disney channel has been home to inspirational films for the whole family since the 80s. Usually starring the network’s current stars, some DCOMs have launched the careers of actors like Zac Efron, Shia La Beouf, and Hilary Duf.
From musicals and inspiring true stories to films on serious topics like discrimination, disability and the importance of family, Disney Channel Original Movies have become a growth staple for their memorable stories and casts.
musical high school (2006)
musical high school is arguably the biggest DCOM in Disney Channel history. With a talented cast full of future megastars, catchy and memorable songs, and a message that transcends generations, this trilogy was the millennial version of Fat.
The film follows a quiet nerd and popular jock on their journey toto fall in love with each other and school activities that aren’t what they’re known for when they accidentally audition for the school musical.
You wish! (2003)
Have you ever wished your brother didn’t exist? That’s the case with teenage Alex, except his wish is unexpectedly granted in this film featuring several notable Disney stars.
AJ Trauth of Even Stevens,Wool of Lizzie McGuire,Tim Reid of Sister Sister and Spencer Breslin of Santa Claus 2 and 3 all play a role in this film about the importance of family and the strength of sibling relationships.
The Cheetah Girls (2003)
The Cheetah Girls turned into a memorable trilogy that launched the girl group of the same name. Featuring Raven Symone, Adrienne Bailon, Sabrina Bryan and Kiely Williams, this DCOM is much more than music.
Whereas The Cheetah Girls tells the story of four high school friends who live their dream of succeeding in the music industry, it also shows the power of friendship and that not everyone’s life is as privileged as everyone else’s .
The color of friendship (2000)
The color of friendship premiered on Disney Channel in 2000 and told a story centered on race and prejudice between two girls from completely different backgrounds.
Shadia Simmons plays Piper, a young black girl whose wealthy family lives in America, while Lindsey Haun plays Mahree, a young white girl from South Africa who is part of Piper’s family for the school’s exchange program.
Stuck in the suburbs (2004)
Stuck in the suburbs is about a teenage girl who becomes jealous of the school’s popular new student and decides to make up outlandish lies about her life in order to fit in, later learning that they both have more than she thought , including their shared crush on their favorite singer.
True Confessions (2002)
True Confessions played Shia LaBeouf, just a few years after making her Disney Channel debut with Even Stevens, as a disabled teenager and twin brother by Clara Bryant character, Tru.
The film follows Tru’s filmmaking hobby as she creates a documentary centered around her brother Eddie, highlighting the disability stigma and stress of living with a disabled sibling, as well as realizing how the Twins’ lives will be different.
Princess Protection Program (2009)
DCOM 2009 Princess Protection Program Featured Disney duo Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato in their first joint project since appearing together on Barney and his friends in 2002.
Gomez played the tough and brave Carter, who must take Rosalinda, Lovato’s favored princess, under his wing to protect the royalty from being kidnapped by the dictator of a neighboring country.
Teen beach movie (2013)
Whether you’re here for the 50s beach party movies or musical high school, Teen beach movie is a musical must.
Featuring Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell and Jordan Fisher,Teen beach movie pays homage to 1950s beach movies when modern teens Brady and Mac magically find themselves in their favorite movie, West Side Storyand must prevent the movie’s characters from falling in love with each other and accidentally changing the entire movie.
The Lizzie McGuire movie (2003)
Whether you are a fan of the series Lizzie McGuire, its star Hilary Duff, or European-based musical films, you’ll want to give The Lizzie McGuire movie a watch.
The film follows Lizzie, Gordo and her entire family on a summer trip to Rome where Lizzie is accidentally mistaken for a local popstar. Not only does Lizzie fill in for Isabella Parigi at a local gig, but along the way, she discovers her true feelings for her best friend Gordo.
Halloween Town (1998)
While this one is best watched during spooky season, it’s also a can’t-miss 90s flick with an adorable cast of witches and wizards played by Debbie Reynolds, Kimberly J. Brown, Robin Thomas, and many others.
Halloween Town follows Marnie on her journey from her boring world on earth to the magical and spooky one of Halloweentown when she discovers that not only is her beloved grandmother a witch, but she is too, and spells run through her family.
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