"Kim Possible." "Phil of the Future." "The Proud Family." "House of Mouse." These are just a few of the Disney shows that shaped many of our childhoods. Merely hearing the words "Even Stevens" or "Suite Life of Zack and Cody" brings a wave of nostalgia for the old Disney Channel. Maybe it’s the nostalgia goggles, but the shows that currently air on Disney today don’t seem to fill the shoes of the shows we watched as children; new Disney Channel just seems to lack several of the qualities that made old Disney Channel great.
1. Old Disney Channel actually featured parents.
Parents are hardly ever present in current Disney shows. For example, the show "Jessie" hardly ever displays the characters’ parents. Rather, a teenage girl named Jessie is left to care for four kids who are practically raising themselves. Even when parents are featured on screen, they are depicted as goofballs with low intellect. Although this isn’t a new form of humor for Disney Channel, older Disney shows would also show parents parenting. When new shows don’t feature respectable adult characters, children are thus taught not to respect their parents.
2. Shows taught kids how to be decent human beings.
Many of the old shows shared a common plot. A mischievous kid would usually engage in some sort of activity that was morally wrong in order to “fit in” or “be cool.” The star of the show would inevitably realize he or she had made a mistake and would be taught a valuable lesson on the importance of self-confidence, being who you are, and not succumbing to peer pressure. Lizzie McGuire learned not to worry about being popular and how to ignore Kate’s persistent taunting. Raven learned that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Penny learned that despite her father’s tendency to embarrass her in front of her friends and the Gross Sisters, family was the most important thing. The list goes on and on. From what I’ve seen of the current shows that air on Disney, characters today are more focused on becoming cool, famous, and popular. While there is nothing wrong with any of these qualities, it is also important for the young kids watching Disney channel to relate to the characters on screen and learn the value of being a good person.
3. Old Disney Channel was less censored.
Old Disney Channel wasn’t afraid to broadcast episodes with darker and more realistic tones to them. "Lizzie McGuire" aired on episode where one of the main characters, Miranda, developed an eating disorder. "Suite Life" featured an episode where a bully told Maddie and London they needed to change their body types in order to be considered attractive. An episode of "That’s So Raven" displayed a potential boss of Raven’s stating: "The truth is, I don’t hire black people." "That’s So Raven" also broadcasted another episode discussing the beauty in different body types. New Disney Channel steers clear from discussing important issues that its viewers will likely face, such as racism and body shaming. While these topics are considered a tad heavy for a children’s show, old Disney Channel taught many kids valuable life lessons through these episodes.
4. The old Disney Channel logo was just plain awesome.
At some point in our lives the majority of us have probably imagined ourselves holding the famous Disney wand and saying, “My name is [insert name here], and you’re watching Disney Channel,” right before drawing the Disney logo in the air and perhaps winking or doing a little pose at the end.
New Disney Channel now has a new logo that looks like this:
While this logo is also very cute, the old Disney Channel logo is definitely something to be missed. It’s basically guaranteed to give any millennial a wave a nostalgia.
5. So were the Disney Channel Games.
The Disney Channel Games were one of the most exciting shows to watch in the summer. From choosing your favorite team to seeing your two favorite actors face off in “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to following along with behind the scenes action of the Disney website, the Disney Channel Games definitely brought a thrilling experience to many of its viewers and are surely something to be missed.
6. Good TV movies weren’t a rarity.
"Twitches." "Cadet Kelly." "Smart House." "Cheetah Girls." "Halloween Town." "Get a Clue." "Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire." "Stuck in the Suburbs." "Read It and Weep." "Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior." This list could probably go on for another page or so.
Old Disney Channel just seemed to make better movies than the ones that are currently airing; I can’t remember the last time I watched a TV movie on Disney Channel that I enjoyed. Actually, I probably can’t even name any Disney Channel movies that have aired on the “New Disney Channel.” Old Disney Channel’s consistency in producing good quality TV movies is definitely something to be missed.
7. Old Disney Channel had well rounded characters.
The majority of old Disney Channel characters were not one dimensional; these had characters had more than one personality trait to them. For example, although Kim Possible was a tough secret agent she was also kind, caring teenage girl who excelled in academics and in her cheerleading squad. Characters on new Disney shows are so flat in comparison. For instance, the show "Liv and Maddie" features Liv, a girly girl who loves fashion and acting, and Maddie, a tomboy who enjoys sports. That’s about all there is to them; there is no depth to their characters.
So what do you think? Are new Disney shows subpar in comparison to older ones, or do the nostalgia goggles prevent us from seeing what they have to offer?