Certain Disney Channel original movies stick with you for life. Johnny Tsunami, Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, and The Luck of the Irish are just some of the most memorable Disney Channel original films. Beyond that though, there are plenty of films that you probably loved but have forgotten all about, especially since it's been almost twenty years since some of these movies premiered.
There are some Disney Channel classics that you might have neglected to remember as the years have gone by. Let's face it, Disney Channel was way better back in the day, no matter what the kids say these days.
Disney Channel original movies are a different type of television movie. Meant for kids, these movies influence youth in ways that other movies can't. Seeing older kids on the television screen go through things not only made Disney Channel original movies entertaining, but incredibly influential as well.
So, why not appreciate those movies by taking a trip down memory lane?
Here are 17 Disney Channel Original Movies You Completely Forgot About.
17 Alley Cats Strike
The cities of East Appleton and West Appleton obsessed over a trophy called "The Mighty Apple" in the 2000 movie Alley Cats Strike. Given to the junior high school who wins the most sports games, it all comes down to a bowling match after a basketball game ends in a tie.
Todd, one of the basketball players, had been signed up for the bowling team as a joke. While on the bowling team, he becomes friends with the kids he never wanted anything to do with beforehand. They laugh, they fight, and they learn how to become a family. You know, typical Disney Channel stuff.
The movie ends with Delila, the smallest on the team, using her interest in physics for good instead of evil. She spins a bowling ball slowly after the pins are split and wins the match for her team.
Oh, and Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory stars in the movie too. In fact, the movie was one of Cuoco's first major acting credits.
16 The Ultimate Christmas Present
The Ultimate Christmas Present is a movie from 2000 about two girls named Sam and Allie who live in California. The two want nothing more than for it to snow. They find a weather machine that causes a giant snowstorm in Los Angeles. Turns out, Santa is the owner of the weather machine because... of course he is.
The two girls cause a giant blizzard, which leads to a series of bad occurrences. The snow storm starts to take over all of California. Allie's father can't make it home for Christmas, so she finally decides to shut off the machine, but this isn't as easy as it seems.
Santa and his super tall elves, portrayed by John Salley from Bad Boys II and Bill Fagerbakke who voices Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants, help the girls save the day. In the end, everyone has a happy Christmas.
15 Phantom of the Megaplex
The 2000 film Phantom of the Megaplex weirdly starred the late and infamous Mickey Rooney, along with some kids. A phantom is haunting the movie theater the film is based around. It revolves around teenager Pete, the assistant manager of the theater, and his younger siblings.
As a strange sequence of events keeps happening one night, the kids have to work together to make sure the premiere of a movie isn't sabotaged by the phantom. They find out that Shawn, the only person above Pete's pay grade at the theater, is the phantom and responsible for all the crazy things happening at the theater.
In the end, Pete learns that he needs to enjoy being a kid and not take the job as senior manager that is offered to him once Shawn is fired. In what world is a 17-year-old offered the highest position at any type of establishment? Only in the Disney universe...
14 Gotta Kick It Up!
The 2002 made-for-TV film Gotta Kick It Up! focused on a woman who leaves her comfortable executive job in order to be a teacher. Any executive should know that the switch would be difficult, but Ms. Bartlett seemed shocked at what she discovered.
In order to help some of the students at a school that's mostly made up of Hispanic students, Ms. Bartlett becomes the cheerleading coach. She learns that most of the girls don't have much experience in dancing or cheerleading, and that most of them come from complicated backgrounds.
The movie stars Susan Egan as Ms. Bartlett. Egan has close ties to Disney, having been the voice for Meg in the animated film Hercules. The movie also stars a young America Ferrera before she made it big.
13 The Thirteenth Year
The 1999 movie The Thirteenth Year takes an adoption story to the extreme when a teenager starts turning into a merman. Having been left on a boat by his mother, Cody Griffin was adopted soon after. Unfortunately, the people who took care of him all of his life have to deal with their son not actually being fully human.
Cody slowly starts becoming a merman. He'd always been a good swimmer, but was ironically failing biology. He then starts to drink a lot of water. You know, normal merman stuff. His birth mother finds him and takes him into the ocean where he becomes a full-out merman.
The movie was directed by professional Duwayne Dunham, who directed Halloweentown and Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. He was also an editor for Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi and the new Twin Peaks.
