Have a blast from the past with these 8 Underrated Disney Films!

Words by Marielle Balmores

Ah, yes. As a kid during the 2000s, I still remember the simpler times where after I finished my homework and ate dinner, I anticipated the films that the Disney Channel showcased whilst relaxing in my parents’ bed. They were a mix of newly premiered and old (but not super old) films that got me excited, sad, maybe a bit mad when the characters made questionable decisions, and also joyful whenever the main character/s accomplished something great. Then the following day, my former classmates, who may have seen the film, and I would end up talking about our favorite parts before the teachers entered the classroom and also during our breaks. I think we fawned over any good-looking male characters while at it if there were any.

Nowadays when I look back, some of them may have themes that are viewed to be cheesy and cliche, but hey! They still get you in the feels though! If you are up for a throwback film fest alone or your childhood friends, here are some films to start your way! If the film is highlighted in red, you can find the film on Netflix!

8. The Pacifier (2005)

This film shows the clash of two different lifestyles: one where it is fast-paced and disciplined while the other is youthful yet careless. Yet they make it work as Shane (Vin Diesel)  incorporates his lessons from military school to real-life situations. A societal concept that was emphasized is that “boys will be boys” Murney, the vice-principal, kept using that as an excuse for boy’s bad behavior and viewing down unlikely man hobbies such as musical theatre. But thanks to Shane, he proves the complete opposite.

the pacifier

7. Sky High (2005)

I was so jealous of all these kids having different powers! I do agree with Layla about how unnecessary the whole hero-sidekick dichotomy is because everyone is equally skilled. There is no need for sidekicks to be viewed as losers. Also, Gwen Grayson is a deceiver and thank goodness Will Stronghold stood up to her. By the way, Warren is a total babe.

sky high layla

6. Max Keeble’s Big Move (2001)

Fetus Josh Peck as Robe was so cute! Then I felt bad for Max Keeble because he was always a target for bad stunts despite being quite smart and sinister as he planned his pranks before “moving away.” There are so many different characters here that I really enjoyed, like Troy McGinty, who opened his jacket to reveal his next victim, and the Evil Ice Cream Man always after Max. But importantly, his advocacy on the animal shelter and battling his principal, who bought the land, shows how we have to stay dedicated to fighting for what is right.

max keeble

5. The Game Plan (2007)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson played the egotistic quarterback who was not ready to settle down anytime soon until his daughter Peyton (Madison Pettis) came in his life unexpectedly. He had to learn the ropes of being a father within a month, and alongside that, his character development grew too. Peyton helped him grow. Another important detail here was the comparison between ballet and football. The same amount of sweat is put into those passions, except in ballet, you still smile and hold in the pain.

the game plan

4. Princess Protection Program (2009)

The friendship between Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato will always be iconic. When Princess Rosalinda/Rosie (Lovato) was sent to another location to get away from a tyrannical general, she met Carter (Gomez), a tomboyish girl from Louisiana. It was not an easy adjustment yet they still find neutral ground in dealing with popular kids like Chelsea (Jamie Chung) and learn from each other’s cultures. Also, Donny (Robert Adamson) is awful, so avoid boys like him. Shoutout to Mr. Elegante too, I dreamt of having a dress made from him too.

princess protection program

3. Lemonade Mouth (2011)

We don’t talk about this film enough! 5 kids from 5 different backgrounds. Their school principal acts like the warden of high school, having favoritism in sports and not funding the other kinds of clubs. Yet when they landed in detention, two things brought them together: lemonade and music. Even in bad situations, they still jam along to random beats that show how music breaks the ice. Unforgettable! I always loved Bridgit Mendler, and aside from her, future famous icons such as Hayley Kiyoko and Naomi Scott are here.

lemonade mouth

2. Freaky Friday (2003)

Admit it. The teenage years are crazy. Diverse song choices, hormones, maybe making “takas” to see your friends. At least at some point, while we were experiencing these new things, our parents were not so supportive of them because they seemed dangerous or something they considered bad. Thus, we rebel. That’s the kind of troubling relationship Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan) had, but a switch-up by some magic did the job to respark their selfless love towards each other. Not to mention, Chad Michael Murray was one of the ultimate boy crushes and Jamie Lee Curtis acting like a teenager is GOLD.

freaky friday

1. The Parent Trap (1998)

This film is very special to me, even if hastily getting back together after a 10-year separation is unrealistic. But the reunion of family members we never knew existed by simply going to summer camp? That was the plot twist that Annie James and Haley Parker (both played by Lindsay Lohan) faced after their epic fencing battle, only to unravel more about the unfortunate past of their affluent parents Elizabeth James (Natasha Richardson) and Nick Parker (Dennis Quaid). What made this film more memorable was the eye-rolling intentions of the spoiled fiancee of Nick, Meredith Blake (Elaine Hendrix) and the comedic relationship between Chessy and Martin.

parent trap

What is your favorite film on this list? If it is not here, then share it with us!

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