For the Culture: ranking the best Disney Channel original movies of all time
If you read the title of this article and didn't immediately sing, "let's watch. A Disney channel mooooovie. Let's watch. Adisneychannelmovie!" leave now. This not for you.
If you weren't switching in between channels 54, 55, 56, this is most definitely not for you homie.
Below we've ranked have fifteen of the best DCOMs of all time. We'll start from decent to the absolute best DCOM of all time. Narrowing this list down to just 15 was already a struggle; the lil nigga just hit the mid-air splits, the theme song is poppin', it's time for a Disney Channel Movie.
Release Date: October 17, 1998
Starring: Kimberly J. Brown, Debbie Reynolds, Joey Zimmerman, Emily Roeske & Judith Hoag
Verdict: Let's gone head and get this out the way now, this movie is overrated y'all. Dubbed a classic by the masses amongst my generation, it ultimately falls flat upon rewatch. But, because y'all love this dusty ass movie, be happy it made it THIS far.
14. Jett Jackson: The Movie
Release Date: June 8, 2001
Starring: Lee Thompson Young, Linda Booth, Kerry Duff & Ryan Dowell Baum
Verdict: RIP to that boy Lee Thompson Young 🙏🏾 The film follows sixteen-year-old Jett Jackson and his role as TV action hero, Silverstone. It's a fun watch that still holds up and really highlights Young's acting skills early on.
13. Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century
Release Date: January 23, 1999
Starring: Kirsten Storms, Raven-Symoné, Lauren Maltby, Holly Fulger, & Phillip Rhys.
Verdict: A classic indeed and still pretty enjoyable, albeit annoying at times. The plot isn't that solid and I mean, 2049 is 31 years from now, y'all really think we finna be living on space by then? Nonetheless, the movie produced two decent sequels, starred Raven-Symoné before she disowned us, and movie gave us the HIT that is Supernova Girl. Remember that song?
12. The Proud Family Movie
Release Date: August 19, 2005
Starring: Kyla Pratt, Tommy Davidson, Paula Jai Parker, Orlando Brown & Omarion
Verdict: A good ass Disney movie if we're being honest and an instant classic for the culture. The Proud Family is arguably one of Disney's best original TV shows and the movie, which serves as the series finale, neatly ties the bow on a childhood classic. Oh, and who can forget the iconic dance battle scene?
11. Kim Possible Movie: So The Drama
Release Date: April 8, 2005
Starring: Christy Carlson Romano, Will Friedle, TahjMowry, John DiMaggio, Nicole Sullivan & Nancy Cartwright
Verdict: Yo, go back and watch this movie y'all, it's lit as hell. Dr. Drakken actually has a solid plan and is actually menacing for the first time. We see Kim Possible in a real threat and complex love triangle with the homie, Ron & new dude Eric who (plot twist) is one of the bad guys! Ron finally gets the girl and our girl Kim ends up saving the day, duh. Instantly a classic and one of Disney's last great-animated shows.
10. Up, Up, and Away
Release Date: January 22, 2000
Starring: Michael J. Pagan, Robert Townsend, Alex Datcher, Sherman Hemsley & Kasan Butcher
Verdict: A big moment for a young black superhero geek such as myself back in 2000. This is one of the first times we get a black lead in a DCOM (right behind Don't Look Under the Bed). Instantly gottaput it in the top 10 off the strength of that, and the movie has a solid plot, decent villain and good acting on all parts. 10 is a pretty solid position for a movie where all the main characters share the same weakness, fucking aluminum foil bro? Black people love aluminum foil!
9. Cadet Kelly
Release Date: March 8, 2002
Starring: Hilary Duff, Christy Carlson Romano, Gary Cole, Andrea Lewis & Shawn Ashmore
Verdict: Definitely worthy of a top ten spot. Cadet Kelly gave us character development, good acting from Hilary Duff & Christy Carlson Romano, comedy and that relatable feeling of starting a new school for the first time. We also gotta give Hilary a W since The Lizzie McGuire Movie technically doesn't count as a DCOM, which is a shame.
8. The Even Stevens Movie
Release Date: June 13, 2003
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Christy Carlson Romano, A.J. Trauth, Margo Harshman, Nick Spano, Tom Virtue, Donna Pescow & Steven Anthony Lawrence
Verdict: The Even Stevens Movie serves as a series finale to another Disney Channel classic. Shoutout to Christy Carlson Romano making her third appearance on the list already! The movie gave us the goofiness that we loved from the show along with tying up loose ends. Defnitely a top ten DCOM.
