5 Disney Channel Movies That Are Surprisingly Good

Wednesday, May 9 by Sasha Moody

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Before Disney started churning out only big money-making franchises like "Hannah Montana" and "High School Musical", they actually used to make good family films. Now the theme is usually along the lines of: get famous, rich or both. Before movies used to be about varied topics like: being a girl and still being badass, being a mer-man, accidentally bringing an inanimate doll to life, or taking part in extreme sports such as motocross, roller-blading or surfing. You can still get your old-school Disney fix by watching these flicks.

Life Size

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Before Lindsay Lohan went on her post-Disney bad girl bender, she starred in this cute flick alongside Tyra Banks. In "Life Size", Tyra Banks is actually likeable, unlike on "America's Next Top Model" or her own talk show, where she can be found telling people reasons why they're not good enough or why she's the most successful person ever. In "Life Size", she's a Barbie who comes to life and is so glad to be alive that she enjoys eating buttery bread like no one ever has before.

Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century

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Zenon has a flair for fashion and that's what gets her in trouble and also helps her eventually save the day. Exiled for paying no regard to the rules, Zenon has to live on Earth for the first time in her life and everything is new – relatives, friends, storms, rains and shopping malls. She learns to forgive herself for making mistakes as well as trust her instincts. Two awesome things about this movie – a rock concert in outer space and a love interest played by "Everwood"'s Gregory Smith.

The Thirteenth Year.

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Puberty. Who didn't hate that awkward word growing up? This movie was made to help kids feel better about their changing bodies by showing a popular kid who has to hide his changes from everyone else – scales and fins that start sprouting on this thirteenth birthday. And you thought you had it bad.

Motocrossed.

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Who says girls can't be badass? Andrea's dad doesn't want her to do anything because she might hurt herself, but her brother is allowed to do whatever he wants to bring home the glory – motocross championships. When he gets injured, she chops off her hair and runs away from home to take his place. When will her parents finally get a clue that she's missing? And how will she ever hit on her motocross crush when he thinks she's a he?

Brink!

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Erik von Detten was a hearthrob in the late 90's. This pretty boy skater falls short of his parents and teachers expectations but at least his friends love him. The pack of them are "soul skaters", meaning they don't take money to skate. But what to do when your family could really use the help? The best part of "Brink" is the group of friends who poke fun at each other but always have each other's back.