Thursday, June 23, 2011

Throwback: Disney Channel Original Movies

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

For a while when I was a teenager, Disney used to really push their newest television movie. It seemed like everyone was talking about what the latest and greatest thing was going to be. So, today's throwback is here to serve as a reminder of some of those great for-tv times.

Disney doing movies made to premiere on television was not a new concept when I found them in the late 90s. Actually, Hocus Pocus was a Disney Channel Original in the summer of 1993! It was kinda easy to tell if it was a Disney original, since it would run ALL THE TIME and you'd never heard of it anywhere else. That's where I first saw Katherine Heigl, actually... she was in Wish Upon a Star in 1996. Her dress at the end of that movie is one of my favorites ever!

In 1998, Brink! was a popular Disney Channel Original. It was about four skaters and their ongoing issues with some paid skaters. Being a skater myself, I loved the movie. It's still one of my top ten favorites. In 1999, Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century came out, quickly followed by The Thirteenth Year, Smart House, and Johnny Tsunami. Horse Sense was also from that year, which really capitalized on the popularity of the Lawrence brothers.

2000 followed with other memorable movies like The Color of Friendship, Alley Cats Strike, Quints, Phantom of the Megaplex, and The Ultimate Christmas Present. Actually, 2000 may be considered the peak of popularity for those Disney Originals... it was the only year that they cranked out a new one EVERY SINGLE MONTH.

2001 had the Zenon sequel, Motocrossed, Jett Jackson: The Movie, and Jumping Ship. We started winding down (probably good, since I was in college then and didn't see much television at all), with 2002 featuring Cadet Kelly, 2003 featuring The Even Stevens Movie and The Cheetah Girls, and another Zenon sequel in 2004.

Of course, everyone knows that the High School Musical phenomenon began as a Disney Channel Original, and that they're still making new Originals, like last month's Lemonade Mouth. Still, I don't find the new stuff nearly as neat as the old. But maybe you do. And maybe you prefer the other dozens of Disney Channel Originals that I didn't mention. So, tell me about the Originals you liked best!
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Caitie F said...

You forgot one of my favorites - Rip Girls!

Those movies were awesome - I watched all of them other than Even Stevens since I didn't really watch the show, then never watched any later than that.

Wish they replayed them sometimes!

Amy K. Bredemeyer said...

You're right! I DID forget Rip Girls! oopsie. And it IS hard to catch them replaying, but it does happen! I caught Smart House at some point last year and recently DVR'd Brink!, though I wish it was easier to find them!