Tiffany and daughterBy Tiffany Markman, copywriter, editor and mom to a gorgeous chatterbox, who tries to balance her workaholism with cuddles, books, caffeine & reining in her kugelry. Follow her on twitter

Disney’s 100th Disney Channel Original Movie, Adventures in Babysitting, will premiere on 23 September. That’s right. Disney’s made 100 original TV movies.

Plus, 10 years ago, Disney broadcast for the first time to SA viewers on DStv.

100 movies in 10 years? My maths is nothing special, but that’s 10 movies a year and if you take into account that the average Hollywood film – just a single full-length film – takes 8 months to create (2 months to shoot; 6 months for post-production), it seems that Disney is a movie-making rock star. Which we all kind of already knew.


So, happy South African birthday Disney Channel, and thanks for introducing our tween to shows like, among others, Jessie, Mako Mermaids, and Violetta. Now onto a review of the flagship film of Disney’s birthday month: Adventures in Babysitting.

The basics

This live-action adventure comedy unites two very different teenage girls who actively dislike each other, when a quiet evening of baby-sitting turns into a race through the big city – and away from two bumbling criminals – as one of their young charges sneaks off to a rock concert. Lifelong dreams are realised, amidst confusion, mess, a brief arrest, and the kind of chaos reminiscent of the Home Alone films.

My research tells me that I missed something in the 80s, because Adventures in Babysitting (2016) is apparently a contemporary re-make of a hugely popular 1987 blockbuster with the same name, starring Elizabeth Shue and Bradley Whitford. I didn’t see that one (I was six years old, so I should have) but this one is lovely.

‘Can we watch it again?’, asked my five-year-old, as the credits began to roll. ‘It was funny!’ said the 11-year-old, ‘especially when they rapped on-stage.’ High praise. I’d recommend the film for kids aged 4 to 12. Moms and dads, you might like it too.

Tell your kids

  • Big news #1: Until 9 October 2016, DStv and Disney have opened Disney Channel to DStv Family and DStv Access packages.
  • Big news #2: Adventures in Babysitting premieres on Friday 23 September (17:25) on Disney Channel (DStv Channel 303).

There’s more

Stuck in the Middle is a new comedy series that premieres on 22 September at 18:15 and follows 12-year-old Harley, who is the ultimate middle child, stuck in the middle of seven kids. Stuck in the Middle will be joined in the Thank Disney It’s Thursday slot (17:25–19:05) by new episodes of fan favourites Alex & Co, Girl Meets World, and Mako Mermaids, with finales of Backstage and Austin & Ally.

Also joining the Thank Disney It’s Thursday block is Disney’s first South African long-form series production Disney Cookabout, the game-show that uses food preparation, cooking and outdoor exploration to showcase local ingredients and a fun approach to healthy eating. Catch it Thursdays at 18:40 from 8 September.

Also not to be missed is the sneak peek into Disney Channel’s upcoming series Bizaardvark – the adventures of two quirky 13-year-old besties who write songs and create music videos for their online channel, and their quest to become online stars.

What to do

  1. Remember that if you’re a DStv Family or DStv Access subscriber, your kids can watch Disney Channel until 9 October 2016, thanks to DStv and Disney.
  2. Diarise to gather your kids to watch Adventures in Babysitting, which premieres on Friday 23 September at 17:25 on Disney Channel (DStv Channel 303).

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