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Brandy, Rita Ora set for 'The Pocketwatch'

By Tonya Pendleton
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Singer Brandy attends the 15th annual BET Awards at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles in 2015. She will star in Disney+ movie "The Pocketwatch." File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/620ad4fe4f3d1c6c546a7fb514a86757/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Singer Brandy attends the 15th annual BET Awards at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles in 2015. She will star in Disney+ movie "The Pocketwatch." File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Brandy and Rita Ora will both appear in The Pocketwatch, Disney+ announced this week. The singer/actresses are heading to the fictional kingdom of Aurudon in the latest film in The Descendants franchise, the music-oriented Disney movies that started in 2015.

In the first film, Cameron Boyce (Carlos), Dove Cameron (Mal), Sofia Carson (Evie), and Booboo Steward (Jay) starred as the children of Maleficent, The Evil Queen, Jafar, and Cruella DeVil, trying to survive outside of their island prison while also trying to free their parents. The Descendants debuted on the Disney channel to over 6.5 million viewers, spawning three sequels.

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Brandy will reprise her role as Cinderella, while Ora will play the evil Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.

The synopsis reads: "The Descendants movies unfurled imaginative mythology of two new lands, idyllic Auradon and the ragtag Isle of the Lost, home to the teenage progeny of Disney's most iconic characters and notably, its most notorious villains.

The bold new story of The Pocketwatch returns to these lands and also takes audiences through the rabbit hole to the hostile unincorporated territory of Wonderland, a magical, mysterious place made famous in Alice in Wonderland.

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It finds polar opposites Red and Chloe crossing paths at a momentous celebration in Auradon when unexpected chaos breaks out. In order to prevent an impending coup, they must join forces to travel back in time, via a magical pocket watch created by the Mad Hatter's son, to stop an event that would lead to grave consequences."

Melanie Paxson's Fairy Godmother and China McClain as Uma are among returning cast members.

The Pocketwatch returns to a beloved character with Brandy's casting. In 1997, she was the first Black actress to play the role in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. Brandy made that film with her idol, the late singer Whitney Houston, who produced and specifically chose her for the role.

They performed together on the song "Impossible."

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella made its debut on Disney+ last February and the cast reunited in August for Cinderella: The Reunion, A Special Edition of 20/20.

At the time she made the movie, Brandy told The View host Whoopi Goldberg in 2021 that she was largely unaware that its legacy would last for many years to come.

"To be casted as the first Black princess in a multicultural cast, the first artist telling this amazing, iconic story...at the time, I didn't really grasp it all," she told Goldberg, who played Queen Constantina in the made-for-TV movie. "The impact that it had on me and the lives of so many families and girls that looked like me, it was just unbelievable, and now looking back I can now share this with my daughter."

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