Mal is the daughter of Maleficent, and Ben is the son of King Beast and Queen Belle. They first meet each other at the beginning of Descendants and later start dating. They are the main couple of the film.
Their "ship" names are Bal (B/en and M/al) Or Men (M/al and B/en
They first meet when Mal and the other villain descendants arrive in Auradon. Ben welcomes them and he and Mal exchange words between them. Ben shows them around the school and then asks Doug to show them their dorms. Later Ben offers to show Mal the art class but she declines. Later she learns that Ben's girlfriend gets to be up front with him at his coronation, so she decides to make a love potion in the form of cookies to get Ben to fall in love with her. Her plan works and Ben declares his love for her on the Tourney field after winning their big game ("Did I Mention") and breaks up with Audrey who then kisses Chad, upsetting Evie. Ben asks Mal to go to the coronation with him and she accepts. Shortly after that, Ben asks Mal on a date. Mal accepts and Evie helps her to get ready. When Ben comes to get Mal, he calls her beautiful. Ben and Mal journey to the Enchanted Lake where they enjoy a picnic. When Ben decides to go swimming, Mal stays behind. As she watches Ben swim she sings about her confused feelings for him ("If Only"). When Mal thinks Ben is drowning, she jumps in to save him but almost drowns herself because she can't swim. Ben saves her and tells her he loves her. In return, Mal tells him she doesn't know what love feels like, and Ben offers to teach her.
As the day of the coronation nears, Mal unwillingly begins making a anti-love potion for Ben because she doesn't want him loving her to be a distraction when the villains take over. As she makes it she cries and sings a short reprise of "If Only", showing how much she loves Ben. Right before Ben's coronation, as she and Ben are in the carriage, she gives him the cupcake with the anti love potion in it and tells him to save it for later. But Ben eats it right away and it makes Mal horrified. She asked him if he felt any different and Ben reveals that he knew about the love potion as it was washed off in the lake. When Mal asks if Ben has been faking his love for her, Ben gives her his ring and a kiss on her hand and says he hasn't been faking anything. Later during the coronation, after Mal takes the wand from Jane, she ends up confessing she loves Ben and wants to be with him because he makes her really, really happy.
During the coronation party ("Set It Off") Mal and Ben dance together and almost kiss.
In "Mal's Digi-Image Problem", Ben goes to see Mal and asks if she has a moment. She says that she is in the zone and he asks if she can de-zone. She says that is not a real word but he is cute so she will forgive him. However she still focuses on what she is doing, which is painting Audrey as her favorite heroine sleeping beauty to prove she is good and not up to anything evil. She says she is having a problem and he asks if she is referring to her dig image problem which confuses her since she doesn't understand the wording. He explains it means digital image and shows her the meme of her being a princess in waiting to mess up. He says how it is spreading and she says her portrait of Audrey will fix that. However, he mentions that Maleficent's daughter painting Sleeping Beauty's daughter as sleeping beauty might have the opposite effect and reminds her of Family Day. She shivers and states it's not as if she painted her with captain hook's coat and proceeds to change the painting to show her with his coat. Ben is amused by it but warns her to stop before someone sees. She then adds Cruella's coat causing Ben to worry and then she adds her mother's horns on Audrey and Ben further warns her to stop but is too late as someone takes a pic and it spreads. Mal then laments she has a dig image problem while Ben smiles at her lovingly and reassuringly.
In "Careful What You Wish For", He goes to Mal to see if she is alright before she accidentally wishes everyone was at the Isle of the Lost, causing her, Ben, Evie and Audrey to appear at the Isle of the Lost.
In "Voodoo? You Do" when Audrey clings onto Ben to save her when they go to Isle of the Lost, Mal says she realizes why they say be careful what you wish (though she isn't too upset). Ben offers to throw his jacket over a puddle of mud, but Mal asks why they would do that to a great puddle of mud and enjoys jumping in it, with Ben staring at her in confusion. Mal explains to Ben that Freddie is bad news.
In "Lamp Sweet Lamp", When Ben breaks a cup to prove to Freddie that he can be bad, he immediately feels guilty and as he helps clean it up (alongside Audrey who also feels guilty) she says it is more painful to watch then any punishment her mother gave her.
