What Happened to Disney Channel Original Movies?
Start writing a post

What Happened to Disney Channel Original Movies?

Father Time is one ruthless SOB.

What Happened to Disney Channel Original Movies?

I feel the need to preface this by stating that I absolutely love all things Disney. That company has the ability to make a person feel every conceivable human emotion in its purest form in one sitting, and I’m not just saying that because I’m pretty sure they’re one of the few companies on this planet that could have me quietly taken out at the drop of a hat. I genuinely love Disney. But nothings perfect, and there has been a recent trend in their programming that really burns my bacon that I feel must be addressed.

As a kid when it came to television I, like most kids, enjoyed the holy trinity of adolescent programming: Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network. Unless there was a new episode of Pokémon, the itinerary for viewing usually called for Nickelodeon after school, Disney after homework was done (It’s fun to watch TV and play outside, but knowledge is power kids) and Cartoon Network on the late night tip. But right before Cartoon Network (usually after dinner) there was always some family fun that could be enjoyed, and it came in the form of Disney Channel original movies. If you aren’t familiar with these, then unfortunately you may be past the point of saving.

Every night at 8:00, Disney Channel would show a short movie they produced themselves, often starring a few actors from their television shows, and they were just awesome. Halloweentown, Smart House, Cadet Kelly, Eddie’s Million Dollar Cookoff, The Cheetah Girls and of course the crème de la crème: High School Musical, just to name a few. Back in the day, (Boy that makes me feel like a geezer. Gross.) a new movie would premiere as often as once a month, later bi-monthly, and weather said movie be an original idea, or a just a longer version of a popular TV show, Disney Channel would promote it until the cows came home. It made it seem like a huge deal, and I would be leaping out of my pre-pubescent britches with excitement.

But once the 2010’s kicked off something changed. The kids today are now receiving four new Disney Channel movies per year, as opposed to the 6-12 we got, with not as much promotion, and in 2013, they had only one new movie premiere. One. It was called Teen Beach Movie, and was actually a success, despite the Jared Fogle home-movie title. But that doesn’t spare me of the shock I received upon learning that the great Disney Channel could only come out with one new movie in a full calendar year. Now I’m not expert on the field, but that must have been one hellacious brainstorming session.

Not only has the quantity seemed to diminish, but also the quality of the movies seemed to have done the same thing. The acting seems light years behind what it was, the films themselves seem like they’re trying too hard to be “Hollywood” and everything just comes across as awkward. Simply put, the movies just simply aren’t as good. But as these thoughts began to creep into my head, a logical explanation did as well.

Perhaps the reason that everything seems so awkward and weird is that I’m much older now and it simply makes me uncomfortable to see younger people (or actors who strongly resemble adolescents, the brother from Hannah Montana was like 30) acting out the situations that I remember going through myself, such as typical high school B.S. The things that we enjoy as kids will eventually lose its luster as we get older. An old rerun is enjoyable, but if a new Disney Channel movie premieres, or say a new Spongebob episode, you’re hesitant from the word go, since you find that something you were so comfortable with as a little tike has gone through changes, much like yourself. Or even if they haven't, you're viewing them from a different perspective. The opposite can be true too. For example, when I would complain when my dad would play Frank Sinatra on Sunday mornings, he would always tell me that some day I would appreciate it, much to my chagrin. Now, I have enough Frank Sinatra on my iTunes to keep the Capones happy. Well played, pops.

The reason that I, and other people may feel so strongly about this, or bringing back cartoons from the 90’s, is because there’s a part of us that simply doesn’t want to grow up. The fact that I “don’t get” what the kids of today enjoy means I’m maturing (finally) and in no way is that a negative. It may be frightening sure, since we’re rapidly approaching the “music was better when we were young” stage, which makes us sound like our parents or even grandparents, but the same thing happened to them, and it will keep happening for generations to come.

But don’t get it twisted; I’m still upset about this. While I may come across as a bitter old man for accepting the fact that I simply don’t like or understand these new Disney Channel movies, I’m officially petitioning to get a channel that plays Disney Channel movies on a loop. There’s already a million for a 90’s Nicktoons channel, and those prayers have been answered (admittedly half-assed), but that’s simply the first step. There’s an inner-child in everyone and damn it I’m not letting mine die. So while I may have graduation to prepare for, let’s watch a Disney Channel movie.

P.S. - I was heartbroken to find I couldn’t mention My Date with the President’s Daughter, because technically it’s a Wonderful World of Disney movie, not Disney Channel. But as far as I’m concerned it’s the G.O.A.T. so it’s getting the shout out.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments