Let’s watch a Disney Channel movie! Whether you like your Disney Channel Original Movies new and bursting with budding talent, or from year’s past and filled with heaps of nostalgia, there is something for everyone, but espcially a Broadway fan!
From musicals filled with songs that got stuck in our heads years ago and never left, to non-musical movies packed with stars who have appeared on Broadway, we guarantee there is a Disney Channel Original Movie for you.
Read BroadwayWorld’s list of Disney Channel Original Movies for Broadway lovers below!
High School Musical (& Sequels)
It would be impossible to start a list of Disney Channel Original Movies for Broadway lovers with anything but this iconic DCOM. Almost undebatably the most succesful movie on this list, High School Musical is directed and choreographed by the legendary Kenny Ortega, known for his work on Newsies, Dirty Dancing, and countless more (including a few movies on this list!). High School Musical launched the careers of many stars who went on to have a career in the world of musical theatre, including Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Corbin Bleu.
Since High School Musical, Zac Efron has starred in the movie musicals Hairspray and The Greatest Showman. Vanessa Hudgens starred on Broadway in the musical Gigi, and on screen she starred as Rizzo in Grease Live!, and Maureen Johnson in Rent: Live, as well as starring in the film adaptation of Jonathan Larson‘s Tick, Tick…Boom!. Corbin Bleu is also no stranger to the Broadway stage, having starred in multiple Broadway shows, including In the Heights, Godspell, Holiday Inn, and Kiss Me, Kate.
If High School Musical isn’t enough for you, don’t worry, you can watch High School Musical 2, High School Musical 3, and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series!
Watch some of the most iconic numbers from High School Musical and its sequels below!
Zombies (& Sequels)
Next on our list is a newer Disney Channel Original Movie! Zombies, a musical about a zombie football player and human cheerleader who fall in love, received over two and a half million views during its 2018 premiere! The film stars Milo Manheim and Meg Donnelly, and the soundtrack to the movie ranked No. 4 on Billboard’s list of top-selling children’s music titles.
Zombies spawned the sequels Zombies 2, and Zombies 3!
Watch some of Zombie’s musical numbers below!
Camp Rock (& Sequel)
We’re taking it back to 2008 with Camp Rock, the third highest viewed DCOM of all time. Camp Rock, starring Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers, features some of the catchiest songs to ever come out of a Disney Channel Original Movie, “This Is Me,” “We Rock,” “Gotta Find You” just to name a few. It also features one very famous Broadway alum, Nick Jonas!
On stage, Nick Jonas starred as Marius in the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert, as Link Larkin in Hairspray at the Hollywood Bowl, and as J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway . Honorable mention is Jonas’ recurring role on the television show Smash! Jonas was also a producer for the Broadway production of Douglas Lyons‘ Chicken & Biscuits.
From Camp Rock came its successful sequel Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.
Watch some of the best known numbers from Camp Rock below!
Descendants (& Sequels)
Descendants is one of the newer Disney Channel Original Movies, featuring notable Broadway talent, Dove Cameron and Kristin Chenoweth, alongside Cameron Boyce, Sofia Carson and Booboo Stewart. Directed by Kenny Ortega, the film follows the teenage children of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar, and Cruella de Vil. After Descendants premiered in 2015, it became the fifth most watched original movie in cable history. Descendants features notable songs including “Rotten to the Core,” “Evil Like Me” and more.
Dove Cameron‘s musical career includes starring as Sophie Sheridan in “Mamma Mia!” at the Hollywood Bowl (alongside Corbin Bleu as Sky!), and starring off-Broadway as Cher Horowitz in “Clueless: The Musical”. She made her West End debut as Clara in The Light in the Piazza, and went on to star as Amber Von Tussle in “Hairspray Live!” alongside Kristin Chenoweth.
Kristin Chenoweth is a Tony Award winning legend of the Broadway stage. In 1999, she won a Tony Award for “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” and she was also nominated for her original role of Glinda in “Wicked” in 2004. Chenoweth was also nominated for two Emmy Awards and for her role on “Glee.” In 2015, Chenoweth earned a Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance in “On the Twentieth Century” on Broadway. Chenoweth returned Broadway stage for a concert engagement of “For The Girls” in 2019. She played Velma Von Tussle in NBC’s Hairspray Live! in 2016, and starred alongside Dove Cameron once more in in the Apple TV+ musical comedy Schmigadoon! (2021).
Descendants spawned sequals Descendants 2 and Descendants 3!
Watch a few of Descendants most notable songs below!
For all the song and dance lovers out there, here is a Disney Channel Original Movie throwback featuring some of the catchiest tunes to come out of Disney. We’re talking about 2003’s Cheetah Girls, the first Disney Channel Original Movie musical! The movie, directed by Kenny Ortega, stars Raven-Symoné, Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, Sabrina Bryan.
