Our Top Ten Disney Channel Original Movies Of All Time


If you’re a child of the nineties, the odds are you had cable television. Before the Miley Cyrus’ and Raven Symone’s the Disney Channel made a habit of airing some of their own original movies that many kids grew up with. Some of them were clunky, some absolutely forgettable, and many of them are still remembered by nostalgia buffs to this day. Even before Disney figured out how to market their stars, Disney Channel original movies were filled with potential young movie stars who’d go on to make at least two or three movies of the same title like “Zenon” or “Cheetah Girls.”

The Disney Channel original movies gained their momentum in the early to mid nineties displaying some real family classics and as nostalgia goons we’re unabashedly listing our top ten Disney Channel movies of all time. What can we say? We have a soft spot for Disney.

10. The Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie
As one of the few and last fantasy shows on the Disney channel, I have to admit I was a fan of “The Wizards of Waverly Place” throughout its entire run on the channel. I followed it from the beginning to the very end, and even found myself watching the long overdue TV movie. Though it’s flawed in some respects, it’s a really good look at the bonds shared by the characters Max, Alex, and Justin who have to stick together when sister Alex accidentally casts a spell on her family that could render her and her brothers non-existent.

It’s a shame Jennifer Stone only appears for the first five minutes of the movie as the supporting character Harper always provided a great foil for Alex’s antics. Nevertheless, the movie does provide some interesting bits of entertainment and the quest to restore reality is fascinating. It’s also really good to see how the wizard competition would inevitably turn out and who would win in the end. Sadly, none of it really matters as the ending completely undoes the results. Oh and the series finale of the series completely changed how the Wizard competition was conducted, so it makes for a major inconsistency in the lore. Nonetheless it’s still an entertaining film for a series that had its day in the sun.

9. Avalon High
Based on a novel, this is a very creative and interesting take on the King Arthur legend, sans the violence. As a kid I was always obsessed with Arthurian legend, and had I seen this at age 12, I would have picked this as my number one movie on the list. As it is, it’s a fine movie with many surprise twists and turns and a killer ending that doesn’t mind being daring and original. Allie Pennington just transferred to Avalon High with her archaeologist parents where she discovers the local football team might be the re-incarnations of the knights of the round table and the team captain? King Arthur himself.

The film unfolds much like Arthurian legend with the team captain’s best friend falling for his girlfriend, while his unruly stepbrother threatens the welfare of the team in the process. Britt Robertson is cute as Allie who tries to figure out who fits in the lore properly and how to keep the kingdom (the sports team) from falling apart due to an ill-fated love triangle, and evil corrupting the heart of the team captain. Thankfully, “Avalon High” isn’t as predictable as it seems with some great twists in the end, and a reveal that will manage to stun most. I had a lot of fun with this when it aired in 2010, and I’m almost saddened it was never turned in to a series for Disney.

8. Brink!
Eric Von Detten was the hunky star of the Disney Channel back in the mid to late nineties and pretty much stole the hearts of tween girls everywhere. It was tough to watch TV without seeing this guy somewhere in the news or on Disney. Thankfully Von Detten was a very tolerable child star who had charisma and appeal along with looks. I didn’t mind seeing this guy steal the show, and I have a copy of this film on VHS somewhere in my many boxes of junk. “Brink!” is an often exciting and very engrossing sports film about a character forced to make decisions that may split him up from his teammates while trying to help his destitute family in the process.

Is it worth selling out your principles if it means helping your family? “Brink!” is helped by some genuinely good storytelling with some deep and complex characters, and Von Detten is likable as the talented Brink who has to figure out where he lies in a world where adult responsibility is outweighing his dreams. Fellow teen star Christina Vidal has an important supporting role as Brink’s friend/teammate/love interest who keeps Brink grounded throughout the film. I often found myself watching this movie for her and her alone back in the days. “Brink!” is a really good Disney movie and deserves re-discovering.

7. Jett Jackson: The Movie
As a series I never cared for “Jett Jackson.” It’s definitely one of the most bland Canadian imports Disney Channel ever aired on their network. The character of Jett was always very boring and one-dimensional, his friends were dull, and the conflicts during the show were generally very ho hum and routine. The only times I ever really paid mind to the series was when Lindy Booth was on screen and during the segments featuring Jackson’s show Silverstone. Almost as if the producers were reading my mind, “Jett Jackson: The Movie” basically switches up the entire realism of the whole show and transforms the entire series in to one big far-fetched tale of the Prince and the Pauper.

After Jett decides to quit the show altogether, he experiences a freak accident where he finds himself in the reality of Silverstone. Accidentally switching places with his character, Silverstone is now in Jett’s reality learning about regular life, while Jett must masquerade as secret agent Silverstone in his reality to stop the evil Michael Ironside. The movie is pretty entertaining and takes much of the action packed portions from Silverstone and really adds flair and style to it. The whole movie evades the series usual tone and formula and just goes head first in to science fiction territory and it works well. It’s one of the better Disney Channel Movies i remember watching.

6. Alley Cats Strike
Alex’s father runs a pretty isolated bowling alley, and the pair share a love for the sport. Alex loves to bowl with his small group of friends, all of whom aren’t the most popular kids in their school. When local jock Todd begins bowling, he brings with him a whole new clientele and begins glomming on to Alex to help him learn to bowl. Todd is given the unfortunate pressure of pleasing his dad, who has a rival in the next town he’s staging a large bet with, and Todd is under the pressure to win. Featuring a neat supporting performance from a very young Kaley Cuoco, “Alley Cats Strike” is an unusual but entertaining sports drama. It definitely embraces its silliness and is saved by the strong collective performances and lessons about being true to yourself, and not selling out for the sake of popularity.

