Flashback to the Disney Channel Movie Era

Let It Shine

Why it was awesome

“Let It Shine” captured many young hearts back in 2012 with its charming blend of hip-hop, rap, and gospel music, and a story that connected with young people.

The story unfolds as Cyrus, a shy but talented musician who pens romantic hip-hop verses, wins a music writing contest with his best friend Kris.

Cyrus has feelings for the contest host, a music star named Roxie, who assumes Kris was the writer. Cyrus does nothing to correct her, before he eventually stands up for himself.

The movie was relatable to anyone with religious parents, as Cyrus’s father is a preacher who shuns rap music.

What is still awesome?

The soundtrack had viewers the most intrigued, and it’s still jam packed with soulful ballads, funky jams and hip hop beats. And the showstopper finale had Roxie and Cyrus singing “Let It Shine,” a classic gospel-folk tune.

Why isn’t it so awesome?

While it is a main part of the plot, Cyrus is too much of a nice guy for his own good which gets frustrating at times. Much of the plot plays out predictably as per usual for a Disney channel original, but eventually misunderstandings and conflicts get cleared up.

By Iman Hassan

Lemonade Mouth

Why was it so awesome?

“Lemonade Mouth” was lovable for a few reasons.

It starred the icon Bridgit Mendler, known best for her role as “Teddy” in “Good Luck Charlie.” Seeing Mendler in a different, yet equally memorable role in a new movie was really exciting as a kid.

Also, it was pretty hilarious. There was a lot of slapstick humor which certainly appealed to its target audience of children. The scene in the cafeteria where Ray, the movie’s villain, confronts the members of the band was and still is really funny.

What is still awesome?

“Lemonade Mouth” deals with a lot of mature and compelling themes—death, bullying, self-acceptance, and divorce to name a few. In this regard, it actually holds up quite well.

Sure it’s a fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it has a lot going for it to keep an audience engaged. The music is impressive—”Determinate” slaps—and that scene at the beginning when they’re all in detention and they improvise a song is unforgettable.

What isn’t so awesome?

While “Lemonade Mouth” was and still is a pretty entertaining watch, it isn’t particularly good.

Aside from Mendler, the performances really aren’t anything to write home about. Because music is the focal point of the movie, the film employs a number of musicians who really cannot act.

By Samuel Colmar


Why was it so awesome?

Disney’s movie “Zapped” is iconic for many reasons including the plot.

The movie is about a 16-year-old girl, Zoey, whose mom has just remarried and they move in with her new stepdad and step brothers. While dog training with an app on her phone, she learns that she can control boys as well, and she uses this discovery to control her step brothers.

The movie was based on the book “Boys are Dogs” by Leslie Margolis.

What is still awesome?

The movie is especially awesome because of the humor. In one funny scene, Zoey’s shoes are ruined but she still participates in dance tryouts which turns into a disaster.

Another reason this movie is awesome is because viewers get to see a teenage Zendaya who plays the main character Zoey. She’s grown older and played other iconic roles such as MJ in  “Spider-Man: Homecoming ” and Rue in HBO’s “Euphoria.”

What isn’t so awesome?

The dancing that was so “cool” five years ago is cringe when watched today. The snaps and the glare faces the characters make during the dance off scene are embarrassing.

By Brianah Harris


Why was it awesome?

Just as Gen Z was falling for Justin Bieber, Disney’s “Starstruck” gave viewers a movie about a girl who falls head over heels over her sister’s celebrity crush after meeting him unexpectedly.  The story was relatable for many girls when they first saw Bieber.

What is still awesome?

The movie creates a motivational feeling that helps viewers realize that they can stick up for themselves.

After making fun of her older sister for liking celebrity singer Christopher Wilde, the main character, Jessica Olsen, falls for him, and she soon finds that celebrities don’t have it as easy as some people think.

Even though she got swept up in the celebrity world and the negative attention that comes with it, she realizes that she can stand up for herself, and that she doesn’t have to be afraid of what the world thinks of her.

And it shows that the nice girl can get the guy.

What isn’t so awesome?

While there are parts that just makes the viewers cringe, they are needed for the storyline.

One scene shows a girl making fun of Jessica, and the movie makes it seem worse than it actually would be. Her sister sticks up for her and that makes them have a closer relationship.

This might seem odd, but it added to the story, because later the girl is just embarrassing as she flirts with Christopher.

By Peyton Waymeyer

Halloweentown High

Why was it awesome?

“Halloween High” was awesome because it was a story of a family trying to solve a mystery in Halloweentown, and the mix of happy and scary elements was just right.

It was something that the whole family could watch, even little kids, because even though there were scares, they weren’t going to cause nightmares.

There was also more than just one movie, so it was something to look forward to the next time you want to watch a movie.

What is still awesome?

The message of the movie of coming together and working together still works and is relatable.

The movie also  has good humor, even if sometimes viewers might laugh because something is so cringey.

Finally, in the movie, people find their missing things in the monster’s cottage. Who wouldn’t want to have a special place to go to find everything that went missing?

What isn’t still awesome?

This is still a great movie but something that isn’t so awesome anymore was the monster.

Monster makeup has gotten better over time, but in this movie, the special effects makeup was not as good as in some movies. It didn’t look real and there were weird shapes on the monster’s face.

By Jasmine Padilla

Camp Rock

Why was it so awesome?

“Camp Rock” is a 2008 movie about a music camp for gifted teens where popular teen idol Shane Gray overhears a girl singing and sets out to find who the talented voice belongs to.

What he doesn’t know is that the girl is actually a camp kitchen worker with a fear of being heard.

The show was one of the most popular Disney Channel movies, watched by 8.9 million viewers on the night of its premiere and trailing only “High School Musical 2” and “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie.”

Disney shows like “Camp Rock” kick-started the fame and popularly of the Jonas Brothers’ and Demi Lovato, who are all in the movie.

What is still awesome?

The movie came out in 2008, but the musical star power of “Camp Rock” combines to make the show a masterpiece of a musical comedy. The songs are catchy and will be in your head for a while if you watch the movie.

Nostalgia hits differently, especially in this movie. Everything about it, from the over the top cringeness to the catchy singing that occurs every few minutes, makes this movie still a good film.

What isn’t so awesome?

While the good parts are greater than the bad parts, some parts of the movie are too cheesy and cringe. Also, the singing breaks out at random times, and the use of Auto-Tune is just ridiculous.

By Tristen Miller