12 Double Teamed
Fun fact: many Disney Channel original movies are available to watch on Hulu. Don't be shocked, though, when they aren't as good as you remember them being when you were in your youth. One of the movies you can watch is Double Teamed, a 2002 movie about high school basketball stars Heather and Heidi Burge.
Heather and Heidi are real people. The twins went on to play in the WNBA. The movie is about how they moved to a different high school in order to be seen by scouts for volleyball, not basketball. While waiting for the volleyball season to start, the two girls begin to play basketball. Well, Heather plays basketball. Heidi drags her feet the whole time because she'd rather star in the school play, but her dad had other plans for her.
The twins weren't portrayed by actual twins. Poppi Monroe played Heather, while Annie McElwain played Heidi. Neither actress has done much other than the movie, though seasoned actress Mackenzie Phillips played their mom.
11 Rip Girls
The best year for great Disney Channel movies was 2000. One of the movies that came out during this time was Rip Girls, which was about a teenager named Sydney who was born in Hawaii, but left after her mother died. When she inherits a plot of land in Hawaii from her aunt, Sydney, her father, and her stepmother decide to go back.
Of course, Sydney doesn't fit in. She makes friends, but in a difficult way. She learns more about her mother, and discovers that her mother died in a surfing accident.
Sydney has a lot of power, as she gets to decide what happens to the land she has inherited. She almost decides to sell it to a resort company for a lot of money, but instead decides to keep it.
The movie stars a young Camila Belle. You might recognize her from the thriller movie When a Stranger Calls or The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
10 Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire
Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire is a 2000 Disney Channel original movie about a thirteen-year old named Adam and his siblings. Adam's little brother Taylor finds out that their mom is dating a vampire. While this is super shocking, no one believes Adam because of the obvious reasons-- he's young so he may be lying for attention.
Their mom isn't actually dating a vampire, though. Instead, she merely met the vampire at a grocery store and they decided to go on one date together. The entire movie happens within one night, and even Van Helsing makes an appearance.
The movie stars Carolina Rhea as the mom who falls for the vampire. You might recognize her most as Sabrina's Aunt Hilda in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
Another Disney Channel original movie revolving around a thirteen year old is the 1998 movie Genius, which follows a kid genius named Charlie who skips a few grades and ends up as the youngest college student. Unable to make friends at college, Charlie decides to live a double life so that he can make friends his own age.
Charlie falls in love with a girl named Claire, portrayed by a young Emmy Rossum. You might recognize her from Shameless, The Phantom of the Opera, or The Day After Tomorrow.
The movie also deals a lot with hockey. They all live in Wisconsin, where hockey is one of the main sports. Charlie, Claire, and the gang all end up working together to help a hockey team cheat. So, there's a lot going on in the movie.
8 My Date With the President's Daughter
My Date with the President's Daughter starred Boy Meet's World and Kim Possible veteran, Will Friedle, as well as Elisabeth Harmois of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The 1998 Disney Channel original movie followed Dunacn, portrayed by Friedle, who goes on a date with the president's daughter Hallie, portrayed by Harmois.
Duncan arrives at The White House unexpectedly after meeting Hallie at the mall. The two agree to go on a date, but she neglects to tell him who she really is. The two spend the night talking about Hallie's life and the impact that her dad being president has on it.
Having lived in a bubble her entire life, all that Hallie ever wanted to do was live it up a little for once, instead of having guards surrounding her 24/7.
7 Stepsister From Planet Weird
One of the strangest Disney Channel original movies of all time is Stepsister from Planet Weird, which from Disney' prime year of 2000. The movie follows Megan, a pretty normal teenage girl with a boring life and a malfunctioning family.
One day, Megan's mother meets a man named Cosmo and the two eventually become close. Cosmo has a daughter named Ariel. The two are secretly from a different planet where, rather than being solid objects, everyone and everything takes on a gaseous form.
In the end, Megan and Ariel, along with some boys, defeat the cruel emperor of Ariel's home planet by using hair dryers and leaf blowers. This makes complete sense, right?
The movie stars Courtnee Draper as Megan., who has only made small appearances since she was on Disney Channel and had a small part on Veronica Mars. Tamara Hope, who portrays Ariel, on the other had, has been in Crimson Peak opposite Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston, as well as Shall We Dance opposite Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere.
