Disney vs. Nickelodeon Review

A review of the classic Disney and Nickelodeon TV shows

Hannah Cole and Natalie Fiorella

Wizards of Waverly Place

Teen wizard Alex Russo experiences the triumphs and defeats of both high school and witchcraft in New York City alongside her brothers Justin and Max. Alex is a rebellious girl who exploits her powers for personal gain. Her carefree character perfectly captures a typical, unenthused teenager. In contrast, Justin provides the mature voice of reason, portraying a focused and school-oriented person. Finally, Max accompanies his older siblings for comic relief as he tackles the stereotypical dumb persona present in all wonderful children’s shows. These three kids attend school, work at their parent’s sub shop and compete for the title of the family wizard, all while concealing their powers to the outside world. This show features significantly more conflict, unlike other strictly comedic Disney shows. The TV specials and movies also add to the excitement and story. Once again, Disney includes their usual slapstick jokes but the more meaningful plotline makes up for the sometimes unnecessary humor.

Suite Life of Zach and Cody

Twins Zack and Cody experience the “suite” life when their mother, Carey, lands a singing job at the Tipton Hotel. As a part of Carey’s contract, the Tipton offers the family a suite and the brothers experience the perks of living in one of Boston’s finest hotels. There they meet the hardworking and smart Maddie Fitzpatrick, the hotel candy counter girl, London Tipton, the spoiled hotel heiress, and Mr. Mosbey, the hotel manager. The infamous one-liners, such as Mr. Moseby’s “No running in my lobby!” and iconic songs like “Floss” make for a funny, albeit half-witted, show. While the acting is bland at times and the jokes are slightly overused, this show remains a childhood gem. The cheesiness of Zack and Cody’s experience is no match for the ridiculousness of current Disney shows, therefore the occasional worn-out joke is excusable. This Disney Channel Original show is an essential addition to any kid’s upbringing.

Hannah Montana


“Hannah Montana” features young Miley Stewart as she navigates and balances life between teenage normalcy and worldwide stardom. Miley performs under the alias Hannah Montana while concealing her true identity with the help of her father, brother and eventually her friends, Lilly and Oliver. Unlike previous Disney shows, “Hannah Montana” incorporates original music that is unmatched and adds to the overall appeal. In addition, Disney never fails to include their absurd humor which shines through during Miley’s “Bone Song” or through the character Jackson, the designated dumb person and Miley’s brother. Throughout each show, this humor can become stale. However, the targeted audience of pre-teens would giggle at the dim-witted jokes. This show also includes more emotional moments and tackles some serious issues. For example, Miley’s mom passed away before the show began, which thoughtfully deals with the issue of loss. Not only is “Hannah Montana” an entertaining show but it can also be a resourceful show for young kids dealing with difficult issues. This show is certainly worthy of its popularity.


Tori Vega, a 16-year-old who once saw herself as an average teen, gets the opportunity of a lifetime when she starts at Hollywood Arts High School, an elite performing arts school. Tori faces petty drama at her new school with the resident mean girl, Jade, but still makes new friends like Cat, Andre, Beck and Robbie. Tori’s older sister, Trina, who ironically is not nearly as talented as the other students, also helps her get through school. Along with the students, teachers like Mr. Sikowitz help Tori adjust to the school’s incredibly weird culture. Victorious includes original music throughout each season. The cast is all musically talented so the music is enjoyable and authentic. Tori is one of the weaker singers in the cast which makes her casting as the lead role questionable. Unlike other Nickelodeon and Disney shows, the friendships in “Victorious” do not seem as genuine. Tori’s friendships are not well developed and her feud with Jade drags on longer than necessary.  However, Victorious is still a classic childhood TV show with great songs, memorable characters and more.

Big Time Rush

An impromptu audition sends four hockey-playing best friends to Hollywood, following them on their struggle to fame while still facing typical teen issues. Kendall, James, Carlos and Logan experience the beginning of their career as they navigate the path to success with the help of their producer and fellow hotel residents. While the band members make convincing best friends, the quirks of each boy that set them apart from each other, seem like lazy writing at times. Kendall, the mature one, does not catch “Hollywood Fever” like the rest of the guys. James, the self-obsessed one, wants to ditch the band during one episode at the first offer of a solo career. They are both stereotypical boy-band attitudes that don’t surprise or intrigue the audience. The show’s best moments occur when the band works together. To add to their interest, Big Time Rush was a real band that produced four albums along with the show. While the show itself might become boring at times, the songs that stemmed from series makes the brand more exciting.


After a video of middle schoolers Carly Shay and Sam Puckett making fun of their teacher goes viral, the two best friends decide to create a web series along with their dorky friend Freddie Benson. The web series clips are immature and rarely funny, but the rest of the show compensates for these doltish scenes. Spencer, Carly’s older brother who serves as her guardian while her dad is stationed overseas, follows the TV show tradition of the kids being smarter than the adults. Spencer is odd and spontaneous. These qualities shine through during moments like when he brought an ostrich into their loft for no apparent reason. The dumb adult character is a worn-out gimmick, especially the constant jokes about how Carly is taking care of Spencer, instead of the other way around. For it’s time, “iCarly” was revolutionary because of the show within a show aspect and the early social media usage. The show has stale moments but is still enjoyable, mainly because of how weird it can be.