Hannah Montana – Take This Job and Love It
I’m In the Band – Weseals on Deck
Good Luck Charlie-Charlie Shakes It Up
Austin, Jessie & Ally
Lab Rats Vs Mighty Med
Raven About Bunk’d
Hello, Spongey here.
Crossovers. They sure are fun, huh? You know what’s more fun that a crossover? A Disney sitcom crossover! …Well, not really but I find them fun. Disney Channel used to be really all in this whole “shared universe” thing with their sitcoms. It started with That’s So Suite Life of Hannah Montana”, a big three part event that I reviewed ages ago. They followed it up two years later with Wizards on Deck With Hannah Montana”.
From then, the shows were linked together enough to make reference outside of the crossovers, which I love. There’s a Jessie episode with a billboard for Tipton Tea, to list one example. One example I find interesting that some in universe famous cat from Kirby Buckets was also mentioned in Mighty Med. I think that might the only example of a single camera show sharing a universe with their more standard multi camera ones.
This crossover madness hit an apex in October of 2015 where they had their shows do a bunch of cameos across the episodes. I’ve talked about a good chunk of these, such as the Good Luck Charlie/Jessie and even that time Jessie was in Ultimate Spider-Man. Links to all those are up there.
But for some reason, after 2015 they just…stopped this. There were no more crossovers and not even references. Whole shows like Bizzardvark have come go without any connections. I know they haven’t had a ton of heavy hitters later but smaller crossovers aren’t out of the question yet they have avoided them.
…Then out of nowhere in this very year, they sprung one on us that no one wanted but we’ll get there. It is nice to see them back though, since that is one aspect of these shows I like. It’s just fun to see things being connected, even if none of it makes any sense.
In honor of that new crossover, I wanted to look at some of the others I haven’t covered yet. They’ve done a few other ones outside of the ones I’ve mentioned so it’s time to finally go over them. It’s an interesting group so this will be fun to discuss.
However, there’s one I couldn’t review but have to mention. So in Disney Channel Latin America, they’ve made some shows over there that I don’t have much interest in. But one of their shows, called Peter Punk, randomly did a crossover with Zeke & Luthor for some. I would have loved to go over it…but it was totally on Punk’s side and the show is of course in Spanish, and there is no dub. The only video of it I found has no subtitles it looks I can’t talk about it.
But at least you know that I know it exists. I think that’s about it for introduction, so let’s get into it.
(Oh and I didn’t review Wizards on Deck but I have nothing to add to Norty’s review, he covered it pretty well)
This, is A Look at the other Disney sitcom crossovers
Take This Job and Love It [Hannah Montana]
Season 2, Episode 8
Writer: Sally Lapiduss
Airdate: June 16, 2007
Hannah volunteers Roxy to work for President Martinez after she ruins Hannah’s date with her backup dancer. Meanwhile, Jackson pretends to be a professional motor-cross racer to impress a girl.
We start with a rare regular length one that’s a bit more casual. This is an episode that happens to feature characters from everyone’s favorite overused anime meme, Corey in the House. This kind of crossover is uncommon for them so I find it interesting.
As for the episode itself, it’s decent. It’s standard fare for the series but it’s not one of the bad ones at least. Miley’s reasoning for being annoyed by Roxy is on the selfish side but frankly Roxy was indeed being intrusive and scaring off people so I can at least understand her position. Things get balanced enough as Miley learns she shouldn’t be so hard on Roxy and the latter learns to back off sometimes. Basic stuff but it works fine.
There’s some failed jokes but nothing too bad. Mostly the usual way too over the top stuff, but there’s a fair amount of decent bits. There’s a part where Hannah pretends to be a dog whisperer and long story short, she has to eat dog food. It’s one of things I can’t decide is really dumb or funny for that reason. Either way I hope Miley was paid well to pretend to eat dog food. Also, she still has it on her when they’re trying to get serious which was hard to take seriously lol.
As for the president, I think there was enough of him. More of him is here than Sophie, oddly enough but he’s better so I didn’t mind. He becomes in early enough and has a big section in the third act. He was easily the highlight of Cory so I like see him here. He generally got the best bits.
