The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (2024)

The premieres of Disney Channel Original Movies — or DCOMs, if you will — used to be like the Super Bowl of children's entertainment. Who could forget the double-premiere of 's Cow Belles and the Hannah Montana pilot in 2006, or the High School Musical 2 weekend extravaganza with a singalong version and the cast answering fan questions in 2007?

Since the OG DCOM, Under Wraps, first premiered in 1997, Disney Channel has pumped out more than 100 titles, and we've sifted through them to bring you the finest 40 picks — most of them throwbacks like Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999) and The Even Stevens Movie (2003), with a few more recent ones like Zombies (2018).

Ahead, see our definitive ranking of the 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies.

40. Jett Jackson: The Movie (2001)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (1)

The Famous Jett Jackson TV series stands as one of the more memorable Disney Channel properties with the titular Jackson (Lee Thompson Young) playing a secret agent on a show within the show. While never the most beloved series, it had a devoted enough following to earn itself a DCOM that saw Jackson switch lives with his fictional TV counterpart. The film doesn't really stand the test of time compared to other DCOM classics, but it deserves a spot on the list for its unique premise and for keeping the franchise alive beyond its three seasons. —Jonathon Dornbush

Where to watch Jett Jackson: The Movie: Amazon Prime Video (to rent)

39. Rip Girls (2000)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (2)

Rip Girls ultimately feels like a lesser combination of Disney's other sports movies: The surfing of Johnny Tsunami (1999), the skating of Brink! (1998), and the message of celebrating the importance of friendship in…well, every DCOM. The movie has its moments, with a young Camilla Belle at the center, but it ends up as a forgettable though still enjoyable mishmash of the DCOM sports genre without staking a claim for itself. —J.D.

Where to watch Rip Girls: Disney+

38. Stepsister From Planet Weird (2000)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (3)

Teen angst ain't easy...especially when you're not from this planet. Megan Larson (Courtnee Draper) and Ariel Cola (Tamara Hope) couldn't be any more different: Megan's a social climber looking for love with cool boy-next-door Cutter (Tom Wright), and Ariel's a bright pink bubble from the planet Circulon (now in the form of a blond-haired, well-spoken teen with a penchant for Coca-Cola). The two have trouble seeing eye to eye, but when the emperor of Ariel's planet arrives and disturbs the peace, Megan and Ariel put their differences aside to defeat him with a little wind power. Ah, family bonding! —Megan Daley

Where to watch Stepsister From Planet Weird: Disney+

37. Don't Look Under the Bed (1999)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (4)

Just about every kid is scared of what could be under their bed. Disney, taking advantage of that, created a somewhat memorable tale about the bogeyman. Was it inventive? No. Was it scary? Kind of. Would we rewatch it if it were on? Probably. —Samantha Highfill

Where to watch Don't Look Under the Bed: Disney+

36. Eddie's Million Dollar Cook-Off (2003)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (5)

It was refreshing to see a depiction of a young boy's passion for cooking in this 2003 DCOM, even if it did come with the stereotypical apron and "Eddie Crocker" jokes. Taylor Ball delivers a winning portrayal as a high schooler whose father wants him to be the next A-Rod, while he secretly aspires to be a Tyler Florence. The cooking sequences are cool to watch, and maybe it's the nostalgia talking, but the recipes Eddie concocts look pretty damn delectable (well, not his earlier attempts). —Rachel Yang

Where to watch Eddie's Million Dollar Cook-Off: Disney+

35. Zombies (2018)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (6)

Just when the DCOM dynasty began to look a little lifeless, along came Zombies to revive its magical wand. Set at Seabrook High, this musical tells the tale of two star-crossed students — zombie football jock Zed (Milo Manheim) and human cheerleader Addison (Meg Donnelly) — who form an unlikely alliance to combat intolerance in their split community. While quite predictable and unbearably cliché, the flick radiates that classic DCOM charm with infectious music and choreography. —James Mercadante

Where to watch Zombies: Disney+

34. Double Teamed (2002)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (7)

DCOM movies were never short on inspirational, uplifting messages, and Double Teamed drew on real life to score with its girl power message. Based on real professional basketball players Heather (Poppi Monroe) and Heidi Burge (Annie McElwain), it follows two high school girls who are pushed by their overly competitive father to play basketball in pursuit of college scholarships. While initially reluctant to give in to his demands, the two sisters learn the value of teamwork and a love of the game that ultimately propels them to the WNBA. Other DCOM entries might handle it with more subtlety, but you can't knock the winning combo of sibling rivalry, overbearing parents, and team sport as a metaphor for life. This one is nothing but net. —Maureen Lee Lenker

