Disney Channel Original Movies were a staple of our childhood. Don't lie, whenever you saw that group of racially diverse kids doing jump splits over the giant reels of film you knew it was about to be a great hour and a half.
MOM IT'S STARTING GET THE POPCORN!
But for every "Halloweentown" or "Luck of the Irish," there were a few that were just cringe-worthy, and no amount of nostalgia can make these seem any more cute or any less weird (or awful).
5. Pixel Perfect
Ricky Ullman falls in love with a hologram.
A computerized blow-up doll.
Out of the tens of people it took to write/direct/produce/market/star in this movie, not one stopped and pointed out the fact that they were making a kids movie about a boy who falls in love with a computer?
Spike Jonze got unending praise for his incredible film "Her," but I'm still convinced it's just a ripoff of "Pixel Perfect."
4. Susie Q
This would be adorable if one of them weren't dead.
A beautiful quasi-love story about two teenagers.
One just happened to have drowned 40 years before the start of the movie.
Again, nobody involved stopped to question this plot?
But they don't end up together (thank God). In the end, another girl who looks just like the ghost girl falls in love with Zach.
So he finds love with a girl who reminds him of the girl who drowned half a century ago, because every successful romance starts off with the phrase "you remind me of someone who died in a tragic accident..."
Also, I don't want to sound like a prude, but is that how teenagers dressed in the 50s? That looks like Victoria's Secret's Barbie-themed collection.
3. The Proud Family Movie
From 2001 to 2005, "The Proud Family" did what virtually no other Disney Channel shows did: provide programming directly aimed at African-American youth (representation is important, y'all). The episodes offered real lessons to be learned and they were always funny.
And then they gave us this.
The same show that explained and confronted serious issues of discrimination and acceptance for the benefit of children (remember the one where their Muslim neighbors' house got vandalized?) made a movie about a mad scientist and his peanut-headed mutants.
That's like Lil' Kim singing at Carnegie Hall. That's like going to Mexico and getting Taco Bell. It's a complete let down and just ... wrong.
2. Going to the Mat
A blind student proves his abilities to the wrestling team at his new school. Yay, great message, roll credits, kids everywhere learn a valuable lesson from a good movie.
But they kept going.
The last scene is what really kills me. After winning the state championship, Jason's teammates, finally accepting him for who he his, deny his disability to reporters, asserting that he is a normal student just like everyone else.
That's the equivalent of saying "Oh, I don't see race. I'm colorblind." No, he is obviously blind. Just say he's blind. It's not offensive, it's a fact. He helped win a state championship, y'all better acknowledge the fact that he did it without being able to see the other guy.
Disney taught us that when it comes to others' differences, shhh.
1. Don't Look Under the Bed
Whoever you are, you owe me money for night light lightbulbs, rosaries, and years of therapy.
This movie basically tried to teach us that if you mature and outgrow imaginary friends (you know, basic childhood development), demons will drag you off in the night. Disney, we get it, we'll stay young and keep buying your merchandise forever, just please, for the love of God, call off your horde of overacting monsters.
Lying on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and watching movies like "Eddie's Million Dollar Cook-Off" and "Cadet Kelly" really prepared me for my future of lying in bed with a box of wine and Netflix, and for that I'm grateful. But while many Disney Channel Original Movies had real lessons to offer, some had messages that ranged from nonexistent to flat-out wrong. I haven't watched the Disney Channel since "That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana" (I let go of my childhood, now the monsters under my bed are going to get me) so I can only hope that the quality and morals of these movies have improved.