Although it is weird to think that it’s Disney Channel canon that this guy was president instead of Bush, and yet they still had Obama afterwards. Heck, even in Hannah they had a guy playing Obama in the final season. Really makes you think about….uh…actually let’s not go there.
By the way, there’s a joke where Martinez says the dog is sadder than “when the vice president heard I passed my physical”. That’s…messed up when you think about it.
I like the approach here. It’s less of a crossover and more of a fun appearance that makes the universe feel more connected, more so than a full blown crossover. Yet there is enough of him to justify his inclusion. Also, the fake audience does not react when they appear so even they don’t think it’s a big deal.
Overall, a fine episode with decent crossover stuff. Of course not as big as these others but I think this approach does generally work. Oh and that Jackson subplot is not even a subplot, it’s just a few jokes that are only sort of connected. Wikipedia didn’t even need to mention it, lol.
Weseals on Deck [I’m In the Band/Suite Life on Deck]
Season 1, Episode 17 (This was actually produced under season 2, weirdly enough)
Writer: Michael B. Kaplan
Airdate: October 11, 2010
“You guys go to school on a ship?”
“Yeah, it’s a sweet life. You should join us.”
“I can’t, I’m in the band”
Iron Weasel are aboard the S.S. Tipton. Because they snuck onto the ship, they pretend to be a group of contortionist brothers, but the actual contortionist brothers are jewel thieves who are being hunted down by the police of their native country. Because of this predicament, the band seeks help from Cody and Zack Martin.
Here’s a rarity: A crossover with a Disney Channel and Disney XD. I’m not sure why this is the only time this happened but I guess they wanted to promote XD as it was still early on. (XD is 10 years old now. Damn.). That wasn’t needed later on although we still got that time Dog With a Blog mentioned a band from one episode of this show. Yeah, that happened.
Anyway, this was okay. Crossover wise, it’s decent despite being limited by the scope. Meaning it’s just Zack, Cody and Mosbey. That works fine for what it is but I can’t pass up a chance to complain about a lack of Debby Ryan. …Those characters make a solid impact and get enough to do. They get a bit loss in the shuffle in the second half but it comes back around.
I do like how Ash having a past friendship with Mosbey kicks off the plot. Infact, there’s a thing where Mosbey rejects him because they ended on bad terms but Ash lies to the others about it. He’s so glad he’s finally come through for them in their eyes that he can’t bring himself to tell the truth. So as cliche as it is, it does work for me. And the truth comes out early on and they skim past that to get to the antics. It feels a bit rushed but it works better than dwelling on it too much.
Some of the humor is a bit too dumb like this one fantasy sequence (that is inside a flashback) involving Ash having 4 arms. Then there’s this weird turn it takes with the people they were disguised as actually being jewel thieves. It’s sort of fun with how odd it is but it comes out of nowhere and takes over the plot.
So it is a weird one, but it has some decent bits to make it alright. It just suffers from some bits being rushed, some humor and a weird turn. That stuff isn’t too bad and it still works as a fine crossover with some decent stuff. It has some rough edges but overall, it’s fine enough. It is a better as a curious piece though, being the only one of its kind.
Oh and please put this show on Disney+ already, I mean come on.
Charlie Shakes It Up [Good Luck Charlie/Shake It Up]
Season 2, Episode 13
Writer: Christopher Vane
Airdate: June 5, 2011
Teddy, Amy and Charlie plan a trip to Chicago to visit their rich great-aunt Nell, where they are instead mistaken for the Duncan Sisters, a famous hip-hop dance duo and are taken to the dance studio of “Shake It Up, Chicago”. Amy pretends that she, Teddy and Charlie are sisters in order to accomplish her dreams of being on TV, but since they do not know how to dance, they enlist the help of dancers CeCe Jones and Rocky Blue. Back at home, Gabe and PJ hold a yard sale in hopes of raising money while cleaning out the attic, but wind up selling a cat cookie jar with $500 in it to Mrs. Dabney.
