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4 Must-Watch Disney Channel Movie Throwbacks

There’s something so comfortingly familiar and wildly hilarious about re-watching old Disney Channel classics from my childhood. The experience is a delicate balance between wondering "How the heck did I think this movie was cool?" to "Why the heck haven’t I watched this again till now?!"

So, grab some friends, break out the popcorn, and get cozy, because we’re about to travel back to our yesteryears, when crimped hair was cool and layered tank tops were still in style.

1.  The Lizzie McGuire Movie

After a long hiatus of growing up, maturing, and all that good stuff, re-watching this classic is sometimes all it takes to have you doubled over in laughter and questioning the entire premise of the plot. First of all, the outfits are hilarious.

And the hairstyles? I’m embarrassed to admit I had Lizzie McGuire-esque bangs and crimped hair at one point (yikes!).

Even aside from that, the entire plot is just risible. I mean, Lizzie is apparently an eighth grader in the movie—I’m sorry, but she looks twenty. And could someone please explain to me a) how are these kids staying at a five-star hotel in Italy and b) why are they in Italy for a class field trip? Apparently I missed out, because I don’t think I ever went anywhere beyond a local art museum back in my “junior high” days. Even if I were to hypothetically travel to Europe with my school, I’d likely be staying in a rundown motel—not a borderline-Ritz Carlton (did you see those queen-size beds?!).

On top of that, the only thing more entertaining than the concept of thirteen-year-old-Lizzie escaping on a motorcycle with an Italian celebrity, Paolo, and impersonating an international pop star is the dialogue:

2.  Camp Rock

I don’t know what’s worse (and by “worse”, I mean more entertaining):

The cringe-worthy acting…

(I mean, one second Demi is cowering in anxiety and the next, she’s belting THIS IS REAL, THIS IS ME)

…the outfits…

…or literally any musical aspect of the movie…


I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder than during the first hour of this movie. It really takes re-watching this gem to fully appreciate it—and maybe you’ll even gain some life lessons from it.

3.  The Cheetah Girls

First of all, I would love to know why the director insisted on giving each Cheetah girl a movie name and a nickname. Not only can I not distinguish their real names from their movie names, but now I have to somehow deal with their “cute” nicknames thrown into the mix. I mean, really, how did those names come to be, and am I honestly expected to remember them? How did Raven/Galleria come to be dubbed “Bubbles?” And why on earth is Adrienne/Chanel known as “Chuchie”?

I’m not even embarrassed to admit I once went to a Cheetah Girls concert—and the whole time I didn’t even know if they were performing as Galleria, Chanel, Dorinda, and Aquanette or as Raven-Simone, Adrienne, Sabrina, and Kiely.

Well, at least their group name makes sense:

This Cheetah-licious classic is an uplifting, funky take on girl power, and although no part of it is moderately realistic, it’s oddly comforting. Maybe you too will form the ultimate squad and travel to Spain to become international music sensations.

4.  High School Musical (1, 2, or 3)

I mean, it’s High School Musical—what more is there to say? Besides the fact that no part of HSM resembles an actual high school, the sporadic singing and dancing is ridiculous in and of itself.

The dialogue comes in a close second.

And can we talk about how Troy in HSM3 somehow gets accepted to Juilliard when he didn’t even apply, let alone hear of the prestigious institution? I mean, realistically, Troy only performed in one spring school musical. Let’s just say it was acceptable for a teacher to send an application in on behalf of a student (which it isn’t): how was that enough to land him a scholarship from Juilliard?

So little makes sense, but at least a lot of great GIFs and memes came out of these movies…

Alone or with friends, during day or during night, feeling down or feeling great—it’s always the perfect time for a feel-good Disney Channel throwback!

Daniela is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Although a current psychology major, she has always had a passion for journalism and writing. In high school, she was the news editor and staff writer on Inklings, a Columbia Scholastic Press Association gold-medal winner since 2000. She also hopes to obtain a certificate in entrepreneurship and explore and expand her knowledge of the blogging sphere in her future. She loves The Office, Pinterest interior design crafts, lattes, and early mornings.
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