Music is a meaningful aspect of movies and television. Great film scores stay with many fans long after their first viewings. Theme songs on TV get stuck in people’s heads and make them randomly smile. Music is an integral part of what happens on screen, and it sometimes plays an even bigger role for certain characters.
Singing is a highly personal activity, requiring the body to become an instrument. Disney has offered many glimpses into the world of singers; enjoy the great variety of these films on Disney+.
12 Hannah Montana: The Movie: 4.5
Although it is the lowest-rated film on the list, Hannah Montana: The Movie is a great memory for a lot of Disney Channel fans. After a few years of watching the show, viewers were interested to see Miley explore a different storyline and dive into her Tennessee upbringing. Filming some of the movie near where Miley actually grew up offered the work a nice touch of verisimilitude.
Like the show, the film is about Miley’s secret life as Hannah Montana. Unlike most of the show, the movie seriously considers Miley as a singer in her own right, distinct from her famous blonde alter-ego. The songs are pleasant, the scenery is pretty, and the movie achieves a refreshing uniqueness.
11 The Cheetah Girls Trilogy: 4.9 Average
Hardcore DCOM fans have seen at least two out of the three Cheetah Girls movies. Singing is the obvious main subject, seeing that Galleria, Aqua, Chanel, and Dorinda are pursuing a girl group career.
They stay in their New York City hometown for the first movie, travel to Spain for the second, and head to India for the third (without Raven). The first movie has the most recognizable songs, like “Together We Can,” “Cheetah Sisters,” and “Girl Power.”
10 High School Musical Trilogy: 5.1 Average
The High School Musical trilogy is still one of Disney’s most celebrated. Its films all center on the extracurricular activities and hopes and dreams of teenagers. Many of those involve music. Gabriella and Troy fall in love through their introduction to musical theatre, siblings Ryan and Sharpay have built their lives around it, and the rest of the students quickly find themselves singing.
While not all of the Wildcats are headed for music degrees, they all learn something about themselves through teamwork and the practice of music.
9 Camp Rock Movies: Both 5.2
Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam get the same rating from IMDb. Both movies satisfied Disney Channel fans’ collective desire for catchy, electric pop, even if the films’ plots aren’t altogether that great. The first movie establishes the purpose of the camp–to hone young artists’ skills as singers, dancers, and performing artists.
Mitchie (Demi Lovato) finds herself through her music, stumbling when she tries to fabricate a more glamorous life. The second movie delivers on new songs as the campers work to beat out a rival camp (Camp Star) across the lake.
8 The Lizzie McGuire Movie: 5.5
Although Hilary Duff’s music career was already underway when she was on Lizzie McGuire, the starlet never sang as her character on the series. The Lizzie McGuire Movie was a chance for the character to come out of her shell in Rome and experience the pop star life.
Like Hannah Montana, the Lizzie McGuire franchise successfully created a real-life musical sensation out of a fictional one. Lizzie’s movie is still one of the most rewatched ever, and “What Dreams are Made Of” is fan favorite forever.
7 Starstruck: 6.1
Danielle Campbell and Sterling Knight play unexpected love interests in Starstruck, the first musical DCOM of the 2010s. Knight is a self-absorbed pop star named Christopher Wilde, and Campbell is Jessica Olson, a regular girl on vacation in California with her family.
Jessica’s disdain for Christopher Wilde is countered by her sister’s obsession with him. Ironically, it is Jessica who crosses paths with the celebrity. As expected, Christopher and Jessica fall in love. Unrealistic, but entertaining.
6 Let It Shine: 6.4
Let it Shine seems to have been Disney’s DCOM answer to Joyful Noise, a theatrical gospel music film starring Keke Palmer, Queen Latifah, and Dolly Parton. Both movies were released in 2012, and Disney’s take featured the talents of Coco Jones and Tyler James Williams.
Still focusing on the Black gospel genre, Let it Shine highlights young choir director Cyrus’ (Tyler James Williams) journey as a rapper, in spite of his pastor father’s disapproval.
5 Almost Angels: 6.6
Almost Angels is a hidden gem on Disney+. The film is a fictionalized depiction of the life of a Vienna Boys Choir chorister. This is an unexpected concept which probably would not be produced today (sadly), but this film came out in 1962.
Tony (Vincent Winter) works hard to earn his spot in the Vienna Boys’ Choir and continues to find his place and learn about friendship when another boy is jealous of Tony’s angelic voice.
4 Mary Poppins Returns: 6.7
Emily Blunt rose to the occasion in her portrayal of Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns, as did Lin-Manuel Miranda in playing Jack the lamplighter.
All the beloved elements of the first movie are answered in its sequel, which is why so many fans love it. Mary still knows how to teach children the importance of singing their way through challenges, making them stronger in the most difficult of circumstances.
3 Lemonade Mouth: 6.9
Lemonade Mouth is one of the most appreciated Disney Channel Original Movies of the 2010s. The film stars Bridget Mendler, Hayley Kiyoko, Adam Hicks, Naomi Scott, and Blake Michael as five teens who are totally different on the surface but similar in purpose.
They all meet in detention, form a band named after a lemonade vending machine, and use their music to stand up for what is right.
2 Clouds: 7.5
Clouds is a Disney+ original biopic about Zach Sobiech (portrayed by Fin Argus), based on a memoir written by Zach’s mother, Laura. Zach has osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer that spreads to his lungs. With the knowledge that he has only a few months to live, the teenager sets out to make the most of his life with best friend Sammy (Sabrina Carpenter) by his side.
Zach and Sammy get a songwriting contract with BMI for “Clouds,” a runaway hit that melds the airy wonder of life with the notion of a pending afterlife. Zach Sobiech passed away at the age of eighteen.
1 Mary Poppins: 7.8
Mary Poppins is, without a doubt, one of Disney’s best movie musicals. Julie Andrews made her role as Mary Poppins famous because of the wit and grace she brought to it.
She teaches her young charges, Jane and Michael Banks, how to make life’s tasks into a song. Mary opens up a bright and melodious world, one lyric at a time. With classics like “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and “I Love to Laugh,” Bert (Dick Van Dyke) and Mary create the soundtrack that lightens viewers’ hearts again and again.
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