This takes a similar approach to the I’m in the Band one…to the point where it also has the characters being mistaken for an act and having to disguise themselves as them. Huh. I like this one quite a bit more. The crossover element as fine as it really could be in this case. Rocky and Cece take a bit to show up but they eventually do and they’re fine. I liked Flynn and Deuce more though, as they’re able to actually use a bit more of the supporting cast here.
It’s actually the non crossover aspect that worked better. Amy is pretty bad here and there isn’t much of a comeuppance as she does get to live her dream and they are simply ran out at the end. But it is still better than that one episode I reviewed just because it’s funnier and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Plus, Teddy is on fire with how she keeps snarking on her. Seriously, she is the MPV of this episode.
The subplot is good too with the lengths they go and how it gets resolved. Bob is binge watching some show and I like how ties into things at the end. I also appreciate that there’s only two plots so both feel like they get fleshed out properly.
So yeah, it’s a pretty fun episode. It flows well, is decently funny and the crossover works fine. I like this approach to a crossover, basically being a normal episode with happens to guest star people from another show. It pulls though enough to not feel like a total waste of something that could have been bigger.
Overall, it shakes it up nicely. I’m not sorry.
Austin, Jessie & Ally All Star New Year
Season 2, Episode 6
Writers: Wayne Conley & Mike Montesano & Ted Zizik
Airdate: December 7, 2012
Austin, Ally, Trish, and Dez travel to New York City where Austin is booked to perform at Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Although Trish really booked him at Tim’s Square Pizza, so she now has to fix the whole situation. Then they meet Jessie and the kids and things escalate from there.
This was the first of the two part ones, where the formula from the three parters is still used, just on a smaller scale. And this one is generally decent. The two parts are distinct, so Part 1 can work as a stand alone Austin & Ally episode, and that mostly works fine.
Part 1 was better as a story, with all these complications coming up as they try to get Austin to Times Square. It’s paced well enough, except for some repetitive jokes on the plane. Speaking of jokes, Dez gets some dumb ones here, like how he doesn’t believe in Zebras…and neither does Austin for some reason.
As far as the crossover goes, Jessie and Emma randomly get a scene in the middle with no fan fare, not even from the fake audience. They then properly appear near the end to help out but otherwise they are underused since they get more in Part 2. I get why it was done this way, but it does mean you gotta wait a bit to get to the crossover stuff.
Part 2 has Jessie wanting to perform with Austin but of the songs she writes, the only one they like is actually a song Zuri wrote. So there’s a thing with Jessie struggling over to tell them the truth or not. Cliche as it is, it works out fine and Jessie at least tells the truth on her own and feels guilty the whole time.
Although while it’s far from the worst in this camp, it does have a few too many “Jessie is pathetic” jokes. Seriously, it gets just sad, especially when it comes after a win for her. But it’s only a minor thing here at least. Crossover wise, it’s basic with what we get but we get enough and I can’t complain too much.
I guess there could have been more of some stuff but there’s no egregious errors as far as how much we get. There is this weird subplot where Dez, Ravi get into a thing with Mrs. Kipling, the lizard that’s a parody of a love triangle. Yes. Dez even comments that “If you were the right species..”. Ew. Jokes aside, it doesn’t really go anywhere and just sort of ends abruptly.
Also, the new year’s thing is only important to Part 1, so not much of an All Star New Years. Going back to the humor, I find that Ally got the best jokes. This running gag with Jessie destroying things isn’t funny on its own, but Ally’s reactions are. I didn’t have anywhere else to put that, just needed to mention.
Overall, some bad jokes and a weird subplot aside, this worked alright for what it is. There could have been more, but both parts have a decent conflict with a mostly fine resolution. Although the transition from Jessie telling the truth to them just putting on the song is so abrupt that it feels like something was cut out. I was watching the cut up version so maybe?
Not the most ringing endorsement, but the bad parts aren’t bad enough to take away from the good aspects. Not my favorite on here but it was a bit more consistent than Good Luck Jessie at least.
By the way, on Disney+ the episodes are split up so that each Part is under that show which is fine…except that Austin & Ally didn’t hit the service until a few months after Jessie, which was there at launch. Not that anyone but me would have wanted to watch it around that time but still.
