A natural-born leader, Mal takes charge of carrying out her mother's evil plan to steal the Fairy Godmother's magic wand and enjoys drawing and casting spells (but only if needed).
Mal is a sneaky, smart, and (sometimes) ruthless girl who is a natural leader. Though she is compassionate to a degree she is also vengeful and doesn't forgive others easily. She is artistic and has a knack for casting spells, but only if needed. As the daughter of Maleficent, she wants to be like her mother: pure evil. Yet whenever she tries to prove herself to her mother, she often disappoints her instead. But she does enjoy coming up with evil plans and is the most feared at her previous school because of her reputation. She isn't fond of beautiful surroundings or anything pink and finds them to be horrid, but she does sometimes wonder about how life would be off the island. Despite this, she is not necessarily immoral; she is just misguided. Her "mean girl" facade is an act because she does not want to be seen as weak in her mother's eyes; being one is the only way she is respected by Maleficent, who never cared about Mal. Ben is the only person who saw through Mal's act, and saw her for who she was, a good person.
Mal is described as a girl with dark purple hair with highlights of lighter shades of purple that is curly and reaches a little bit over her shoulders. She has green eyes and is of medium height. She mostly wears purple and shades of green during the movie. At Ben's coronation, she wears a lavender dress that is short on the front but long and regal looking on the back. Mal had her hair tied up in a top knot. According to Descendants: Isle of the Lost, she has a dragon-shaped marking on her arm, the symbol of Maleficent.
Powers & Abilities
Mal is trained in dark forms of magic, courtesy of her mother. By Descendants: Wicked World however, she became somewhat incompetent with her magic despite being skilled in the film.
Mal is first seen spray painting a brick city wall. Then, she and her friends wreak havoc across an area of the Isle of the Lost. ("Rotten to the Core") After taking a lollipop from a toddler, her mother Maleficent comes. She gives the news that the four have been chosen to attend Auradon Prep. She gives the four a task to steal the Fairy Godmother's wand, and hands over her spellbook to Mal. When they arrive at Auradon Prep, they are welcomed by the Fairy Godmother and Prince Ben, who made the decree that they be given a chance to live among them. Audrey, Ben's girlfriend and the daughter of Aurora, is unwelcoming and rude. Mal and Audrey exchange awkward looks, before Audrey takes Ben away.
Mal and Evie become roommates to a room Mal finds "gross," but what Evie secretly loves. At night, the two girls enter Jay and Carlos' dorm while Jay and Carlos were enjoying they almost forgot what they are here for then Mal tells that it is their one chance to prove their parents that they are evil. Then they went to the museum after knowing where the wand is being held. Mal successfully puts the guard into a deep sleep, and they go look for the wand. They enter a room, which contains statues of their parents; Mal stays behind, having a vision of her mother encouraging her to go through with the plan to steal the wand. ("Evil Like Me") They find the wand, but Jay accidentally sets off the alarm when trying to take the wand. They narrowly escape, thanks to Carlos reporting the alarm as a malfunction.
The next day, they have school; Mal aces Remedial Goodness as it's a no-brainer what answer good guys would choose. Jay and Carlos are in the Tourney team, and Evie is asked out by Chad Charming. Mal befriends Jane, Fairy Godmother's daughter, to get the wand; she plays on Jane's insecurities about being pretty by making her hair more beautiful. Lonnie, Mulan's daughter, asks Mal to change her hair to a cool style likes her; Mal reluctantly agrees, since Lonnie will pay $50 and Evie needs more material for sewing her outfits.
Finding out the wand will be used in the coronation, Mal hatches a plan to become Ben's girlfriend to get close to the wand; only his folks and girlfriend get to stand up front. She begins baking a love spell into a batch of cookies; however, she finds that a tear of true sadness is the only ingredient missing. Lonnie bothers her (other girls want Mal to change their hair as well), and Mal reveals that the parents on the Isle of the Lost never showed them anything like love before when Lonnie remembers when he mother made her cookies whenever she was sad. Lonnie cries for them; Mal pretends to kindly wipe it away, flicking the tear into the cookie batter.
The next day, Mal uses psychology to trick Ben into eating the cookie, by making him think he doesn't trust a treat offered by the child of a villain.To Mal's surprise, the love potion works a little too well, as Ben breaks out into a song about his love for her after winning the Tourney game with Jay and Carlos' help. She readily accepts his request to attend the coronation with him, but feels a bit sorry for Audrey, who is shallow compared to her and choose Chad Charming (a manipulative jerk) as a rebound boyfriend. Mal goes on a date with Ben to the Enchanted Lake, where he they find they have some things in common, such as embarrassing middle names, and the status of their parents; Ben explains that while he has the "poster parents of goodness" and her mother is Mistress of Evil, they're not automatically like them as they get to choose who they get to be. She is then taken aback when Ben tells her that he can see goodness when he looks into her eyes, not evil. While Ben takes a swim, Mal begins feeling conflicted since she's falling in love. When Ben doesn't surface, Mal attempts to save him despite not being able to swim; Ben saves her, albeit a bit confused. Mal points out that there's a barrier around the Isle of the Lost, preventing swimming. When asked if she loves him, Mal says that she doesn't know what it feels like to love; Ben says he might be able to teach her.