Where to watch Double Teamed: Disney+

33. Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge (2001)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (8)

The Halloweentown series was definitely subject to diminishing returns, but the first sequel managed to retain some of the original's magic. In the grand tradition of Carnivale — when the rich became poor and up was down — Kalabar's (Robin Thomas) villainous son (Daniel Kountz) plans to turn Halloweentown boring and the real world monstrous. The result was some genuine horror, if you were the right age at the time. —Christian Holub

Where to watch Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge: Disney+

32. Can of Worms (1999)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (9)

The truth is out there, and Mike Pillsbury (Michael Shulman) wants to believe: Mulder-in-training Mike feels out of place on Earth because he's terrible at sports and even worse with the ladies, so he reaches out to the citizens of the galaxy — and every creepy, slimy extraterrestrial in the Milky Way arrives to help. While Can of Worms isn't as iconic of a PG-fright fest as Halloweentown, it does have a Malcolm McDowell-voiced pup — and an alien has never been so friendly and adorable. (Bonus points for a special appearance by a pre-Parenthood Erika Christensen.) —M.D.

Where to watch Can of Worms: Disney+

31. Under Wraps (1997)

Disney Channel's Halloween-themed films give more mature scary movies a run for their money, mixing fun and fear together with a little bit of heart. In Under Wraps, some kids befriend a mummy (Bill fa*gerbakke) — whom they're initially terrified of, because who wouldn't be? — with far more problems than just being dead. The unlikely friendship highlights the lesson that one shouldn't judge a book by its cover — or, in this case, a mummy by its wrapping — and manages to be absurdly (as in, this movie is flat-out absurd) amusing all the while. —Ariana Bacle

Where to watch Under Wraps: Google Play (to buy)

30. Zenon: The Zequel (2001)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (11)

Zenon Kar (Kirsten Storms) is right back where she started in Zenon: The Zequel, as the space station is now under a not-so-nice new commander (Stuart Pinkin). And when the now-threatened space station faces destruction, it's up to Zenon to team up with Proto Zoa (Phillip Rhys) and a few friendly aliens in order to save the day. That's no problem — it's all in a day's work for the galaxy's coolest teen. We give it two and a half zooms out of three. (Notable difference: Zequel swaps Raven-Symoné for Shadia Simmons as Zenon's trusty BFF, Nebula Wade. But don't worry, Raven-Symoné returns for the final installment, Zenon: Z3.) —M.D.

Where to watch Zenon: The Zequel: Disney+

29. Up, Up, and Away (2000)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (12)

Now that superheroes are a global blockbuster industry, many are calling for more diversification of the genre. In this context, it's fun to remember Up, Up, and Away. The movie mostly focuses on the relationship between a misfit "normal" son and his superpowered family, and it remains one of the most diverse superhero movies ever, of any type. —C.H.

Where to watch Up, Up, and Away: Disney+

28. Camp Rock (2008)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (13)

The Jonas Brothers' acting debut follows the guys as they attend a music summer camp in hopes of rejuvenating their fictional group's creative juices. Joe Jonas' abs made an appearance as he seeks out an unidentified songstress with a beautiful voice, while Kevin Jonas' character constantly proclaims his love of birdhouses and Nick Jonas makes it clear he'll be the breakout actor of the three. Stocked with catchy original tunes, the 2008 DCOM paired Demi Lovato with the JoBros for the first time, sparking a summer tour together in 2010 tied to Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. In addition to a sequel that features Camp Rock going up against their ritzy rivals in a televised sing-off, the film also spawned two seasons of the JoBros' Disney series, Jonas. —Dana Rose Falcone

Where to watch Camp Rock: Disney+

27. Tru Confessions (2002)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (14)

Tru Confessions may not be as infinitely quotable as, say, Zenon, but that doesn't mean it's not memorable. The drama follows a teen girl (Clara Bryant) making a documentary about her brother with intellectual disabilities — played by Shia LaBeouf, who proved his skills could (and do) go deeper than the wise-cracking boy he played in Even Stevens. It also showed that Disney Channel could portray a different kind of family with tact and heart. —A.B.