(Also, Trish calls Jessie a teenage nanny even though she is an adult, weird)
Karate Kid-tastrophe [Jessie]
Season 4, Episode 5
Writer: Adam Lapidus
Airdate: March 27, 2015
Okay, this isn’t a crossover so much as it is an episode where a character from a past show appears but I just had to include it.
Emma’s new rebellious and temperamental behavior becomes a big impact on her and Jessie. Meanwhile, A grueling assignment allows Luke to teach Zuri karate.
This episode was decent. Season 4 of this show felt like it was attempting to bring in some heart to balance out the mean tone the show got by this point and this episode is a good example. Sure, we still have some, most of which come from Bertram. As well as a few at Ravi’s expense in a…subplot? where he feels ignored but that’s “resolved” in a quick ending bit.
Otherwise, this one did the job. It’s an interesting idea to have Emma be all moody and rebellious with Jessie not knowing what to do about all this. There’s some decent bits they get out of it. It comes together in a nice ending with a fine moral about listening to people when they are having problems instead of just yelling at them.
Honestly that’s a moral I think a lot of people need to learn sometimes.
The crossover comes in near the end hen Emma runs away to the New York Tipton Hotel where Mr. Mosbey pops up. This was weird and interesting given Suite Life had been over for a few years, so this felt like a nostalgia grab in a way. This is what they did before streaming revivals, eh?
It was neat to see him again and he gets some obvious jokes but he actually helps give the moral. So he does add to the story in a meaningful way, which is nice. It’s best to just watch the clip since they put on their official YouTube channel, but the full episode is actually decent so it’s not totally skippable.
And yes, Mosbey calls Cody to say Jessie looks “just like Bailey” cuz haw. Although honestly, despite it being Debby, she looks a fair bit different at this point although it might just be the hair.
Anyway, it’s a cute bit in a decent episode. It was just neat to see. Nothing grand but it does its job well enough. …That’s all, I guess.
Lab Rats Vs Mighty Med
Season 4, Episode 10/Season 2, Episode 17
Writers: Mark Brazill, Vincent Brown and Ian Weinreich, Clayton Sakoda & Ian Weinreich (story)
Airdate: July 22, 2015
Besides being the first real Disney XD crossover, this might actually be the most successful of all of them because it lead to a full show. Granted, that show only last one season…and ended on a cliffhanger. But still. Let’s see how it all started.
Chase and Davenport have invented a new technology, an energy transponder, that takes in energy from any environment. Meanwhile, superhero doctors Kaz and Oliver come to the bionic academy, with Kaz hoping to gain superhero powers. Chase decides to make a deal with another company when its CEO comes to buy the transponder but he turns out to be an evil villain planning to use it for…well evil so eventually the bionic heroes and superheros must team up.
This was decent. It works pretty well as a crossover, as we get a lot of amusing interactions between all the characters. Some get more to do than others though. There’s a subplot where Bree likes Oliver and fights with Skylar over here. I guess it’s amusing at times but it just feels weird on Bree’s end. It doesn’t quite fit her character, I think. It at least it gets a sort of payoff though.
Despite working as a crossover, it strangely doesn’t introduce the Mighty Med stuff that well. Kaz and Oliver just kind of show up with out much explanation of who they are. It’s easy to catch on, especially in Part 2 but I imagine those who just watched Lab Rats would be a bit confused at first.
Especially now, as until kinda recently, only Lab Rats was on Disney+. This is way worse than the previous example of them doing this, especially since Elite Force was on there as well. At least it’s all there now.
The story itself is fairly generic, with a big bad guy wanting a plot device to give himself power to take over the world but it works as a way to bring the two sides together. As usual with both of these series, the drama and action is the highlight. The action is pretty solid and there’s enough of it. There’s a part where Chase gets out in a coma and while we know he won’t die, it is effective when this happens.
This does mean he sits out a lot of this and his deal with wanting credit since Davenport has a huge ego doesn’t get a payoff but it’s not a big deal. Part 2 is better is it feels like more happens and the jokes are better, Adam aside. Horace sets off an alarm as a drill to test how they react to “terrifying loud alarms”.
