The evolution of Disney Channel


Haley Brown, Staff Reporter

Ask anyone in high school if they watch Disney Channel, and they’ll either look at like you’re crazy, or lie straight to your face. However, having three younger siblings, I’ve been given the unique opportunity to watch it evolve from Lizzie McGuire, to Hannah Montanna, to Dog With A Blog. I’ve watched animation “improve” from Recess, to Kim Possible, to Fish Hooks. Basically, I’ve watched the epitome of my childhood turn into a collaboration of bathroom jokes, cheesy puns, and an overwhelming amount of forced diversity.

Now, I’m not without pity. I’ll admit to spending several Saturday evenings engrossed in the plotline of Good Luck Charlie, I’ve willingly chosen to watch Jessie over a more “mature” television program. My point, however, is that progressively Disney Channel has gotten worse. They’ve sacrificed good plotlines and educated jokes to “dumb down” the network for kids.

Disney Channel used to be a channel devoted to teaching kids to be themselves, and many shows, such as That’s So Raven and Lizzie McGuire, dealt with important issues, such as body image, racism, and bullying. Now originality and life lessons are forced onto kids through the use of characters wearing crazy and abnormal outfits adorned with more accessories than are in my entire closet, and painfully obvious scenarios where “friendship” is always the answer.

In 10 years, no kid is going to look back on Disney Channel and claim “Shake It Up changed my life”.  By forfeiting quality, Disney is forfeiting impact. Even lesser known Disney Channel shows (i.e., Brandy and Mr. Whiskers, Dave the Barbarian, Life With Derek) left an impact on us.

Disney was, and continues to be one of the most influential parts of my childhood, and the fact that it isn’t going to be so for my 6 year old brother kinda hurts. I want the experience of Lizzie McGuire, Even Stevens, and Thats So Raven to be well known to all generations.