14 Old Disney Movies You May Not Remember

You may have heard “I miss the old Disney” floating around on social media. What I miss about the old Disney is the quality of movies they delivered. Disney movies these days are too focused on being flashy and overly funny with little relatability and real-world relevance. Disney movies from the early 2000s had a real message behind them from accepting your crazy family and loving yourself in all your wild messiness, to pursuing your passions no matter the obstacles. 

Here are some Disney Channel original movies (or 'DCOMs') that have been lost through the years. I hope you feel a tingling of nostalgia like I do!

  1. 1. The Luck Of The Irish (2001)

    You may recognise the lead actor, Ryan Merriman, as Ian Thomas from Pretty Little Liars, but he actually debuted on Disney Channel (kinda like every other actor). If you have never seen or don’t remember this movie, it’s about popular high school basketball star Kyle who, through a strange series of events triggering his strong Irish heritage, turns into a leprechaun. The movie includes the union between humans and mythical creatures, traditional Irish folk dancing, and lessons about embracing your heritage and how to create your own luck through hard work.

  2. 2. Motocrossed (2001)

    This movie could be compared to She’s The Man because it also involves a girl assuming her brother’s place to compete in a sport where she is unwelcome because of her gender. Andrea Carson (played by Alana Austin) loves motocross, but her father disapproves of her taking part in a typically male and dangerous sport. When her brother becomes injured and cannot compete in a big race, Andrea races in his place with the help of her mother hiding the secret from her father. I instantly fell in love with this movie as a child: The notion of female empowerment and women competing in male-dominated sports was a relatively new idea in the early 2000s, and I was all there for it!

  3. 3. Cadet Kelly (2002)

    We know of Hillary Duff as Lizzie McGuire, but have you heard of Cadet Kelly? This coming-of-age DCOM is all about fun-loving teenage girl Kelly Collins (played by Hillary Duff) being sent to military school by her stepfather. Kelly is forced to dig deep inside herself to deal with her strict commanding officer and fitting into a new and foreign environment of rules, regulations, and uniformity. Joining the drill team pushes her to new limits while earning respect from her commanding officer, getting closer to her stepfather, and learning what it takes to protect herself and other people.

  4. 4. Double Teamed (2002)

    Women in sport seems to be a recurring theme amongst early 2000s DCOMs! The defining factor of this movie is that it is based on a true story. Heather and Heidi (played by Poppi Monroe and Annie McElwain) are twin basketball players in the WNBA. Through their quest for stardom, the girls must learn to overcome each other’s differences, deal with their overbearing father, and learn how to become well-rounded individuals.

  5. 5. Pixel Perfect (2004)

    Remember the actor from Phil of The Future, Ricky Ullman? Well, he’s the lead actor in this DCOM playing the character of Roscoe! He uses his father’s technology to create the perfect girl in humanoid holographic form to dance with his best friend’s band. The hologram, Loretta Modern, struggles with her identity and wishes to experience life as a real girl. Meanwhile, Roscoe’s best friend Sam is jealous of how much attention he is giving Loretta. This movie prempts the modern technology we have today, as well as reminding us that loving the idea of someone is not the same as truly loving them, and that this could lead to heartbreak.

  6. 6. Go Figure (2005)

    Here we have another girl in sport determined to succeed! Katelin Kingsford (played by Jordan Hinson) dreams of becoming a champion figure skater. In order to be coached by a professional, she needs a scholarship to boarding school which surprisingly is given to her by the girls ice hockey team. Katelin struggles to balance hockey practice, figure skating rehearsals, homework, and fitting in at a new school where she is bullied. In spite of this, she pushes through to find acceptance through the love of her sport and passion for the ice. The support around her grows and culminates in her success at the end of the movie.

  7. 7. Twitches (2005)

    This DCOM empowered me as a kid through seeing actresses of colour playing lead roles on Disney Channel! Tia and Tamera Mowry play twin witches (‘Twitches’, get it?) who were separated at birth and evacuated from their realm of Coventry after facing imminent danger at birth. Living normal lives without magic on Earth, they come to meet each other on their 21st birthdays. They come to understand their destiny: To save their birth mother and Coventry from the evil Darkness.

