Between Walt Disney Pictures, Disney Channel, and Lucasfilm, the magical moviemakers put out some of their finest films in the early 2000s, and it’s hard to believe some of them are celebrating their 20th birthday this year.
A movie in the Star Warsfranchise, two unforgettable DCOMs, and a beloved film about a young girl, her pet alien, and their found ohana are just some of the releases that graced everyone’s childhoods two decades ago, and now live on as classics in the Disney vault.
Lilo And Stitch
The movie that brought everyone the lovable little girl named Lilo, her mischievous pet alien called Stitch, and an animated take on the beautiful beaches and oceans of Hawaii, Lilo and Stitch is considered a cult classic by generations of viewers.
The film crash-landed into theaters on June 16, 2002, sharing a theatrical release birthday with other notable Disney movies: 1955’s Lady and the Tramp,2000’sFantasia/2000,2004’sAround the World in 80 Days, and 2017’sCars 3.
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Despite the three films that came before it, what’s considered the second movie in the Star Wars franchise was released on May 16, 2002, 10 years before The Walt Disney Company would add Lucasfilm to their roster of movie-maker extraordinaires.
Even though its release took place 25 years after the original, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones is set only a decade later and followed the Jedi fighting off new threats to the galaxy far, far away.
Airing on March 8, 2002, this Disney Channel Original Movie about a rebellious teenage girl who winds up in military school and must meet the demands of her new commanding officer starred two Disney Channel sweethearts of the 2000s.
Lizzie McGuire’slead teen Hilary Duff played the new cadet Kelly Collins opposite Even Stevens star Christy Carlson Romano as Captain Jennifer Stone and future Life With Derek star Ashley Leggat as a background dancer in the memorable DCOM.
The Country Bears
The Country Bears started out as a musical comedy attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World called County Bear Jamboree, where it brought joy to guests for decades before turning into a musical comedy of the film variety in the Summer of 2002.
Not all Disney Parks attractions and characters receive the motion picture treatment, but this movie starred puppets from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop voiced by notable actors like Elizabeth Daily, Hayley Joel Osment, and Diedrich Bader.
Nominated for an Academy Award alongside fellow 2002 release Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet is the popular space adventure movie that people tend to forget was released by Walt Disney Pictures in November 2002.
Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Trease Island, the film followed teenager Jim Hawkins on a quest to find the greatest pirate trove in the universe with a megastar cast of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Martin Short and Emma Thompson.
Disney’s Tuck Everlasting was based on the 1975 children’s book by Natalie Babbitt and hit theaters on October 11, 2002, to box office success.
The film starred Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel and General Hospital’s Jonathan Jackson as forbidden couple Winnie Foster and Jesse Tuck and was narrated by The Karate Kid and Cobra Kaialum Elisabeth Shue.
The early 2000s on Disney Channel were made iconic by their lovable group of stars, hilarious and heartwarming sitcoms, and inspirational DCOMs that set a standard for Disney Channel movies to come.
Double Teamed starred Poppi Monroe and Annie McElwain as twin basketball stars Heather and Heidi Burge and told the true story of their journey from high school basketball to becoming WNBA players.
The Santa Clause 2
Christmas classic The Santa Clause starred Tim Allen as the holiday’s headman in 1994 and was finally gifted a sequel eight years later, just in time for Christmas 2002 after several axed drafts in the writer’s room.
The Santa Clause 2 included the eight-year time jump and followed Allen’s Santa Claus during his busiest time of year when he gets the unfortunate news that his son ended up on the naughty list.
Cinderella II: Dreams Come True
A whole 72 years after Cinderella brought a comeback to the Disney company after failed films like Pinocchio and Bambi left Walt Disney and his team in a rut, the princess classic got a not-so-well-received sequel.
Cinderella II: Dreams Come True was released direct-to-video in February 2002 and followed Jaq and Gus on their quest to write a sequel to their favorite princess’ love story, starting with Cinderella planning her first party in the castle.
Mickey’s House Of Villains
House of Mouse was an animated television series part of Disney’s One Saturday Morning programming block in the early 2000s that featured dozens of known Disney characters who all gathered at a club to mingle and watch Mickey Mouse cartoons.
On September 3, 2002, the series got a direct-to-video Halloween film called Mickey’s House of Villains that starred villains everyone loves to hate like Jafar, Cruella De Vil and Ursula, who set out to take over the club and can only be stopped by the all-powerful Sorcerer Mickey.
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