Many celebrities who have become household names got an incredible start in Disney Channel Original Movies, which are films made for TV. There are many stars whose careers flourished until today after their stint with the children’s channel.
A very timid but brilliant transfer student – that’s the main role that Vanessa Hudgens played in the musical franchise ‘High School Musical.’ Although the actress had small appearances in ‘Drake and Josh’ and ‘Still Standing,’ the Disney film was what really catapulted her to stardom.
‘High School Musical’ became a global sensation, and so did Vanessa, who played Gabriella Montez. Her onscreen partner (and for a time, a real-life boyfriend) Zac Efron also became a huge name after playing Troy Bolton.
Long before she played an agent in the remake of ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and the very quiet transferee Bella Swan in ‘Twilight,’ one of Kristen Stewart’s first big appearances was in ‘The Thirteenth Year.’ She had a minor part in this Disney Channel film as a girl in line to the school’s fountain.
It may not be what thrust her to international popularity but at such a young age, Kristen has already shown her acting chops.
When you hear America Ferrera’s name, you immediately think about ‘Ugly Betty.’ But long before this portrayal put her on the map, her career started with a role of a cheerleader in the 2002 Disney Channel Original Film ‘Gotta Kick It Up!’
Finn Wittrock technically had appearances in major shows like ‘ER’ and ‘Cold Case’ but he actually earned a lot of fans when he landed a huge role in ‘Halloweentown High,’ a sequel to ‘Halloweentown.’ By now you may know him for his ‘American Horror Story’ works.
One of the most successful stars that came from Disney Channel is Demi Lovato. Although her career technically started with ‘Barney and Friends,’ she took a rest after this job and came back in the limelight in the late 2000s.
When Demi returned to the spotlight, she did so with a bang: she underlined the definition of songstress. The star’s comeback was in a Disney film called ‘Camp Rock,’ where she played opposite Joe Jonas, and which really etched her name both in the Hollywood and music industries.
You may recognize him for playing Sam Winchester in ‘Supernatural’ but Jared Padalecki got his start in ‘A Ring of Endless Night’ opposite Mischa Barton, who, in the film, could talk to dolphins.
Her career started in the ‘90s but Brie Larson’s first major starrer was the Disney film ‘Right on Track.’ Of course, we know her now as ‘Captain Marvel.’