Many millenials agree that Disney Channel hit its prime in the early- to mid-2000s. Nowadays, on the rare occasions when they linger a bit longer on the Disney Channel while channel-surfing, millennial viewers yearn for the long afternoons they would spend singing along to the “Phil of the Future” (2004–2006) theme song after elementary school classes. With few exceptions, the quality of Disney Channel just isn’t up to par with what it was during its peak. All the shows from that 2000s period will always hold a special place in millenials’ hearts, but there is a definite hierarchy among them. Without further ado: the top 10 Disney Channel TV of the 2000s — in order.
1. Following the insane life of teenage psychic Raven (Raven-Symoné Pearman), “That’s So Raven” (2003-2007) was a staple for Disney Channel devotees. Raven’s chemistry with her two best friends, Chelsea (Anneliese van der Pol) and Eddie (Orlando Brown), was incredibly entertaining. Though the show was fairly comedic, it was also tackled important issues such as discrimination, and used scenarios as learning experiences for its viewers.
2. Every child who watched “Kim Possible” (2002-2007) considered becoming a spy just so they could be as cool as Kim (Christy Carlson Romano). Kim was the ultimate multi-tasker: she managed to participate on the cheerleading team and attend high school — all while saving the world from evil villains. We can’t forget her trusty — and hilarious — sidekicks: Ron Stoppable (Will Friedle) and his naked mole rat, Rufus (Nancy Cartwright). Rufus even has his own song called “The Naked Mole Rap,” which is catchier than any other rap song out there.
3. There is no point in denying that we all had a crush on Phil (Ricky Ullman) from “Phil of the Future.” He was nerdy and a little awkward, but there’s something about being from the future that just makes anyone more attractive. And then there’s his sister, Pim (Amy Bruckner), who was simultaneously funny and terrifying — quite an entertaining combination.
4. With Destiny’s Child and Solange singing the theme song, “The Proud Family” (2001-2005) was bound for greatness. There is a severe underrepresentation of cartoon characters of color, and “The Proud Family” added diversity to the plethora of shows on the Disney Channel. Suga Mama (Jo Marie Payton), the sassy grandma of protagonist Penny Proud (Kyla Pratt), is hilarious and doesn’t let anyone push her around. We all secretly wished she was our grandma.
5. Everyone has an inner Louis Stevens (Shia Labeouf), whether they choose to share it or not. Louis is, simply put, a bit of a nerd, and always seems to find himself in trouble on “Even Stevens” (2000-2003) — much to the annoyance of his perfectly normal older sister Ren (Christy Carlson Romano). The highlight of the show, however, is of course Beans (Steven Anthony Lawrence), who no one really understands. You can pretty much always count on him for comic relief.
6. “The Lizzie McGuire Movie” (2003) is arguably the best thing to come from the show “Lizzie Mcguire” (2001-2004), but the show was also pretty decent. The undying friendship between Lizzie (Hilary Duff), Miranda (Lalaine Vergara-Paras) and Gordo (Adam Lamberg) was extremely compelling, despite the obvious underlying sexual tension between Lizzie and Gordo. The show even discussed the dangers of eating disorders, a difficult but relevant topic to cover for growing youths.
7. “Phineas and Ferb” (2007-2015) is the most recent show on the list, but it deserves its spot here. A show can’t go wrong when it has two inventive young brothers, a spy platypus, a villain whose actual name is “Dr. Doofenshmirtz” and not one, but two gingers represented.
8. Regardless of how weird it is to be a kid living in a hotel, there’s no doubt that “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” (2005-2008) was a fan favorite. Identical twins Zack (Dylan Sprouse) and Cody (Cole Sprouse), dissimilar in every aspect other than looks, run around a hotel wreaking havoc despite manager Mr. Moseby’s (Phil Lewis) incessant nagging. The two brothers have natural, mischievous chemistry.
9. “The Emperor’s New School” (2006-2008) was as good as its movie counterpart, “The Emperor’s New Groove” (2000). The combination of pretentiousness, ignorance, apathy and suppressed compassion present in Emperor Kuzco (J.P. Manoux) make him a great character. He’s joined by two main villains: the hysterically oblivious Kronk (Patrick Warburton) and the cold, exasperated Yzma (Eartha Kitt). The interactions between the three make the show worth the watch.
10. The last spot on this list reluctantly goes to “Hannah Montana” (2006-2011). While it wasn’t the best Disney Channel show, it was one of the most memorable. Ignoring the clear impossibilities of living such a double lifestyle, following the life of teen pop star Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) was a fun adventure for young kids.