Many of the wealthiest celebrities in Hollywood have one thing in common: they all work for Disney. Everyone from Miley Cyrus to Britney Spears to Zendaya to Ryan Gosling has a connection to Walt Disney, whether via a song or through a movie.
Although the relationship may have been formed via films or a television channel, it may have been 30 years or just three, the money and the association are still there.
The Disney Channel, with its children’s and teen-oriented programming, has been a mainstay of many viewers’ childhoods for decades.
Many former Disney Channel stars have continued to work in the industry, with familiar faces such as Kimberly J. Brown (Halloweentown) currently appearing on the television show General Hospital and Lucas Grabeel (High School Musical) lending his Voice regularly to the animated series Family Guy.
Even though Disney Channel is a children’s network, it has acted as a launching pad for some of our age’s most well-known music singers and actresses.
The idea of winning a part in a Disney Channel program is a dream come true for many aspiring child actors, which is understandable.
Many believe it will be the stepping stone that will aid them in becoming a household name. Not every young star that passes through Disney’s door is lucky enough to have such an experience.
Perhaps a dozen stars didn’t cut for everyone who did
10. Britney Spears
Surprisingly, Britney Spears started in the entertainment industry by working for Mickey Mouse from 1993 to 1995. She is yet another character to make an appearance on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, this time for three episodes.
A few years later, in 1998, the single “Hit Me Baby One More Time” was published, catapulting this young kid into the limelight and launching him into immediate celebrity status.
Even as she struggled with the growing pains of fame at such a young age, as well as a lengthy and arduous conservatorship, Spears’s star continued to rise as she released hit after hit while also landing small acting roles in movies like Long Shot, alongside other Mouse Club stars such as Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez.
A year later, she’d get a supporting part in Crossroads, a film created by ShondaRhimes.
There’s no denying that Disney understands how to locate and develop the most gifted children from all around the globe. Also seen is how many of these famous kids are desperate to break away from their Disney personalities that they are willing to go to any length to do so–even if it means destroying their public image altogether in the process.
Despite this, most of these talents have emerged from Disney undamaged and ready to take on the world of show business.
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9. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus is maybe one of the most well-known Disney Channel stars to have left the network. Given that her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, was already well-known as a country music artist and as the series lead on the television series Doc, Miley Cyrus made her full-fledged acting debut in 2006 with the Hannah Montana film.
She demonstrated her vocal and acting abilities while portraying a teen girl named Miley Stewart, who has a secret identity as pop sensation Hannah Montana.
From 2006 through 2011, the programme would run on Disney Channel, and it would include several crossover events with other series such as The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
A Disney animated feature film, Bolt will also include the singer as a voice actress (2008). The next year, Cyrus would embark on a successful music career, including a few acting appearances, including one in the 2019 episode of Netflix’s sci-fi series Black Mirror titled “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too.”
8. Christina Aguilera
This pop diva caught the globe by storm with her Voice, which needs no introduction. Christina Aguilera was a youngster hopeful on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club from 1993 to 1995, when she appeared with other now-famous Disney alumni.
This was before her chart-topping career began. A TV movie containing scenes from Disney’s animated feature Mulan, entitled Reflections on Ice: Michelle Kwan Skates to the Music of Mulan, was released in 1998, and she provided her voice for it.
In 2020, Aguilera would sing the song “Reflection” for the Mulan remake, bringing the credit around full circle. As an actress, Aguilera starred in Burlesque and the television series Nashville, which used music as a central theme.
The Voice and other talent competition programmes have included her as a judge, and she has done so since 2011.
Zendaya, another Hollywood superstar with Disney ties, takes the globe by storm in the film industry. Before she rose to fame as a fashion icon and award-winning actress, she co-starred with Bella Thorne in the Disney Channel series Shake It Up in 2010.
Rocky (Zendaya) and Cece (Thorne) pursued their ambitions of becoming dancers on a variety programme, and the show tracked their journey.
After Shake It Up concluded in 2013, Zendaya’s career at Disney continued with K.C. Undercover, aired from 2015 through 2018.
Following her departure from Disney, she would win a Primetime Emmy in 2020 for her portrayal of Rue Bennett in HBO’s Euphoria, becoming her the youngest actress to win an Emmy for a drama series at the age of twenty-four.
6. Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake used to spend his free time watching Disney Channel before he became a household name on every radio station and streaming service.
The music superstar was cast on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, which ran from 1993 to 1995 and included several A-listers. He appeared in four episodes during that period.
The Mickey Mouse Club would introduce him to future *NSYNC boy bandmate JC Chasez, who would appear in six episodes throughout six seasons from 1991 to 1995.
A part from in the television movie Model Behavior, Timberlake co-starred alongside Maggie Lawson in 2000, marking Timberlake’s return to his Disney origins. The film aired on the Disney anthology series.
The Wonderful World of Disney as part of its second season. Timberlake’s popularity not only paved the way for a great solo music career but also for a successful career in the cinema business, where he appeared in films such as The Social Network and Trolls.
