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Next time you're overcome with childhood nostalgia, tune into these amazing Disney Channel original movies

"Lemonade Mouth" is just one of many iconic, nostalgic Disney Channel original movies from any young adult's childhood.  – Photo by Disney+ / Twitter

One of the highlights of my childhood was huddling around the TV, waiting for the newest movie to appear on Disney Channel. Growing up, Disney Channel was my utmost favorite place to consume entertainment, and I still hold tight to those memories today.

In 1997, Disney Channel premiered its first Disney Channel original movie, better known as a “DCOM.” Disney Channel continues to produce these films, creating a brand new subgenre of Disney films for children and their families to enjoy.

DCOMs have spawned some of my peak childhood memories, and I have garnered an intense love for discussing these movies and their importance over the years.

DCOMs are one of my favorite types of Disney movies because they contain actors who were generally prominent on Disney Channel at the time of the film’s release, and they usually contain some sort of musical element with phenomenal songs.

Let’s break down some of my favorite DCOMs that you need to watch during your next movie night ⁠— P.S. they're all available to stream on Disney+.

"The Cheetah Girls" (2003)

“The Cheetah Girls” is truly a classic. If you’ve never seen it, you need to watch it immediately. With an all-star cast starring Raven-Symoné as Galleria, Adrienne Bailon as Chanel, Sabrina Bryan as Dorinda and Kiely Williams as Aqua, there is truly nothing else like this movie.

The film follows the four best friends, better known as the Cheetah Girls, who are aiming to be the first group in their first year of high school to win the talent show. After meeting a famous producer at the auditions, the girls begin to run into a multitude of problems as they try to balance their desire for superstardom with their regular lives.

This movie is filled with amazing music and was co-produced by Whitney Houston, so you know it’s good.

"Twitches" (2005)

Starring Tia and Tamera Mowry, “Twitches” has always been one of my favorite DCOMs since I was little. It’s filled with a great storyline, amazing acting performances and enough spookiness that’s perfect for Halloween time.

“Twitches” follows Alex and Camryn, twins who were separated at birth. On their 21st birthday, a chance meeting introduces the sisters to each other, leading them to learn more about their family and the dark forces that threaten to overtake their kingdom.

This movie is witty, emotional and magically fun and is truly a must-watch if you’ve never seen it before.

"High School Musical 2" (2007)

“High School Musical 2” is the second addition to the iconic film series, and it truly is the best one, hands down. While the first and third are also amazing, the second film takes the cake.

With one of the best casts of any DCOM, “High School Musical 2” truly has cemented itself as one of my all-time favorite Disney movies. It follows the East High gang as the group navigates through a summer working at Sharpay’s exclusive desert country club, Lava Springs.

This film is filled with amazing music and emotional moments and is just overall the perfect movie. If you’ve never seen it, you have to change that.

"Lemonade Mouth" (2011)

This list wouldn't be complete without “Lemonade Mouth.” Starring one of the best casts in any DCOM ever, including the immensely talented Bridgit Mendler, this movie is an absolute must-watch.

“Lemonade Mouth” follows the story of five high school outcasts who meet one day during detention. They quickly learn that they all have unique musical talents, form friendships with each other and start a band together. They’re constantly fighting to be heard in their school and have goals to beat the popular rival rock band, Mudslide Crush.

Overall, “Lemonade Mouth” is one of the best DCOMs ever made, and I will stand by that sentiment forever. It’s more emotionally complex than other DCOMs and has one of the best casts and soundtracks to ever come out of Disney Channel.

Honorable mentions

Now it’s time for some rapid-fire honorable mentions. There are so many amazing DCOMs, so it was extremely hard for me to pick my top five.

If you’re ever in the mood to have a DCOM movie marathon, here are some more of my favorites that always hit the spot: “Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior,” “Halloweentown,” “Camp Rock,” “Princess Protection Program,” “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie,” “Starstruck,” “Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas!,” “Frenemies” and “Let It Shine.”


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