Where to watch Tru Confessions: Disney+

26. Quints (2000)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (15)

Forgive the terrible, horrible, cringe-worthy teen tagline ("As if life at 14 isn't twisted enough!") and you have a solid sisterly movie appealing to the big sister of five babies in all of us. There's Kimberly J. Brown again, this time playing an only child whose world is — SPOILER! — turned upside down. Quints isn't high art, but it is memorable for its awful use of breaking the fourth wall, when Brown's Jamie would turn to the audience and make a completely bizarre joke before explaining that she was just making sure we were paying attention. IT WAS 2000, JAMIE! WE WERE WITH YOU THE WHOLE TIME. —Marc Snetiker

Where to watch Quints: Disney+

25. The Even Stevens Movie (2003)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (16)

Everyone knows you can't out-prank the ultimate prankster: Louis Stevens (Shia LaBeouf). The Even Stevens Movie finds the entire Stevens family swept away to what they believe is a tropical island for a much-needed vacation. They eventually field countless roadblocks before discovering the whole trip isn't quite what it seems: They're actually part of a new, hit reality television show — but no one can outwit, outplay, and outlast the Stevens family. (Although who wasn't a little worried for Louis with that moment on the cliff?) —M.D.

Where to watch The Even Stevens Movie: Disney+

24. The Color of Friendship (2000)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (17)

Many DCOMs are frivolous yet fun affairs; The Color of Friendship is not one of those. This relatively dramatic movie tackles racism and acceptance through the intertwined story of two girls, one from Washington, D.C. (Shadia Simmons), and the other from South Africa (Lindsey Haun). The Disney Channel took a risk by unapologetically making a necessary albeit heavy statement about prejudice with one of their kid-focused films, and it was well worth it. —A.B.

Where to watch The Color of Friendship: Disney+

23. Motocrossed (2001)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (18)

Call it a very loose adaptation of Twelfth Night (Shakespeare sure did love his motocross), but Motocross and its feminist message are among the finer examples of Disney's girl power and sports films. Throw in the love story of Andrea (Alana Austin) and Dean (Riley Smith) as the former pretends to be her brother Andrew, and you've got one of the more well-executed unrequited loves of a DCOM peppered throughout some intense (okay…intense by DCOM standards) motocross action. —J.D.

Where to watch Motorcrossed: Disney+

22. Gotta Kick It Up! (2002)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (19)

All of the classic DCOM ingredients are present: A team sport (cheerleading!), an encouraging catchphrase ("Sí, se puede!"), a true story (about a middle school dance troupe training for the big competition!), a big competition (see: previous parentheses), a progressively refreshing Latina cast, a future star (pre-Ugly Betty America Ferrera), and an inexplicable older one (Susan Egan, who originated Belle in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway). Yes, we can! —M.S.

Where to watch Gotta Kick It Up!: Disney+

21. Descendants (2015)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (20)

Who knew a film about the offspring of Disney villains would become one of the most successful DCOM franchises ever? With King Beast (Dan Payne) and Queen Belle (Keegan Connor Tracy) banishing all of the evil-doers from Auradon to the magic-free Isle of the Lost, soon-to-be-king Ben (Mitchell Hope) extends an olive branch to four "Rotten to the Core" teens: Mal (Dove Cameron), daughter of Maleficent (Kristin Chenoweth); Carlos (Cameron Boyce), son of Cruella de Vil (Wendy Raquel Robinson); Jay (Booboo Stewart), son of Jafar (Maz Jobrani); and Evie (Sofia Carson), daughter of the Evil Queen (Kathy Najimy). These misfit progeny get a shot at redemption, far from their nefarious parents, and attend a straitlaced boarding school teeming with the children of Disney sweethearts. Spawning three sequels, the original Descendants is the most wicked, as it flips Disney's lore on its head and features standout performances from its cast stacked with rising stars and veteran actors. —J.M.

Where to watch Descendants: Disney+

20. Teen Beach Movie (2013)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (21)

In this ultra-meta, Grease-meets-Pleasantville musical romp, surfer couple Brady (Ross Lynch) and McKenzie (Maia Mitchell) are swept away into their favorite 1960s musical, Wet Side Story. Marooned in a colorful world where surfers, bikers, and other Big Momma's patrons all have the same one-dimensional, romantic outlook on life, Brady and McKenzie's presence and modern-day attitudes tamper with the film's original plot — risking the chance of them morphing into the film, forever singing and dancing against their will. The soundtrack alone earns Teen Beach Movie a spot on any list, but this campy, silly caper grew to be a go-to comfort film for many Gen-Zers. So, nostalgia and fun win this round! —J.M.