5. Hilary Duff
Hilary Duff, a genuine Disney darling, brought to life for millennials the real-world challenges and tribulations of being a teenage girl in the Disney film Mean Girls.
While her first film credit is for the television movie Casper Meets Wendy, the picture itself was not a Disney production, even though it was shown regularly during the Disney Channel’s Halloween programming.
Duff would become a member of the mouse-house clan in 2001 when she was cast as the titular character Lizzie McGuire. The fan-loved programme ran from 2001 to 2004, with Duff appearing in the channel’s original movie Cadet Kelly in 2002, which was also a fan favourite.
Lizzie McGuire would star in her feature picture, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, released in 2003. Following her tenure at Disney, Duff went on to release several pop songs and appear in feature films, showcasing her singing and acting abilities.
She is now starring as Sophie in the Hulu series How I Met Your Father.The Christmas album Santa Claus Lane was her full-length debut, and she entirely ditched her Disney identity for her breakthrough album, Metamorphosis, in 2003.
The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and gave Duff the smash songs “So Yesterday,” “Come Clean,” and “Sixteen” that made her a household name.
In the time since her debut, Hilary Duff has released five studio albums, ranging from Hilary Duff to Dignity (2007) and Sparks (2010), which are both electronic pop albums (2015).
A new song by Duff, RAC, and her husband Matthew Koma will be released in early 2020, covering Third Eye Blind’s “Never Let You Go.” Duff’s first new song in four years is also the first tune the pair has recorded together.
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4. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato, a musical dynamo who also happens to be an actor, is another celebrity whose musical abilities were initially shown on the Disney Channel.
In 2007, Lovato made their debut television appearance in the comedic shorts series As the Bell Rings, which followed a group of students and their hallway talks between classes throughout the school day.
In the Disney Channel original movie Camp Rock and its sequel Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, Lovato’s powerful Voice is paired with the Jonas Brothers, who appear in the film.
Lovato, who was quickly becoming a channel favourite, earned the part of Sonny in Sonny With a Chance (2009-2011). Princess Protection Program, in which they would later collaborate with Disney alumni Selena Gomez, would be their first collaboration.
“Skyscraper” and other inspiring songs like it were created out of her hardship. Through her six studio albums, she’s progressed from pop to R&B classics, and with “Sorry Not Sorry,” she reached the top echelons of the Billboard Hot 100.
Her 2017 album, Tell Me You Love Me, was a rebuke to the naysayers who said that female-driven pop was extinct. Following a passionate rendition of her new song “Anyone” at the Grammy Awards in 2020, the singer returned with the bouncy single “I Love Me.”
3. Ryan Gosling
Another big-name talent who started at the mouse-house is Ryan Gosling, the Hollywood heartthrob and highly regarded actor.
His fame started with his casting and subsequent presence in three episodes of The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, which aired from 1993 to 1995 on ABC.
Years later, he would be cast in another Disney picture, Remember the Titans. When he returned to the big screen in La La Land in 2016, he brought his charisma and charm from his Disney days with him.
He once again sang and danced for the cameras, garnering his second Academy Award nomination.
2. Selena Gomez
This pop diva may have gotten her start in the entertainment industry with Barney and Friends, but Disney Channel placed her on the map.
Selena Gomez began her Disney career with a small role on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, in which she played the love interest Gwen in the episode “A Midsummer’s Nightmare.”
Before she rose to the top of the Billboard and streaming charts, Selena Gomez began her Disney career with a small role on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, in which she played the love interest Gwen in the episode “A Midsummer’s Nightmare.
Later on in her career, Gomez landed the main role of Alex Russo on the Disney Channel original series Wizards of Waverly Place, which she would portray from 2007 through 2012.
When she was a Disney darling, Gomez appeared in guest appearances on popular series such as Hannah Montana and in feature films such as Princess Protection Program, both produced by the Disney Channel.
In 2013, Gomez released her first solo album, Stars Dance, a mix of R&B, electronic music, and dubstep. With collaborations with the likes of Kygo (“It Ain’t Me”) and Marshmello (“Wolves”), she would go on to have a string of successful singles. ‘
Still, her sophomore album, Revival, released in 2015, showcased the vulnerability that would come to characterise her music.
Gomez returned to music in earnest with her highly praised No. 1 album Rare, which included the smash songs “Bad Liar” and “Back To You.”.
1. Keri Russell
Keri Russell was a Disney Channel star before being nominated for an Emmy for her part in The Americans. Russell is most recognised for her role as Felicity Porter in the J.J.
Abrams and Matt Reeves television series Felicity and her leading role in the 2007 film Waitress. Russell’s show business career began in 1991 when she was cast in the Disney television series The All-New Mickey Mouse Club.
rom 1991 through 1993, she will feature in five episodes. During this same period, she would also feature in Disney’s 1992 film Honey, I Blew Up the Kid and appeared in an episode of the popular television programme Boy Meets World.