  8. 8. Cow Belles (2006)

    Aly and AJ were an iconic pop music sister duo who started as Disney stars. The two pair up in this romantic comedy DCOM as two spoilt sisters, Taylor (played by Aly Michalka) and Courtney (played by AJ Michalka) who have to save Cullum Dairy, their family’s business. This movie teaches valuable lessons about the rewards of earning your way in the world and doing whatever it takes to protect what is important to you.

  9. 9. Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior (2006)

    Seeing the actress behind airhead heiress London Tipton transform into a strong warrior fighting the forces of evil changed Disney Channel as we know it! In the movie, Wendy (played by Brenda Song) is a popular high school girl (am I the only one seeing a trend here?) who is in the running to be Homecoming Queen. This doesn’t go according to plan when Shen, a Buddhist monk, enters her world and tells her that she is the reincarnation of a powerful Yin warrior. She learns that she the only one who can save the world from the threat of the ancient evil spirit Yan-Lo. Wendy is forced to dig deep inside herself in order to strengthen herself into the Yin warrior she truly is, abandon her previous pursuits of ultimate popularity, and embrace the heritage she never knew she’d love in order to save the world.

  10. 10. Prince And The Pauper (2007)

    Introducing chubby Cole and Dylan Sprouse! The movie sees famous actor Eddie Tudor (played by Cole Sprouse) and ordinary boy Tom Canty (Dylan Sprouse). Tom aspires to be a famous actor just like Eddie, while Eddie is tired of constantly being told what to do and who to be. When the two meet, they decide to switch places and live lives opposite of what they know.

  11. 11. Johnny Kapahala Back On Board (2007)

    This was our first introduction to Jake T. Austin who we remember as Max from Wizards of Waverly Place! This movie sees Johnny Kapahala (played by Brandon Baker), a teen snowboarding champion, returning to Hawaii for the wedding of his legendary grandfather, Johnny Tsunami. There’s competition, skating rivalries, family feuds, and sabotage. Do you really need another reason to watch it?

  12. 12. Camp Rock (2008)

    Demi Lovato’s debut to Disney Channel was in the movie musical Camp Rock! Mitchie (played by Demi Lovato) gets the once in a lifetime opportunity to go to Camp Rock, a music camp where amateur performers get to strengthen their musical gifts. She doesn’t want anyone to know that she got in because her mom is the camp cook, so she develops a different, richer, more glamorous backstory in order to be accepted by the popular girls. Throw in the Jonas Brothers, some sweet dance routines, and an unlikely romance, and you’ve got a movie that you’ll always return to!

  13. 13. Minutemen (2008)

    This DCOM introduced us to Steven R. McQueen before we knew him as Jeremy Gilbert in The Vampire Diaries! Virgil (played by Jason Dolley) and his best friends Charlie and Zeke are outsiders in high school dreaming of popularity and acceptance. When Charlie perfects the technology for his time machine, the trio decide to use it to go back in time and save their fellow high schoolers from past humilitation and embarrassment. However, the overuse of the machine results in disrupting the space time continuum. Virgil is left to decide whether he cares more about popularity and fame, or saving the world as he knows it with his best friends.

  14. 14. Princess Protection Program (2009)

    When Disney Channel teams up two real-life besties and sitcom superstars, you know that magic is about to be made! Carter (Selena Gomez) sees her whole world turn upside down when snobby Princess Rosalinda of Costa Luna (Demi Lovato) comes to live with her in Louisiana after Carter’s father rescues her from imminent danger as part of the Princess Protection Program. Carter and Rosie have a hostile relationship at first, but they begin to warm up to each other as they begin to understand the world from the other’s point of view. This movie truly embraces female friendship verging on sisterhood, and teaches you that people who are foreign to you might not be as strange as they seem if you just give them a chance.

 

These movies are very close to my heart as they remind me of simpler and happier times. I hope they filled you with a sense of nostalgia and fondness for your childhood. Don’t let these movies disappear!