Descendants Movies In Order & How Many Are There? (Including Shows And Shorts)

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The Descendants franchise has captured the hearts of Disney fans with its modern twist on classic fairy tales. The series follows the teenage children of four infamous Disney villains as they navigate life in the kingdom of Auradon. But with so many movies, shows, and shorts in the franchise, it can be difficult to keep track of them all.

In this article, we’ll explore the Descendants franchise in detail, including the order in which to watch the movies and how many there are in total (including shows and shorts). So sit back and get ready to dive into the magical world of Auradon!

How Many Descendants Movies Are There?

There are three Descendants movies so far. The first one titled Descendants came out in 2015, and it was a huge success. A sequel was green-lit immediately, and Descendants 2 came out in 2017, and then in 2019, Descendants 3 was released.

In addition to the movies, there are also several shows and shorts related to the Descendants franchise. These include Descendants: School of Secrets (2015) [TV series], Descendants: Wicked World (2015–2017) [TV series], Under the Sea (2018) [Short film], Audrey’s Royal Return (2019) [Short film], Wicked Woods (2019) [Short film], and Descendants: The Royal Wedding (2021) [Television special].

Descendants Movies In Order (Including Shows, Shorts and Specials)

It is not that hard to sort Descendants movies in order as you only need to follow them by their release date. Still, when you include shows, shorts and specials, it becomes more complicated. In this part, we will show you what is the best way to watch the whole Descendants franchise in order.

Disney Descendants: School of Secrets (TV Series 2015)

“Disney Descendants: School of Secrets” is a television series that aired in 2015, as a part of Disney Channel’s original programming. This series acts as a prequel to the “Descendants” film and focuses on the students of Auradon Prep, the school attended by the offspring of Disney’s most famous heroes and villains. The series builds up the backstory, with characters discovering secrets about their school and each other, all leading up to the arrival of the VKs (Villain Kids) from the Isle of the Lost, which is the central premise of the original “Descendants” movie.

“School of Secrets” gives viewers a chance to delve deeper into the lives of secondary characters, adding layers to the wider narrative world of “Descendants”. It explores themes of identity, acceptance, friendship, and the struggle of coming to terms with one’s legacy. The show retains the mix of comedy, drama, and music that’s become a staple of the franchise, making it an engaging and important supplement to the “Descendants” films.

Descendants (2015)

“Descendants” is a 2015 American musical fantasy adventure-comedy television film directed by Kenny Ortega. It is the first installment in the “Descendants” franchise and debuted on Disney Channel. The film follows the lives of four villain kids – Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay, the children of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Cruella de Vil, and Jafar, respectively. These VKs (Villain Kids) are given a chance by Prince Ben, son of Belle and Beast, to live and study in the peaceful and prosperous kingdom of Auradon, away from the Isle of the Lost where they were born and raised.

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“Descendants” explores the struggle of these characters as they try to reconcile their parents’ villainous pasts with their own emerging identities, striving to determine whether they are destined to follow in their parents’ wicked footsteps or if they can break free and create their own futures. The film is highly engaging, with a balance of humor, drama, and an array of catchy musical numbers, appealing to both younger audiences and adults who have grown up with the classic Disney characters.

Descendants: Wicked World (TV Series 2015–2017)

“Descendants: Wicked World” is an animated series that aired from 2015 to 2017, and it follows the events of the first “Descendants” film. This series gives audiences more insight into the lives of the characters after the first movie’s conclusion, providing a narrative bridge to the second movie in the franchise. Viewers follow the VKs (Villain Kids) as they navigate life in Auradon, experiencing new adventures, learning to overcome their villainous tendencies, and forging deeper bonds with the Auradon kids.

The series continues the tone and themes of the franchise, exploring issues of identity, friendship, and the continuous struggle between good and evil. “Wicked World” is unique in its format, as it is animated rather than live-action, but it retains the humor, drama, and music of the original, bringing to life the world of “Descendants” in a new and exciting way. Characters are further developed, and new characters are introduced, providing a richer understanding of the world of “Descendants”.

Descendants 2 (2017)

“Descendants 2” is the second installment in the “Descendants” film series, released in 2017. The film continues the story of the Villain Kids (VKs) – Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay – who are now trying to adapt to their new life in Auradon. However, when Mal struggles with the expectations of being the perfect princess, she returns to her rotten roots on the Isle of the Lost where her archenemy, Uma, Ursula’s daughter, has taken her spot as self-proclaimed queen of the run-down town.

The film deepens the saga of these young characters as they face new challenges, forge their identities, and make important choices that define who they want to be. “Descendants 2” is full of high-energy songs and dance numbers, with themes of friendship, love, and self-acceptance at its heart. It’s an exciting follow-up that develops the franchise’s narrative and characters while maintaining its charm, humor, and emotional depth.

