We’ve been here before, and I intend to milk this topic dry for as long as my boss will let me. What I didn’t realize is how much tougher ranking early 2000s Disney Channel shows would be from the other two rankings I’ve done for Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Kids WB shows. For those rankings, I had a clear number one in my head from the start, whether you agree with me or not is an entirely different matter. With Disney shows, I struggled. I still am struggling as I write this first paragraph. On any given day, all of these shows could be number one.   

Best Early 2000s Disney Shows

6. The Proud Family

The Proud Family is without a doubt a great show. I would always watch an episode if it was on, but that was the issue for me. It almost never aired when I watched TV as a kid. The timing was always off. But from what I did watch, it is without a doubt goated. It was doing representation before people were intentionally practicing like it is today. I have nothing bad to say about this show, but I can’t sit here and praise a show I barely got to watch. 

5. Kim Possible

I truly believe that Kim Possible has one of the most iconic theme songs from our childhoods with only one other show from Disney beating it, but I’ll get to that pick later. Kim Possible is such a cool concept. What kid wouldn’t want to imagine being a secret agent while in highschool. Sounds like an awesome life, just look at movies like Agent Cody Banks. Tag on an archetype early 2000s doofus character like Ron Stoppable and a weird pet like Rufus and you have the makings of a great show. And may the universe bless who came up with Shego’s character design because it is without a doubt the best Halloween costume next to Raven from Teen Titans and Sam from Danny Phantom. (Read into that grouping however you want, but IYKYK.)  

4. Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb would be a lot higher on my list if I was two years younger than I am. It came out in 2007. I was 10 which worked out perfectly, but it kept going all the way until I graduated high school in 2015. At some point between being 10 and graduating high school, I stopped watching it. I was too busy binging anime and watching trash movies like Transformers. All this to say, I love this show. It has some of the funniest ear-worming songs ever created. (Gitchee Gitchee Goo, Squirrels in My Pants, A-G-L-E-T, etc.) So while I may have outgrown the series before it finished, it remains top tier. (Also Phineas and Isabella finally getting together at the end after they are headed to college is peak fiction.)  

3. Hannah Montana

I’m going to get a lot of hate for Hannah Montana being third on my list, but I was a young boy. I couldn’t care less about a girl who was secretly a pop-star. The little kid in me just didn’t care; however, her doofus older brother had me laughing out loud 80% of the time. I’m like a caveman when it comes to humor. Funny man make simple joke get me laugh hard. Even though I didn’t  care for this show, I would be stupid to put it any lower. Hannah Montana, and by extension Miley Cyrus, is Disney Channel royalty up there with London Tipton and Sharpay Evans. Whether I liked the show or not has nothing to do with the impact Hannah Montana had on people.  

2. Sweet Life of Zack and Cody

Here it is. My controversial number two pick. When I think of Disney Channel, I think of The Sweet Life of Zack and Cody. I wanted to live in a hotel so badly, but my mom said that we couldn’t because we already have a house. The nerve, she denied me a dream by already providing shelter over my head. What I think drew me in the most as a kid was watching the brother dynamic. I always wanted a brother growing up. (I was blessed with two older sisters and one younger sister.) So watching Zack and Cody fight, play games, and have each other’s back was a dream for me. If Disney Channel were to have its own Mount Rushmore, these two would be up there for sure.    

1. Wizards of Waverly Place

Without a single doubt in my mind, Wizards of Waverly Place has the most iconic theme song from the early 2000s era. I can hear crystal clear in my head right now as I write about it. (It’s lowkey on my cardio workout playlist. Don’t judge me. Selena Gomez is a queen.) But what makes this show so great besides Selena Gomez, a story centered around a tight-knit family, and magic? It’s the fact that it holds up the best for a rewatch. There are still some really cringe-worthy moments, but the next time you’re sick and looking for something to watch, throw this on your tv. You won’t regret it. (Although the weird werewolf story arc felt a little too close to Twilight for my taste.)    

Honorable Mentions 

  • American Dragon: Jake Long – Would have made the list if it was for the animation change. 
  • That’s So Raven – Raven’s vision stare always made me laugh and left me uncomfortable at times. Why was she staring into my soul like that? 
  • Lizzie McGuire – The movie was better than the show. Tell me I’m wrong. 
  • The Disney Channel Games – aka the Olympics of my childhood 

Your turn. Which Early 2000’s Disney show was/is your favorite?

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