Why Do You Still Love Disney Channel Movies? 'Cadet Kelly''s Shawn Ashmore Explains

Cadet Major Brad Rigby spoke to MTV News about the massively popular DCOM

Nearly 15 years ago, Kelly Collins (Hilary Duff) packed her bags for military school in Disney Channel's hit original movie Cadet Kelly. There, she meets Jennifer Stone (Christy Carlson Romano) -- who has an affinity for the word "maggot" -- and crushes on fellow cadet Brad Rigby (Shawn Ashmore).

Disney Channel


MTV News caught up with Ashmore at the Tribeca Film Festival, where his new digital series Relationship Status premiered on Thursday. The show focuses on how the Internet and dating apps have changed the game of love.

In Cadet Kelly, both Kelly and Jennifer both have their eyes on Brad, so throughout the movie they're competing for his attention. Their feud hits peak oh-no-she-didn't when Kelly trips into a pile of mud and falls about 30 feet into Jennifer's fancy-schmancy white dress. Please relive this momentous occasion below.

"I think it would be the exact same sort of battle," Ashmore said when asked how Cadet Kelly's love triangle would go down in today's smartphone-savvy world. "I think we're still dealing with the same human emotions, connection issues, wants, and needs. ... I think Brad would be getting direct messages from the characters or somebody would post something crazy on Facebook. It would be the same, just in a different form."

Though we flirt on different devices now, our appreciation for Disney Channel Original Movies continues regardless of the newest, hottest technology. If you haven't heard, the channel is releasing its 100th DCOM later this year. (Do you feel ancient yet?) To celebrate, Disney is airing a nonstop marathon of every single DCOM over Memorial Day weekend.

"Disney has this great way of creating a conflict between characters and then when it resolves, no one loses," Ashmore explained. "It's not negative, and people love that. At the end of the day, people think it's cliché or cheesy that everything works out, but that's what we all want."

Disney Channel


"That's why people want to go back to that," Ashmore continued. "Entertainment for most people is a form of escape. [Sometimes] you want to go see a gritty movie [that] doesn't end the way you want or expected it to because that's real life. But I think there's something nice about how Disney can wrap things up and make you feel good about it."

Well said, Shawn. We couldn't agree more.