I watch some shows on the Disney Channel with my daughter. (And I like Dog With A Blog way more than I should.) But I've got to admit that when a Disney Channel publicist asked me if I wanted to see the upcoming Descendants movie in advance (it premieres tonight at 8 Eastern), I only said yes because my daughter has been talking about it non-stop since June. As with so many kids' movies, I thought I'd be looking for an excuse to bail 15 minutes into the flick. But not only did I make it to the credits—I genuinely liked it and my daughter thought it was "amazeballs." Here are five reasons to check it out with your tween:
* The music is fantastic. Broadway legend Kristin Chenoweth (who starred as the original Glinda in the musical Wicked) plays Disney villain Maleficent, which she has described as her darkest role yet. Her song, "Evil Like Me," has been stuck in my head for a week. A theatre kid, my daughter loved that the song used Chenoweth's entire vocal range and has fantastic choreography.
* The costumes are edgy. Project Runway's Kara Saun designed the costumes, and we loved them. Favorite outfit: Mal's sparkly purple coronation ballgown.
* It has positive messages. While I wish the characters would talk less about lip gloss and hairstyles, I do appreciate general storyline: The kids of the Disney Villains go to school with the kids of the Disney heroes. The villains want to get the Fairy Godmother's wand so their parents can take over the world. But let's just say that they choose a smarter path. You can use it as a jumping off point about why you don't have to fit in with the crowd.
* You'll recognize cast. Besides Chenoweth, there are several other familiar faces: Melanie Paxson (who had roles in Last Man Standing, Rules of Engagement, The Drew Carey Show) plays the Fairy Godmother while Wendy Raquel Robinson (from The Steve Harvey Show) portrays Cruella de Vill. Your kids may recognize Dove Cameron from Disney's Liv And Maddie (she plays Mal) and Cameron Boyce (from Disney's Jessie) as Carlos.
* It doesn't end with a wedding. No spoilers here, but it's not your classic storyline where the Princess kisses the boy and falls madly in love. In fact, there may not even be a kiss at all.
Karen Cicero is contributing travel and nutrition editor at Parents, and recently waited in a massive line so her daughter could get Kristin Chenoweth's autograph on her Playbill. Follow her on Twitter @karencicero.