Descendants: The Rise of Red parents guide

Descendants: The Rise of Red Parent Guide

It might not be magical but at least it's consistent.

Overall B+

Disney+: After the Queen of Hearts incites a coup against Auradon, Red and Cinderella’s daughter Chloe travel back in time to try to undo the traumatic event that set Red’s mother down her villainous path.

Release date July 12, 2024

Violence B+
Sexual Content A
Profanity A
Substance Use A

Why is Descendants: The Rise of Red rated TV-G? The MPAA rated Descendants: The Rise of Red TV-G

Run Time: 91 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Princess Red (Kylie Cantrall) of Wonderland is a rebel and a disappointment to her mother, the Queen of Hearts (Rita Ora), who wants Red to be just as ruthless and power hungry as she is. Over in Auradon, the pirate captain Uma (China Anne McClain) has become principal of Auradon Prep and wants to extend an olive branch to Wonderland by inviting Red to study there. The Queen agrees, but soon reveals an ulterior, sinister motive.

To undo her mother’s evil deeds, Red teams up with Chloe (Malia Baker), the daughter of Cinderella (Brandy Norwood) and Charming (Paolo Montalban), to go back in time and change the events that tilted the Queen towards evil.

Something I will always commend Disney Original Movies on is their consistency. The level of production, acting, and writing is always about the same, so you know what you’re getting every time. They aren’t for everyone, but fans generally don’t leave disappointed. The fourth live-action installment in the Descendants franchise is no exception. I’m not overly familiar with the past films aside from catching a few scenes here or there while my son was watching them, so I’m fully aware that I’m not the target audience. But as a former (and maybe current) High School Musical fan, I understand the appeal.

This film takes a dramatic turn from the preceding trilogy, as a majority of the original cast is not present. The story instead focuses on two new characters, Red and Chloe, with some returning side characters like the Fairy Godmother to round out the world. Although they may miss their past favorites, I’m sure fans will find a lot to love in these new characters, even if only for the thematic costumes and bright hair the series is famous for. The girls both grow as people through the adventure and learn valuable lessons about morality, love, and kindness.

I could nitpick this plot to death, but that’s not the point. It’s only meant to be a vehicle for catchy songs and a simple message, and it does it well enough for young audiences to easily follow along. I did find the pacing to be strange, as what turned out to be the climax felt like a second act, and the story resolves in the final five minutes. But again, if you’re choosing to watch this movie you know what you’re getting into. As with the rest of the series, the negative content is reserved to only the mildest of peril and a bit of slapstick. Fans of the franchise are sure to enjoy this film, and everyone else probably wouldn’t want to watch it anyway.

Directed by Jennifer Phang. Starring Kylie Cantrall, Malia Baker, Rita Ora. Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release July 12, 2024. Updated

Watch the trailer for Descendants: The Rise of Red

Descendants: The Rise of Red
Rating & Content Info

Why is Descendants: The Rise of Red rated TV-G? Descendants: The Rise of Red is rated TV-G by the MPAA

Violence: A character threatens beheadings. Some people are chased by floating swords. There are moments of mild peril. There are some slapstick falls and antics.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: None.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.

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Descendants: The Rise of Red Parents' Guide

What do Chloe and Red learn about being “good” or “bad”? How does Red differ from her mom and what choices does she make to stay off the path her mom took?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Pure-hearted young girls battling an evil queen (or stepmother) are a common fairytale trope and are well represented in film. Along that line teens can watch Mirror, Mirror, Ever After, or Snow White and the Huntsman. Families with younger kids will be better off with Alice in Wonderland (live action or animated), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella (live action, animated, or sequel), Happily N’ever After, or Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs.

Older viewers who want a fairy tale context for adventure can turn to the teen-focused The School for Good and Evil.

The fairytale world makes an entertaining crossover into the real world in Enchanted and its sequel, Disenchanted.