Once upon a time, the Disney Channel could be depended on to release a series of kid-friendly made-for-TV films at the breakneck speed of one per month. Sure, they varied in quality, but they were all unique in their own way and for some reason had a strange reliance on random semi-obscure sports.
Seriously. There were Disney Channel Original Movies (affectionately called DCOMs) about horse-racing, surfing, rollerblading, motocross, bowling, and even Soap Box Derbies.
Was this some ploy to try to keep the millennial generation active before abruptly switching over into movies that exist in a world where everyone is a singer/actor/dancer? Possibly. Who knows.
But as silly as it seems, these movies were more or less must watch television for those Disney fans who hit their preteen years during the late 1990s and early 2000s. And while there are some pretty terrible DCOMs floating around out there (Cow Belles? Looking at you), there are also some absolutely delights.
One really has to admire Disney's work ethic in cranking these out month after month, and despite everything, there are some childhood gems in the mix that are definitely worth remembering...
Audrey Fox is an ex-film student, which means that she prefers to spend her days in the dark, watching movies and pondering the director's use of diegetic sound. She currently works as an entertainment writer, joyfully rambling about all things film and television related. Add her on Twitter at @audonamission and check out her film blog at 1001moviesandbeyond.com.