Disney Channel Original Movies: Holiday Edition

By: Amy Kawa

I was planning on doing a big ranking for these holiday movies (like our Halloween edition of DCOMs), but it became abundantly clear as I was going through the Christmas options that Halloween movies were the bread and  butter of themed DCOMs – not Christmas.  There are only four Christmas-themed DCOMs, so I will instead rank them and give a brief synopsis and review.  Without further ado, here is my ranking to hopefully help get everyone in the Christmas spirit… and on YouTube to watch these Christmas classics!

4.  Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas! (2011)

The only movie on the list I have not seen, Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christams is a continuation of the popular Disney Channel show by the same name.  Not sure if it’s good or not, but it would be safe to say that no matter what, it would be last on my list anyway.

3.  Twas the Night (2001)

A “how does Santa do that?” flick, Twas the Night introduces us to a teenage boy, Danny Wrigley, who looks forward to his “cool” uncle Nick’s visits each year.  He feels a kinship with his more laid-back nature than with his uptight, perfect family.  Little does Danny know that his cool uncle is a giant schemer, and those schemes have landed him in some deep trouble.  Nick owes a lot of money to these guys or else…

Uncle Nick is spending Christmas Eve with Danny and his family, when Santa drops by to leave them their presents.  Santa has a special device that allows him to freeze time, shrink presents to fit in the sleigh, expand presents, and then re-start time after he leaves.  Makes perfect sense to me!

Through a series of unfortunate events for Santa, he falls in the Wrigley house and hits his head, knocking him out cold.  Danny takes it upon himself and his uncle to save Christmas by finding the little device, piloting the sleigh, and delivering presents according to Santa’s naughty and nice list, on which he finds himself on the naughty side.  Uncle Nick goes along with the plan in order to steal from the houses they visit to pay back the guys who are after him.  Of course, Danny finds out and is incredibly disappointed in his uncle, returning home to give Santa back his sleigh, leaving Nick to go home. Santa is proud of Danny and all he tried to do to save Christmas, retuning him to the nice list.

But for Nick, will he learn his lesson and finally make some grand gesture to get off the naughty list himself? Will he free himself from the guys on his tail?

Twas the Night is funny, entertaining, and I really do love the incredibly original explanation of how Santa gets around to all the world’s children in one night.

2.  Full Court Miracle (2003)

In Disney’s attempt to appeal to all religions, this is Disney’s one and only Hanukkah movie.  Alex Schlotsky is a high school freshman who has a deep love for the game of basketball, despite his mom’s disapproval.  Unfortunately, his team, the Warriors, stinks.  Alex believes he can find their version of Judah Maccabee to coach their team.  He runs into Lamont Carr, a former college and pro star who blew out his knee.  Alex wants Lamont to coach his team, but Lamont is pursuing his dream of playing pro ball again and not interested.  When Alex tells Lamont he will get paid, Lamont reluctantly accepts the job because he needs the money to support his family.

Alex’s team thrives under Lamont’s direction, but the glory is short-lived, as Lamont gets a shot to tryout with a pro team and has to leave the Warriors.  The Warriors play on and play well, making it to the finals of their big tournament against the team that loves to beat the pulp out of them.  The championship game takes place on a stormy night, which causes the power to go out, and the gym then runs on an emergency generator with only a small amount of fuel left- just like the story of the Maccabees.  Will the fuel be enough to hold up the generator to finish the final game?  Will Lamont return and lead the Warriors to victory? Will Alex’s mom accept his passion for the game?

Full Court Miracle is a DCOM classic and educational! Plus, I love basketball and the gym they shot the movie in will remind any grade school kid of their school.

1.  The Ultimate Christmas Present (2000)

Allie is your typical Los Angles kid who’s not a big fan of school and would be willing to try just about anything to get out of the big project due just before winter break begins.  When taking a shortcut home, she and her best friend, Sam, find a funny-looking machine in the trash outside a cabin in the woods.  They take the machine home and find out it controls the weather, giving Allie the idea to make it snow in LA for a snow day!  Unfortunately for Allie, the machine malfunctions and the one snow day turns into a full blizzard, causing havoc for her caterer mother whose parties are all cancelled, her father who is snowed in on a work trip in San Francisco, and all families who aren’t able to get around to do their Christmas traditions.

As it would turn out, the weather machine is actually a creation of Santa’s himself.  So, he and two 6-foot tall elves track it down to Allie’s home.  Also hot on their heels are a local weatherman who is on the lookout to find a big story to save his job.

Will Santa be able to fix the machine and return everything to normal?  Will Christmas morning come like it always has?  Will the weatherman have the ultimate power?

The Ultimate Christmas Present is one of my favorite DCOMs of all time, Christmas-themed or not.

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