From the catchy intro to their perfectly groomed casts of wholesome stars, there was just something special about Disney Channel original movies. Everyone has an opinion on the best Disney Channel original movies - maybe you're a fan of High School Musical, or perhaps you longed for the candy-colored future of Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century. But what about the forgotten Disney Channel originals?
Disney Channel produced and distributed a surprising number of movies; dozens have aired since the first films premiered in 1997. Chances are you've forgotten a few of these obscure Disney Channel movies. Remember Motocrossed, or Pixel Perfect? How about Rip Girls?
These movies taught viewers about friendships, perseverance, and the struggles of puberty. They made kids excited to be teens. These movies might not have been ratings smashes, but these Disney Channel original movies you forgot deserve some love, too.
The 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie The Thirteenth Year serves as a gentle reminder to tweens that puberty could be way worse. After Cody Griffin turns 13, strange things start happening to him. He can generate electricity and climb up walls, and he becomes covered with scales when he is in water. Eventually, Cody discovers the truth: his birth mother was a mermaid, and he's turning into a merman.
Actors: Kristen Stewart, David Alan Coulier, Brian Haley, Courtnee Draper, Timothy Redwine, + more
Initial Release: 1999
Directed by: Duwayne Dunham
Basically the Mulan of extreme sports, Motocrossed made every girl feel empowered in 2001. Andrea Carson and her twin brother both love motocross, but her father will not let her participate seriously because of her gender. When her brother gets injured and cannot compete, Andrea starts racing instead, pretending to be her brother. As a nod to the era, everyone in this movie had spiky hair and was totally x-treme.
Actors: Riley Smith, Mary-Margaret Humes, Alana Austin, Trever O'Brien, Scott Terra
Initial Release: 2001
Directed by: Steve Boyum
Brink! was so exciting that it needed an exclamation point. The 1998 movie features two rival groups of in-line skaters: the "Soul-Skaters," who do it for fun, and the sponsored sell-outs, "Team X-Bladz." Brink, the leader of the Soul-Skaters, betrays his friends and everything he believes in by joining Team X-Bladz, but don't worry - everything works out in the end.
Actors: Erik von Detten, Geoffrey Blake, Christina Vidal, David Graf, Patrick Levis, + more
Initial Release: 1998
Directed by: Greg Beeman
In the 2002 movie Double Teamed, twins Heather and Heidi transfer to Palos Verdes High School for a better chance at receiving college scholarships. Heidi, always seeing herself as second-best, tries to distance herself from Heather at her new school by joining the drama department, while Heather prepares for the upcoming volleyball season. But when the basketball coach sees the super-tall twins, he recruits Heather. The twins' father tells the coach that the both of them will play - and confront their sibling rivalry on the court. THe film was based on the real-life story of pro players Heather and Heidi Burge.
Actors: Mackenzie Phillips, Joey Miyashima, Teal Redmann, Poppi Monroe, Annie McElwain
Initial Release: 2002
Directed by: Duwayne Dunham