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10 Harsh Realities Of Rewatching Disney Channel Original Movies

Disney Channel Original Movies have been a big part of people’s childhoods, with new titles added to their catalog every year. Entire nostalgia-filled franchises have spawned on the Disney Channel, including the high school musical Y Decendents Serie.


For some, the content of the Disney Channel shaped their entire youth. However, looking back on these movies years after their release, certain incredibly harsh realities come to light, forcing viewers to doubt the quality of every movie in the Disney Channel canon.

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they are not so good

Disney Descendants poster with Carlos Evie Mal and Jay

While the Disney Channel Originals may be an important part of many people’s childhoods, very few of its original movies, even the best-loved ones, have been particularly well-received. Unfortunately, the sad reality of these movies is that they fall far short of the quality of Disney’s other offerings, particularly the ones that have been released theatrically.

The vast majority of movies released by the Disney Channel in the past decade have earned a rating below 6.0 on IMDb, with more viewers indicating they disliked each movie than those who enjoyed it. Even the best of the Disney Channel Original Movies is underwhelming, with iconic movies like Decendents Y high school musical obtaining scores of 6.2 and 5.5, respectively.

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everyone is too old

High School Musical cast pool picture

Disney Channel’s content is aimed at younger audiences and therefore typically features characters in their late teens. However, it has often been pointed out that the actors hired to play them are often much older.

While certain movies experienced this problem worse than others, it can get a bit ridiculous when actors in their twenties and thirties continue to play high school students. This problem was especially made worse in Disney’s ongoing franchises, such as high school musicalwhere grown adults continue to play teenagers.

memes are funnier than movies

Debby Ryan makes a face at a dance on Radio Rebelde

As internet culture grows, many old movies have experienced a resurgence in popularity thanks to certain popular memes. Disney Channel Movies are no exception, with countless members realizing just how silly certain Disney Channel Originals are.

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Unfortunately for the Disney Channel, many of the memes created about its original movies are actually funnier than the movies themselves, which haven’t always stood the test of time. As a testament to the poor quality of movies or the high quality of memes, titles like rebel radio Y rock campfor example, they are much less likable than the memes that make fun of them.

The shows are better

The cast of Wizards of Waverly Place

Disney Channel may be famous for its many iconic movies, but it has also produced its fair share of memorable television series. Wizards of Waverly Place launched Selena Gomez to stardom, and it’s actually a good show. along with wizards, Zack and Cody’s life together Y Good luck Charlie prove that, perhaps contrary to popular belief, Disney’s shows were vastly superior to its movies.

Disney Channel seemed somewhat self-conscious about the better quality of its shows, often using them to market its movies. Almost all of the original movies contained at least one star from the channel’s most popular shows, which tried to win viewers by including familiar actors in each cast. Additionally, many of the most popular original movies were series spin-offs, with wizards of waverly place the movie Suite Life movieY Good luck Charlie: It’s Christmas serving only as a few examples.

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The writers had no idea how to relate to children

Two Camp Rock characters singing together on Disney Channel

Although the characters in the Disney Channel movies were intended to be the same age as their viewers, the writers behind these characters seemed a bit out of touch with the youth of the day. As a result, many lines and themes meant to relate to the younger generation not only failed, but came across as quite unpleasant upon rewatching.

Although Disney Channel movies try to sound modern, they often achieve just the opposite. rebel radio is perhaps the biggest offender of this trope, with horrendous lines like “live it, really, really dig it, and then…remember this feeling,” delivered with the utmost sincerity and ridiculousness.

The characters are all pretty goofy

The cast of Teen Beach Movie hugging

Disney Channel Original Movies may be responsible for creating many lovable characters, but it would be hard to argue that any of them are particularly smart. In fact, it’s an unfortunately common trope among Disney Channel titles for their main characters to be excruciatingly unintelligent.

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The characters in these movies are known for making truly terrible decisions to further the plot. While some characters are deliberately portrayed as silly for comic effect, such as Tanner from teen beach moviethere are few characters of the opposite persuasion, who can really be admired as role models for their sheer intelligence.

no one can really dance

The cast of Disney Zombies

Disney Channel specializes in producing “triple threat” stars who can act, sing, and dance. However, one of these three talents is often missing. Despite churning out original movies with halfway decent performances, great musical numbers, and great songs, dancing is a department where its stars often drop the ball.

There are certainly exceptions to this criticism, such as the Decendents Cameron Boyce from the franchise and rock camp‘s Roshon Fegan, but many other Disney Channel stars were much more talented when it came to singing than dancing. the rock camp franchise proved to be among the worst offenders, while other franchises, such as zombies, They seem to try a little harder in this department.

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Romances are creepy at the best of times.

Troy and Gabriella from Disney Channel Original Movies

Most of the Disney Channel Original Movies have romance at their center. While many of these stories became iconic among Disney fans, when viewed through a modern, realistic lens, they’re actually quite creepy.

Certainly, Disney isn’t the only company with this problem, but given its influence among younger audiences, its portrayal of modern romance can be somewhat problematic. Almost terrifying instances of characters practically stalking their love interests, uses of “love potions” to force someone to fall in love with them, and multiple full movies (watch How to build a better child, perfect pixel) dedicated to falling in love with a robot are just some of the most egregious romantic missteps to appear in Disney Channel’s extensive filmography.

Their budgets are extremely low

Descendants 3 Mal, Carlos, Jay, Evie

Like any other TV movie, the budget for a Disney Channel Original is much less than a theatrically released movie. Younger audiences may not have noticed the low-budget feel of these movies, but, in later reviews, the holes become quite glaring.

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high school musical 3for example, arguably the biggest Disney Channel movie of all time, it only had a paltry budget of $11 million (via Mojo Box Office). Disney Channel’s costumes and effects are particularly low-quality, making it difficult for movies that try to achieve fantastic worlds and creatures. Also, the use of green screens is painfully obvious in a number of cases, from movies from the 1980s to the 2020s, indicating that even as time goes by, realistic-looking sets aren’t a priority.

Some have aged very badly

Wendy Wu Guerrera homecoming

Disney Channel deserves some credit for trying to include diverse stories and casts in their projects. However, some of his original movies prove somewhat wrong in this area, and hindsight shows that many projects have aged rather poorly.

movies like Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior it’s earned some criticism based on the racial stereotypes included therein, and its early 2000s sensibilities don’t quite meet modern storytelling standards. While the Disney Channel is thankfully short on anything overtly offensive, perhaps some of its previous projects are best left in the past.

NEXT: The 10 Best Disney Channel Theme Songs, Ranked

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