Where to watch Teen Beach Movie: Disney+

19. Stuck in the Suburbs (2004)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (22)

Here's your friendly reminder that Taran Killam played a Justin Timberlake-like pop singer in a DCOM before he was cast on Saturday Night Live. An accidental phone swap gives Danielle Panabaker and Disney Channel's ubiquitous best friend, Brenda Song, control over the life of pop star Jordan Cahill (Killam). It's basically 2004's version of "hacking," and is still amazing to watch — flip phone and all. —Dylan Kickham

Where to watch Stuck in the Suburbs: Disney+

18. Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior (2006)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (23)

Brenda Song stars as the reluctant heroine Wendy, who cares more about popularity than saving the world, even after she finds out it's her destiny to stop the villainous Yan-Lo. But her priorities change when monk Shen (Shin Koyamada) teaches her about Chinese culture and trains her in kung fu, which makes for some exciting fight scenes. And although it was already a cliché, even in 2006, for Asian characters to only show up in martial arts movies, this film went deeper than you'd expect for a DCOM. It was surprisingly moving to see Wendy and her parents, third and second-generation Chinese Americans, grapple with their identity after losing touch with their roots. Song's charming performance also helped redeem the film's faults, and this role, along with her scene-stealing London Tipton in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, cemented her title as one of the reigning queens of the Disney Channel. —R.Y.

Where to watch Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior: Disney+

17. The Ultimate Christmas Present (2000)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (24)

What other DCOM — or movie for that matter — spreads a message about the wonders of weather? With Santa's (John B. Lowe) weather machine lost in the world, he has to reclaim it from the two teenage girls (Brenda Song and Halle Hirsch) who discover it. (Side note: Santa can keep track of delivering presents to every kid on the planet, but he can't remember where he left a world-altering weather machine? No wonder Santa had his suit stolen in a DCOM a year later.) Delightfully cheery and cheesy, The Ultimate Christmas Present is one of the more adorable but ultimately uplifting holiday-themed DCOMs. —J.D.

Where to watch The Ultimate Christmas Present: Disney+

16. Phantom of the Megaplex (2000)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (25)

This one makes the list because as a middle school-aged viewer, it was legitimately terrifying. Pete (Taylor Handley) tries to manage a movie premiere at the theater where he works while trying to impress his girlfriend (Heather Bertram) and dealing with his siblings (Caitlin Wachs, Jacob Smith) running around the multiscreen megaplex. Meanwhile, an unknown apparition seeks to destroy the evening by wreaking havoc on each theater, theming its disasters based on what movie is playing. We have no idea how Disney got Mickey Rooney involved, but his endearing performance as a movie-loving older man makes you believe in the magic of cinema before Eli Wallach does the same as Arthur in The Holiday six years later. —D.R.F.

Where to watch Phantom of the Megaplex: Disney+

15. Johnny Tsunami (1999)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (26)

Plucked from his surfing life in Hawaii, Johnny Kapahala (Brandon Baker) — Johnny Tsunami is actually his grandfather — faces the cold weather and even chillier competition on the slopes of Vermont as he adapts to the snowboarding community. One of the finest fish-out-of-water DCOMs around, Johnny Tsunami also acts as a mini-Avengers of Disney Channel movie stars, with actors from Zenon and Jett Jackson appearing in supporting roles. From giving a snowboarding community soap opera-level lore to the ups and downs of Johnny's athletic and romantic lives, Johnny Tsunami is one of the most fun DCOM rides, no matter the weather. —J.D.

Where to watch Johnny Tsunami: Disney+

14. Lemonade Mouth (2011)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (27)

Disney Channel set flight a rock & roll Breakfast Club (1985) with its movie musical adaptation of Mark Peter Hughes' titular 2007 novel, where five students from different backgrounds — Olivia (Bridgit Mendler), Mo (Hayley Kiyoko), Charlie (Blake Mitchell), Stella (Naomi Scott), and Wen (Adam Hicks) — meet in detention and emerge as a band. Rather than falling into the trap of creating another High School Musical, Lemonade Mouth stands apart as one of the most progressive films in the DCOM catalog. The film explores often-underrepresented experiences such as identity struggles, second-generation immigrant pressures, and imprisoned parents, all while sending out messages of equality and amplifying your voice. (Plus, with smash singles like "Determinate" and "She's So Gone," it was our civic duty to give this sleeper hit its proper flowers.)—J.M.

