I grew up watching Disney Channel. I watched it religiously: memorized lines of episodes, knew the times of my favorite shows, knew the name of every Movie Surfer, AND NEVER missed a single concert special, especially not *NSYNCs. I absolutely loved Disney Channel, but not only did I love it, I LIVED it. I was somehow fortunate enough to be within the same age group as many of the characters. That made it much more personal because I didn’t feel so alone because these characters were going through the same things I was going through in real life. Through those highly entertaining, sugar-coated, squeaky-clean story lines, Disney Channel gave life lessons on being human.
By the time High School Musical came around I had already stopped falling for the cheesiness of it all but boy do I still appreciate it. So, I’m sharing a few of the things I learned from the movies before High School Musical, the movies that raised me from the days Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) were actually good.
1. Brink – Never neglect your friends and become someone you’re not. Soul skaters for life bro! Although his family was in financial trouble and he was only doing sponsored skating to help, his friends should’ve understood and not been so supportive. Still, I’m glad Team Pup n Suds comes out victorious. His family is still poor, but VICTORIOUS they are!
2. Smart House – Don’t put too much trust in technology. Interestingly enough, this movie was before smart phones and social media, such as, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Foreshadowing?
3. Johnny Tsunami – Hold on to what makes you different. Don’t forget where home is. Hold on to your roots. And most of all, have a cool Grandpa that surfs.
4. Don’t Look Under the Bed – Don’t look under the bed. Don’t forget your imaginary friend. Or Larry from Even Stevens, who’s also named Larry in this movie, will become a crazy and extremely scary-looking goblin. Seriously. Nightmares for weeks. I still won’t look under my bed.
5. Horse Sense – Don’t make promises you can’t keep, Joey Lawrence! Family first!
6. Jumping Ship – Don’t trust Joey Lawrence.
7. Up, Up, and Away – Don’t be ashamed of who you are. Take pride in YOU! Although this may have been the main life lesson and that’s great and all, but I probably would be pissed too if my whole family had super powers and I didn’t. I mean come on. That sucks. Think about how the cool “The Incredibles” are and then imagine if they had that awkward mortal kid. What a downer.
“Let’s go save the world, family! Uh… Billy..Watch the house.” BOOOO!
8. Motocrossed — Do what you’re passionate about.
9. You Wish – Family first. Appreciate what you got before it’s gone. Yeah you may have a Viper. Yeah the most popular girl in school may be your girlfriend. Yeah you may not have an annoying little brother ruining everything. Wait. How did he not like this?!
10. Tru Confessions – Shia LaBeouf can act. This was Disney Channel’s attempt at a serious drama and unfortunately, at my young age, I didn’t appreciate it as much as I probably would now, but man, that library scene?? Tears. Bravo, Shia, Bravo.
11. Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-off – Friends support friends. Quite similar to High School Musical. Minus the breaking out into song, dancing, and exaggerated acting (which I still love and appreciate), they both had same aspects. Unsupportive friends, a really unsupportive best friend, ridiculed for their newfound passions, left with a decision to choose one or the other, but they figure out a way to do both, it was extremely entertaining, as well as, extremely unrealistic.
12. Under Wraps – Friends come in all shapes and sizes. Bonds and friendships are timeless. Friends are loyal even if one is thousands of years old and rotting on the inside.
13. Halloweentown – Power in family. I’m still trying to pretend like you guys didn’t try making sequels.
14. Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century – Acceptance is universal. But apparently style is not. Zetus Lapetus! Looks like the future is going to be glittery and purple-y and not so stellar.
15. The Thirteenth Year – Puberty is a thing. Your body goes through changes. Growth spurts, facial hair, scales, body odor, fins. Relax! It’s all normal and a part of life.
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What life lessons did you best connect to from these DCOMs from our childhood? What other lessons did you learn and from what movie? Tell us in the comments!