7. Get a Clue
Release Date: June 2, 2002
Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Brenda Song, Bug Hall, Ian Gomez, & Ali Mukaddam
Verdict: Man I love a good who-done-it mystery movie & Get a Clue delivers on all parts. Lindsay Lohan was always a great actress before anything and she holds her own here alongside Suite Life of Zack & Cody's Brenda Song. The story is pretty good and keeps you on your toes as the mystery continues to unravel. Not only is this a great DCOM, but its a good movie all in all and is 2000's af.
Release Date: August 29, 1998
Starring: Erik von Detten, Christina Vidal, Patrick Levis & Asher Gold
Verdict: I can hear the masses yelling: "Brink! shoul dbe in the top five!". Shut up. This is the third DCOM and let's keep it real, after seeing this you were begging your OG to get you a pair of roller-blades so that you too could be a soul-skater. We get a solid lesson on friendship and all-in-all keeping it real with yo Day 1's, at least that's what I took away from it. This is also the first time we meet Christina Vidal's fine ass that went on to star in Freaky Friday and starred as the titular character in Nickelodeon's Taina.
5. The Color of Friendship
Release Date: February 5, 2000
Starring: Shadia Simmons, Lindsey Haun, Travis Davis, Penny Johnson & Carl Lumbly
Verdict: Top 5, top 5, top 5 *Drizzy voice*. This movie honestly may be the sole reason why I can tolerate caucasians as well as I can now, no joke. Premiering in Black History Month of 2000, The Color of Friendship wasn't afraid to tackle some heavy material like foreign affairs, racism & oppression. After a rewatch, this still is one of the best DCOM we've seen to this day. I loved the idea of using a white South-African woman as a parallel to a black African-American one. Honestly, this movie could've debuted in theaters and made a killing for Disney.
4. Smart House
Release Date: June 26, 1999
Starring: Ryan Merriman, Katey Sagal, Kevin Kilner, Katie Volding & Jessica Steen
Verdict: G this house was raw as hell! The whole time I was watching this movie, I just kept thinking of how lit a mid-2000's juke party would've been in that mf. That is until Katey Segal (Peggy from Married... with Children) crazy ass became the house personified and wanted to become a wife/mother to the kids and their dad. Smart House is by far the most fun you're ever gonna get watching a DCOM. I definitely recommend a rewatch like, right now.
3. High School Musical
Release Date: January 20, 2006
Starring: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Lucas Grabeel, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu & Monique Coleman
Verdict: G... getcha head in the game, you gottagetchagetchagetchagetcha head in the game! That's really all I have to say. High School Musical gave us CUTS, Vanessa Hudgens who was a certified snack back then and ZacEfron who still has a pretty solid acting career. This was definitely one of those DCOM that I didn't want to admit to watching, but c'mon, a classic is a classic. This is one of the few DCOM that had a decent ass trilogy with the third film hitting the big screen; an impressive feat that no other DCOM has accomplished. Go back and play the soundtrack, you're welcome.
2. The Cheetah Girls
Release Date: August 15, 2003
Starring: Raven-Symoné, Adrienne Bailon, Sabrina Bryan, Kiely Williams.
Verdict: Yo, let's not even flex and say this wasn't one of the greatest movies of our young lives. For the ladies, they had a plethora of HITS to sing at their slumber parties; and for the fellas, I mean we had a fake 3LW reunion alongside Raven-Symoné singing and dancing looking like snacks. This movie actually still holds up in terms of acting, plot and of course the soundtrack. Bro, the soundtrack literally went double platinum. Gone head and bump that feminist-bop Cinderella and report back with a status update.
1. Don't Look Under the Bed
Release Date: October 9, 1999
Starring: Erin Chambers, Eric "Ty" Hodges II, Steve Valentine & Jake Sakson
Verdict: The creme de la creme of Disney Channel Original Movies, Don't Look Under the Bed. I mean this movie was lowkey scary, great acting on all parts, and a good ass plot twist.
As much as I'd love to keep this list going, I had a few films that ALMOST made the cut, check em out below.
1. Under Wraps
2. Johnny Tsunami
3. Tru Confessions
4. The Ultimate Christmas Present
5. Stuck in the Suburbs
6. Phantom of the Megaplex