Disney Channel original movies narrated many of our childhoods. In honor of the 100th DCOM, the channel announced Thursday that it will air a four-day marathon of 51 original movies ranging from “Cheetah Girls” to “Halloweentown” over Memorial Day weekend, Time reported.
The DCOM “Rip Girls” was by far my favorite film when I was a kid. I was compelled to watch this film again after hearing about the four-day marathon of DCOM’s airing on the Disney Channel in late May. Here are my thoughts and, most importantly, my feelings.
“Rip Girls,” starring now well-known actress Camilla Belle, sort of normalized my life and validated the place I called home. It’s about Sydney Miller (Belle) a 13-year-old girl who revisits Hawaii and reaches self-actualization through surfing. Later on, Sydney finds out that she has inherited a large portion of Hawaiian land that was thought to be publicly owned. She is faced with a decision to either sell the land or keep it preserved and untouched. After her newfound surfing friends argue with her, Sydney eventually manages to save the land and moves there indefinitely.
I know that my writing about Hawaii gets old, but it’s such an integral part of my childhood, seeing as how I consider it my home. I have a clear memory of 5-year-old me sitting with my mom and dad by the TV in amazement as “Rip Girls” flashed on the screen. I loved seeing Sydney do a dramatized version of what I did on the daily. She went to the beach, ate sushi and hung out with her mad cool Asian friends. I believe it was the first time I ever saw something remotely close to what my life was like. As a kid, validation is extremely important. It took me a while to realize that my ethnicities, culture, way of life and home were all unique in the best possible way.
Before writing this, I sat down to watch “Rip Girls” again for the first time in more than 10 years. Yes, the cinematography was less than par, and sure, I cringed at the script every once in a while, but the meaning behind it was still the same. The feeling I got while watching it was kind of like the feeling I get when I think about the simplicity of what living on an organic small-scale farm must feel like, or when I watch “Stand by Me,” another favorite movie of mine. It’s about a boy and his three best childhood friends as they attempt to find a missing boy in the forest of 1959 Oregon.
Something about the soundtrack and the norms of the ‘50s gets me feeling some kind of way. Nostalgic or melancholy is the best way to describe it. It takes me back home. It takes me back to when I was a kid, when I didn’t have a philosophy midterm next week and when I didn’t have to think about if my heels matched my dress. I watched “Rip Girls,” and I felt better than I ever had in weeks.
“Rip Girls” also reminded me to keep in touch with everything that came before I started college. It also reminded me to call my parents, which geared me up for a summer filled with beaching it and kicking it with my pals. And so, as you and your friends gear up to watch the marathon, remember how your favorite movies made you feel. Try to understand why you liked them in the first place. Reminisce and let yourself laugh at the over-done lines and fresh-faced tweens. Embrace your inner 2000s kid, because deep down, everyone knows the ‘90s are overrated.