5. Quints
Kimberly J. Brown is utterly adorable in what is one of the most relatable Disney Channel movies ever released. Parent’s having a new child when you’ve been number one for years is an issue many kids face today. And while in the grand scheme of things it’s not dire, it’s still a problem parents have to deal with. Kids often face feelings of inadequacy, and irrelevance in the face of a new child entering the family. It’s just how life is. We first born’s can’t help it. For Jamie Grover, her conundrum is pretty much increased drastically when it happens her mother has given birth to not one, not two, but eight new children!

Suddenly, the newborns become the hit of the town, gathering publicity and ad campaigns, while the parents divert their attention to the new children. In this chaos Jamie has to figure out where she belongs in this giant family, and seek out attention from her busy parents both of whom are much too distracted to pay attention when Jamie’s important art presentation rolls around. Brown is as cute and sweet as ever in this role, and plays the performance of the distraught older child looking for her share of attention very well. “Quints” is a movie every kid can relate to, whether your parents are having just one child or eight. It’s a shame this film has somewhat faded in to obscurity, because it’s one of the more down to Earth TV movies Disney’s ever featured and teaches a valuable lesson about family.

4. Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook Off
I really enjoyed the premise of being true to oneself and approaching the themes of about how tough it cane be for children to live up to an image their parents have of them. Eddie is a young boy who loves cooking and finds the art of it to be fascinating. He slowly gains an addiction for it, and even begins secretly taking after school classes, but has to find time to play for his little league baseball team. It’s tough to balance both passions since he’s the best player on his team and his dad expects his one hundred percent effort.

“Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook Off” keeps the tone thankfully light and is a fun drama comedy about a young man who realizes he has a love for something, and it isn’t baseball. He has to then figure out if he’s willing to potentially sacrifice the love and support of his friends and family for the sake of achieving his passion, or stick to a life he is bored with, all to keep what he thinks is a supportive team behind him. Though the movie can be cheesy at times, there’s a really fun finale where Eddie competes in a televised cook off, all hosted by actual chef Bobby Flay. It’s too bad we never saw a sequel to this unique coming of age dramedy.

3. Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
“Halloweentown II” really carries on the tradition of the first film well, and advances the mythology. It’s a darn shame the final films didn’t do much to improve on the arc and show more of the Cromwells and how the young sisters Marnie and Sophi Piper advanced and learn to carve out paths in their own worlds. Sophie Piper showed more skill than Marnie, and the films should have followed both heroines. That said, “Kalabar’s Revenge” takes most of the action out of Halloweentown as Kalabar attempts to leak the monsters and magic in to the Earthly realm once and for all.

Marnie and her grandmother Aggie spend most of the film trying to find Kalabar and reverse his grey spell that is sapping the magic from Halloweentown. Meanwhile Kalabar and his sidekick essentially target Marnie’s hometown prompting the eventual revelation of Halloweentown for the entire world to see. I think “Kalabar’s Revenge” is a more technically proficient sequel with better special effects, and it’s a great follow up. I wish Disney would re-visit the well and turn “Halloweentown” in to a massive movie series for their channel.

2. Halloweentown
Disney has tried to replace “Halloweentown” over the years for no apparent reason, which is a shame since it’s such a fun ritual for the holiday. “Halloweentown” celebrates the very essence of the holiday while also building the foundation for some wonderful characters and ideas about the immense strength a united family can have against the world. “Halloweentown” stars the adorable Kimberly J. Brown as Marnie Piper, a young girl who is forbidden to celebrate Halloween by her mom, along with her brother and sister.

She’s visited by her grandmother Aggie, every year from a mysterious location, and Marnie accidentally learns she comes from a long line of witches, and she is about the right age to learn the craft. “Halloweentown” is simple and short, but a lot of fun, with some neat visuals, fun gags, and a lot of imagination that was carried over in to “Wizards of Waverly Place.” I’d love to see a “Halloweentown” reboot very soon, as the movie is still entertaining, exciting, and fun even almost twenty years later.

1. Lemonade Mouth
It’s tough to imagine a better movie that Disney has produced since “Lemonade Mouth.” It’s a great drama, a great coming of age film, it has a talented cast, it’s a great tale of friends using music to rebel (in a PG manner, mind you), and the music is great. I love the music in “Lemonade Mouth” so much I have a few of the tracks on my MP3 player. I often go back and forth on which track from the faux band I enjoy more “Determinate” or “Here We Go,” since they’re so well sung and composed. Bridgit Mendler is one of the more underrated shining stars of the Disney Channel who plays Olivia, a young singer who finds camaraderie in a group of other students forced in to detention due to unusual circumstances.

After relieving their frustration through playing impromptu music, they form a band that becomes a sensation in their school, and they use their popularity to rebel against their school principal (as played by Christopher McDonald). “Lemonade Mouth” garners a great cast of (then) Disney regulars, all of whom provide strong performances, and offer some great chemistry with one another. I really wish Disney would have given us a sequel, but I’m glad we got one great movie with such a kick ass soundtrack. It’s one of the few Disney movies that have stuck with me over the years.