Illustration of out favorite Disney characters including Demi Lovato and Dylan and Cole Sprouse.

The Latest TikTok Trend Makes Us Reminisce About Old Disney Shows

Even as those on the social media platform pokes fun, the trend has reminded all those 2000s kids of some of their old favorites.

Ah, I miss the Disney era of Hauntoberfest and re-runs of all three “High School Musical” movies. But, are they as cool as we remember them?

TikTok’s newest trend is making fun of past Disney movies and shows. As an early 2000s kid, I watched everything from “Halloweentown” to “The Emperor’s New Groove,” and yes, I even watched “Radio Rebel” — it’s nostalgic, okay?

The best thing about this trend is no popular star, show or movie is off-limits. Some are pretty hilarious, even more so if you watched them as a kid. It made me realize how stupid some of the jokes were, how horrible the acting could be and even how ugly some outfits were.

Here are some of my favorites:

Camp Rock,” starring Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers

The movie that put Demi Lovato on the map.

A girl named Mitchie goes to a summer camp that teaches musical prodigies, and the lead singer from a popular band, Connect 3, is forced to spend his summer there. The two hit it off, but Mitchie lies to fit in with Tess Tyler and her group of friends, saying her mom works for some pop culture television station. You can all guess how it ends — everyone finds out, but she wins them back with the power of her beautiful singing voice.

It’s cheesy, we know this. And, the Jonas Brothers’ acting is not the best.

This compilation contains the infamous scene where Caitlyn, played by Alyson Stoner, plays the techno piano, and she’s really good, according to Mitchie. Then, Tess pretends the power cord is a snake to avert everyone’s attention. Whatever, major, loser!

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 Debby Ryan starring in the Disney movie, “Radio Rebel.”

After Debby starred in “Suite Life on Deck,” she was still a prominent name in Disney.

She played the role of Tara in Radio Rebel, a film where she is an anonymous, inspirational radio host that every teenager listens to. Being extremely shy, she would rather die than have anyone know her real identity. However, her high school principal threatens to her expel her if Tara doesn’t reveal herself.

Let’s just say, Debby Ryan had some interesting facial expressions and acting.

Okay, this one is just a compilation that’s hilarious

It shows how bad a generic Disney show can be. It includes some “emotional” scenes from childhood shows that don’t capture emotion as well as I remembered. Just watch, you’ll understand.

I do think some of that bad writing was a result of their target audience — young children. But, most think this era is Disney’s prime, myself included.

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The early 2000s had the best Disney shows. They are still re-run today and are available on Disney Plus. Why would this be done if no one wanted to watch them and relive it?

Here’s why:

We had the best characters

We had Raven Baxter, London Tipton, Mr. Moseby, Jackson Stewart and Max Russo. Need I say more?

The Crossover Episodes

I remember the excitement I had when two or more shows would collaborate, a time where all of my favorite characters could interact.

One of the episodes that comes to mind is “Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana.” It has been over 10 years since the premiere and since the “Hannah Montana,” “Suite Life on Deck” and “Wizards of Waverly Place” casts were on the same boat.

Hannah Montana boards the S.S Tipton to perform, the boat where Zack and Cody Martin attend school. Cody tries to get free tickets for Bailey Pickett, played by Debby Ryan. Meanwhile, the Russo siblings are aboard the ship, and Alex turns Justin blue from a prank. But, Mr. Moseby immediately points fingers at Zack for the incident.

We had the funniest scenes, that are referenced today.

Yes, there are cringy moments. But, no one can forget when Mr. Moseby and Carey Martin taught Lance proper speaking etiquette to fit in with London’s high society world.

Or, when Cory Baxter had a “bro mitzvah” to get money and free gifts from people.

And, absolutely no one can forget the scene when Mr. Moseby taught London to drive using the “PRNDL.”

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The early 2000s were also great for Disney Original Movies; in fact, they were so popular, Disney made at least six movies per year from 2000 to 2006.

Some examples of the best movies were “Cadet Kelly” starring Hilary Duff; “The Cheetah Girls” starring Adrienne Bailon, Raven Symone, Kiely Williams and Sabrina Bryan; and “The Luck of the Irish” starring Ryan Merriman.

And of course, there was “High School Musical,” which was a turning point for Disney. Not only did it launch the careers of many stars, such as Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, but it completely revolutionized Disney Original Movies.

I may not be 10 years old anymore, but the new Disney content is just not the same.

Older Disney shows and movies were better produced, written, had meaningful plot lines and just felt genuine. Shows typically had an audience and recorded people actually laughing at jokes and funny scenes, rather than a laugh track.

These shows meant something; children had an escape and were excited to turn on the television. Writers and producers wanted to produce good content, and now, it feels like they just write for a paycheck.

Attention Disney writers, please get excited again and create an impactful show for the next generation to remember when they’re older.

Jackie Sizing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Writer Profile

Jackie Sizing

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Media and Journalism

Jackie Sizing is an aspiring writer who enjoys drinking way too much coffee and showing people photos of her dog. If you want to potentially see these photos (and all her writing!), follow her on Twitter @jackiesiz.

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