The Only Disney Channel Original Movie Ranking You Need

Disney Channel knows how to make a movie. They made 110 in fact. If you grew up in front of the TV, you’ve probably seen most of them. Ever since Disney Plus was released, these movies have brought back a sense of nostalgia. Everyone has their favorites and hot takes and here are ours:

The Best of the Best

Lemonade Mouth 

Caroline: The greatest DCOM ever to exist and I will die on this hill. I will never get over the fact this movie did not receive a sequel. NEVER. Not only is the music superior to any other DCOM musical but the story is amazing. Sure, the outcasts banding together in the name of friendship and individuality is perhaps cliche, but it’s still an important and meaningful storyline that makes you feel all the feelings. The cast is amazing: Bridget Mendler, Naomi Scott, Hayley Kiyoko!!! Legends in the making. This movie gave us a national anthem in “She’s So Gone,” a great rap verse in “Determinate,” and a power of friendship ballad in “More than a Band.” What other DCOM has done that? None. Lemonade Mouth is Disney Channel’s piece de resistance. It combines everything Disney Channel is good at: a ragtag group of friends, catchy pop music, layered clothing, and the power of a good message. Be Heard. Be Strong. Be Proud. 

Vandita: Caroline already said it and I’m going to repeat it: Lemonade Mouth IS the greatest DCOM to ever exist. You can tell just by the beginning of the movie whether it’s something to watch over and over again and this, to me, is one of them. Personally, everything about this movie was AMAZING, and that is a fact and a statement. “Determinate” was by far one of the best songs, especially because of that rap that Adam Hicks does and every time I hear that song, I have to dance it out. Another one of my favorites was “Don’t You Wish You Were Us.” Sure, it’s a song from the rival band, Mudslide Crush, but it’s such a catchy song that you can’t help but sing along to.

Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam

Caroline: It’s the first Camp Rock but BETTER. You have all three Jonas Brothers (and the Bonus Jonas), the iconic (and meme-able) showdown between Camp Rock and Camp Star, more music, more characters, and more DCOM greatness. Everything that made the first one iconic is doubled in the sequel. This was the Jonas Brothers in the peak of their Disney career and it’s been immortalized for us forever. A true gift to humanity. Camp Rock is what made summer camp look fun. We all wanted to spend a summer with these characters, no matter how unmusically talented we were. Can you imagine pulling up to summer camp to have the Jonas Brothers be your camp counselors? My greatest dream. Oh to be sung “Introducing Me” by Nick Jonas at a picturesque music camp in the woods. 

Vandita: If I had to pick between the original Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2, I would 100% pick Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. And I am one of the most indecisive people you will ever meet. Don’t get me wrong, the first Camp Rock is amazing without a doubt. But there’s something about the second movie that hits different. In fact, I remember not going to my middle school dance just so I could watch the premiere of this movie and trust me, it was worth it. The soundtrack is fantastic and although “Wouldn’t Change a Thing” is currently being overplayed on TikTok, it is and always will be on my top 10. 

Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior

Caroline: Early 2000s DCOMs were some of the best and Wendy Wu is a great example of that. Brenda Song is the unsung hero of Disney Channel. Pun intended. Not only did she play the iconic role of London Tipton on both The Suite Life series, but she’s starred in a ton of other DCOMS. Thank you for your service, Brenda. Wendy Wu was all about girl power. She proved you could like shopping AND kicking bad guy butts. A true trailblazer on Disney Channel. The premise is just so crazy that it works. Wendy is the reincarnation of a legendary female warrior? Amazing and groundbreaking. Who else other than Brenda Song could have made that believable? No one. 

Vandita: If I’m being honest, I haven’t rewatched Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior since my high school years, but I know that it was a movie I really enjoyed and it is definitely on my movies to watch/rewatch during quarantine list. I’m also pretty sure that the main reason I wanted to watch it was because of my homegirl Brenda Song (a.k.a London Tipton). It is a movie about girl power like Caroline said and watching I’m sure 8 year old me felt that she could accomplish anything.

Jump In!

Caroline: So you liked Chad in High School Musical? How about Chad but with a jump rope? That’s essentially what Jump In! is, and it's iconic. Corbin Blue’s character Izzy (much like a certain Wildcat) must decide between his two passions: boxing and double dutch. Never did I think a movie about double dutch would be so good. It's got heart, it's got a message, and it's got Keke Palmer! What disappoints me the most about this movie is how double dutch didn’t become a nationwide trend. A true travesty and missed opportunity. Also, I was blessed enough to witness Corbin Bleu perform his song from the movie “Push it to the Limit” at a random concert that Drake Bell and Aly and AJ were also at in Boston when I was like 10. A true honor.

