I recently stumbled upon a BuzzFeed article ranking all Disney Channel Original Movies. At an early age, I have been a fan of these quirky, weird, underdog characters and stories. They are filled with self-fulfilling moments, meaningful relationships, and inspirational stories (sometimes no-brainers). Since I’m turning 24 today, I’ve compiled a list of my top 24. I haven’t watched all the DCOMs so if you think I’m missing something from this list or got it wrong, please let me know in the comments below!
All pictures belong to the Disney Channel
24. Now You See It… (2005)
Just one more puzzle begging to be solved.
A film that tackles the idea of real magic when a produce holds a competition to crown the best young magician. The aspiring illusionist Danny teams up with the upbeat Allyson to solve the true intention of the contest.
23. The Even Stevens Movie (2003)
This morning, I thought I saw a cheeseburger doing yoga!
A movie from the Disney Channel show, the film is about a family stranded on an island unknowingly competing on a game show. All the characters play to their strengths and the Stevens realized what they should’ve known all along: nothing is stronger than their bond of a family.
22. Horse Sense (1999)
I got a four-year-old nephew who works harder than you do.
A funny and touching story about learning how to adapt to another world; whether it is the fast-paced L.A. or rugged farm life. By the confusion and hardships, you can uncover a side of yourself you never knew you had.
21. Go Figure! (2005)
What kind of hockey player runs away from a fight?
The story about a teenage girl aspiring to become a professional ice-skater but has to play hockey to pay for a scholarship where a top instructor works. Similar to Ice Princess, this film had me rooting for the main character while she discovered the other side of the ice.
20. Stuck in the Suburbs (2004)
You can’t blame the location, you can only blame yourself. The suburbs are just a state of mind.
Before Taran Killam made it big on SNL and Wildin’ Out, he played a popstar. In this DCOM, the characters realize how power can change a person (whether gaining it or losing it) and how it can help you realize what you want to do with your life. More Brenda Song movies to come.
19. Jumping Ship (2001)
Look! A Plane!
More comedy than action, the sequel to No. 22 added a third Lawrence brother for a action packed adventure. A story of survival, I learned what to do if every I was shipwrecked on an island and pirates are trying to kidnap me (not really).
18. Get A Clue (2002)
There is no secret, it is all about skill.
Back when Lindsay Lohan was a child star, she appeared in this film about students from a local school paper who solve a missing teacher case. I have always been a fan of mystery stories and this movie did the trick.
17. Genius (1999)
Well, you can’t be in two places at once. Violates all fundamental laws of physics.
A young kid with a high IQ learns the problems of living a double life. It taught kids that you should try to embrace who you are and not change just to fit in. It can turn out being yourself attracts your real friends. Oh and it’s cool to see a young Emily Rossum (The Day After Tomorrow).
16. The Thirteenth Year (1999)
I finally get a friend and he turns into a fish. Typical.
Becoming a teenager and learning that you are a mermaid. Although outrageous, it still dealt with the struggles of fitting in school and how important your friends and family are when you are having a hard time.
15. The Ultimate Christmas Present (2000)
Crumpet and Sparky will be here before you can name all the reindeer.
Common sense aside, could you imagine how useful a machine that can control the weather can be? Girl steals weather machine but her misuse ruins her Christmas. But the real entertainment comes from John Salley (Detriot Pistons star) and Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick from SpongeBob) as giant elfs.
14. High School Musical 2 (2007)
You know the words “once upon a time”. Make you listen, there’s a reason.
Summer break means summer jobs for East High students at a local country club. More singing, drama than the first. Although the film doesn’t do justice to musicals, it still had a message about fixing mistakes and handling choices that affect your future.
13. My Date with the President’s Daughter (1998)
Oh, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s a big white house, you can’t miss it.
The story of a magician wannabe (Will Friedle) falling for the daughter of the President of the United States (Elisabeth Harnois) and their wild adventure. I’m guessing it’s not that easy to get away from the Secret Service like they did in the film, but hey, it’s Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World!