Prior to Family Day, Mal and her friends are allowed to video chat with their parents. Hearing her mother's subtle message, Mal decides that they're all goners if they don't succeed. Come Family Day, Mal attends with her friends and is introduced to King Beast and Queen Belle by Ben as his new girlfriend; the experience is mutually uncomfortable for three of them. Playing a game of croquet prior to lunch, Mal meets Audrey's grandmother, Queen Leah, who initially mistakes her for her mother in shock. Ben explains the situation, but Queen Leah is furious at the very memory of her daughter needing to be raised by fairies due to Maleficent's curse. Feeling sorry for the misery her mother caused, Mal attempts to apologize, but is stopped by Chad Charming, who has never trusted Mal or her friends. After Evie knocks out Chad with a sleeping potion, Mal is left feeling hurt and confused more than ever; Ben attempts comforting her prior to leaving to prep for the coronation the next day. Jane and Audrey make fun of Mal, who snaps back at them by undoing the makeover she gave Jane's hair; she threatens to do worse, telling her friends she's looking forward to the coronation.
The following day, she rides with Ben in a carriage to the coronation. He eats a cupcake with the antidote to the love potion in it too early; however, she learns Ben has been free of the spell since their first date, thanks to the Enchanted Lake washing away the spell. Wondering if Ben had been had been faking his affection for her, Mal is left happily surprised he entrusts his signet ring to her. This however, causes her to begin questioning if she should give up this happiness love has brought her, in order to fulfill her mothers' evil desires.
During the coronation, Jane snatches the wand to give herself a makeover; however, the magic backfires and makes hole in the barrier surrounding the Isle of the Lost. Mal takes the wand, and after encouragement from Ben, decides to choose good as it's brought her more happiness than evil ever did and states the fact that she wants to live here in Auradon because it brings her happiness. Her friends agree, just as Maleficent arrives to take the wand. With everyone but herself and her friends frozen in time by her mother, Mal finally stands up to Maleficent, saying she's never considered what her daughter's wanted. Using a spell, Mal shrinks her mother down to a small lizard, which is equal to the love in her heart.
Fairy Godmother unfreezes time, freeing everyone. Mal shares moment with Ben, while telling Fairy Godmother not to be too hard on Jane since it was her fault for putting the ideas in her head. With her mother locked up, Mal decides to enjoy the after party with her friends. Mal dances with Ben to Set it Off.She then narrates "You didn't think that was end of the story, did you?" while giving a smirk to the audience as her eyes glowed green.
In the series Mal continues to attend Auradon Prep and is trying her best to be a good person. However, her good intentions often backfire, resulting in a lot of people sending online posts about her mishaps, promoting everyone to think she's still up to her old ways. In addition, she's shown to be somewhat more incompetent with her magic.
In the prelude novel, Mal is introduced as the daughter of Maleficent, the worst of the villains. Mal was born and raised in the Isle of the Lost, along with her mother, best friends and their parents. One evening, Mal dreams of being in Auradon on the edge of a beautiful lake with the soon-to-be-king Ben (to whom she did not know). She doesn't always do so well in school, except for Advance Evil Schemes and Nasty Tricks taught by Lady Tremaine. For her Ultimate Project she chose to humiliate Evie in which she fails to do. However, when Diablo was reanimated and informs Maleficent of the return of magic to the fairy's staff, Maleficent instructs Mal to retrieve it to prove herself evil. Mal convinces Jay, Evie and Carlos to get the staff back from the Forbidden Fortress in "Nowhere", an area near the Isle. She saves Evie from getting cursed by the staff at the cost of the the staff losing its magic once returned to Maleficent. Afterwards, the four teens become friends.
- Her name means "bad" in Spanish, French and Portuguese.
- Dove Cameron wore a wig during filming.
- In a scene where Mal tries to save Ben from drowning, it is revealed that she can't swim.
- At the time of the film, she is sixteen years old.
- Mal has the most common sense out of her friends, as she got ever answer in Remedial Goodness right by picking the answer that sounded the least fun for villains.
- In the film, it's revealed that her middle name is "Bertha." In the Spanish version, her middle name is "Igna." Maligna is a wordplay for Malign.
- During the film, whenever Mal is around Ben, her hair seems shorter and lighter.
- The dress she wears for Ben's coronation appears to be adaptable.
- In the prequel book, it is revealed she had a dream set near the Enchanted Lake, where Ben and Mal eventually go to on their date.
- Ways to Be Wicked
- Chillin' Like a Villain
- It's Goin' Down
- You and Me
- Kiss the Girl