4 Disney Channel Original Movies You Need to Watch

Thanks to Disney+, the new Disney streaming service, we now have access to all of our Disney favorites right from our couch. From nostalgic Disney shows to their latest blockbuster hit, you can basically watch any Disney feature you could think of. I’ve always been a huge fan of the iconic Disney Channel original movies, or DCOM for short. My typical Saturday night in elementary school consisted of lots of popcorn, pizza, and DCOM marathons. They had every genre of movies from comedy to drama and even holiday hits. And now that we all have easy access to movies, here are some perfect Disney channel movies that you should binge watch. Whether you’ve seen them before or not, they are the perfect way to spend a lazy day at home.

  1. 1. The Cheetah Girls

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    The Cheetah Girls prove that some friendships are unbreakable. My favorite part of this movie is the amazing girl group bops. Even though it’s about a fictional girl group, the songs are surprisingly really catchy and sung flawlessly. The movie also showcases the classic 2000s style. I mean, who doesn’t love their matching cheetah sweatsuits?! Forget tie-dye sweatsuits, that cheetah print loungewear is what I need right now. Not only is the plot entertaining, but the message of the movie is heartfelt. These girls are working hard towards their goals and are serious about their passion. Even though the movie is about a group, each member has a meaningful backstory and individual personality traits.These girls are definitely the ultimate Disney girl gang! 

  2. 2. High School Musical

    High School Musical truly redefined DCOMs. They created a whole new genre and wave of teen movie musicals. While the plot is pretty simple and straightforward, the musical numbers are what really makes this movie stand out. Maybe, its simplicity is what helps make the emotions of the characters and songs shine. The characters represent the typical high school archetypes, but the actors represent this really well. Plus,  the overall message to not “stick to the status quo” is pretty inspirational. The movie uses these high school archetypes to show that you don’t have to label yourself by one thing. You can be an athlete and a singer or a mathlete and an actress! You can be passionate about multiple hobbies. And the best part, not only can you watch the movie, but you can sing along as well. Trust me, anyone who grew up in the 2000s knows the lyrics by heart to these songs. Even though there are two sequels,  the original reigns supreme. 

  3. 3. Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie

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    Some Disney channel movies fall into the category of spin-offs from their respective TV shows. If you’re a fan of a particular show that has a DCOM, then you should definitely watch the show’s film. It’s an exciting way to get extra content regardless if the story is canon or not. It used to be even more exciting to watch the release of these movies in real-time!  The perfect example of this is Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, a film that clearly falls into this notable category. The movie captures the essence of the TV show, while also giving the characters a plot that’s bigger than a normal episode. The stakes have been raised in this movie and it shows that a comedic sitcom can also work as a film. It still has it’s comedic moments, but this movie adds a layer of drama and adventure. Plus, the premise is a family vacation and since we all can’t go on one now, we might as well watch a TV family go on a beach vacation! Its Caribbean location is a perfect setting considering right now.   

  4. 4. Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century

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    If you’re tired of 2020, then why not escape to the year 2049! This movie shows the interpretation of growing up as a teenager in the future. Better yet, growing up as a teenager who lives in space! Even though the setting is pretty extra, the plot tries to tackle growing up as a teenager. It’s still relatable despite its futuristic setting. Image when getting grounded, you literally get grounded on Earth. It has plenty of comedic moments and overall is a fun and enjoyable film that I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it. 

Luckily, all of these movies are easily accessible to watch if you have a Disney+ account. What’s great about these films is that they really capture a sense of childhood nostalgia. There are also so many Disney films that each of them represents a different Disney era like the late 90s, early 2000s, or 2010s. It’s cool to observe those generational differences between the films, especially the differences in fashion. Maybe with all this extra time, you can binge-watch all of the DCOMs!