The 25 Best Disney Channel Original Movies

15. Cadet Kelly (March 8, 2002)

Director: Larry Shaw
Stars: Hilary Duff, Christy Carlson Romano, Gary Cole
Lesson Learned: Going from totally fab to olive drab and then back to totally fab is a realistic trajectory for one's life.

Oh, Christy Carlson Romano—she was such a stick in the mud, right? Especially considering how super-fabulous Hilary Duff was, spinning that plastic rifle in her jazz hands like it was a baton and she was the majorette of our super-sad high school dreams.

But since you didn't have the same downbeat existence circa '02, let's get you up to speed. Kelly Collins (Hilary Duff) has a problem: Her mom is dating this Brigadier General and since they're totally in love, they're getting married, which means that Collins is going to have to attend the military academy the BG oversees. Since Collins totally loves pink sweatpants, there will be problems. She squares off against consummate ball/ovary-buster Cadet Captain Jennifer Stone (Romano), and then there's a big school dance, some cliff-rappelling, and, of course, many lessons learned.

Fun fact: Cadet Kelly caused an entire generation of children to be drawn to women-in-prison movies starring Pam Grier and lots of breasts. —RS

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