In ""Genie Chic", When everyone is wished into Jordan's lamp and Jordan changes everyone's clothes to fit her dress code (except for Ben since she claims that she feels men can't pull off the harem pants since her dad), he stares at Mal first and for a while. When Ben is slow to realize they are small since they are in a lamp, Freddie calls him King Obvious and Mal corrects her, saying he is King Obviously cute. Ben is happy and flirts back, saying that is his regal name. When he invites Freddie to Auradon Prep, she says he is sweet but tries to warn him.
When Ben and Audrey meets with Mal, Evie in "Puffed Deliciousness", and Freddie he invites them to dig into the buffet. He stands close to Mal.
When Mal and Evie try out for cheer-leading in "Spirit Day", he compliments them on their outfits but looks specifically at Mal and tells her in particular that he is happy she is trying out. She tells him she is trying to show school spirit. When Jay asks if there is punching or stealing in the game, Ben says no but to add them to the suggestion box. Mal asks if they ever had one but Ben says no. When she realizes he lied to keep Jay from bugging him, she smiles at him lovingly and says she has never been more into him. He laughs and smiles back and says good luck. When she accidentally turns everyone into dogs and Carlos changes them back (after trying to take pictures of them acting silly as dogs) he tells Jay it is okay for him to punch Carlos and Mal smiles at him. This shows Mal has influenced him as much as Ben has influenced her.
In "The Night is Young" Ben is shown talking to Mal in the beginning of the episode. He is elected for king of the Neon Lights Ball and complains about the crown poking his skull while Mal laughs at him trying to put the crown on. Mal tells him beauty is pain and he says he must be gorgeous. He dances with Mal instead of Evie (who was elected for Queen of the Neon Lights Ball but dumped him for fake jewelry). The two are about to dance but no music is on but begins dancing once Freddie sings. The two look at each other lovingly and enjoy dancing together and he even dips her.
In "Neon Lights Out", while the two slow dance, she keeps stepping on his toes by mistake. She tells him that there is not a lot of dancing on the Isle of the Lost and he flirts, asking if he can step on hers. He playfully attempts to but Mal dodges and steps hard on his foot with her heals. He squirms a little in pain, and she laughs saying she is sorry but thinks he is super cute when he is in pain. When everyone sees the mascot costume but Jane isn't in it, he tries to calm everyone. Mal stares happily at him. Ben is kidnapped and Mal is extremely concerned looking everywhere around the ball for him. When everyone accuses Mal of doing it, she becomes angry asking why she would do that to her own boyfriend.
In "Hooked On Ben", Mal demands CJ tell her where Ben is. CJ drops Ben down as he is tied and bound. She tries to release him while talking to CJ. When everyone takes a group selfie, he puts his arm on Mal's soldier and is sitting right next to her.
In the book both Mal and Ben have a dream about each other. Mal has a dream about their first date that would take place in the future and Ben had a dream that he was on the Isle of the Lost and was saved by a girl with purple hair and green eyes. While dancing and singing Once Upon a Dream with Audrey, Ben thinks back to the girl in his dream and realizes the meaning of the song.
In the book, Ben and Mal are barely having any time with each other due to Ben's busy schedule as king and student of Auradon. When Mal and her friends receive anonymous messages that urge them to return to the island and Ben hears disturbing news about a dragon sighted in Camelot Heights, both set off in different directions to solve their problems. Mal's team is about to leave for the island when Ben's carriage returns, and Ben and Mal tell each other everything. Instead of trying to stop her, Ben supports her decision and puts his faith in her and her friends.
At the end of the book, Mal and Ben unexpectedly reunite the next day in the dwarf mines where an underground tunnel connecting the Isle of the Lost to Auradon had been formed. The dragon revealed itself to be Madam Mim, Merlin's old enemy. A hard battle is ensued, ending only when Ben threatens her with Excalibur, allowing Merlin to send her back to the island and seal off the tunnel. Mal tells Ben their discoveries; the four talismans they retrieved and now must be put in a safe place.
- During the film, whenever Mal is around Ben, her hair seems shorter and lighter.
- 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.
- The two are similar in that both feel pressured to follow their parent's footsteps.
- Ben can see the goodness in Mal.
- Ben recognised Mal's artistic talent.
- Both have influenced each other. Ben influences Mal to be good and follow her heart rather than be like her mother. Mal also influences Ben and helps loosen up as shown in Descendants: Wicked World where in episode 10 he lied to Jay to get him from bugging him and tells Jay it is ok to beat Carlos.
- Mal tends to save Ben.