Vandita: The High School Musical series was basically a big part of my childhood. I kid you not I owned everything that had to do with the series and would watch the movies any chance I got. So when Chad Danforth (a.k.a Corbin Bleu, a.k.a Izzy) got his own DCOM, I was obviously here for it. I’m also pretty sure that when this movie came back, I decided that my dream was to be a double-dutch champion. I just recently started re-watching this movie and I’m sure that dream is going to come back. The movie, although it had a similar concept to HSM, was still amazing and yes “Push It To the Limit” is STILL my jam to this day.

Caroline’s Honorable Mentions

Cheetah Girls 2

 There is something about a DCOM sequel that makes it better. Zenon: The Zequel, Camp Rock 2, High School Musical 2, and Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board are all sequels that I would argue are superior to the original. Cheetah Girls 2 is the greatest example of this. We go to Spain! The music is even better! The outfits are even more cheetah-licious!! I want to go to Spain to recreate “Strut,” that's how great this movie is. I will always agree with Galleria that the other Cheetahs were not taking the New Voices Competition as seriously as she was. They should have been just as committed! I remember having a viewing party at my neighbor’s house to watch the premiere and how excited we were. I still get excited about this movie. I will argue with anyone who thinks this isn’t THE greatest Cheetah Girls movie. I am going to be honest, I only ever rewatch this one and the third. I can barely remember the first one but I am still confident in my decision. Talk about growl power! 

Motocrossed

 Disney Channel Original Movies about obscure extreme sports are the best. This was a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night but with motocross racing! What could be cooler!? She’s the Man wishes it came first. Andrea pretends to be her twin brother Andy and competes with the boys. BOYS! And she's just as good as them! Maybe even better! After watching this movie I truly understood the annoying dirt bikers that spent hours revving their engines in the woods behind my house. I wanted to be one of them, but even more, I wanted to beat them in a race while wearing green nail polish. It cuts down the vibration in the bars and helps reduce arm pump. If you know, you know.

Avalon High

This was the movie designed for the kids who were obsessed with Percy Jackson. You know who you are. Welcome! I am one of you. The plot of the movie was crazy: King Arthur was being reincarnated into a teenager. What a concept. What is it with Disney and reincarnation? Gregg Sulkin and his attempt at an American accent are just one of the many highlights of the film. Don’t you wish everyone at your high school were reincarnations of the heroes from Arthurian times? That would have made high school a lot more tolerable and interesting. I’ll never forget the first time I watched it. I audibly GASPED at the plot twists that I for sure should have seen coming. Still, this movie does what these movies do best: make you wish that you were the chosen one in a much more magical world. Alas, we will always have Avalon High. 

Vandita’s Top Picks

Let it Shine

 One of my friends recently gave me access to her Disney plus account and the very first DCOM I rewatched on it was Let it Shine. If you want a song with a great storyline and AMAZING bops, this is the movie you want to see. All Cyrus DeBarge wants to do is write and play music, but hides his love of rap from his father. He finally has that opportunity to have the world hear his music when his childhood friend who’s now a famous pop star holds a competition. However, his best friend impersonates as him and he has to live in his shadow. When I rewatched this movie, The songs GOT to me, and I remember rewinding back multiple times so I could hear it over and over again. Let’s just say that my friend who I was watching it with was not really happy about that. The ending is amazing and so is the entire movie in general. This is definitely a top pick for me and something I would definitely recommend to everyone to watch.

Cloud 9

Okay sure, this movie was released in 2014 and not a lot of people might remember it but it became one of my favorites. During my time in quarantine, I have been watching a lot of DCOMs and I have realized that a lot of them have been sports movies. I am not at all, in any way, a fan of sports, but these movies really hit differently. Cloud 9, in my opinion, has a great storyline and I’m pretty sure that this was Dove Cameron’s first Disney Channel original movie. Kayla Morgan is part of one of the biggest and most popular snowboarding teams. She gets kicked off and finds out a secret that changes everything for her. She then sets out to prove that she is a good snowboarder by training with a guy who quit snowboarding for good. From my point of view, this movie had a great message, a great cast, AND the most important of all: dogs, A LOT of dogs.

Cheetah Girl: One World

If I’m being honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Cheetah Girls series. I’m pretty sure it’s because I’ve never really watched the 1st or 2nd one from beginning to end. However, the one movie from that series that I have always been fascinated with was Cheetah Girls: One World. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have our homegirl Raven Symone in it. But, in this movie, they go to India! The Cheetah Girls get that once in a lifetime opportunity to be in a Bollywood movie all the way in India, but find out that they have to compete against each other to get the role. The storyline, the music and the vibrant setting of the whole movie are what made me watch it multiple times and the song “One World” is one of those dance-till-you-can’t-anymore type of songs.