If it’s not already obvious, I’m in love with Disney Channel Original Movies. The best ones were from the late 90’s but I admit that I love the later ones too. All of these movies may be sprinkled with a different theme, but each still has a moral lesson that teaches us about ourselves and others. Here are the challenges the characters had to face & the lessons they and the audience learned along the way.
Luck Of The Irish
Challenge: Teen boy becomes a leprechaun, encounters evil middle aged men who challenge him, and is forced to suck at basketball.
Lesson: He learns about his Irish heritage and learns it’s more than just luck.
Challenge: Brink’s family is short on cash so he breaks his soul skating rule and joins the dark side with mean Val.
Lesson: At the end of the day, Brink stays true to his friends. His dad doesn’t understand him but they patch things up of course.
Challenge: A young girl moves to Hawaii to make sense of the past of her deceased mother. Sydney and her dad own the island and must decide whether to sell it or not. Her dad wants to sell it because the island brings bad memories for him.
Lesson: Be a loyal friend. Stay true to where you are from.
Challenge: Cody turns into a merman on his 13th birthday. It doesn’t get more complicated than that!
Lesson: Learn about who you are and where you came from. And never desert your friends.
Challenge: Roscoe is a tech geek. His best friend Samantha is the lead singer and guitarist for her band the Zetta Bytes. They aren’t getting gigs because Sam doesn’t dance around like a popstar. Roscoe creates a hologram of a beautiful perfect pop star.
Lesson: Although Loretta seemingly has it all, she isn’t real. She envies Sam because even though she’s imperfect, her thoughts and feelings are real. Basically, you have to accept who you are, flaws and all.
Challenge: Johnny is a Hawaiian surfer who loves his life. His dad gets a job transfer and Johnny is forced to move to Vermont. Vermont has two schools, a private school where everyone is a skier and a public school with snowboarders. Johnny faces drama between the girl he likes and the boy that likes her.
Lesson: Always be open to change. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Fitting in is overrated, nothing is wrong with standing out.
High School Musical
Challenge: Troy sings Karaoke over Winter Break with a girl named Gabriella. She then shows up at his school and Troy desperately wants to sing instead of just playing basketball. His dad is the coach and doesn’t accept his singing. The rest of the school believes you must stick to the status quo.
Lesson: You don’t just have to be the basketball guy. Once Troy’s dad sees him singing with Gabriella, he knows it’s his sons passion. The rest of the school also accepts Troy and Gabriella’s hobby and also is open about the things they love that aren’t traditional for the clique they are apart of.
Challenge: Mitchie is an aspiring singer who wants to attend Camp Rock. She can’t afford it but her mother becomes a cook and Mitchie is allowed to attend in exchange for her help in the kitchen. She convinces the mean girl that her mom is the President of Hot Tunes TV in China in order to fit in with everyone else. Shane Gray, the spoiled singer of trio Connect 3 helps the campers with dance classes. Shane and Mitchie form a bond but he is oblivious to who she really is.
Lesson: Be comfortable with who you are. If you’re good at something, how much money you have doesn’t matter. Just show your talents and disregard everything else. Don’t worry about what people think about you.
Challenge: Christopher Wilde is a popular teen pop star. Jessica is a regular girl from Michigan visiting her Grandma in LA. Her sister Sarah is obsessed with Wilde, who Jessica seriously loathes. Jessica is forced to accompany her sister to a show where Christopher accidentally hits Jessica with a door and she winds up spending the rest of the evening with him. The two grow close but the pop star is being considered for a movie and they believe Jessica is bad for his imagine. Christopher denies he knows her and makes Jessica look like a stalker.
Lesson: After an intervention from his best friend, Christopher sees that he’s let other people dictate his life. He realizes he wants to be with Jessica and nothing else matters. How can real people learn from this? It’s important to make your own choices and think of yourself no matter if your famous or not.