Disney is known around the world for providing entertainment for all audiences. Their animated films have touched the hearts of families around the world. But, an entire generation has now grown up associating the company with another form of filmmaking: The Disney Channel Original Movie.
Full of cliches, poor production value, and hokey acting, these movies defined the childhoods of many Millenials. Many remember the big names like Halloweentown or High School Musical, but here are few lesser-known gems you can find currently streaming on Disney+.
10 Smart House
Dinsey Channel Original Movies thrived on simple gimmicks and then naming the whole movie after them. Smart House is no different. Essentially, a single dad and his two kids win a contest to move into a Smart House, a house with all the craziest gadgets and an AI that can assist you in any way.
But what happens when that Smart House wants to become your dead mom? Yeah, no one claimed these movies were perfect. A lot of the effects are super out of date now, but seeing how Disney would interpret the future is still pretty fun.
9 The Thirteenth Year
The Thirteenth Year is just a weird movie that claims to be about mermaids when its really about puberty. Cody Griffin is a teenager who is about to turn thirteen.
He has everything he wants, but his birthday comes with an extra gift: Scales and gills. Cody learns that he is actually a mermaid, and will make the full transformation with his thirteenth year. Uncle Joey from Full House makes an appearance as Cody's dad, so at least that's something to look forward to.
8 Can Of Worms
This is one of the earliest Disney Channel Original Movies on this list. This science-fiction comedy is full of oddball aliens designs that are actually kind of fun to watch.
The whole movie is about a teen who is hunted down by a gang of aliens who want to add him to their zoo. It's got to be one of the strangest DCOMs out there. But, there is a talking dog, so you know it's going to be at least a little bit decent!
7 Now You See It...
Before the maligned Now You See Me franchise came on to the scene, Disney Channel had its own hokey movie about magicians pulling off impossible tricks. Only this one didn't have an all-star cast, a massive budget behind it, or anything else of note.
Starring Phil of the Future's Aly Michalka, the movie follows her character Allyson (creative) as she documents a teenage magician he competes on a TV magic competition.
6 Pixel Perfect
Speaking of Phil of the Future stars, Pixel Perfect has the kid from the future himself starring as the lead. Raviv Ullman plays Roscoe who generates a hologram performer to lead his best friend's band.
Of course, when a teenager creates some of the most advanced artificial life known to humankind, things can get a little hairy. The AI becomes a massive hit for the band, garnering them new fans, followings, and opportunities. But, of course, jealousies arise among both real and fake bandmates.
5 The Luck Of The Irish
The Luck of the Irish is another really weird Disney Channel Movie, but a weird one with a pro-immigration message at its heart. Teenager Kyle has never known about his heritage until visiting an Irish festival.
Upon doing so, he begins to share characteristics with leprechauns. He soon learns not only is he Irish, but a part of a long-standing clan of the little people. He teams up with his potato chip tycoon grandfather to reverse the curse.
4 The Ultimate Christmas Present
Just in time for the holidays, The Ultimate Christmas Present is one of the few Christmas themed movies to come from Disney Channel. A pair of neighborhood kids get their hands on a device that controls the weather.
As any kid would, they use it to create perpetual snow days. Doing so though threatens the future of Christmas, like any good conflict, should in a Christmas movie. And of course, who else is going to save the day but Santa Claus himself? Watching this one makes you wish the Disney Channel had dipped their toes into more holiday fare.
3 Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire
While there might have been a lack of Christmas movies on the channel, Disney Channel certainly made a ton of Halloween movies to enjoy each fall. Twitches, Halloweentown, and more were staples of childhoods around the United States.
One of the lesser-known and underrated ones was Mom's Got a Date With a Vampire. Like many of these movies, the entire plot can be understood from the title. But, it's still a great little bit of hokey nostalgia. For fans of Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Caroline Rhea who played Aunt Hilda plays the mom.
2 Johnny Tsunami
Johnny Tsunami was among the first silly sports movies in a long string of them from Disney Channel. Not only that, but it would result in sequels as well.
The film follows, as you guessed, Johnny, a surfer living in Hawaii. He has to go through some big changes though after his dad gets a new job in Vermont. Can he use his surfing skills on the slopes?
1 Phantom Of The Megaplex
The final movie on this list is another Halloween special from Disney Channel. Phantom of the Megaplex's obvious title is very fitting once again, but hold it Broadway musical fans, there is very little romance to be found in this made-for-TV movie.
A spirit begins haunting a major movie theater, and the kids, guests, and employees attempt to solve the mystery. The straightforward plot is fairly basic like most, but this time, the movie actually has a decent Hollywood star in the cast. Icon Mickey Rooney plays a decent little role in the film. You can see he's having a ton of fun making this one.