Luck of the Irish

Courtesy Disney

Disney Channel original movies are a great part of our cultural heritage. There was a film for every youthful taste. For those who loved music, there was Camp Rock. If magic was your thing, then Halloweentown or Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie it was. Into aggressive inline skating? Brink all the way.

And for movie fans that enjoyed watching hot jocks turn into leprechauns, there was nothing better than the entertainment institution The Luck of the Irish. How this film was robbed of any sort of awards accomplishment, we'll never know, but in the meantime we'll stick to celebrating its brilliance on our own.

And there's no better time to take a walk down the shamrock-filled memory lane than today, the Day of our Saint Patrick. What does this holiday celebrate? We're not sure, but we are sure that The Luck of the Irish is amazing and deserves its time in the sun once again.

Luck of the Irish

Courtesy Disney

First, let's pour one out for the complete and total hotness that was star Ryan Merriman. As jock Kyle Johnson, he dribbled his basketball straight into our hearts. Think of him as the original Troy Bolton. Those dreamy eyes! That kind-of-chiseled jaw! (He was a child, after all). That perfectly poufy hair! He was an early 2000s dream come true. 

Of course, it should be mentioned that Kyle wasn't just your average jock—he was a jock interested in his family background. The premise of the entertainment milestone, for those of you who don't remember, centers around the high school's Cultural Heritage Day, in which students are asked to perform rituals and traditions from their own history. This gets Ryan thinking all sorts of existential thoughts about his own heritage, because he is a 14-year-old human who has never even wondered where his own mother came from. 

The joke is on him, because as soon as he discovers his Irish heritage he also discovers that his mom is, wait for it, a leprechaun. And so is he! Because this is the Disney Channel and anything can happen! Kyle slowly starts developing leprechaun-ish traits, The Santa Clause-style, but this portion of the movie is really a testament to Ryan Merriman's hotness. He even looks good with fiery red hair and pointy ears. 

Luck of the Irish

Courtesy Disney

As Ryan begins the slow transformation process to full leprechaun, we get to experience so many amazing cinematic moments. He starts getting corned beef in his lunch from his mom. He feels the rhythm of the dance from a Michael Flatley knockoff.  

Luck of the Irish

Courtesy Disney

He slowly but surely gains an accident. Blimey!

And of course, as Kyle tries to navigate his new persona (and also track down the long-lost family member who stole their clan's lucky coin, thus causing them all to descend into leprechaun qualities in the first place, but those are just details), it calls for many an Irish-themed joke. Spuds? Check. Hurling? Check, please.

Luck of the Irish

Courtesy Disney

And one can never discount the plentiful after-school special morality lessons. Like this inspiring speech from Kyle's friend on the importance of persevering through adversity (the adversity in this case being the fact that Kyle has pointy ears): "When the Irish came to America, things were tough. And they had to work at jobs that people wouldn't take and they didn't get paid what they deserved. They didn't get up, they kept trying and that's what makes them special."

Are you crying yet? You should be. You're welcome for bringing this gem back into your lives. (Oh, and insider tip: If you're craving a watch now, you can do so for free here).

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