Cameron Boyce, who has played Cruella De Vil's son Carlos since the first Descendants four years ago, died July 6 at age 20

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With its nicely rounded story and message of inclusion, Descendants 3 is possibly the best in this popular series of family-oriented Disney movies.

It’s the saddest too: Cameron Boyce, who has played Cruella De Vil’s son Carlos since the first Descendants four years ago, died July 6 at age 20. He has several sweet moments that stand out in this busy, bustling ensemble entertainment. In one he makes a sentimental little birthday present for Jane, the Fairy Godmother’s daughter (he tells her he used a 3D printer), and he also gets a last spirited bit of dialogue at the very end.

Boyce Cameron
From left: DOVE CAMERON, CAMERON BOYCE, BOOBOO STEWART and SOFIA ARSON
| Credit: David Bukach via Getty Images

More broadly the plot is about several missteps committed by Maleficent’s daughter Mal (Dove Cameron) when she assumes an important new role in the kingdom: She orders a ban on further immigration to Auradon from the Isle of the Lost — read into that what you will, political commentators — and unintentionally makes a rival of Sleeping Beauty’s kid Audrey (Sarah Jeffery).

Feeling upstaged, Audrey decides there’s no benefit to being a Disney princess, singing, “I never thought of myself as mean/ I always thought that I’d be the queen/ And there’s no in-between.” Soon she’s cackling madly and mucking around with spells.

The telecast will also be dedicated in Boyce’s honor.

Descendants 3 premieres Friday at 8 p.m. ET on the Disney Channel.