of the Four are implied to. Or, given Carlos' penchant for building things, make him the son of Syndrome, who was a known technical genius and an ego that could rival Gaston's (as well as murdered most of the classic villains of his setting).
    • All Crimes Are Equal. Auradon's Black-and-White Morality insures women who steal puppies to make fur coats out of would be treated the same as a Nazi warlord. Same with men who kidnap cats, or rustlers who try to buy an old farm.
    • Cruella De Vil also tried to force a van over a cliff because the escaped puppies were hitching a lift in the back. Since when is attempted murder of a van driver insufficient to qualify you as a villain?
    • More bluntly, it seems to be movie-villain status that counts. If you're nasty and unrepentant enough that your universe revolves around destroying the heroes, you're qualified for the Isle. (And Incredibles was Pixar...)
    • And on a meta level, Intellectual Animal films are a huge part of the Disney Animated Canon. The producers of Descendants clearly didn't want to just ignore that element of Disney tradition, and 101 Dalmatians is by far the best-known such film to feature a well-recognized and engaging human villain.

  • Why didn't the parents cross the bridge with everybody else at the end?
    • Just because they've been set free doesn't mean they've necessarily forgiven their kids for defying them and ruining their scheme from the first movie. Evil Queen's the only one who'd seemed pleased by how her child has fared in Auradon, and as Disney's premier embodiment of vanity, she'd probably insist on stopping at Curl Up & Dye for a makeover before attempting her first public appearance on the mainland.

  • Why is everyone so worked up that Dude has the ability to speak? Aren't talking animals/creatures a normal thing in the Disney realm? Even if this universe doesn't include characters like Mickey Mouse, Robin Hood or Simba, non-human sidekicks who speak fluent English to their human/humanoid counterparts like Mushu, Flounder, and Jiminy Cricket are still a quintessential part of their protagonists' stories.
    • Dude's been hanging around Auradon Prep for years, and he never did anything but bark until the second movie. Everyone in Auradon's probably surprised because they had no idea he specifically could talk, not because a dog is talking.

  • So what is more powerful than what? The first movie established the most powerful thing in the series was Fairy Godmother's wand (or at least it's implied; it's the only thing keeping up the barrier), yet in the third movie, we get the line "the only thing more powerful than the scepter is Hades' ember." But, the scepter's magic was undone when Mal returned to the Isle to retrieve the ember. So the wand's magic is more powerful than the scepter?
    • Also, Mal could only defeat Audrey with the help of Uma and her sea magic, despite the ember supposedly being more powerful than the scepter. Audrey was only using the scepter, so how could she overpower the ember?
    • Magical items' "power level" probably varies depending on what purpose they're being put to. Excalibur is most powerful in a sword fight, Fairy Godmother's wand is most powerful for transformations, Maleficent's staff is most powerful for curses, Jafar's staff is most powerful for mind control. Hades' ember was probably the most powerful for sheer overall 'wattage' - gods generally trump mortal wizards or even fairies - but Mal's only half-divine and is inexperienced with its use. Together with it getting dunked, this diminished her capacity to tap into that power sufficiently that she and Uma had to tag-team against Audrey. As for breaching the barrier, the Wand is probably especially effective against it, because that's what Fairy Godmother used to raise the barrier in the first place, complete with safeguards against all the best-known villainous artifacts.

  • What's up with Harry's accent? Everyone else has an American accent, and Captain Hook wasn't Scottish.
    • Presumably his mother was.

  • Why would Mal give up her spellbook?! She’s a mage and that grimoire is nothing less than her birthright. Ben’s attitude about it is especially infuriating, as he’s already well aware that Mal is a magic-user. But now he has a big problem with that? His girlfriend can use magic to look fantastic, keep up with her new royal court duties, and whip up tasty feasts on demand. In a million other anime and manga series, she’d be the much-coveted magical girlfriend. Here…he’s mortified and furious? I had assumed that the ending would include a lesson on not trying to change fundamental aspects of your partner in a romantic relationship. She’d tell Ben, “If you want me back, you get all of me – including the magic.” But no, the “lesson” was to quickly throw away important parts of your life if your boyfriend objects to them. This whole “we’re trying to get rid of magic” policy is also dangerously short-sighted. Does it look like there’s any shortage of magical threats in this fantasy world? Instead of trying to discourage magic use, why isn’t there instead a magical training course at Auradon, with the aim of creating a new generation of well-educated, responsible mages? On the whole, this “magic is suddenly bad” angle was just really jarring. Did some executive at Disney have the brilliant idea that what this fantasy world needed was less magic?

  • Just how old are the titular descendants at the end of all this? If I remember correctly, the first movie takes place as Ben is turning 16, while Mal was at that age. Come The Royal Wedding, though, they're married. Is there anything I've missed with regards to how much time has passed between the first film and all of its sequels (including the animated special)? I want to know if Mal and Ben got married at what would be a very young age to us.
    • They're probably about 18.

  • Mal and Uma inherited their mothers's shapeshifting abilities, as their battle under the forms of dragon and giant cecaelia, respectively, proves it. But Jafar could turn into a giant cobra, too. So theoretically Jay can do it, too. Still, he does not turn into a snake to help Mal at this moment. Either because he does not dare to take part in the catfight, or he cannot tranform for some reason?

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