Wow, on my latest adventures with Disney in LA, I met the amazing Kenny Ortega. Kenny Ortega has quite the resume dating back to my moms favorite movie Zanadu where he was a choreographer. He worked as a choreographer since 1980 or I should say he still works as a choreographer. In Disney’s Descendants he not only did the choreography but also directed the movie and the result was magic…al! My kids are super excited to see Disney’s Descendants. My daughter reads all of the different variations of princess stories/Monster High, Ever After High and all those kinds of books she can get her hands on. She’s also obsessed with Once Upon a Time. So what I like about Descendants is it’s geared at her age with the storyline she is already fully immersed in. Plus Descendants is full of Disney actors she already loves.
In present-day Auradon, Ben, the teenaged son of King “Beast” and Queen Belle, is poised to take the throne. He offers a chance for redemption to the trouble-making teenaged descendants of defeated villains exiled to the remote Isle of the Lost. The villains’ descendants have been granted permission to attend prep school in the kingdom with the Disney heroes’ kids. The kids of Cruella De Vil (Carlos), Maleficent (Mal), the Evil Queen (Evie) and Jafar (Jay) played by Dove Cameron (LIV AND MADDIE), Cameron Boyce (GAMER’S GUIDE TO PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING), Booboo Stewart (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST) and Sofia Carson (AUSTIN & ALLY), have to make a choice while they are in Auradon to be Evil or not to be Evil.
The movie starts out with Kenny’s favorite dance routine Rotten To The Core. It was my favorite as well. Here is what he said…….“I started as an actor at 13-years-old and I was lucky enough to be in the original London touring production of ‘Oliver’ and when I first read the script and started to imagine the world, I thought of the Island of Loss, a bit of Dickensian and a little kind of old London town under the bridge, that darker underworld, and I loved the idea of being able to take Rotten to the Core, use it as character introduction and also to introduce us a bit to the island, what this place is.
And we found, in a few of our screenings for young people, that when we asked them after ‘If you would prefer to visit the Isle of Lost or if you would prefer to visit Auradon, where would you like to visit?’ and the first kid raised his hand and said ‘Would we be able to leave when we wanted to?’ And I said, ‘Of course,’ and he said ‘The Isle of the Lost.’ So we made it, I think, a kind of fascinating and interesting world and that particular number was just lots and lots of fun to create as a choreographer and to imagine as a designer.”
Having kids that want to become actors, I really loved how Kenny Ortega talked about Cameron and Dove. They both worked so hard and Dove came into this with very little dancing experience but when you see this you’ll think this girl has been dancing her whole life. Kenny said that he works with all levels of dance experience and that he loves it. He also really enjoyed working on Descendents because it gave him the opportunity to play with new characters. …I mean, here I was a kid that grew up watching Disney and loving Disney animation; Cruella Deville, Maleficent, you know, all of these magnificent Walt Disney characters and suddenly they were on the page, and I was like ‘I’m being invited to be able to play with these iconic heritage characters and their offspring, to develop brand new characters for Disney.
See Disney’s Descendants on July 31st at 8 PM on Disney Channel.