Disney’s Descendants has become the channel’s most watched children’s TV movie since the hugely successful High School Musical was released in 2006.
Descendants (2015), which came from HSM director Kenny Ortega, follows the lives of the teenage children of Disney villains Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella De Vil, as they embark on a mission to rescue their parents from prison.
The sequel was released earlier this year and has since become the highest rated kids’ channel telecast of the year across Disney’s competitors, reaching over 1.3 million children across the UK since its launch. In it, the wicked kids are joined by two newcomers: the son of Peter Pan's Captain Hook, and Uma, the daughter of The Little Mermaid's Ursula the Sea Witch.
The musical has also been drawing huge audiences online for its music videos, with over half a billion global views to date. One of the film’s main songs What’s My Name has attracted 101 million views online, and over 15,000 soundtrack albums have been snapped up by fans.
The success of the sequel has been replicated across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, reaching 12 million viewers on the premiere weekend alone.
Disney’s David Levine thanked the “quality production values, exceptional direction and casting” for the success of the movie, adding “It’s clear that kids – especially tweens – have established a real affinity to the franchise, from having a favourite character, a passion for music, the dance routines and the costumes, all of which are so intrinsic to the story.”