The Downfall of Disney Channel Original Movies

Disney Channel is a network that is known across the globe. It is widely recognized for creating and airing entertaining and iconic sitcoms but is also very popular because of its timeless original movies. Movies like High School Musical, Camp Rock, Descendants, and so many more are all great examples of these – Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs). There was something special about these movies, something magical, until there wasn’t. Around 2018, these DCOMs started to fall short of expectations. Specifically talking about movies like the live-action Kim Possible, Upside Down Magic, and Zombies 3, all these DCOMs are great disappointments to the Disney Channel name.

In February 2019, the live-action Kim Possible movie came out which follows a teen girl named Kim Possible and her best friend Ron Stoppable, who together face villains and, possibly an even more daunting obstacle, high school. Now, I am sure that this movie was highly anticipated due to how big the animated show’s fanbase was, but sadly, fans’ expectations were not met. Only receiving a mere 3.7/10 stars on IMDb, it missed the mark. The CGI was terrible, the jokes weren’t funny, and the movie was an overall bore to watch. The ending set the movie up for a potential sequel, but seeing how poorly the movie did, I doubt that there will be one.

Fast forward to July 2020, the DCOM Upside Down Magic was released during the pandemic. Based on a book, Upside Down Magic is about 4 kids born with special powers that don’t work how they’re supposed to. They get sent to a magic school called Sage Academy, where they are labeled as outcasts, but then end up saving the day. This movie had a good cast lined up with child actors that have appeared in many other shows, but it was yet another underwhelming movie with a predictable plot line. The ratings speak for themselves with this movie receiving 5.3/10 stars on IMDb.

Finally, in July of 2022, Zombies 3 was released, a continuation of a major movie franchise. This movie was a continuation of the previous two movies, following a girl named Addison and a Zombie named Zed. After werewolves are finally accepted into their town, Seabrook, they face a new threat: aliens! With Zombies 1 and 2 being received fairly well by audiences, Zombies 3 had some pretty big shoes to fill, and it did the exact opposite. With cringy and random dance sequences and a dull plotline, it was an unfortunate movie to watch. Only getting 5.4/10 stars on IMDb, it’s safe to say that they should have just ended the franchise after the first two movies.

Now it is clear to see how these DCOMs are not up to par with past movies. Not to say that those movies don’t have any moments that made the audience cringe, but it’s important to remember that they were made in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Disney Channel should realize by now that they have fans that want to see something captivating. To accomplish this they should start taking into consideration ideas for movies about things that we have not seen before. Hopefully, we will start to see Disney Channel produce some great movies, with the same nostalgia and magic found in the DCOMs we all know and love.