Determining Students’ Favorite Childhood TV Shows and Movies

Childhood memories don’t grow old


Students watching TV shows or movies

Many teens can recall waking up early on Sunday mornings to watch Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney or any loveable kid characters. Watching these movies and television (TV) shows encapsulates the excitement of growing up, sparking your first celebrity crush or fantasies about  living out your highschool dreams. 


Children’s favorite childhood TV shows and movies were often their first introduction to love stories. Shows involved romance and breakups, mystery, and comedy. Many children had first introductions to celebrities, who they now pay attention to in popular culture. ranked the 15 most watched Disney Channel Throwback from least to most  to most popular: 15) Wizards of Waverly Place, 14) Hannah Montana, 13) Phineas and Ferb, 12) The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, 11) The Suite Life on Deck, (10) That’s So Raven, (9) Austin & Ally, (8) Jessie, (7) Good Luck Charlie, (6) Kim Possible, (5) Lizzie McGuire, (4) Sonny With a Chance, (3) Liv and Maddie, (2) K.C. Undercover, and (1) Shake It Up. 


Hana Christensen, a senior at Yorktown High School said growing up, she loved watching Barbie Movies, Disney Princess Movies, Sofia the First, H20: Just Add Water, Mako Mermaids, other Disney channel shows/movies, and Harry Potter; and that she still watches them. She enjoyed how fun and silly the characters in the movies were. She was also into fashion and comedy, so she found her childhood favorites comforting. 


She enjoys watching comedy, dynamic characters, and analyzing fashion. Her current favorites include: “New Girl”, “Schitt’s Creek”, “Parks and Recreation”, “The Good Place”, “Teen Wolf”, “Julie and the Phantoms”, standup comedy: “John Mulaney”, “Katherine Ryan”, “Iliza Shelsinger”, “Harry Potter”, the “Now You See Me” series, and more. 


Christensen does not believe in watching actors progress from TV shows and movies. “If there’s an actor who’s doing a new show or something, I will definitely do some research on it, but if I find it’s not really my thing, I’m not going to invest my time in their stuff,” said Christensen. 


Childhood movies and TV shows involve nostalgia. Christensen said her favorites have definitely impacted her today. She still loves princes and princesses and loves comedy and music. Currently, her favorite shows have similar elements as her favorite childhood tv shows/movies, but with more mature themes. She enjoys the innocent fun that her childhood favorites bring her, so whenever she is feeling down or is sick at home, she is likely to watch something from her childhood. 


EJ Names, senior at Washington-Liberty High School, grew up mostly in Germany and Saudi Arabia. His childhood favorites were Lab Rats, Phineas and Ferb, Gumball, and Gravity Falls. Although he remembers them, he does not watch them frequently. He said he enjoys these options because of the characters.


Savannah Daub, a junior at Wakefield High School said her favorites while growing up were Jessie, Liv and Maddie, and Bunk’d. She enjoys the sit-com style and watches sitcoms about two times a week. “I liked Jesse, Liv and Maddie, Bunk’d, those kind Disney Channel type shows. I liked the way it was funny, engaging, and easy to watch,” said Dab, “They were so long they gave you time to really connect with them.” Currently, she watches New Girl, Girlfriends, The Office, and similar shows.

After watching their favorite childhood TV shows or movies, people often follow their favorite characters through their acting careers. “I see something and I recognize the actor actress from it, but I don’t actively seek them out,” said Daub.


While our childhood favorites like Liv and Maddie and Phineas and Ferb may have ended in the late 2010’s, they will forever be in our hearts and give us sweet memories whenever seen on TV. Now, we can watch our favorite TV show or movie characters grown up, such as Jenna Ortega from Stuck in the Middle now portraying Wednesday in The Addams Family.


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