King Benjamin "Ben" Florian (better known as Ben) is a major character who appears in the Descendants franchise. He is the son of Belle and Beast from Beauty and the Beast. the husband of Mal, and the King of the United States of Auradon and the Isle of the Lost.
Official Disney Bio
- Poised to take the throne, he makes his first proclamation and offers a chance at redemption to Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay when they are given a chance to attend Auradon Prep. Unlike his peers, he does not fear the trouble-making teens and embraces them as friends while he helps them navigate the unfamiliar land where goodness runs rampant.
One month, before being coronated King, Ben informs his parents of his first royal decree: to give the children of the Isle of the Lost a chance at redemption and to attend Auradon Prep. To ensure the safety of both his plan and the citizens, he decides to start small with the children who need the help most - Carlos, Jay, Evie, and Mal.
He tries his best to befriend them and help, but his girlfriend Audrey is completely unwelcoming and takes him away, forcing Doug to take care of the tour and explanations.
Having been told how terrible Maleficent was in the past, Ben attempts reaching out to Mal the most. Because of this, he begins developing affection for her. He also helps get both Jay and Carlos on the Tourney Team. Unaware of the kids' mission to steal Fairy Godmother's wand, Ben is tricked by Mal into eating a cookie laced with a love potion. This actually proves helpful as this allows him to break up with Audrey and date Mal, finding they have more in common.
On a date, Ben swims in an enchanted lake, which removes the love spell from him. After Mal attempts to save him, thinking he drowned, he tells her that he can see her inner goodness is stronger than the evil she's descended from. He continues faking being under the spell but genuinely shows love for her as the day of his coronation nears.
On the day he is to be crowned king, Ben rides in a carriage with Mal, who gives him a cupcake with the antidote in it. He eats it too early, then reveals that he has been free from the spell since their first date, and forgives her for her doing because he believed that she did not believe they could be together as long as he was with Audrey. When she questions whether he'd been faking his affection, he reveals that he's truly in love with her as he gives her his signet ring. During the ceremony, Jane steals the wand to use its magic to improve her looks. Unfortunately, the wand unleashes a blast of magic that undoes the barrier around the Isle of the Lost, allowing Maleficent to escape and attempt stealing the wand. Ben talks Mal into listening to her heart, which subsequently convinces the others to do the same thing. They all decide to be good people of Auradon moments before Maleficent arrives and freezes everyone in the hall.
Ben is left happily surprised when the spell is undone thanks to Mal, Jay, Evie, and Carlos, who used their combined goodness to shrink Dragon Maleficent to the size of gecko. They then proceed to celebrate their victory in the courtyard of Auradon Prep.
Ben returns in the animated short series Descendants: Wicked World, voiced by Mitchell Hope who also portrayed him in the live-action film. Mal accidentally transports herself, Ben, Audrey, and Evie to the Isle of the Lost with an unintended wish. While there, they meet Freddie Facilier, whom Ben recruits in Auradon after escaping the island.
In the 2017 sequel, where Ben goes to the Isle of the Lost to find Mal after he realizes she has left Auradon. Mal's friends, Carlos, Evie, and Jay, decide to go with him to help, but first, they have to teach him their wicked ways so he can sneak around the Island without being recognized.
In the prelude novel, Ben is holding a council meeting in his father's stead. He is extremely anxious because it is his first time to hold a meeting. Despite encouragement from both Belle and Beast, the meeting goes horribly wrong and Ben loses his temper. In the end, Ben manages to find a solution to the problems and invites Grumpy to a one-on-one meeting, believing that it would be better that way and solves the situation peacefully. He then comes to believe in himself as the King that he is instead of the King everyone expects him to be.
Like Mal, he has a mystical dream. In his case, he finds himself the Isle of the Lost where he meets a strange girl with mischievous eyes and purple hair. While singing Once Upon a Dream on his date with Audrey, Aurora's daughter, Ben realizes the relevance between the song and his dream.
The novel also explains the reason why he feels pity for the children on the Isle of the Lost. Like them, he was born into his life, where everything was taken care of for him. Though he is proud to be his parents' son and the future king of Auradon, he also felt trapped and started imagining how it would feel like for those children, who even had lesser choices than him. This prompts him to make the decision he does in the movie.
In the sequel novel, Ben is now in charge of everything in Auradon as its new king. Reports come in from various regions of the kingdom where unusual earthquakes and storms are hitting, and more disturbingly, a dragon has been spotted in Camelot Heights. Worried that they are in danger, the wizard Merlin asks for a petition to use magic. Worried that it would cause consequences, Ben instead decides to visit Camelot and observe the situation. He eventually finds out the monster is indeed a dragon, and many suspect it to be Maleficent's doing despite her incarceration.
Ben returns to Auradon just as Mal and her friends are leaving for the Isle of the Lost to investigate matters of their own. Ben allows them to leave, putting faith in his girlfriend. After much investigation, Ben finds out that the dragon is not Maleficent, but from something else. He and Grumpy then investigate the Dwarf Mines, where he accidentally meets up with Mal's team and the true culprit, Madam Mim. After a hard battle, Ben saves the day by pointing Excalibur (the sword borrowed from Camelot) at Madam Mim, forcing her to surrender. Merlin then sends everyone back to where they belong and seals the underground tunnel to keep the inhabitants of the Isle of the Lost from escaping.
- According to the film, his middle name is Florian, named after Snow White's Prince. At the time of the first film, he was captain of the Tourney Team and was sixteen years old.
- Ben's Tourney number is 7.
- In the prequel book, Mal's dream of Ben was set near the Enchanted Lake and being "on the stone floor of an ancient temple ruin". This was the place Ben took Mal on their date.
- The prelude also confirms that while Ben takes after his father in looks, he takes after his mother in personality; he shares her interests in books and reading and is more of a gentle soul in comparison to his father.
- Since Mal was sixteen years old and Ben was "turning sixteen" by the time he made his proclamation in the first film, this would make Ben younger than Mal by a few to several months.
- Near the end of the first film, Ben reveals that he didn't fake his affection for Mal after the love spell was washed away in the Enchanted Lake.
- In the Disney Descendants Yearbook, Ben's "Secret Wish" is to live happily ever after while his "Not-so-secret Wish" is to see everyone in Auradon treated the same, regardless of what their parents have done in the past.
- Similar to names of Maleficent and Mal using the root word "mal-" based off the word "malevolent" meaning "bad" and/or "evil", Ben's name serves as a contrast using the root word "ben-" from the word "benevolent" which means "kind and generous" like how the character is portrayed and reinforcing the idea of good and evil.
- Most of Ben's singing roles were dubbed by Jeff Lewis in the first film, but Mitchell Hope did sing in the sequels.
- During the song "Chillin' Like a Villain" in the second film, Ben shows a rather quick-learning streak. After learning how to act like a bad guy, he was immediately able to steal Jay, Carlos, and Evie's things before giving them their stuff back.
- Despite his father's spell being broken, Ben seems to have retained some of his father's beastly characteristics: for example, shaking himself dry after exiting the lake and his animalistic bursts of rage, such as when rushing to protect Mal from Maleficent and vicious snapping at his parents and Fairy Godmother when under Uma's spell. He had also let out a great roar like his father's beast form during a battle between dragon Mal and Uma.