As it stands, it was fairly entertaining even if I would have liked more focus on the drama at times. Some jokes fail, some bits feel filler-y but it balances out with some fun interactions and decent action. You do need to be at least a bit familiar with both, but if you are you won’t mind this. Was it worth making an entire show out of? Probably but it’s still decently enjoyable.
Raven About Bunk’d [Raven’s Home/Bunk’d]
Writers: Warren Hutcherson and Jason Dorris
Airdate: July 24, 2020
Raven, Chelsea and the kids end up at Camp Kikiwaka while trying to find a camp Tess is supposed to go to, and decide to help out around the place.
Okay first off…why? They stop crossovers for years and come back with this? In a way, it makes sense. Bunk’d has somehow stayed long enough to get a season 5. This baffles me to no end but that does mean it is….popular-ish? Raven’s Home is their other biggest show, being a follow up to an old hit and all. So pairing these two makes sense on that level I guess but…still, it’s another example of how they keep pushing Bunk’d even though no one wants it.
But whatever, we finally have a new crossover. And honestly, it’s fine. Given that I am baffled it exists, it works okay. Those who just want to see these characters interact will get what they want and there’s some decent stuff there. It’s mostly just about those interactions and those can be fun. There are more funny moments than I expected, and the Bunk’d side didn’t annoy me too much.
The aspect of the camp possibly being sold and them having to save it is a fine idea and gives it some slight heart to it. It at least gives this a form of conflict, so they have something to work to. My problem is that the story had some pointless parts, like this whole thing with Booker and Finn getting lost and needed to be saved from a snake.
It was honestly the highlight just for the part where Raven jumps in the snake pit and tosses Booker up easily. That was actually awesome. However, it seems like it should be the big climax but instead it happens near the end of Part 1 and once it’s resolved, it is dropped and then it’s about saving the camp again. Either this should have been cut all together or moved to the climax of Part 2.
Something like this needs to juggle the interactions and story, and this didn’t quite do that at times. Also, despite this being Raven’s Home, Raven isn’t really in it that much. She and Chelsea have some stuff in it but it’s sidelined and they seemed to want to keep them out of the main plot as much as possible. Also, there’s a pig named Diary Air. Yes.
So yeah, as much as I grumbled going into this, it wasn’t too bad. I’d put it about on par with something like that Jessie special with Parker and Joey: Flawed but had some redeeming qualities to it. Weirdly enough, both involve pigs.
It’s a perfectly passable affair that people who can tolerate Bunk’d will find alright. Those who are more into Raven’s Home and don’t like the other won’t find as bad as it could have been, but it’s more of a skip in that case. Although even for me it wasn’t too bad, I dare say sort of decent with lowered expectations.
I have some side notes. One, Puberty has hit Booker so hard because I didn’t even know it was him at first. I saw him in a holiday episode just last year and he’s aged so fast, dang. Second, Chelsea is a blond now which just feels wrong. And third, Greta Thunberg is mentioned at one point. I don’t know how to feel about that.
So yeah, certainly a way to end this,
And now I’ve reviewed all the Disney crossovers. As far as as these go, they were mostly decent. Some parts of some worked better than others, but none failed too hard. I think the I’m in the Band and Raven About Bunk’d ones came out the weakest but the latter wasn’t as bad as it could have been and the former mostly just a bit too out there in the second half.
Of course, how you feel about these depends on how much you tolerate these shows. However, you can tell which ones are just better done than others. My favorite was strangely Charlie Shakes It Up just because it was the most entertaining. Despite their flaws, I did enjoy most of these for what they were.
It’s just interesting to see they connect these shows and see how they play off each other. It can yield interesting results at times. Will there be more? Who knows, but I kinda doubt it for no. Maybe Coop and Cami to the Max is on the way, we’ll see. Either way, these were fun to look at.
Perhaps one day we’ll look at some of the few crossovers we’ve gotten on Nick. iParty With Victorious deserves a look at least, we’ll see. That said, that wraps it up .Hope you enjoyed this little thing.