Where to watch Lemonade Mouth: Disney+

13. Cadet Kelly (2002)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (28)

The story of a free-spirited city girl caught between her individuality and her duty to others, Cadet Kelly might as well be the DCOM version of The Princess Diaries (2001) — but instead of finding out that she's a princess, Kelly Collins (Hilary Duff) gets sent to military school. When her new stepdad, "Sir" (Gary Cole), lands his dream job as the commandant of the same academy his father once ran, Kelly is thrown into a world of uniforms and obstacle courses, presided over by no-nonsense Cadet Captain Jennifer Stone (Christy Carlson Romano). The two go to battle over everything from drill competitions to the school's cutest guy (Shawn Ashmore), but the relationship that saves the day is the one between Kelly and her family...and ribbon dancing. —Kelly Connolly

Where to watch Cadet Kelly: Disney+

12. Twitches (2005)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (29)

Twitches is an upbeat, Harry Potter-lite fantasy with double the hero. While most Americans toast their 21st birthdays with a couple of shots, Alexandra "Alex" (Tia Mowry) and Camryn "Cam" (Tamera Mowry-Housley) — separated at birth and handed vastly different upbringings — spend theirs reuniting by chance and discovering they're not just twins, but twin witches...twitches! Together, they must navigate their newfound powers and catch up on two decades of missed sisterhood, ultimately teaming up to battle an evil entity known as the Darkness. Though not up to par with Halloweentown's legacy, Twitches is easily one of DCOM's best spooky staples, with the Mowry sisters' chemistry outshining the film's comically lousy CGI. —J.M.

Where to watch Twitches: Disney+

11. Get a Clue (2002)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (30)

Sadly, fellow made-for-TV movie Life-Size (2000) is technically not a DCOM and thus is not eligible for this list — but thankfully Lindsay Lohan's other preteen masterpiece, Get a Clue, is. The high school detective movie actually delivers on a pretty original plot about a missing teacher, plus we get to see Lohan as a proto-Mean Girl stomping around Manhattan in puffy pink jackets and sunglasses with orange lenses. —D.K.

Where to watch Get a Clue: Disney+

10. The Thirteenth Year (1999)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (31)

One of the best things about DCOMs is that they aren't afraid to go genre. The Thirteenth Year addresses similar themes as other movies on this list — transitioning from childhood to adolescence and learning to accept responsibility for your actions — but does so through a fun dose of mermaid mythology. A successful high school swimmer gaining an unfair advantage through his sudden sprouting of gills and webbed feet remains one of the most fun Teen Wolf riffs to date. —C.H.

Where to watch The Thirteenth Year: Disney+

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

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (32)

Fans of the show knew bits of Wizards of Waverly Place's lore as exposition for the Russo family's setup of three wizard kids learning magic from their ex-wizard dad Jerry and mortal mom Theresa. Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie turned the wizardly backstory into an epic adventure, opening a gateway for young unbeknownst fantasy fans everywhere while also delivering a classically wholesome story about the importance of family and a parent's unconditional love. The most fun comes from watching young Selena Gomez as Alex — the reason we all were carrying our Harry Potter wands in our Hunger Games combat boots for years — using magic in every single way a kid could for both good (manifesting live subtitles to translate Spanish into English) and bad (accidentally wishing your parents never met). Sibling love — and Theresa (Maria Canals-Barrera) exercising her Mortal Mom greatness — saves the day in this unforgettable DCOM. —Morgan Sanguedolce

Where to watch Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie: Disney+

8. The Cheetah Girls 2 (2006)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (33)

If any film of the Cheetah Girls trilogy earns its spot — well, many spots — on this list, it's the 2006 sequel that saw Galleria (Raven-Symoné), Chanel (Adrienne Bailon-Houghton), Dorinda (Sabrina Bryan), and Aqua (Kiely Williams) dancing down the streets of Barcelona to chase their girl group dreams. Becoming one of Disney Channel's highest-rated premieres with 7.8 million viewers, The Cheetah Girls 2 took all the best elements of the original and amped up the cheetaliciousness: more coordinated outfits, superior choreography, an even better soundtrack, improved character development (Aqua finally gets a personality!), and overall a more cohesive, dramatic story. By the end, you'll feel like a lifelong member of the "Amigas Cheetahs" crew (or at least wish to "Strut" atop Park Güell's Dragon Stairway). —J.M.

