The Disney Channel has not just made stars out of Miley Cyrus, Zendaya, Ryan Gosling and co with its TV shows, but it has also made a splash with its original movies.
Ever since 1983, the channel produced made-for-TV movies, which were called Disney Channel Premiere Films, starting with Tiger Town.
Now known as Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs), the channel has produced 110 of these films, and some have been more successful than others.
Here are the highest rated DCOMs of all time, according to Rotten Tomatoes’ aggregation of critics’ reviews.
Kim Possible (100%)
The 2019 live-action film Kim Possible, based on the animated series of the same name, doesn’t have a lot of critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes yet—just six at the time of writing—but is certified 100 percent “Fresh” on the Tomatometer.
Sadie Stanley plays Kim, who, along with her best friend Ron, recruits new student Athena and takes her on a mission to stop the plot of the evil Dr. Drakken.
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension (100%)
This spin-off of the TV series Phineas and Ferb is another DCOM with a 100 percent rating.
Released in 2011, the premiere was watched by 7.6 million viewers, making it one of the highest-rated animated programs on cable in more than three years.
Vincent Martella and Thomas Brodie-Sangster return to voice Phineas and Ferb as they travel through an alternate dimension.
Directed and choreographed by Kenny Ortega, Descendants is the story of the children of legendary Disney villains: Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar, and Cruella de Vil.
Mal (Dove Cameron), Carlos (Cameron Boyce), Jay (Booboo Stewart) and Evie (Sofia Carson) attempt to steal the Fairy Godmother’s wand to free their parents from prison.
Descendants premiered in 2015 to an audience of 6.6 million, and led to two sequels.
Teen Beach Movie (86%)
The only DCOM to be released in 2013, Teen Beach Movie follows two teens as they’re sucked inside a beach party movie called Wet Side Story.
The musical comedy was a hit with viewers and won itself a sequel, while its soundtrack reached number three on the Billboard charts.
Adventures In Babysitting (86%)
This remake of the 1987 film of the same name was the Disney Channel’s 100th original movie.
Starring Sabrina Carpenter and Sofia Carsons, two teenage girls attempt to switch their phones back after a mishap while on babysitting jobs, and end up in debt and in trouble with the police and causing havoc across town.
Disney legend Raven-Symoné was initially attached to the 2016 remake, but dropped out due to other projects.
High School Musical 2 (83%)
The sequel to High School Musical came one year after the smash hit original, and broke all kinds of records.
High School Musical 2 was watched by a record 17 million viewers when it premiered in 2007, and continues to be the most watched DCOM in history.
Carrying on from the first film, Troy (Zac Efron), Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) and the other Wildcats get summer jobs, but drama ensues as Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) attempts to sabotage Troy and Gabriella’s romance and Troy’s friendships to get close to him.
With songs like “What Time Is It?” and “I Gotta Go My Own Way”, High School Musical 2 is considered to be better than the original.
1998’s Halloweentown stars the late Debbie Reynolds as a witch whose grandchildren follow her back to Halloweentown after 13-year-old Marnie discovers she too has magical blood.
The film has become a staple of the Halloween calendar and is shown annually during Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween schedule.
Halloweentown was followed by three sequels.
Descendants 3 (78%)
This 2019 movie is the third installment in the Descendants franchise, and sees the gang attempting to retrieve Hades’ ember to break a spell caused by Maleficent’s sceptre which turns Mal into a hag.
It marks one of Cameron Boyce’s last movies, with the actor dying aged 20 from complications from epilepsy days before its premiere.
The Disney Channel premiere was dedicated to Boyce’s memory.
The Cheetah Girls (71%)
Based on Deborah Gregory’s book series of the same name, 2003’s The Cheetah Girls led to two sequels and the formation of a real-life girl group.
Teenagers Galleria (Raven-Symoné), Chanel (Adrienne Bailon), Aqua (Kiely Williams), and Dorinda (Sabrina Bryan) struggle with staying friends and keeping their feet on the ground as a marketing exec attempts to change them in exchange for a record deal.
The Cheetah Girls premiere was watched by 6.5 million viewers and the album’s soundtrack went double platinum.
Descendants 2 (71%)
After the success of the original, Descendants 2 premiered in 2017 and was simulcast on ABC, Disney XD, Freeform, Lifetime, and Lifetime Movies.
Mal struggles with her new status as the girlfriend of Ben, the son of Belle and Beast, and returns to the Isle of the Lost, which is now ruled by her rival, Ursula’s daughter Uma.
Ratings jumped for the film compared to the original, with 8.92 million viewers tuning in across six networks on the night of its premiere.
Freaky Friday (67%)
The fourth adaptation of the 1972 book Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers may not be as well reviewed as the Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis version, but it was still received pretty well.
Cozi Zuehlsdorff and Heidi Blickenstaff play a daughter and mother who panic after a magical hourglass causes them to switch bodies.
The 2018 film has been modernised with musical numbers, which many critics said justified the remake.
High School Musical (65%)
The film that started a global phenomenon, 2006’s High School Musical follows a basketball star (Zac Efron) who finds himself interested in singing in the school musical after falling for a new student.
As of 2019, over 225 million viewers have watched High School Musical on the Disney Channel, making it the most commercially successful DCOM ever produced.
Its soundtrack, containing songs like “Breaking Free” and “We’re All In This Together” even hit number one on the Billboard charts.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year (63%)
The final installment in the HSM trilogy was released in 2008, and became the first DCOM to be released theatrically.
The East High students come to terms with graduating and going their separate ways, while Troy, Sharpay, Ryan and Kelsi all compete for a scholarship to Juilliard.
The movie was a huge commercial success, making over $252 million at the global box office.
Jump In! (63%)
Starring Corbin Bleu of HSM fame, 2007’s Jump In! follows a young boxer, Izzy (Bleu), who finds himself with a new love of jumping rope after being asked by his friend Mary (Keke Palmer) to join a Double Dutch tournament.
Raven-Symoné was initially attached to the movie, but the film was rewritten for Bleu’s role.
A soundtrack for the film was a success on the charts, reaching number five on the Billboard charts.
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (63%)
The first Camp Rock doesn’t make this list, but its 2010 sequel does.
Demi Lovato returns as Mitchie and the Jonas Brothers reprise their roles as the Gray brothers of Connect 3 as the campers at Camp Rock find new rivals in the form of Camp Star, which has opened across the lake.
Camp Rock 2 was watched by 7.9 million fans when it premiered on the Disney Channel.
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