Including mermaids, holograms, and aliens aplenty.
Disney+ is trickling its way into our daily dependence on streaming services.
This means we've unlocked a whole new world (Aladdin pun intended) of movies to watch half-attentively while we also scroll on our phones. You probably already know of all the classic Disney Originals that are at your disposal, but what about the Disney Channel Originals?
It's probably a given that big hits like High School Musical, Zenon, and Camp Rock are now available for your adult self to stream and reminisce, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. Name a DCOM, and it's likely available on Disney+, including all the strange, ridiculous low-fliers you might've forgotten about. Here are just nine to kickstart your nostalgia trip.
1. Alley Cats Strike!
Anything goes in the Disney Channel universe, including a bowling match to settle a basketball championship tie between rival towns. Why are both towns so invested in high school bowling? Why do the teenage winners get to pick the name of a new school in the area? We don't know, but we're still chasing the high of that final scene.
2. Stepsister from Planet Weird
In this sci-fi comedy from 2000, a literal alien refugee is immediately welcomed into the popular crowd at her new high school on Earth, despite thinking her human form is "grotesque." Not to mention that the emperor of her home planet is defeated by hair dryers and wind blowers.
3. Can of Worms
On the other end of the spectrum of Disney Channel's alien fixation, Can of Worms centers around Mike, who lives an entirely normal life besides believing he doesn't belong on Earth at all. After he accidentally sends a message to space, he's visited by an alien lawyer who deems Earth's living standards subpar. Strangely eerie 20 years later, isn't it?
4. The Thirteenth Year
Cody's birth mother is a mermaid who left him on a random boat when he was a baby. Now, as Cody approaches his teens, his merman features are beginning to present themselves, and he nearly gets accused for cheating during his swim meet. It's just fins, not steroids!
5. Luck of the Irish
There's little to take away from this film other than a white teenage boy finally embraces that he is both Irish and from Ohio, but leprechauns and river dancing will never not be amusing.
Five years before Amanda Bynes posed as her own twin brother in She's the Man, Disney Channel offered their own adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. After Andi's brother gets injured, she decides to fill in for him in an all-male motocross tournament, chopping her hair off and all. The sexism is abundant, but—spoiler alert—Andi can totally take on the guys.
7. The Other Me
Poor Will. His grades are slipping, his dad is threatening to send him to military camp, and he just accidentally made a clone of himself who turns out to be way cooler and smarter than him, so they switch places. Kinda like the Parent Trap, but sciencey.
8. You Wish!
The lesson this film attempts to impart is: don't wish away your little brother, because he might instead become a child TV star and make your life even more of a living hell than it was when you lived under the same roof.
9. Pixel Perfect
The perfect pop star doesn't exist, until, of course, you make a hologram of her. Loretta Modern might have been programmed to become an overnight sensation, but she just wants to be a regular human, damn it! She ends up being helpful in more ways than one, but like all modern technology, she can't last forever.
Maybe they didn't all make total sense, but there's a reason DCOMs became such an integral part of growing up in the 2000s. DCOM creators conceived some of the strangest, most fringe ideas, and served them to a market that didn't mind how nonsensical they were; pair that with Disney Channel's omnipresence in the typical middle-class American household, and these oddly lovable films serve as a timestamp for an era.
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Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.
11 years ago, on July 10th, 2009, Colombian singer Shakira released the first single off her third studio album.
"She Wolf" is a synth-pop banger built on a B minor progression. It was, in many ways, an insane song, born out of the singer's own frustration and ennui.
Though the music was composed by John Hill and Sam Endicott, lead singer of post-punk band The Bravery, the lyrics were all Shakira's own. "[Shakira] contacted him (Hill), asking if he had any stuff," said Endicott. "We never had her in mind. We just made the thing independently of her, and then she liked it a lot, and she sang over it. She used some of the melodies we put in there and then wrote these crazy lyrics about being a werewolf. And that's how it happened."
Shakira - She Wolf www.youtube.com