Raven is no stranger to the Broadway stage, having made her Broadway debut as Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act!
From The Cheetah Girls came its sequels The Cheetah Girls 2, and The Cheetah Girls: One World.
Watch numbers from The Cheetah Girls below!
Teen Beach Movie (& Sequel)
For Broadway lovers, Teen Beach Movie has it all! Starring Ross Lynch, Maia Mitchell, Garrett Clayton, Jordan Fisher, Kevin Chamberlin and more, Teen Beach Movie transports its characters into their favorite movie, “Wet Side Story”, and pays homage to 1960s beach musicals such as “Beach Party” and “Beach Blanket Bingo”.
The movie’s stars are no strangers to the world of musical theatre!
In 2016, Ross Lynch starred as Mark Anthony in the Hollywood Bowl’s production of A Chorus Line!
In 2017, Garrett Clayton starred on stage at The Pasadena Playhouse alongside Al Pacino and Judith Light in a six-week run of Dotson Rader‘s play God Looked Away. Clayton also starred in Hairspray Live! alongside Dove Cameron and Kristin Chenoweth, as heartthrob Link Larkin.
One of Teen Beach Movie’s most notable Broadway stars is none other than Kevin Chamberlin! Chamberlin was nominated for Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Dirty Blonde, Seussical, and The Addams Family. Additional Broadway credits include My Favorite Year, Triumph of Love, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Chicago, The Ritz and Wicked.
Jordan Fisher starred on Broadway as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton in Hamilton from 2016 to 2017, and took on the lead role of Evan Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen in 2020. He also starred on screen in Grease Live and Rent: Live alongside Vanessa Hudgens!
From Teen Beach Movie came its sequel Teen Beach 2.
Watch numbers from Teen Beach Movie below!
This Disney Channel Original Movie is based on the novel Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers (daughter of composer Richard Rodgers) and Disney’s stage adaptation of the novel. Heidi Blickenstaff reprised her role as the mother, Katherine Blake, from the stage version, and Cozi Zuehlsdorff stars as her daughter, Ellie Blake. The movie was written by Bridget Carpenter and directed by Steve Carr. Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (the writers of the Pulitzer Prize winning-musical Next to Normal), were Freaky Friday’s composers. The movie was choreographed by John Carrafa, two-time Tony Award nominated choreographer of the Broadway musicals Urinetown and Into The Woods.
The movie’s star Heidi Blickenstaff starred in [title of show] during its Off-Broadway and Broadway runs, and originated the role of Bea in the 2015 Broadway musical Something Rotten!. She also starred on Broadway in The Full Monty and The Little Mermaid, and has many more stage credits to her name!
Watch numbers from Freaky Friday below!
Non-Musical DCOMs Starring Actors Who Have Appeared on Broadway
Adventures in Babysitting
Adventures in Babysitting is the 100th Disney Channel Original Movie! Starring Sabrina Carpenter and Sofia Carson, Adventures in Babysitting is a remake of the 1987 film of the same name.
The movie’s star, Sabrina Carpenter took to the Broadway stage in 2020, making her Broadway debut in Mean Girls musical as Cady Heron!
Check out the trailer for Adventures in Babysitting below!
If you didn’t get enough of singing-dancing Broadway superstar Corbin Bleu in High School Musical, check out Jump In! Jump In! This Disney Channel Original Movie features Bleu as a young boxer, who joins his friend Mary (played by Keke Palmer)’s Double Dutch team. Jump In! marked Corbin Bleu‘s second #1 hit for the Disney Channel. Its ratings record for highest rated DCOM was beat out for later that year by High School Musical 2, making it Bleu’s third #1 hit DCOM.
Corbin Bleu isn’t the only star of Jump In! who has appeared on Broadway – Keke Palmer starred as Ella in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway from 2014 to 2015!
Watch the music video for Corbin Bleu‘s Push It To The Limit from Jump In! below!
Cadet Kelly is another throwback Disney Channel Original Movie, from 2022, starring Hilary Duff and Christy Carlson Romano. Cadet Kelly features Hilary Duff as free-spirited Kelly, who is in for a big adjustment when she attends military school and clashes with Cadet Captain Jennifer Stone, played by Christy Carlson Romano.
Christy Carlson Romano‘s stage career began as a child when she starred in the national tours of Annie, The Will Rogers Follies and The Sound of Music. Romano made her Broadway debut in 1998 as Mary Phagan in Jason Robert Brown‘s Parade. In 2004, Romano starred as Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. She reprised the role in Atlanta’s 2005 Fox Theatre production. In 2008, she joined the Broadway company of Avenue Q as Kate Monster. In 2010, she starred as Michelle off-Broadway in White’s Lies at New World Stages.
Check out a clip from Cadet Kelly, one of the most iconic scenes in a DCOM, below!