Disney Channel has done more than entertain

Allison S.
Staff Writer
Many students grew up watching Disney Channel’s hit shows like That’s So Raven, Hannah Montana, and Lizzie Maguire, but what many students do not realize is that these shows were not created simply to entertain a bunch of elementary school kids. Disney Channel’s shows not only entertain, but they also teach viewers valuable life lessons.lizzie

In the popular 2003 program, That’s So Raven, Raven Baxter (Raven Symone) had visions that would foretell the future. Some of these visions were crystal clear and came true, while some were more up for interpretation and sometimes went in the opposite direction from what the main character had seen. The producer of That’s So Raven used these visions to teach the valuable life lesson that the future is not always set in stone. One can try to predict it and plan it out, but one can only live it to his or her best ability. Every life is full of mistakes and miracles. Although That’s So Raven was a fun-loving comedy, it also taught its young audience to live life to the fullest and not to get disappointed during the rough patches in life. Sophomore Meghan Pierce comments, “I never knew that TV shows could also teach valuable life lessons.” She added, “What a fun and convenient way to learn and be entertained at the same time.” That’s So Raven is not the only television show Disney Channel created to inform its audience.

Lizzie McGuire also depicted many important life lessons. This show, airing in the early 2000’s, was about a girl named Lizzie (Hilary Duff) and her awkward life as a middle school girl. Although Lizzie McGuire could be criticized for teaching only lessons about silly middle school problems, there are several lessons that were taught to stick with the viewers for the rest of their lives. Number one: friends stand by one another no matter what. Lizzie was constantly fighting with her friends and blaming them for actions they did not do, but just as they forgave her for her carelessness, she leaned on them for their guidance even when she was angry, Number two: Be yourself. Like every middle schooler, Lizzie was teased by her peers because of the way she dressed and acted sometimes. Lizzie was not afraid to be herself and wear what she wanted even if it meant getting made fun of in the hallway. Number three: Parents may be difficult at times, but in the end, they know best. Many times Lizzie demanded items from her parents and was grounded on several occasions for not listening to the rules her parents set out for her. Although she thought she knew what was best for her, Lizzie’s parents always saw the other side of the situation, and Lizzie was almost always thankful in the end that her parents were there to enforce rules. Senior Hannah Franz expresses, “Most pre-teens would shake their head at that life lesson and ignore the advice, but it has helped me in a lot of situations.” Although many viewers probably disagreed with that lesson years ago, now it has helped them avoid many catastrophes in their lives.

Another TV show that taught valuable life lessons was Hannah Montana. Although she may have made her life lessons obvious in her hit songs, the show Hannah Montana taught several lessons to its audience in the late 2000’s. This popular series was about a girl named Miley who lives a fairly normal life, except the fact that she is secretly the famous pop singer Hannah Montana. As for the lessons, the cheesy yet informative songs speak for themselves. Songs such as “Life’s What You Make It” and “Who Said” depict messages just in the titles. These songs inform Hannah Montana’s audience that one can do anything he or she wants and sets out to do, and nobody can take that away. Not only do the songs teach life lessons, but the show also depicts an overall theme of reliance and trust on family and friends. Since Miley has a secret identity, she has to rely on her family and friends to keep that secret and help her in any sticky situations that might arise and out her secret. Senior Kennedy Reeg comments, “I don’t know if I could keep a secret like that, but if I did, I would want friends like Miley’s to rely on.”

Although most viewers do not watch Disney Channel series to learn lessons, looking back, most students would agree that they did learn something even if it was unintentional. Students now can say that Disney Channel made them the fantastic people they are today.

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