For this week’s segment of Disney Channel Masterpiece Theater, we’re looking back on Disney Channel’s first ever musical. It was the first time Disney Channel made music the focal point of their movies. Done during the height of the pop era, The Cheetah Girls presented us with songs that were reminiscent of the pop music we were listening to all around us. I think that’s one of the reasons why I enjoyed the music as a kid so much, and watching the film now again as a young adult, I realized how inspirational and powerful these lyrics were.
The movie tells a story about a group of young girls who have big dreams, and who do everything they could to reach that dream. Along the way, the songs they sing also remind us the importance of loving your friends but most of all, loving yourself. Together, fellow TYF writer Melissa Berne and I looked back on the first movie, and we each ranked the songs, and share our thoughts on which is the most cheetalicious.
4. Cheetah Sisters
Although this is the biggest song performed in the movie, I remember liking it a lot more when I was younger. There’s a huge production number that involves cars, brooms, and a huge crowd of spectators on the street. Still, this number features the Cheetah Girls’ best outfit, and I will always love it for that. A cheetah print track suit along with a matching headband was all I ever wanted after watching this movie.
3. Together We Can
The movie opens opens with this song, and it has a fun melody that you just can’t help sing along with. This is also the song that the Cheetah Girls sing to Galleria’s (Raven Symone) dog, Toto, when he’s stuck in a hole. The song is even catchy enough for him to come out of the whole, where literally half of the city has gathered to make sure he makes it out alive.
2. Girl Power
This is the song the Cheetah Girls perform in front of famous music producer Jackal Johnson. They’re singing and dancing in his office, but the way the scene is filmed makes it look like they’re recording a music video. This is my number two song because it sounds familiar, and reminds me most of the pop music I loved as a kid. Also, as the name suggests, it encourages girls to believe in themselves, which is always a great thing, and an idea that should be instilled in young girls.
This is definitely my favorite song in the film. It has a catchy beat and inspirational lyrics like “I don’t want to be like someone waiting/ For a handsome prince to come and save me/On I will survive/Unless somebody’s on my side/Don’t want to be no no no one else. I’d rather rescue myself.” It’s promoting independence and equality for girls, which is something that young girls should hear, especially at a young age.
Listening and writing about these songs I realized that none of them have to do with a relationship, which is kind of rare nowadays and a breath of fresh air. I mean, I like love songs as much as the next person, but not everything needs to always pertain to that, right?! They are about friendship, independence, saving one’s self, and ambition. I always loved The Cheetah Girls because they were a group of young women who dreamed big, but also worked hard to make their dreams a reality. I also like how the songs cater to empowering people, as well. Check out how I rank the songs from the first film after the jump!
4. Together We Can
The movie opens with this song and it’s about the sky being the limit. I get into it by the chorus.
3. Girl Power
I mean, nothing says empowerment like Girl Power. All in all, it’s a positive message with a catchy melody.
Now, I love this because this song is about being one’s own hero. And let me tell you, the older you get, the more and more you realize that sentiment is true. In the bridge, when they sing “my knight and shining armor is me” is my favorite lyric.
1. Cheetah Sisters
This is my favorite song from the first movie. It’s at the end when they’ve made up and become friends again. “We’re cheetah girls; cheetah sisters,” rings true as the girls perform their last act together and you just know they will continue pursuing their dreams.