Where to watch The Cheetah Girls 2: Disney+

7. High School Musical (2006)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (34)

First, take off your cool cap and check the scoreboard for a second: High School Musical's first broadcast reached 7.7 million viewers, its soundtrack went triple-platinum, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens launched into household-name superstardom, and the film's 2007 sequel would become one of the single most-watched basic-cable shows ever. There's no denying the sheer status quo-shaking power of HSM, but, more importantly, it's actually a pretty damn good musical in the grand theatrical tradition. Ensemble numbers, karaoke ballads, and whatever the hell Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) and Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) did all bubble together into a cohesive teen tuner worthy of following in the footsteps of Grease and Bye Bye Birdie. And perhaps its biggest achievement of all? It made musical theater kids like basketball. —M.S.

Where to watch High School Musical: Disney+

6. High School Musical 2 (2007)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (35)

If you think sequels always strike out, High School Musical 2 will have you dancing to a different beat. Not only is it the highest-rated DCOM in Disney Channel history — and once the reigning champ of basic cable viewership — but it also blows the original out of the water with its overall enhanced quality in song and heart (and a cameo from Miley Cyrus in her Hannah Montana prime). This time, the Wildcats break free from East High, and Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) finds himself torn between kicking it with his friends and going for his future basketball dreams. While the passionate teen theatrics heat up in HSM2, there is also a 10/10 soundtrack that fabulously merges with the movie's breezy, sun-soaked atmosphere. —J.M.

Where to watch High School Musical 2: Disney+

5. The Luck of the Irish (2001)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (36)

This DCOM is one of the tops (of the mornin' to ya). When high school basketball star Kyle (Ryan Merriman) tries to learn more about his family heritage for a school project, he learns he's Irish the hard way — by losing the family's lucky coin to an evil leprechaun and watching his family revert to their original leprechaun forms, complete with red hair and pointy ears (you know, relatable teenage stuff). It puts a fun spin on the leprechaun myth, and the climax where Kyle battles the villainous Russell (a delightful Timothy Omundson) in traditional competitions like wrestling and step dance is both hilarious and exciting. But ultimately, it's the message that we make our own luck that charmed its way into our hearts and has these Irish eyes smiling. —M.L.L.

Where to watch The Luck of the Irish: Disney+

4. Brink! (1998)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (37)

"Let's blade, brah." Has there ever been a more perfectly '90s construction of words? Along with the hilariously nostalgic lingo, Brink! earns its place in the pantheon of great DCOMs for mixing adrenaline, drama, and one-time Disney golden boy Erik von Detten. The movie tells the story of a teenager who loves in-line skating with his friends, but is lured to the cruel and dishonest Team X-Bladz to make money for his struggling family. In the end, we all learn what it truly means to be a Soul Skater. —D.K.

Where to watch Brink!: Disney+

3. Halloweentown (1998)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (38)

Hocus Pocus (1993), I'mma let you finish, but Halloweentown is one of the greatest Halloween movies of all time. Of all time! Consider Kimberly J. Brown, a staple of "Who's that girl?" familiarity who ravaged her way through Disney Channel Original Movies like Minnie Mouse through a mascara sample sale. In Halloweentown, the first in an eventual four-picture franchise, Brown warms your latte as a teen witch who discovers a family secret, rides a magical bus, defeats a demon sorcerer, and falls in love with a disfigured goblin. What a chameleon! You may have literally never known her name, but hell if she wasn't the Jennifer Lawrence of late-'90s made-for-TV children's films. —M.S.

Where to watch Halloweentown: Disney+

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

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (39)

Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century puts a new twist on a classic fish-out-of-water narrative. This time, the story is about a young girl getting sent to Earth after spending her entire life in a space station — sorry, she was "grounded"...get it? And that's the perfect example of how Zenon never takes itself too seriously. It has ridiculous language, ridiculous clothes, and is ridiculously fun. It will forever be one of the most addictive things Disney's ever done. —S.H.

Where to watch Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century: Disney+

1. Smart House (1999)

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (40)

The LeVar Burton-directed (yes, that LeVar Burton) Smart House isn't just a movie about a, well, smart house. It's a movie about a boy losing his mother, his resistance to change, and technology's fast and inevitable takeover. What earns the movie this top spot on the list is its combination of sob-worthy emotion — that scene where Ben (Ryan Merriman) revisits home videos of his late mom continues to be one of the most moving moments to air on the Disney Channel — and light-hearted glee, like when Ben leads his party guests through a now-classic dance routine to Five's "Slam Dunk (Da Funk)," showing that kids can be just as complex as adults. Plus, Katey Sagal's turn as the good-gone-evil-gone-good resident hologram is nothing short of iconic. —A.B.

Where to watch Smart House: Disney+

The 40 best Disney Channel Original Movies, ranked (2024)


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