In the days before the internet and YouTube, many of us tuned into Disney Channel original movies to get our entertainment for the week. While many of these movies are now long-forgotten, they still remain classics in many of our hearts. And damn it all, they deserve to be recognized for it! And so, here are the Disney Channel original movies you let slip from your mind, you monster.
Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century
If you haven’t seen Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, that blurry music video won’t mean anything to you. But it’s basically a part of a larger plot of a movie all about a girl who lives on a Space Station and dreams of meeting her idol, a singer named Proto Zoa. She also has to save her space station with the help of her friends (blah, blah, blah), but most of us came to this movie for the ridiculous space outfits and space station tropes (and stayed for the music).
1998’s Brink! follows the sport of inline skating (was that ever a real thing?), with Andy “Brink” Brinker and his friends (AKA the “Soul-Skaters”, because they skate for the fun of it and not for the money, maaaaan). The group clashes with a game of sponsored skaters known as Team X-Bladz, and while it sounds terrible, I promise it’s a real treat!
If watching three preteen boys do a coordinated dance to a ’90s-style R&B boy band isn’t enough to get you to see Smart House, I don’t know what is. (In fact, companies like Apple and Dyson are really losing out by not sponsoring a remake of this gem!)
The Cheetah Girls
The Cheetah Girls is a Disney Channel original movie that debuted in 2003 about a fictional pop group starring That So Raven‘s Raven Simone. It was basically High School Musical meets Empire, before either of those things were actual things. (Note: it actually wasn’t very good and probably isn’t worth you going back and watching, but you probably already got that from the above clip.)
Hocus Pocus is the Disney Halloween movie that gets all the attention, but a close second should definitely be Halloweentown. It was funnier, cleverer, and darker than most Disney Channel original movies, and despite the cheesy 1998 special effects, any mildly rebellious Halloween-loving teen can enjoy the story of Marnie and her magical family history! (Plus there’s a sexy-good-guy-who-turns-out-is-actually-a-bad-guy plot, and who doesn’t love those?!)