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Which Disney Channel Original Movie Musical Has Your Heart?

Cover Photo by Jayme McColgan via Unsplash

If you’re reading this, I’m 99% sure that at some point in your life, you’ve tried to draw the Disney logo in the air while the words “And you’re watching Disney Channel” came out of your mouth in the peppiest voice possible. Haven’t we all? While staple shows like The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Wizards of Waverly Place are certainly masterpieces in their own right, it’s hard to ignore the massive influence of Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs). Even within this category, though, we all know which films really take the cake – the ones to which we can lip sync and dance along.

Believe it or not, the collection of Originals goes all the way back to the 1990s. (Even before then, however, Disney Channel had its own group of “Disney Channel Premiere Films,” the first of which was made in 1983.) To date, over 100 films have joined this club of elites, and several musical installments have received especially high marks. 

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane to determine the ultimate winner – which Disney Channel Original Movie Musical has, and will always have, your heart?


The Cheetah Girls

This song and dance extravaganza first premiered in 2003, with a sequel released in 2006 and a third film in 2008. It might surprise you to know that in the book series upon which the movies are based, there are actually five, not four, Cheetah Girls. Regardless, upbeat anthems like “Cheetah Sisters” will be eternally stuck in my head. This movie was also the genesis of my love for neon tracksuit sets. 


High School Musical

It’s pretty hard to overstate the popularity of this classic. The first iteration appeared in 2006, luring in hordes of fans with Ryan’s killer jazz squares. 2007 saw the next (and, arguably, the best) addition to the series, and the chapter came to a bittersweet end in 2008. Some of my favorite tracks from this franchise include “Bop to the Top,” “Bet On It,” and “I Don’t Dance,” even though the latter is practically dripping in irony. This series will have me laughing, crying, and looking up “academic decathlon” quicker than you can say “we’re all in this together.”



Jump In!

This 2007 movie is practically guaranteed to make you want to grab a jump rope and head outside, and then back inside once you realize how hard jumping rope actually is. The film showcases certified superstars Corbin Bleu and Keke Palmer as they navigate the wild world of Double Dutch. “Push It to the Limit” remains the best workout jam to this day, and “Jumpin’” isn’t far behind. 


Camp Rock

This Disney Channel Original Movie is the perfect blend of canoes and choruses. It first broke onto the scene in 2008, and the intensely exciting sequel followed in 2010. This franchise gives us all three of the Jonas Brothers and an excellent dose of the 2000s fashion trend we love to hate. Camp Rock is also the home of so many memorable and meme-able moments, the most notable being “She’s Really Good!”




If you’re telling me you’ve never completely rocked out to “Something About the Sunshine,” you’re lying. Not exactly a musical, this 2010 cinematic triumph follows the story of a heartthrob musician (Sterling Knight) and his budding romance with an abrasive yet lovable stranger (Danielle Campbell). I’ll never forget the iconic moment where an entire car gets submerged in the mud, and the characters just leave it there.


Lemonade Mouth

Lemonade might be sour, but this 2011 movie is all sweet. This movie checks several boxes – incredible camaraderie, that lovely full-circle feeling, and rockin’ tunes – all while tackling issues of love, loss, and complex familial relationships. “Determinate” might be this film’s best-known banger, but hey! Let’s not downplay the star quality of “She’s So Gone” or “Don’t Ya Wish U Were Us.”


Let it Shine

This 2012 hit is chock full of invigorating beats and juicy rap battles. In a classic unfortunate logistical twist, budding artist Cyrus (Tyler James Williams) must work to emerge from the shadow of his charismatic best friend. “Don’t Run Away” is perhaps this film’s best track, and it remains a total bop to this day. (Don’t worry – we don’t just “like like” this movie; we adore it.)



Teen Beach Movie

Don’t even get me started on this magnificent manifestation of musical genius. The original film was released in 2013, and a followup came later in 2015. Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell are perfect in their roles, and the entire cast is bursting with energy and impressive dance abilities. It’s beachy and oldschool and fun, with spirited songs like “Surf Crazy” as well as more subdued ones like “Falling for Ya.” 

Which is your favorite? Let us know in the poll below!

Cover Photo by Jayme McColgan via Unsplash

  • Which Disney Channel Original Movie musical has your heart?

    • The Cheetah Girls
    • High School Musical
    • Jump In!
    • Camp Rock
    • StarStruck
    • Lemonade Mouth
    • Let it Shine
    • Teen Beach Movie


Written by Megan Pontin

Enthusiastic word-collector, avid pancake-consumer, and experienced hammock-lounger. Student at Cornell University.

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