Disney Channel Goes from Fab to Drab


Photo by Maddy Fleury

Sophomore Grace Antonelli reminisces about her favorite Disney shows on the Disney Channel app.

Maddy Fleury, Staff Writer

Disney has become one of the most watched, well-known film and television production companies of all-time. This well known company began almost a century ago in 1923.

After some of Disney`s first and most exemplary films were released in the twentieth century, Disney came out with new musicals on Disney Channel, such as High School Musical and Camp Rock. Both movies proved to be very well-liked creations centered on friendship, romance, and teamwork. These movies have contributed to entertaining kids with wholesome lessons and good music, and are known by most to be of a positive influence on youth.

In contrast to these uplifting original Disney films, Disney has created new movies, all seemingly revolving around conflicts involving rebellion and the negative effects of social media. For example, Descendents, which was released in 2015, is based on the children of Disney’s classic villains, and seems to promote bad behavior and ways to get away with wrongdoings such as stealing and bullying.

Since Disney introduced their television network in 1983 with shows such as Good Morning, Mickey, the channel has become very popular with young children. In the early 2000`s, Disney produced dozens of top-rated TV shows, some of which include Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Lizzie Mcguire, and That’s So Raven. These world-renowned shows taught children lessons on appreciating family, being a good friend, and learning from their mistakes.

“Disney Channel taught me to never take what I have for granted, and to make the best of every situation,” said sophomore Emma Brown.

In each of Disney’s original popular shows, a common theme that was present had to do with determining right from wrong. Characters in these television programs often went on exciting adventures, even if what they did was in spite of their parent’s wishes. They would, unavoidably, end up getting caught and learning a valuable lesson, a lesson that would help shape who they would eventually become.

After the last of what are known as the best and most original Disney series ended, new shows inevitably had to replace them. Although the filming quality of these shows is most definitely better because of advancing technology, the themes expressed in these programs seem to be quite different from the morals expressed in previous shows.

Since 2013, new shows such as Liv and Maddie, K.C. Undercover, and Bunk`d have been introduced, and all seem to revolve around egotistical characters who are very self-centered and overly obsessed with social media. These series also seem to contain protagonists who commit mischievous acts and seemingly get away with them without being punished or learning from their wrongdoings, which could be teaching kids a negative way to behave.

“The new shows airing on Disney seem to be completely different from what I knew as a kid, and are often centered around rude teenagers,” said sophomore Maddie Pape.

While some of these shows certainly contain some vulable aspects, they overall possess very little good humor and meaningful content. Some may say the influence of phones, technology and social media have on the characters in these new Disney shows are what give them such rebellious personalities. On the other hand, in the past, the Disney characters turned into exemplary people because they learned from their mistakes.

Overall, most people over the age of about 15 who knew the late 20th century and early 21st century Disney will agree it is simply not as entertaining or high quality as it used to be. For most kids fortunate enough to have access to screens, Disney`s amazing products have been a major part of their lives. For kids who are currently watching Disney`s new creations, they may be learning lessons that could negatively impact them, but hopefully they use some of the bad behaviors illustrated in these programs to better their own character. Although Disney may not be what it once was, it will always be remembered as an amazing network full of laughters and cheer.