6 Tru Confessions
Before Shia LaBeouf was off starring in Transformers movies and getting arrested, he was a Disney Channel regular. LaBeouf was a goofball on Even Stevens, but he switched gears when he starred as Eddie Walker in the Disney Channel movie Tru Confessions.
Eddie was the twin brother of Tru, who made a documentary for a contest about what living with her brother was actually like. Though the movie never directly says what's going on, Eddie has a form of autism. Tru is frustrated about certain things when it comes to dealing with not just Eddie, but her entire family.
When Tru wins the contest, everything becomes better for her. The people who surround her seem to understand her and her brother more. The family essentially lives happily ever after in their own unique way.
5 Full-Court Miracle
The 2003 Disney Channel original movi, Full-Court Miracle was about a struggled basketball team who needed a coach. There were two sides to this movie: the side that focused on the pressures of going to a Jewish private school, and the side about being a fantastic basketball player who didn't get to be part of the NBA.
The movie stars Alex D. Linz as the main character. As a major child actor back in the day, having starred in Home Alone 3 and Hey Arnold!, Linz hasn't been onscreen in ten years. The other star of the movie is Richard T. Jones, who is best known for minor roles in Criminal Minds and American Horror Story.
The movie comes down to priorities, dreams, and figuring out what's important. A former college basketball star becomes the head coach for the high school, and manages to motivate the group of youths. That being said, this is one of Disney's more honest movies.
4 'Twas The Night
Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad was once in a Disney Channel movie called 'Twas the Night. The 2001 Disney Channel original movie premiered in December, which, of course, was right before Christmas.
Cranston portrays Nick, an irresponsible guy who only goes over to his brother's house on Christmas Eve because he's running away from some criminals. Thankfully, fourteen-year-old Danny welcomes his Uncle Nick into their home with open arms.
Nick and Danny take Santa's sleigh out for a joy-ride after knocking Santa unconscious. They deliver the presents to all the kids soon after. Nick had always been naughty, so of course he steals from all the houses they visit.
In the end, Nick learns his lesson. In return for becoming a better person, Santa gives Nick the electric guitar he's always wanted.
3 Stuck In The Suburbs
As a Disney Channel original movie from 2004, Suck in the Suburbs starred Danielle Panabaker as Brittany Aarons, Brenda Song as Natasha Kwon-Schwartz, and Taran Killam before his SNL days as the superstar Jordan Cahill.
The movie was about Brittany who hated her boring life living in the suburbs. She meets Natasha and the two go to a Jordan Cahill event near where they live. In a freak accident, Brittany and Jordan switch phones. From there, chaos ensues. Brittany learns to love her life, plus in a typical side story, Jordan learns to play his own music instead of doing what the record company wants from him.
The movie did really well, as apparently a lot of Disney watchers could relate to feeling like they were stuck where they live. At least Brittany had a superstar visit her town, because apparently that's all it takes...
Halloweentown was Kimberly J. Brown's claim to Disney fame, but she was also the star of the 2000 Disney Channel original movie Quints. The movie was about a teenager named Jamie who feels forgotten about when her mother has quintuplets.
Jamie obviously can't handle being neglected, and it's not really her parents' fault because, let's face it, that's a lot of babies to deal with. Plus, babies are super expensive to take care of.
When one of the babied becomes ill, Jamie learns to love her siblings and her life, and her parents realize that Jamie needs to be taken care of too. All ends well in their household, especially because the babies receive a deal for being part of a diaper commercial. That at least pays for their expenses, right?
Brink! is a Disney Channel original movie classic that tends to be neglected more often than not, even though it's dearly loved by many fans. Starring teen heartthrob Erik von Detten, this 1998 television movie was a complete hit.
Erik von Detten played teenager Andy "Brink" Brinker, the leader of a skating group called Soul-Skaters. They didn't skate for money, but another team in town did and they were the Soul-Skaters' rivals.
The movie involves a lot of skating, family problems, betrayal, and the appeal of money. You know, just the usual Disney Channel topics to explore.
Since his days as a teen star, Erik von Detten hasn't done much. After having been part of The Princess Diaries and the Toy Story series, he quit acting for good in 2010.
Which Disney Channel original movies did you forget about? Are you feeling extremely nostalgic now? Let us know in the comments!
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