If you grew up in the 90s and 2000s, Disney Channel was probably a go-to channel for you. To digress, their bumpers, with a rotating selection of their stars drawing the chain’s logo, were equally iconic and memorable. We took out the light stick and pretended to draw the logo, like they had done. As an adult, you realize that neither you nor those Disney stars were able to draw it correctly.
Like Nickelodeon, Disney Channel was part of a kid’s healthy afternoon diet. It featured original programming that was not only safe for children, but also entertaining. Thanks to Disney+, many of these classic shows from the channel can get a second life thanks to new viewers and old fans.
10) Phineas and Ferb
Their oblong head shapes were quite odd, but despite this, Phineas and Ferb was one of the biggest animated shows ever produced by Disney Channel. The series revolves around Phineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher, two half-brothers trying to find fun things to do during summer vacation.
In nearly every episode, the two brothers would find adventure through their technically impressive projects. Their controlling older sister, Candance, often did her best to spoil their plans for summer fun. Surprisingly, Phineas and Ferb is a great watch for adults and kids alike, which is rare for Disney Channel cartoons.
9) Wizards of Waverly Place
Do their best to capitalize on the fame that Harry Potter had in the late 2000s, Disney Channel rolled out the Wizards of Waverly Place. The show revolved around the magically inclined Russo children as they begin their training as wizards to see which one will retain their powers in the end.
While the show was doing Selena Gomez – who played the main protagonist, Alex Russo – a household name, the other two protagonists of the series, Justin (David Henry) and Max (Jake T. Austin) played a complex role in making this sitcom a longtime favorite.
8) Good Luck Charlie
A true family sitcom in every sense of the word, Good luck Charlie centered around the Duncan family as they try to adjust to the birth of Charlotte “Charlie” Duncan. The main protagonist of the series, Teddy (Brigitte Mendler), decided to make a video diary for Charlie that she can use later in her teenage life.
Even though it was a little cheesy and sweet, Good luck Charlie was one of those under-the-radar sitcoms that Disney Channel did from time to time. Even if other shows were more popular while it aired (think jessy), Good luck Charlie is an intimate comedy that will be a pleasant surprise for those looking to revisit.
7) Even Stevens
It’s no exaggeration to say that Even Stevens was Disney Channel’s first real live-action hit. When the series premiered in 2000, the network was struggling to land a live-action hit. Yes, The famous Jett Jackson was on the air at the time, but it didn’t live up to the success that Even Stevens would become.
The series, which followed a brother and sister pitted against each other, paved the way for the network in its pursuit of live-action success, which came to full fruition when a certain teenager landed her series in 2001. .
6) Gravity Falls
Watching Gravity Falls, it’s still hard to imagine a cartoon like this landing on the Disney Channel. It was a complete departure from any anime series seen on the network at the time, with its dark tone and sort of pre-teen storyline kind of getting the green light from network executives.
Gravity Falls focused on the twins, Dipper and Mabel Pines, as they visit Gravity Falls to spend time with their great-uncle (or “grunkle”), Stan Pines. The city, however, is filled with paranormal activity and supernatural creatures that the duo encounter and investigate. It’s one of the best Disney Channel shows ever made, and luckily it can be enjoyed in all its glory on Disney+.
With the Wizards of Waverly Place and The suite life on deck exiting, Disney Channel needed a new star to carry the channel into the 2010s. Enter Debby Ryan as the titular Jessie, a teenage girl from Texas who moves to New York City and becomes nanny to four rambunctious, wealthy children.
Although six years have passed since the last episode aired, the comedy on jessy has aged well. This show is a guilty pleasure even among adults who, while vowing not to watch the show in public, will secretly seize cravings and sing the theme song when no one else is watching.
4) It’s so Raven
With Lizzie McGuire, It’s so raven was more than just a pre-teen sitcom. It was an event in the lives of many children in the pre-social media era. The show played Corbeau-Symoné as Raven Baxter, a normal teenager growing up in San Francisco who also has the power to see into the future.
Although her “visions” are incomplete, she can use her gift to prevent (or bring about) events she sees happening. It’s an understatement to say that this show was wildly popular and would be one of the few Disney Channel properties to get a sequel, with Raven’s Home picking up with its discontinued predecessor in 2017.
3) Lizzie McGuire
With Even Stevens Landing the network’s first live-action hit, executives went back to the drawing board to see what series they could create next that would expand on that success. Enter Lizzie McGuire, which premiered in 2001 and quickly rose to become the channel’s most popular show.
Featuring Hilary Duf as the main character, the show revolves around her and her group of friends, Gordo (Adam Lambert) and Miranda (Wool) as they browse through college. When it ended its run, Lizzie McGuire would change the channel’s fortunes and landscape, and also become the first series to release a movie theatrically, The Lizzie McGuire movie, which concluded the show’s storyline.
2) Hanna Montana
This is the show that convinced the network’s executives that they could not only train teenage stars, but also pop stars. With Lizzie McGuire part of the network, Disney Channel has struck gold in Hannah Montana. Featuring Miley Cyrus, the premise of the show was simple: Miley Stewart (Cyrus) was a normal preteen by day, but she became the titular international superstar by night.
Despite its simplicity (or because of it), Hannah Montana became a massive network hit and marketing goldmine, with merchandise, albums, movies: you name it, it was marketable. There may never be another Disney show in terms of marketing, just like Hannah Montana was.
1) KC undercover
While Hannah Montana was arguably Disney Channel’s most marketable show, KC undercover was at its best when it came to its script and production. KC undercover follows a family of spies, and what made it such a great show was the contribution of its lead actress, Zendaya. She wouldn’t sign on to the project unless she had a significant role in its creative process, and she went to great lengths to make the series stand out from its network predecessors with her strong and diverse talent.
While the series was healthy for family viewing, the series had the pizzazz and flair that its other series lacked, and the storyline wasn’t as sweet as its peers, opting for a more serialized pace than one that prioritized the individual episodes.
NEXT: 10 Of The Best ’80s Sitcom Families, Ranked
“Do you want to be a secret servant?”
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