Under the Sea: A Descendants Short Story (Short Film 2018)

“Under the Sea: A Descendants Short Story” is a short film that was released in 2018 as a part of the “Descendants” franchise. The film sees Mal and Uma, the protagonists from “Descendants 2”, in an underwater battle that takes place in a visually captivating setting. It is an innovative exploration of the franchise’s universe that adds an interesting twist to the narrative and builds excitement for the next installment of the series.

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The short film, while being a standalone piece, seamlessly fits into the “Descendants” narrative arc. It adds depth to Mal and Uma’s rivalry, showcases their strengths and vulnerabilities, and further amplifies the anticipation for “Descendants 3”. This underwater adventure maintains the franchise’s charm, with dazzling visuals, a catchy musical number, and a gripping story that continues the saga of these compelling characters.

Audrey’s Royal Return: A Descendants Short Story (Short Film 2019)

“Audrey’s Royal Return: A Descendants Short Story” is a short film from the “Descendants” franchise that was released in 2019. The film focuses on Princess Audrey, the daughter of Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), and her return to Auradon after a brief absence during “Descendants 2”. It provides a peek into Audrey’s life and sets the stage for her prominent role in “Descendants 3”.

This short film explores Audrey’s character and her feelings of being left out of the changing dynamics in Auradon. It offers viewers an interesting perspective and helps explain her actions in “Descendants 3”. The film, while concise, skillfully carries forward the themes of the franchise, with a blend of humor, drama, and music, creating a compelling narrative and deepening the understanding of the characters and the world of “Descendants”.

Descendants 3 (2019)

“Descendants 3” is the third and final installment of the “Descendants” film series and was released in 2019. The film reunites the Villain Kids (VKs) – Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay – as they return to the Isle of the Lost to recruit a new batch of villainous offspring to join them at Auradon Prep. However, a dark force threatens the people of Auradon, and it’s up to Mal and the VKs to save everyone.

This film takes the franchise’s narrative to new heights, tackling themes of leadership, sacrifice, and unity. It brings character arcs to fruition while introducing new characters that add complexity to the story. With its signature blend of humor, drama, and music, “Descendants 3” delivers a fitting conclusion to the saga, wrapping up the narratives of beloved characters while leaving the door open for new stories in the “Descendants” universe.

Wicked Woods: A Descendants Halloween Story (Short Film 2019)

“Wicked Woods: A Descendants Halloween Story” is a 2019 short film from the “Descendants” franchise, released as a special Halloween story. The short film presents a spooky adventure where the VKs (Villain Kids) are led into a haunted forest, bringing a thrilling and mysterious dimension to the “Descendants” world.

This Halloween-themed short film perfectly complements the “Descendants” series with its unique twist. The VKs must not only confront supernatural forces but also their fears and insecurities. This tale is filled with eerie excitement, thrilling chills, and the beloved characters of the “Descendants” universe, making it a captivating addition to the franchise.

Descendants: The Royal Wedding (Television Special 2021)

“Descendants: The Royal Wedding” is a 2021 animated television special from the “Descendants” franchise. This event brings together the characters of the “Descendants” universe for the wedding of Mal and King Ben. It serves as an epilogue to the film series, giving fans a chance to see the beloved characters in a celebratory and heartwarming scenario.

The special is both joyous and poignant, featuring a significant event in the characters’ lives. With its mix of romance, friendship, and its signature musical elements, “Descendants: The Royal Wedding” offers viewers a satisfying continuation of the “Descendants” story. It provides a fitting closure to the characters’ arcs, while leaving the door open for future explorations in the “Descendants” universe.

* Disney’s Descendants: The Musical

“Disney’s Descendants: The Musical” is a theatrical adaptation of the “Descendants” franchise. The musical translates the engaging narrative, beloved characters, and catchy music of the film series onto the stage, providing fans with a new way to experience the “Descendants” universe. With its high-energy performances, vibrant costumes, and impressive sets, the musical brings to life the stories of the VKs (Villain Kids) and the kids of Auradon in a new and exciting format.

The musical remains faithful to the themes of the “Descendants” franchise, such as friendship, self-discovery, and the struggle between good and evil. Yet, it also offers a unique perspective by using the live stage format to delve deeper into the characters’ emotions and relationships. “Disney’s Descendants: The Musical” is an exhilarating production that showcases the charm, humor, drama, and musicality of the “Descendants” series, creating a memorable theatrical experience for audiences.

Do You Need to Watch Descendants Movies in Order?

You need to watch all three Descendants movies in order. If you want to watch the whole franchise in order, you should follow our recommended watch order from above.

Will There Be More Descendants Movies in The Future?

There will be another Descendants movie in the future. Disney has revealed more details about the new Descendants movie. The new film was first announced at D23 Expo earlier this year under the working title Descendants: The Pocketwatch, with the official name Descendants: The Rise of Red revealed by the actors on 21 March.

Filming for the new movie started in September 2022, and from looking at previous Descendants release dates, fans think that The Rise of Red could be out in late 2023 or early 2024.

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