Disney Original Movies are a blast of nostalgia that often endorses a genuine message for young adults dealing with obstacles. These corky films are beaded with messages of friendship, understanding, and culture. As well as, a bit of fantasy (every so often). However, fictional elements have never stopped Disney Channel from getting real and straight to the point. Here are 10 Disney Original Movies that carry an important message for young adults.
1. The Color Of Friendship
The Color of Friendship is one of the most powerful Disney Original Movies to be hosted on Disney Channel. The movie is based on actual events between the friendships of two girls from different countries. Set in the 1970s, Piper Dellums is the daughter of a black congressman. Piper begs her family to host a South African exchange student in order to learn about the culture. However, Piper is shocked when Mahree Bok, a white South African arrives instead.
This Disney Original Movie looks into racism, apartheid, and tolerance all while using the viewpoints of teenagers. This film brilliantly shows that friendship comes in all colors. Tolerance starts with communication and it wasn’t till Piper and Mahree sat down together that they realized they aren’t that different from one another.
2. The Luck Of The Irish
The Luck of The Irish follows Kyle Johnson, a star basketball player who struggles to put together his report for Heritage Day at his school. His parents are reluctant to tell him about his roots only offering him the information that he’s from Cleveland, Ohio. After attending an Irish Carnival where he loses his lucky coin, Kyle starts to run into bad luck and turn into a leprechaun. His mother finally reveals that he’s Irish.
To get his luck back, Kyle goes after his coin with the help of his family, friends and his grandfather O’Reilly. This Disney Original Movie embodies the beauty of celebrating culture and family. Thus, it also explores the history of Irish Americans and the hardships they faced.
3. Tru Confessions
Tru an aspiring filmmaker documents her autistic twin brother, Eddie’s life. This beautiful Disney Original Movie comes from the perspective of a family member who finds herself in the shadow of her twin brother. Tru also deals with building a relationship with her mother. In result, she turns to an online forum for advice from a “stranger,” which turns out to be her mother.
Not only does this movie get relatable in a sense that viewers can understand the hardship and rewards of having an autistic family member. But young adults can see that communication and understanding of one another are needed to create a bond. This Disney Original Movie definitely requires a box of tissues near your side.
4. Johnny Tsunami
After being moved from Hawaii to Vermont for his father’s new job, Johnny tries to adapt to being the new kid at a private school. Away from the surf, Johnny gets involved with snowboarding when befriending Sam a public school student. With a clear division amongst the public school(snowboarders) and private school (skiers), Johnny attempts to find a middle ground. In addition, Johnny deals with his father who worries that Johnny will turn out to be nothing more than a surfer like his grandfather in Hawaii. Clearly stated in this movie is the message of “Go big or go home.”
5. The Thirteenth Year
After turning thirteen, Cody Griffin who was adopted as an infant begins to turn into a mermaid. Unsure of what is going on Cody teams up with the school nerd Jess to help figure out what’s going on. In exchange, Cody who is a top swimmer at his school plans to teach Jess how to swim. Though fictional at the most, Cody’s story of change represents the (almost) traditional coming of age story. Cody finds that his birth mother is, in fact, a mermaid and decides to join her in the ocean.
The Disney Original Movie Brink follows a group of soul skaters who find themselves at odds with a group of sponsored inline skaters. After his father is laid off, Brink is forced to choose between skating with his friends or making money from an offer from the sponsor team. The movie happens across the strong message of moral and friendships. This classic Disney Original Movie shows that life is full of challenges and decisions. But young adults should follow their heart which will set them on the right path.
7. Cow Belles
After two spoiled sisters are forced to work in their family’s dairy, Taylor and Courtney being to learn the power of working hard as a community. Cow Belles carries a timeless message for young adults that showcases there are more important things in the world than money.
8. Buffalo Dreams
Buffalo Dreams is a hidden gem of Disney Original Movies. It follows the story of a young kid named Josh who moves to New Mexico for his father’s new job. Josh tries to befriend a group of teens who attempt to preserve the buffalo and Navajo traditions. This Disney Original Movie leans into the topic of understanding other’s culture. Everyone comes from somewhere and has traditions that are important. A part of life is about learning and exploring the world and others. The more one can learn about someone the more tolerable you can become.
9. Pixel Perfect
When Samantha is told her vocal and guitar skills aren’t enough for her band to gain a following, her friend Roscoe creates a holographic lead singer/dancer named Loretta. Sam quickly feels overshadowed in Loretta’s stellar presence and Loretta struggles with her emotions on becoming real.
In a digital age, often times social media and technology start to take the place of what is real. Though, these new advancements are efficient for a society they also create a virtual reality where people can run away from real-world problems. This Disney Original Movie gives viewers an insight into how powerful human life is compared to technology. In addition, this Disney Channel Original Movie graces us with an amazing song from Samantha at the end.
10. Gotta Kick It Up!
A teacher helps a young group of Latina girls become cheerleaders while also empowering them to better themselves and not be afraid of their obstacles. This Disney Original Movie shakes it up with some diversity. And gives us a groundbreaking performance of how far people can go when someone believes in them. Si se puede!