12. Full Court Miracle (2003)
Don’t do that. Don’t you put yourselves in a box… ever.
A sports movie about jewish kids who want to succeed in basketball. Yarmulke and all! It told a story on how you can overcome religion barriers yet still stay true to what you believe in.
11. Luck of the Irish (2001)
Dancing’s not a sport. Ah, it is in Ireland.
Pretty Little Liar star Ryan Merriman stars in a DCOM showcasing the importance of learning where you come from. It taught kids to embrace who they were and learn to put differences aside when family is in the mix. Also I learned a lot about the Irish culture with the film’s Olympic style competition.
10. Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off (2003)
They’re carrots, whatever you do to them, they’re going to taste like carrots!
A good movie about struggling with approval from your friends and family about doing what you want to do. I’ve always been a fan of Food Network cooking competitions, so seeing a baseball kid make chocolate chicken was pretty cool.
9. Cadet Kelly (2002)
Once a maggot, always a maggot.
Christy Carlson Romano and Hillary Duff come off two very great Disney Channel Series shows (Even Stevens and Lizzie McGuire, respectively). Duff’s girly character and Romano’s uptight rule-follower attitude turned out to become one of the most unlikely of friendships. X-men’s Iceman guest stars.
8. Double Teamed (2002)
Once second best always second best.
The real-life story of WNBA twin sisters showed the difficulty of sibling rivalries, living up to expectations from parents and coaches, and dealing with not being the number-one option. But those Elvis sandwiches they made in the film. Yum. And I learned that this is the one DCOM where you should beware doing a Google Image search on.
7. Motocrossed (2001)
Don’t be such a girl Carson.
She’s All That with a deeper focus on family relationships. A aspiring motorist pretends to be her brother to compete. The film revolved around motorbikes but the true impact of the film was dealing between the choice of your family and winning.
6. Alley Cats Strike (2000)
Wouldn’t you like to know?
I gained a new interest in bowling. For those who watched the film, I tried that 7-10 split shot where he spun the bowling ball and gave it a slight push. Let’s just say someone needed to walk into the lane because the ball got stuck. And yes, that is a young Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory).
5. Smart House (1999)
We can’t stay here forever, PAT!
Ryan Merriman is the ultimate tech boy-genius (c’mon he won a house). But most importantly, a kitchen counter that magically brings you food? The American dream realized. Smart House taught kids it is important not to misuse power.
4. Johnny Tsunami (1999)
Go Big or Go Home.
Living in Hawaii my entire life, seeing this kid go from Hawaii to Vermont and transitioning from surfing to snowboarding showed how two very different things (ocean waves and mountains of snow) can play the same. A turf war between the preppy skiers and soul-snowboarders leads to a fun story about finding your own greatness. Also I only knew Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa from Mortal Kombat, but seeing him as the wise and laid back grandpa, right on.
3. High School Musical (2006)
What team? WILDCATS!
The grease-like musical that kick started a generation of music dancing. This movie introduced Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens and helped towards their now successful careers. A basketball who bakes and nerd who break dances speaking out really helped portray the film’s message. Even if you’re not a fan, you can’t deny HSM’s success led to another DCOM and a full-featured film.
2. Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999)
Zoom zoom zoom, you make my heart go boom boom. My super nova girl.
The futuristic camp station, space ships from the earth to the moon, and catchy songs! The film made me want to live in space and hoped the future was here. I mean they predicted information to destroy a space station could fit on miniature CDs.
1. Brink (1998)
Skate better? Skate. Better.
Soul Skating: skating for the fun of it and not for the money. This was the first DCOM I watched and really got me hooked on the ideas of DCOMs. The story of a teenage skater with raw talent who struggles with his options: soul skating or being a sellout (with assholes) to help his family. In the end, Brink figured it out and told Val: