The 50 Best Disney Channel Original Movies, Ranked

According to a Hardcore DCOM fan

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As a writer, I have no problem sharing my favorite things or my honest opinions on a subject. However, this list is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. See, I grew up watching Disney Channel (and I even wrote a piece on how it impacted my life). While shows were everything to me, the Disney Channel Original Movies (or DCOMS) were the core of the network. The thought of ranking them left me super excited at first, and then super stressed out. How can one rank between High School Musical, Halloweentown, Cadet Kelly and Cheetah Girls? 

Well, I did it and I welcome all your thoughts once you’re done reading it. I took all the iconic catchphrases, outrageous fashion choices and heavy hitters into consideration (because I’m still singing “Strut” in the mirror to this day). You can’t also forget the household names that came out of these movies like Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez and Raven Symoné. From movie musicals like Camp Rock to classic dramas like The Color of Friendship, ahead are the 50 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked by a hardcore DCOM stan. 

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50. The Cheetah Girls: One World (2008)

  • Who’s In It: Adrienne Bailon, Sabrina Bryan, Kiely Williams
  • Run Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

The first two movies are classics, but this one falls a bit short. It has a great Bollywood feel, but it’s missing a core member of the group (*cough* Galleria), which leaves this film low on our list. The songs and dance numbers are still catchy though—plus, the trio really shines in their own way traverse through India. 

49. The Suite Life Movie (2011)

  • Who’s In It: Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, Brenda Song
  • Run Time: 1 hour 21 minutes

During this time, we started to see a bunch of classic shows give their final bows in the form of a movie. The Suite Life Movie was a prime example of this, as we saw the Sprouse twins grace our screens for the last time as Zack and Cody. This TV movie follows the duo in a twin telepathy situation, where they finally see eye-to-eye for the first time. It’s a fun flick, filled with humorous antics we learned to love from the duo. But compared to other movies on this list (hello, Wizards of Waverly Place movie), it falls a little short. 

48. Read It and Weep (2006)

  • Who’s In It: Kay Panabaker, Danielle Panabaker, Alexandra Krosney
  • Run Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

The thought of someone publishing my journal sounds like a total nightmare, but for Jamie (Kay Panabaker) it became a dream come true. After hers is accidentally published for the world to read, she struggles with her newfound popularity. It’s just another classic Disney Channel Original Movie trope of being true to yourself—even if your main character/alter ego is trying to change who you are. It’s also cute to see the Panabaker sisters in a movie together. 

47. Hatching Pete (2009)

  • Who’s In It: Jason Dolley, Mitchel Musso, Tiffany Thornton
  • Run Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This 2009 film has the DCOM flair. After secretly taking over The Chicken mascot for his best friend, Pete (Jason Dolley) goes from a “not-so-cool” guy into a popular sensation at his high school. It’s a great coming-of-age story that features noteworthy Disney Channel stars (like Hannah Montana’s Mitchel Musso and Suite Life of Zack and Cody’s Brian Stepanek), while also holding key lessons of being true to yourself with a splash of humor. 

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46. You Wish (2003)

  • Who’s In It: A.J. Trauth, Spencer Breslin, Lalaine
  • Run Time: 1 hour 27 minutes

A magic coin that grants my every wish? Yes, please. For Alex Lansing (A.J. Trauth) he learns that getting everything you want in life can be a recipe for disaster. After wishing he didn’t have a little brother, his whole life changes. This wish leaves him super rich, popular and snagging the coolest girl in school. However, he learns it’s not what it’s cracked up to be and tries to reverse the wish. As always, you have a stellar cast, a great lesson and lots of funny moments to remember. 

45. Phantom of the Megaplex (2000)

  • Who’s In It: Taylor Handley, Corinne Bohrer, Caitlin Wachs
  • Run Time: 1 hour 28 minutes

If you’re searching for a Halloween movie that’s not going to scare you to bits, this 2000 film is a great choice. It follows Peter Riley (Taylor Handley), a teen working at the local movie theater. There’s a local legend that a “phantom” haunts the megaplex, but Handley doesn’t believe it until weird things start to happen as they prepare for a movie premiere. The antics feature classic Y2K effects, but still a winner in our books. 

44. Don’t Look Under the Bed (1999)

  • Who’s In It: Erin Chambers, Eric “Ty” Hodges II, Robin Riker
  • Run Time: 1 hour 32 minutes 

When we think of Disney Channel Original Movies, we tend to have musicals, friendships and romance in mind, but Don’t Look Under the Bed defies our expectations. Seriously, this 1999 flick will have you peeking through your fingers during the whole movie. When teen Frances McCausland looks to clear her name, she enlists her brother’s imaginary friend to help defeat the Boogeyman and save her town. The fantasy film makes you forget for a moment that you’re watching a DCOM. 

43. Tru Confessions (2002)

  • Who’s In It: Shia LeBeouf, Clara Bryant, William Francise McGuire
  • Run Time: 1 hour 23 minutes 

Some of the earlier DCOMs, like Tru Confessions, taught us hard-hitting lessons as a kid. Based on the novel, this 2002 drama stars Trudy “Tru” Walker, an aspiring filmmaker working on a documentary about her brother Eddie (Shia LeBeouf), who has an unidentified learning disability. This film teaches us about the importance of respecting those with disabilities and the hardship of dealing with a complicated family. We knew LeBeouf as the goofball Louis in Even Stevens, but we got to see a different side to him in this breakout role. Bottom line: This one will definitely pull at the heart strings, so have some tissues ready. 

42. Right On Track (2003)

  • Who’s In It: Beverly Mitchell, Brie Larson, Marcus Toji
  • Run Time: 1 hour 28 minutes

A common theme among Disney Channel Original Movies was that girls can do whatever boys can do—as this 2003 flick shows by example. It stars Beverly Mitchell as Erica Enders, who enters drag racing at a young age. Once her sister Courtney (Brie Larson) joins her, the sisters prove to be total naturals in the sport. But of course, there are some people—mostly jealous teen boys—who try to prevent them from being a part of this male-dominated sport. TL; DR: If you loved Motorcrossed, you’ll definitely enjoy this empowering story. 

41. The Ultimate Christmas Present(2000)

  • Who’s In It: Hallee Hirsh, Spencer Breslin, Hallie Todd, Brenda Song
  • Run Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

A white Christmas in Los Angeles? You can’t beat this refreshing concept. We enjoy the typical Christmas classics come December, but don’t sleep on this 2000 holiday movie. If you discovered a snow machine, would you give up the chance of using it? Well, Allie Thompson and Sam decided to make it snow…in sunny Los Angeles and it wasn’t exactly a winter wonderland. The holiday flick is quite adorable as the main protagonists team up with the guy in red (aka Santa Claus himself) to save Christmas. 

40. Descendants (2015)

  • Who’s In It: Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart, Sofia Carson
  • Run Time: 1 hour 54 minutes 

For some millennials, once we hit a certain age, we left Disney Channel in the past. But when Descendants came on the scene, we were intrigued. Imagine popular Disney villains having offspring and wreaking havoc in a high school. Well, this 2015 film introduces us to Cruella, Maleficent, the Evil Queen and Jafar’s children along with Belle, Rapunzel and Mulan’s. It’s a modern take on characters we grew up with and catchy songs to enjoy—no matter your age. 

39. Zenon: The Zequel (2001)

Zenon has a special place in our hearts, so seeing a sequel (ahem, a Ze-quel) was just as exciting. We were back with our favorite space teen, Zenon Kar, as she worked to save her space station with help from a few of her galaxy friends. We just don’t know if we can forgive the film for recasting Raven Symoné (she had another obligation at the time, but still), but we guess the return of Protozoa was a nice touch. 

38. Princess Protection Program (2009)

Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez were the Disney stars of the time, so putting them in a movie together was genius. The real-life besties played Carter (Gomez) and Rosalina (Lovato), who were complete opposites of each other. When Rosalina was forced to go into the princess protection program, she had to play the role as Carter’s cousin, and well, it was not a walk in the park. It’s a nice friendship story with a catchy duet between the celebs at the end. What more can you ask for? 

37. Kim Possible: So the Drama (2005)

  • Who’s In It: Christy Carlson Romano, Will Friedle, Nancy Carwright
  • Run Time: 1 hour 9 minutes

The animated DCOMs were just as iconic as the live action flicks. Kim Possible was a top animated series in the early ‘00s, so it only made sense to make an hour-long movie in 2005. It had the characters we knew and loved, and it was filled with action pack scenes. Our favorite? Definitely the prom scene, which our pre-teen hearts never fully recovered from. 

36. The Thirteenth Year (1999)

  • Who’s In It: Chez Starbuck, Dave Coulier, Lisa Stahl Sullivan
  • Run Time: 1 hour 29 minutes

This 1999 movie puts a spin on the cliche puberty story. When Cody turns 13, he starts becoming a merman. We’re talking fins, scales and the ability to breathe underwater. It’s basically the opposite of The Little Mermaid since he never asked to be a fish on land. It’s truly one of the silliest films of the ‘90s, but one that left a lasting imprint on our minds. 

35. Double Teamed (2002)

  • Who’s In It: Poppi Monroe, Annie McElwain, Tea Redmann
  • Run Time: 1 hour 33 minutes

While musicals dominated the Disney Channel throughout the 2010s, sports films were super popular in the early ‘00s. Inspired by the true story of Heidi and Heather Burge, the film follows a pair of twins as they start their basketball career in high school. The storyline showed a great display of sisterhood and teamwork, while diving into the struggles of teenhood. Also, we can’t be the only ones who held their breath during one of the last scenes of the film (even if it was a bit dramatic). “I love Double Teamed! My sister and I aren't twins, but we were put on the same sports teams growing up and fought constantly, so we could totally relate and loved watching it together,” says Catrina Yohay, PureWow Managing Editor. 

34. Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior (2006)

  • Who’s In It: Brenda Song, Shin Koyamada, Susan Chuang
  • Run Time: 1 hour 31 minutes

No one can forget Brenda Song as London Tipton on Suite Life of Zack and Cody, but this 2006 film showed a different side of her. This action-packed flick follows the journey of an aspiring homecoming queen as she becomes an empowering warrior. It also highlighted aspects of Chinese culture, and in doing so, offered a moment of Asian representation in a time where there was little of it in mainstream media. 

33. Quints (2000)

  • Who’s In It: Kimberly J. Brown, Daniel Roebuck, Elizabeth Morehead
  • Run Time: 1 hour 23 minutes

Any older sibling will know the feeling of having to adjust to a new addition in the family, and this movie gives you a glimpse into what it might be like to have five new siblings at once. As a pre-teen we were stressed out for Jamie Grover (played by the icon Kimberly J. Brown), as she adjusts to living with quintuplets and all the hype around them, while trying to gain a bit of her parents’ attention. Brown was fantastic in the Halloweentown trilogy, but she absolutely kills it in Quints, which is why this is a must-watch DCOM. 

32. Pixel Perfect (2004)

  • Who’s In It: Ricky Ullman, Leah Pipes, Spencer Redford
  • Run Time: 1 hour 29 minutes

Pixel Perfect was ahead of its time. We’re just now dabbling in creating holograms of our favorite artists, but this 2004 sci-fi film was already showing the good (and bad) of having one. It follows Roscoe (Ricky Ullman), who creates a holographic lead singer named Loretta Modern for his friend’s band. As the band becomes a hit, no one knows Loretta isn’t actually real. Mix in a love triangle, some catchy tunes and a juicy plotline about a big corporation trying to steal the tech and you have yourself another DCOM masterpiece. 

31. Johnny Tsunami (1999)

  • Who’s In It: Brandon Baker, Lee Thompson, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
  • Run Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

This ‘90s film has a legendary (and easy to remember) title, but the storyline is just as spectacular. It follows Johnny Kapahala, a teen surfer who’s forced to move from Hawaii to Vermont. Although he’s a pro in the water, he soon learns the art of snowboarding and proves his haters wrong. It stars Brandon Baker, as well as familiar DCOM faves like Lee Thompson (Jett Jackson) and Kirsten Storms (Zenon). It’s definitely one of our favorite sports films in the catalog. 

30. The Even Stevens Movie (2003) 

  • Who’s In It: Shia LeBeouf, Christy Carlson Romano, Tom Virtue
  • Run Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes 

We were sad when the series ended in 2003, so when we heard that Disney was making a movie that would bring back our favorite characters, we were ecstatic. The movie is just as ridiculous as the show in terms of the insane plot and crazy antics the characters find themselves in, but it remains a top pick on this list. When the Stevens family embark on an island getaway, they are faced with more pranks and surprises than they bargained for—especially considering they were promised a relaxing family vacation. What makes this a top 30 contender? The bickering between the siblings Ren and Louis (played by Christy Carlson Romano and Shia Lebouf), which both are complete standouts in this memorable flick. As someone with a little brother, it’s so realistic when it comes to sibling rivalry and constant annoyance with each other. 

29. Cow Belles (2006)

  • Who’s In It: Amanda “AJ” Michalka, Alyson “Aly” Michalka
  • Run Time: 1 hour 31 minutes

Aly & AJ were already bonafide popstars with hits like “Potential Breakup Song” and “Rush,” so seeing the sisters in a DCOM was a nice treat. They played spoiled teens Taylor and Courtney Callum, who had to work at their family’s dairy factory over the summer. Together, the duo learn the meaning of hard work and appreciation for what you have.  

28. The Proud Family Movie (2005)

  • Who’s In It: Kyla Pratt, Tommy Davidson, Paula Jai Parker
  • Run Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

What do you get when you have a funny family, an evil scientist and some dancing peanuts? This 2005 animated film starring our favorite Prouds. The Proud Family Movie took the animated series to the next level. Penny Proud (Kyla Pratt) is forced to go on a family vacation instead of celebrating her 16th birthday with her friends. However, the dazzling island is not what it seems, and she ends up having to save her family from the evil Dr. Carver. The movie is all about the importance of family, but the dancing montage is still a fan favorite till this day. 

27. The Color of Friendship (2000)

  • Who’s In It: Lindsey Haun, Shadia Simmons, Carl Lumbly
  • Run Time: 1 hour 23 minutes

In the early years of Disney Channel Original Movies, the network wasn’t afraid of tackling tough subjects. The Color of Friendship broke barriers for talking about race and racism. When a South African girl named Mahree Bok (Lindsey Haun) comes to stay with Piper Dellums (Shadia Simmons) and her family in Washington D.C., both girls learn about racial stereotypes and prejudices. It’s uncomfortable to watch at times, but this film is still considered one of the most progressive movies about race that everyone should take the time to check out. “The Color of Friendship is a classic! I absolutely love that it covered serious topics like racism and apartheid in a way that was thoughtful but still digestible for younger audiences,” shares Nakeisha Campbell, PureWow Assistant Editor of News & Entertainment. 

26. Starstruck (2010)

  • Who’s In It: Sterling Knight, Danielle Campbell, Maggie Castle 
  • Run Time: 1 hour 21 minutes

A storyline about a popstar who’s tired of fame and meets a small-town girl who doesn’t care about said popstar isn’t exactly groundbreaking. However, we can’t resist an enemies-to-lovers story. The dynamic between Christopher Wilde (Sterling Knight) and Jessica Olson (Danelle Campbell) drives the rom com. Plus, the hit song “Starstruck” remains a go-to on our karaoke playlist. 

25. Halloweentown High (2004)

  • Who’s In It: Kimberly J. Brown, Debby Reynolds, Joey Zimmerman
  • Run Time: 1 hour 22 minutes

The third movie in the trilogy may not be in the top ten, but it’s still a crowd pleaser. While we don’t spend too much time in Halloweentown, seeing Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown) in high school is pretty entertaining. When she’s tasked to watch over some supernatural teens, she has to save her school, her magic and the human world. And of course, the late and great Debby Reynolds was a great addition to the movie. 

24. Motorcrossed (2001)

Any Twelfth Night (or She’s the Man) fans out there? Here’s another sports drama that’s quite the treat. Andi (Alana Austin) loves motocross racing, but her father wants her to do cheerleading instead (major eye roll). After her twin brother is injured during practice, she disguises herself as him and competes in the big competition. “It’s a really cool and groundbreaking film about battling gender stereotypes and achieving your dreams despite being underestimated,” shares Delia Curtis, PureWow Editorial Assistant. 

23. Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off (2003)

  • Who’s In It: Taylor Ball, Orlando Brown, Reiley McClendon, Mark L.Taylor
  • Run Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Before Troy Bolton, we had another swoonworthy athlete breaking societal norms on the screen—minus the moody musical numbers. Eddie Ogden (Taylor Ball) is a baseball star, who also happens to enjoy cooking on the side. When he enters a major cooking competition, he realizes it’s at the same time as his playoff game and has to make a decision. It’s a great coming of age story with a shining cast and did we mention Bobby Flay makes an appearance? 

22. Brink! (1998)

  • Who’s In It: Eric von Detten, Sam Horrigan, Christina Vidal
  • Run Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

We all had a crush on Erik von Detten right? This ‘90s star stole our hearts and may have persuaded us to grab some skates, too. The sports flick follows Andy “Brink” Brinker (Detten), who has a good ‘ol time skating with his friends—aka the “Soul-Skaters.” However, he betrays his buddies by joining the opposing team, the “X-Bladz” in order to help his family’s fledging financial situation. If you like stories about friendship and want to indulge in some ‘90s nostalgia, this one should be on your list. 

21. Go Figure (2005)

  • Who’s In It: Jordan Hinson, Whitney Sloan, Christine Rose
  • Run Time: 1 hour 29 minutes

We all wanted to join a hockey team after watching this 2005 film. When figure skater Katelin Kingsford (Jordan Hinson) is forced to join the girls’ hockey team to get a scholarship, she has an eye-opening experience that leads to her great appreciation for the sport. It’s your classic coming-of-age story with a killer soundtrack featuring Everlife. 

20. Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (2010)

  • Who’s In It: Demi Lovato, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas
  • Run Time: 1 hour 41 minutes

Did we memorize the dances? Yes. Can we recite some of the lines? Yes. Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam can be super dramatic and downright cheesy at the times (Camp Rock vs. Camp Star?) But you can’t deny the songs really rope you in. Whether it’s the duet “Wouldn’t Change a Thing?” or the silly ballad “Introducing Me,” it’s a musical you can’t miss. Plus, the twist ending left me flabbergasted as a teen.  

19. Jump In! (2007)

  • Who’s In It: Corbin Bleu, Keke Palmer, David Reivers 
  • Run Time: 1 hour 26 minutes

If you liked Corbin Bleu in High School Musical, then Jump In! should be on your radar. It had the perfect Disney Channel Original Movies recipe: a dad pushing his dream on his son, a male protagonist breaking societal norms and joining a rope-jumping team and a memorable ending at a high stakes competition show. Oh, and watching Izzy Daniels (Bleu) creating his own path with help from his neighbor Mary (aka Keke Palmer) was a standout moment in the film.

18. Twitches Too (2007)

  • Who’s In It: Tia Mowry, Tamera Mowry, Kristen Wilson
  • Run Time: 1 hour 24 minutes

Making a sequel to Twitches was a smart move for Disney and they didn’t disappoint. Although it doesn’t beat the original, we still rank it high on our list. Alex (Tia) and Camryn (Tamera) learn more about their royal heritage and continue their magical training. Similar to the first movie, the twin witches are still total opposites and butt heads about their futures. Of course, the Sister, Sister stars hit it out of the park with their performances (so much so that we’re still crossing our fingers for a third installment). 

17. Let It Shine (2012)

  • Who’s In It: Tyler James Williams, Coco Jones, Trevor Jackson 
  • Run Time: 1 hour 43 minutes

I’ll say it: This 2012 movie is one of the most underrated Disney Channel Original Movies of all time. In high school, we raved about this film for hours. It starred Cyrus DeBarge (played by Abbot Elementary star Tyler James Williams) who anonymously writes music and wins the local songwriting contest only for his best friend Kris McDuffy (Trevor Jackson) to mistakingly get credit for his work. The film has plenty of heartfelt moments, too, as DeBarge learns to fight his stage fright and stand behind his own words. Also, the rap battles are legendary and adding singer Coco Jones as Roxanne “Roxie” Andrews to the cast is a nice bonus. 

16. The Luck of the Irish (2001) 

  • Who’s In It: Ryan Merriman, Paul Kiernan, Timothy Omundson
  • Run Time: 1 hour 26 minutes

Kyle Johnson was the luckiest guy in the world and he had his family’s lucky coin to thank for that. When he loses it, he quickly learns that he comes from a long line of leprechauns. The film has all of the magic you expect from a DCOM—filled with memorable scenes of the protagonist sporting pointy ears, lighter hair and yearning to step dance until he finds the lost coin again. And though it’s by no means an authentic Irish story, it highlights fun mythical themes. “This movie was my jam. I still find myself wanting to watch it when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around!” adds Greta Heggeness, PureWow Senior Editor of Entertainment & News.

15. Gotta Kick It Up! (2002)

  • Who’s In It: Camille Guaty, America Ferrera, Jhoanna Ferrera
  • Run Time: 1 hour 24 minutes

Si, se puede! No one can forget the chant and the core message of this 2002 flick. It’s one of the few movies centered around an all-Latinx cast with familiar faces like America Ferrera. The DCOM had heart and grit, as it rallied around a group of middle schoolers as they became a united team. There are plenty of cheerleading movies out there, but Gotta Kick It Up! really shows what it means to be a team player. 

14. Halloweentown 2: Kalabar’s Revenge (2001)

  • Who’s In It: Kimberly J. Brown, Debbie Reynolds, Judith Hoag
  • Run Time: 1 hour 21 minutes

The first film was a huge hit, but was the sequel going to live up to the hype? Spoiler alert: Yes, it did. When Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown) returns to Halloweentown, we discover more about the magical town and see her unleash her full potential. For me, this film might even surpass the original, as it’s filled with unexpected twists and turns, new villains and moments my friends and I still talk about today.

13. Smart House (1999)

  • Who’s In It: Ryan Merriman, Kevin Kilner, Katey Sagal
  • Run Time: 1 hour 22 minutes

Another movie ahead of its time was Smart House, which predicted the consequences of having a high tech home. “Did it predict Alexa? I think yes. This movie made me wish I had a realistic beachy wallpaper that can wake me up [in the morning] and breakfast appear out of thin air on the countertop. At the same time, it made me thankful I didn’t,” says Stephanie Meraz, PureWow Associate Fashion Commerce Editor. The film follows Ben Cooper (Ryan Merriman), a high school teenager who wins a competition and gets his home completely transformed to make life a bit easier. When he starts configuring the home to make it more motherly, he and his family aren’t ready for what’s in store. Katey Sagal as PAT is a scene stealer, but also a bit terrifying when you think about your house taking complete control. 

12. Camp Rock (2008)

  • Who’s In It: Demi Lovato, Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas
  • Run Time: 1 hour 37 minutes

If “This Is Me” or “Gotta Find You” isn’t cemented in your brain, are you even a Disney kid? This 2008 movie musical starring Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers came out during the height of DCOMs. We all wanted to go to a musical camp after watching the story of Mitchie Torres (Demi Lovato), as she tries to find her place among her prestigious peers. Let’s not forget bad boy rockstar Shane Gray (Joe Jonas) on the same journey to self-discovery. We know they weren’t winning Oscars, but boy, is this a fun movie to watch over and over again. 

11. Stuck in the Suburbs (2004)

  • Who’s In It: Danielle Panabaker, Brenda Song, Taran Killam
  • Run Time: 1 hour and 18 minutes

This movie showed a comically accurate depiction of what it’s like to be a fangirl. Brittany Aarons (Danielle Panabaker) accidentally swaps phones with her favorite popstar. With her new friend Natasha Kwon-Schwartz (Brenda Song), they start controlling his life—from requesting him to get a major haircut to demanding he performs at her mother’s rally for a local landmark to be restored—and this is circa 2004, pre-social media. To this say, we still love singing “More Than Me” and we always forget that Saturday Night alum, Taran Killam, played the heartthrob pop singer. “It was one of the earlier DCOMS and it still remains one of the best! It featured the classic ‘regular teen has run-in with pop star’ narrative that has been copied in so many beloved movies since (like The Lizzie McGuire Movie, StarStruck, etc),” adds Joel Calfee, PureWow Assistant Editor of Entertainment & News. 

10. Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (2009)

  • Who’s In It: Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin
  • Run Time: 1 hour 34 minutes

As mentioned, popular shows getting a TV movie was common back then (see: The Proud Family, Even Stevens and Suite Life above), but this one trumps them all. The Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie tests the limits of family and magic. When Alex Russo (Selena Gomez) wishes her parents never met, it casts a spell that seems irreversible. The protagonist is usually pretty rebellious and has smart quips but seeing her completely breakdown towards the climax of the movie left me at the edge of my seat. 

9. Twitches (2005)

  • Who’s In It: Tia Lowry, Tamera Mowry, Kristen Wilson
  • Run Time: 1 hour 27 minutes

Twitches ranks as one of the best Disney Channel Original Movies of all time. Why? Well, it involves magic, comedy and our favorite celebrity twins, Tia and Tamera Mowry. We watch this at least once every fall. The two protagonists are so different from each other, yet together they are unstoppable. Based on the best-selling book, Alex (Tia) and Camryn (Tamera) meet for the first time and discover they have magical powers. What more do you need from a movie?  

8. Cadet Kelly (2002)

  • Who’s In It: Hilary Duff, Christy Carlson Romano, Shawn Ashmore
  • Run Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

We didn’t think military school would be cool until Kelly Collins (Hilary Duff) showed up. When you pluck a city girl and put her in a stodgy school filled with daily drills, strict uniforms and an unyielding captain (Jennifer Stone, played by Christy Carlson Romano), obstacles are inevitable. The two leads shine as they compete against each other. Between the snarky early ‘00s remarks, flirty antics and unforgettable ribbon dance sequence, it might be time for a rewatch. 

7. Lemonade Mouth (2011)

  • Who’s In It: Bridgit Mendler, Adam Hicks, Hayley Kiyoko, Naomi Scott, Blake Michael
  • Run Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

DCOMs have always showcased the underdogs and this 2011 musical is proof. During detention, five high schoolers bond through music and form a band called “Lemonade Mouth.” Although some students, and even the principal, try to bring them down, the band stands tall. The cast features breakout stars like Bridgit Mendler, Hayley Kiyoko and Naomi Scott. The tracklist is also top ten material. Hello, “Determinate.”

6. The Cheetah Girls (2003)

  • Who’s In It: Raven Symoné, Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, Sabrina Bryan
  • Run Time: 1 hour 34 minutes

Is it dramatic to say The Cheetah Girls defined 2003? “I listen to the songs to this day! It’s just everything! The girls' close bond, the songs, the choreo, the vocals! And don’t get me started on the FASHION. Just perfect,” says Karelle McKay, PureWow Assistant Editor for Entertainment & News. This musical introduces us to four NYC teens, who love to sing and dance. Their friendship, killer style (i.e., the colorful tracksuits) and strong vocals make this a must watch every single time. You can’t talk about this movie without mentioning the all-star cast, which includes Raven Symoné, Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams and Sabrina Bryan. 20 years later and we’re still belting out “Cheetah Sisters” with our friends. 

5. High School Musical 2 (2007)

  • Who’s In It: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale
  • Run Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

This sequel almost made the top five, but it’s still pretty high in our rankings. It had big shoes to fill, but HSM 2 pulled through for us in ‘07. In the film, the wildcats land jobs at a country club, but Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) is faced with the dilemma of choosing between his new job and big time connections (done and forced by Sharpay Evans) or enjoying the summer and joining his friends at the country club’s Talent Night.And who can forget bops like “Gotta Go My Own Way,” “I Don’t Dance,” and “Bet On It”? 

4. Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century(1999)

  • Who’s In It: Kirsten Storms, Raven-Symoné, Stuart Pankin 
  • Run Time: 1 hour 37 minutes

Zoom, zoom, zoom. We all wanted to be Zenon in the ‘90s. Played by Disney Channel legend Kristen Storms, the 13-year-old teen was “grounded” on earth and left to learn about the planet’s ways. When she discovers someone is trying to sabotage her home, she strives to save her space station. The film also stars a young Raven Symoné and introduced us to a fictitious pop band we wish existed in real life. “Honestly…the Zenon erasure from the nostalgia dialogue is mind-boggling. She was EVERYTHING at the time. That said…I don’t remember a thing about the movie besides its wild aesthetics and ‘zetus lapetus’,” adds Dara Katz, PureWow Executive Editor. 

3. High School Musical (2006)

  • Who’s In It: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale
  • Run Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

HSM will always be a top three DCOM masterpiece. Whether you watched Disney Channel religiously or not, this 2003 musical is still one of the most well-known musical movies of all time. The story follows Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), the captain of the basketball team and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgen), a shy brainy teen, along with a bunch of Wildcat students who turn the sleepy New Mexico high school into one big theatrical party. As any musical storyline goes, the romantic duo comes from opposing sides, but sing beautifully together. There are way too many hit songs to mention, but a few standouts include “Breaking Free,” “We’re All In This Together” and “Get’cha Head in the Game.” (The soundtrack also hit the Billboard 200.) “High School Musical movies dominated my every waking thought for 4 years and they revived an interest in musical films for many young audiences,” adds Calfee. 

2. The Cheetah Girls 2 (2006)

  • Who’s In It: Raven Symoné, Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, Sabrina Bryan
  • Run Time: 1 hour 38 minutes

While I ultimately made the decisions for the rankings here, all the PureWow editors I spoke to agreed that The Cheetah Girls 2 deserved a spot in the top three—no questions asked. The first movie is precious, but the sequel is in a league of its own. The stunning views of Barcelona had us ready to pack our bags and seeing the Cheetahs together again was the icing on the cake. Of course, the songs are unforgettable, too. There’s “Strut,” “It’s Over,” and “Amigas Cheetahs” (which had us brushing up on our español). Honestly, we can watch this movie over and over again and, in fact, do.  

1. Halloweentown(1998)

  • Who’s In It: Kimberly J. Brown, Debbie Reynolds, Judith Hoag
  • Run Time: 1 hour 24 minutes

The number one movie on our list has got to be Halloweentown. It’s our ultimate comfort movie and the best Halloween flick around. The story opens with Marnie Piper (Kimberly J. Brown) learning that her grandmother Aggie Cromwell (Debbie Reynolds) is a witch and that her town is actually a magical place called Halloweentown. The 13-year-old also discovers that her whole fam are witches and they come from a long line of legendary magical beans. It’s a lighthearted film that has cheesy (yet super cool) spells, a core theme around family and brings this fictional town to life that we wish we can visit every time October rolls around. Honestly, it doesn’t have to be spooky season to pop this on, because it’s definitely a year-round classic in our eyes. 

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about face matte fluid eye paint review chelsea candelario

Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...