Descendants Movies in Order: How Many Are There?

The Descendants franchise is a musical fantasy adventure-comedy television film created for the Disney channel. It was created by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott. The franchise is set in the world of Disney animated classic movies, where each movie follows the lives of the teenage children of four Disney Villains who start their new life in the kingdom of Auradon at the request of the teenage son of Queen Belle and King Beast.

The Descendants franchise follows Mal, played by Dove Cameron, daughter of Maleficent, as she tries to leave her evil ways to win the heart of Prince Ben, played by Mitchell Hope, son of Belle and the Beast. Along the way her misfit friends help her; Carlos, the son of Cruella de Vil, played by the late Cameron Boyce; Evie, the daughter of the Evil Queen, played by Sofia Carson; and Jay, the son of Jaffar, played by Booboo Stewart. Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s see how many Descendants movies are there and what is the best way to watch them.

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.

Descendants movies in order (at a glance)

The first movie, Descendants, on its premiere night, received 6.6 million viewers, becoming the most-watched broadcast on the network in 2015. This was the highest-rated broadcast on the network since 2013. Here are all Descendants movies in order:

  1. Descendants (2015)
  2. Descendants 2 (2017)
  3. Descendants 3 (2019)

These movies are praised for their amazing songs and showstopping dance numbers. This is no surprise because the Descendants franchise was directed and choreographed by Kenny Ortega, who has previously worked on the High School Musical trilogy.

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What is the best way to watch Descendants movies?

The best way to watch all three Descendants movies is in their release order. All the movies take place immediately after the other, so it is best to follow these movies’ in their release order.

Descendants movies in order (by release date)

1. Descendants (2015)

Director: Kenny Ortega

Writer: Josann McGibbon, Sara Parriott

Runtime: 1h 52m

Synopsis: In the United States of Auradon, Belle and Beast rule as king and queen, they united the settings of many Disney animated films, and banished all villains to the Isle of the Lost. Ben, the son of the king and queen, announces a program to invite four children from the Isle of the Lost to live in Auradon, away from the influence of their villainous parents: Carlos, son of Cruella de Vil; Jay, son of Jafar; Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen; and their gang’s leader Mal, daughter of Maleficent. Maleficent tells the children to steal the Fairy Godmother’s magic wand to help her conquer Auradon. But, the four outcasts find themselves enjoying Auradon more than they anticipated. When the barrier is inadvertently brought down, Maleficent attacks Ben’s coronation and transforms into a dragon. What will Mal choose- her old or new life?

2. Descendants 2 (2017)

Director: Kenny Ortega

Writer: Sara Parriott, Josann McGibbon

Runtime: 1h 51m

Synopsis: Mal is trying to adjust to her new celebrity life as Ben’s girlfriend, secretly using magic to maintain this lifestyle. But, this doesn’t last, and Mal decides that she does not belong in Auradon. She returns to the Isle, where gang leadership has fallen to her old rival, pirate captain Uma, who is Ursula’s daughter. Evie, Jay, and Carlos agree to help Ben find Mal, but Mal rejects him. Mal is now certain she belongs on Auradon. Uma sees her chance, and she captures Ben and demands the Fairy Godmother’s wand in exchange for his life. In a crucial moment, Mal finds out Ben commissioned a portrait that depicts her as she was before she changed herself with magic, she accepts the act of love and kisses Ben, and saves him. Uma and Mal have a final battle, transforming into an octopus and a dragon, respectively. In the end, they come to an agreement to bring more children from the Isle to Auradon, this connects these two places even more.

3. Descendants 3 (2019)

Director: Kenny Ortega

Writer: Sara Parriott, Josann McGibbon

Runtime: 1h 46m

Synopsis: Ben proposes to Mal. Things get complicated when Uma, Mal’s father Hades, and Ben’s ex-girlfriend Audrey join forces to bring Mal down. Now, Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos are trying to recruit a new generation of villain kids. Meanwhile, Hades is trying to breach through the barrier, and Audrey steals Maleficent’s crown and the scepter and she becomes an evil version of herself. The original gang has to return to the Isle of the Lost to retrieve Hades’ ember and with the help of Uma, Harry and Gil, they need to stop Audrey from destroying Auradon.

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Do you need to watch Descendants movies in order?

Yes, it is best to watch all three Descendants movies in order. In the first movie, our original gang is vastly different from where we leave them at the end of the third movie. Their behavior, beliefs, and alliances vastly change throughout the three Descendants movies.

Are Descendants movies connected?

Yes, Descendants, Descendants 2, and Descendants 3 are all tightly connected. The original cast from the first movies, returns for all three movies. Through the movies, we follow Mal and other villain kids’ journey from evil rebels trying to bring down Auradon to rebels who try to build an alliance between Auradon and Isle of the Lost. The Descendants movies are a perfect example of a well-rounded Disney movie franchise.

Will there be more Descendants movies?

There are new Descendants sequels in the works! In September 2021, two more Descendants movies were announced to be in the works by Disney. On May 10, 2022, Disney announced one of the two movies as Descendants: The Pocketwatch with Jennifer Phang attached to direct. The Descendants: The Pocketwatch release date is still TBA, but we know filming will start in fall 2022, so we can expect a 2023 premiere on Disney+.

There is still no teaser trailer or trailer to give us more information, but we know the general outline of the movie- an impending coup looms over the celebration of a new royal baby. To save Auradon, Red must team up with Chloe to travel back in time, with the help of the White Rabbit’s pocket watch, to stop an event that would lead to grave consequences. The new main protagonist will be Uma, Ursula’s daughter, played by China Anne McClain.

There are two newcomers in the cast: Kylie Cantrall as Red, the daughter of the Queen of Hearts, and Dara Renée will be Chloe, the daughter of Cinderella and Prince Charming. Even though we don’t have a lot of new information, these new Descendants project sound amazing, and we are excited to see what is to come.

  • Marija is a big TV series and film enthusiast. Her guilty pleasures are sitcoms and cheesy romance novels. She loves discussing high fantasy and fiction, especially LOTR, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Marvel.