Out on DVD today is Disney Channel’s “Freaky Friday,” starring Cozi Zuehsldorff and Heidi Blickenstaff. A third rendition of the 1976 film, this mimics the same plot points of a quarreling daughter and mother who switch bodies on the eve of the mother’s weddings. Through living in each other’s shoes for a day, they learn to see things through the other’s perspective and treat each other with respect. As most films on the Disney Channel, “Freaky Friday” has been remade as a musical, this time with Broadway aspirations instead of the bubblegum pop ones of the past.
Zuehsldorff and Blickenstaff are both talented theater singers, however the Disney Channel production does not stage the plentiful singing numbers with as much ease as it does the pop ones in recent movies like “Z-O-M-B-I-E-S.” There are so so many songs in this movie with sparing clunky dialogue filling in the gaps.
This film is aimed at a younger audience, closer to early middle school, than other Disney Channel films, so it is probably not one for children older than 11 or 12. Ellie and Katherine are both leaning into Broadway overacting in a painful way, making this film one pretty exclusively for kids with little enjoyment and a lot of cringing for adults. Plus, both characters are so comedically cruel to each other that you kind of hope they both fail.
There are basically three bonus features: an extra musical number and a blooper reel, plus audition footage of one song.
Disney Channel’s “Freaky Friday,” out on DVD today, is a movie for young pre-teens with cringeworthy dialogue, but some decently good singing.