“Hi, I’m a forgotten child star from a TV show you haven’t watched in 15 years, and you’re watching the most humiliating moments of my pubescent life!”
OK, so that’s not the exact script from those Disney Channel wand ID spots that younger millennials love. You know, the ones where the actors introduce themselves and then draw a pair of glittery mouse ears on the screen? After a recent unearthing of embarrassing uncut footage from 15 of those spots, the above parody sounds pretty accurate.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, 15 different uncut wand ID spot videos from 2002 began circulating the Twittersphere, featuring celebrities and former Disney Channel stars such as Hillary Duff, Raven-Symoné, America Ferrera, Tia and Tamara Mowry, and Kyle Massey.
The IDs, which is short for “idents,” act as TV clips that inform viewers of what channel they’re watching. They typically play a few seconds before a TV program starts.
Yes, the clips are about a thousand times worse than the actual edited spots, proving that child stardom is nothing more than smoke and mirrors hiding how painfully awkward and dramatic child actors really are. Really, what are those weird laugh-exhales that Duff keeps doing with her tongue sticking out? Who does that?
These are only shorter versions of 13 of the 15 original clips posted online—make that 12, if Kyle Massey’s video was cut into two for reposting purposes.
Both stories check out, in a way—the first batch of Disney Channel wand IDs were shot in August 2002, and premiered in June 2003, according to the Closing Logos Group wiki. Guillotine Post founder Michael Koepenick told the Daily Dot in a voicemail message that the company originally edited Disney Channel’s wand IDs, and that they uploaded the tapes onto their YouTube channel.
The playlist featuring all 15 of the uploaded spots was last updated on Oct. 17, meaning that these bits of internet gold laid relatively dormant for at least a month before gaining traction, save for an early post from MTV. The channel has since made the videos private.
“We probably shouldn’t have put it out there in the raw, unedited form, so that’s why we pulled it down,” Koepenick said.
Though Koepenick didn’t mention the videos’ circulations on Twitter in his voicemail, he did say the ID director recently contacted him, and is ultimately liable for the footage.
It’s unclear what led the director to reach out to Koepenick—it could have been of the director’s own volition, or that the director reacted to the massive attention the footage received on Twitter.
So, it is possible that @hollylikeablvd downloaded the footage from the channel, uploaded clips onto Twitter, then sent Koepenick’s team into damage control once they realized the clips were being distributed.
And though these clips make ID tapings seem like a pain, IDs serve as a status symbol for Disney stars.
From Miley Cyrus and Joe Jonas, to Zendaya and Rowan Blanchard, all Disney kids turned celebrities started with an ID take. Even a young Selena Gomez admitted in an audition that she’d pretended to do her own glow stick tracings.
Though the channel revamped their logo in 2014 and subsequently changed their wand ID style, the glitter wand concept remains. In the new IDs, the company did away with the weird, zoomed in jump cuts, and gave the actors a simpler shape to trace.
The most upsetting part about @hollylikeablvd disseminating the footage on Twitter, is that the account ruined a much bigger bounty of Easter eggs than just the “awkward ID” footage: over the past seven years, Guillotine Post had uploaded other Disney Channel spots to their channel, a majority of them being from the last two years alone.
A keyword search for “Disney” on their video page during the early hours of Nov. 17 yielded 124 results. Now, after hiding a majority of the clips, only seven Disney Channel-related videos remain.
Many of the spots previously on Guillotine Post’s channel were from the Disney Channel’s various campaigns involving their actors, such as their 2001 and 2005 Express Yourself campaigns, and their 2002 Sports Dreams campaign.
Before they were removed, only three of the channel’s Disney clips broke 10,000 views. They were virtually rare Disney pepes. And now, the majority of this digital treasure trove of long-forgotten Disney Channel memorabilia—a true rabbit hole for millennials vulnerable to nostalgia—is gone for good.
Well, kind of. Another YouTube channel seems to have cut together more than 30 minutes of these Express Yourself segments. It’s a taste of what Koepenick had once made publicly available.
As for the Guillotine Post channel itself, it seems we won’t have access to its gold mine of footage anytime soon.
“Disney Channel owns everything, so we can’t really do anything without their permission, and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize any work in the future with them,” Koepenick said in his voicemail message.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Koepenick for further comment.