If you were Disney Channel Kid, you’ve probably seen some pretty bad made-for-TV movies. While they were the perfect carrier of junk food for us as children, re-viewing them can show their flaws in high contrast as well as provide a certain ironic comfort. But for everyone High School Music School or Zeno, 21st century girl, There is Bank of worms is an obscure film with a ridiculous concept. And speaking of ridiculous concepts, do you have a vague memory of evil leprechauns on Disney Channel? Tiny people dancing on tabletops? Is the beard growing? That’s right: these are not excerpts from your nightmares, but from the unofficial 2001 Disney Channel movie St. Patrick’s Day. Irish luck. So fasten your (giant) seatbelt and get ready for a memory trip Boytrin.


What is the Disney Channel series Irish Luck about?

Ryan Merriman as Kyle Johnson in Irish Luck
Image via Disney

Around the turn of the century, Disney decided he wanted to study a specific and pressing issue: the plight of Irish immigrants. They also decided that the best way to discuss this historical topic was through the power of basketball. (Though, given their track record, basketball does seem to be an integral part of the DCU, or the Disney Cinematic Universe.) In the typically sun-drenched country suburb of the Disney Channel, we meet our main character. Popular teen Kyle JohnsonRyan Merriman) is known for its fortune. With the help of his good luck amulet, he drowns the baskets and finds fallen money in the street, much to the chagrin of his best friend Russell (Glenndon Chatman). But there’s one thing he can’t accept about his enchanted life – school heritage day is approaching and he can’t seem to get any information about their parentage from his parents.

At school, his girlfriend Bonnie (Alexis Lopez) encourages him to learn more about his family tree, which leads him to a huge Irish heritage festival. There he is treated to the most Irish kind old man – strong accent and all that. His charm is stolen, and when his luck starts to run out, he finds out from his mother (Marita Gerati) that his family is Irish. His mother breaks the news with a bashful expression on her face. Apparently, Kyle never noticed that everything in his house is stereotypically green, or that dinner can’t be served unless it’s served with giant kale leaves. The reason why she hid her identity? She wanted Kyle to be a normal American boy without worrying about discrimination against Irish immigrants. Kyle learns that his real name is O’Reilly, and in fact, not only is he Irish, but he also comes from a kind of leprechaun!

The rest of the film consists of more Irish stereotypes. Kyle’s mother, regressing to line height, red hair, bad Irish accent and chasing fortune thief/evil leprechaun/professional tap dancer Seamus McTiernan (Timothy Omandson) with Kyle’s long-lost grandfather Reilly O’Reilly (Henry Gibson). Yes, that’s his character’s name. Yes, his business is a potato chip factory. Yes, he also has the powers of a leprechaun and can use his mind to open the lock of a bank vault. Increasingly unable to fight his natural urges, Kyle breaks out in jigs and calls his father “Yes”. Yet despite all these nasty stereotypes, the film is still present in the cultural zeitgeist even today.

Millennials Can’t Forget Irish Luck

Among the millennials Irish luck found a new life online. After all, the prostheses of the evil leprechaun cut into our collective memory. In the course of their final battle, Kyle and the “holy step” compete in a game, becoming more and more leprechaun as they go. The most shocking moment may be Seamus’ final transformation, in which Kyle revels in the man’s horror as his arms and head are sucked into smaller sizes one by one with all the splendor of 2001 effects.

if you look Irish luck, you are more likely to do it ironically, remembering the familiar and in turn making fun of the funny. Kyle’s accent slips are invariably funny. He immediately masters the old slang, immediately releasing WITHDon’t save us! You might even get a real kick out of Gibson’s performance. While everyone here is chewing on the set, he is by far the best part of the film, throwing himself into an Irish accent dialed up to eleven and a car trunk full of shoes.

And there are some things Irish luck gets right – although they are far apart, there is some discussion about the importance of heritage. We see fragments of traditional cultural clothing, and Russell alludes to the much more difficult circumstances of the life of black Americans. It’s easy for adults to understand that Disney intended this movie to spark a wider discussion about the origins. However, by and large, the film does not want to reckon with its central message so much as it wants to show us a rainbow and pots of gold. This movie isn’t about legacy, it’s about what it’s like to turn into a tiny hothead without your magic necklace. For these reasons, we are revisiting these films on this St. Paddy’s Day.