Disney's Descendants descend on SA

2017-10-06 11:24

Cape Town – The stars of the hit Disney TV film Descendants visited South Africa this week ahead of the sequel's premiere. 

The film follows the teenage sons and daughters of Disney's villains who were banished to the Isle of the Lost.

After a royal proclamation four of the children are selected from their island prison and given a chance to live in Auradon, a prosperous new city. 

Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce and newcomer Thomas Doherty talked all things Descendants at a local press day. 

Descendants 2 takes places six months after the original film.

According to Boyce who plays Carlos, Cruella de Vil's son the descendants are all adapting to life in Auradon. 

"They are all getting used to their new lives. The pressure continues to mount for specific characters and some find it easier to adapt than others," says Boyce.

"Mal specifically is finding it very hard to adapt," chips in Cameron who plays the offspring of Maleficent.

She continues: "Mal has found true and genuine love with Ben (Mitchell Hope) but it's hard for her to accept it. So she panics and runs away because she doesn't feel that she is worthy of it."

Mal heads back to the Isle of the Lost and viewers will be introduced to a whole new crop of descendants. 


One of the new kids on the block is Harry, the son of Captain Hook played by Doherty. 

Speaking about this character, Doherty says that he is similar to his father except that he is a waster product of all that badness. 

"He is a very hostile individual, he is very unpredictable which makes him enjoyable to watch but you don’t want to get too close to him."

He continues: "And at the same time he is confident and charming. So you're never really sure of how to handle him. He felt that it was an injustice that some got to leave the island and he deals with these feelings in an aggressive way."

Doherty says that it is important to remember that they are all still kids and there is room for error and growth.

"You also have your dad's hook," chimes Boyce. 


To play their characters each of the young actors drew inspiration from different sources and processes.

For Doherty his character is a mixture of Harry Styles, Mick Jagger and Heath Ledger as the joker. 

Boyce on the other hand did not focus on one particular actor but finds Carlos to be a bit of an Olivier Twist. 

"He is someone who has a great sense of loyalty and he is wise beyond his years. He also very fun."

Cameron's approach to her character is more of an internal process by imagining herself at her most hurt and then at her most protected.

"I push myself to the brink of anger, hurt and confusion every day. And at a superhuman level Mal has this chemical coursing through her – so she's at the mercy of it and then also being a human being and chemically driven by teenager emotions."

She continues: "Every character I have played has been influenced strongly by Dave Tennant as Doctor Who. He is one of the most talented, finicky, strangest actors and he makes it work so well."


The actors are adamant that the film is not just for a younger audience as it is rooted in all the Disney characters. 

"Disney is both timeless and ageless," says Cameron. 

Boyce says the sequel is bigger and better.

"The things we did well in the first one we tripled: The dancing, the singing, the costumes. We elevated it this time around."

One big thing that Cameron is excited for viewers to see is the sword fighting which surprised even the actors. 

About the message of the film Cameron says, "even if you are a villain, hero anything in between we are all made up of the same stuff and we can learn to accept ourselves."


Descendants 2 airs Friday, 6 October at 16:30 on the Disney Channel (DStv 304).

If you miss the premiere you can catch the repeats on the following days:

Saturday, 07/10 - 10:40 and 20:20
Sunday 08/10 - 06:50 and 17:25
Monday 09/10 - 08:35
Tuesday 10/10 - 19:15

(Photos supplied)

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