The 80’s were a great time for young actors in Hollywood. Made buoyant by a decade’s worth of memorable teen movies, the era introduced us to the likes of Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Mathew Broderick, Robert Downey Jr. and a host of other Hollywood young stars who were collectively dubbed “The Brat Pack” by New York magazine. Back then the typical vehicle to stardom for these young actors were movies like Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, or St. Elmo’s Fire, all movies whichmade good use of an ensemble cast of up and coming actors. More often than not these stars were cast in movies that were indicative of their generation, a generation that was often portrayed as spoiled, hedonistic, and void of ideals.
Twenty years later and Hollywood has yet to produce its equal. While movie franchises like the American Pie trilogy or the current Twilight saga have made good use of an ensemble cast of young actors, no group of actors has had the skill set or the proper Hollywood vehicles to duplicate the success of the Brat Pack.
With a far reaching portfolio spread under the umbrella of Disney Channels Worldwide, Disney is able to produce numerous movies and television series aimed at the pre-teen and teenage markets. As such, the Disney channel is now the type of vehicle for young actors that a John Hughes movie was in the 80’s. Though ideals have changed over time, and the current core of young actors may prefer the green environmental movement over all night parties, Disney’s latest batch of young performers certainly has what it takes to usher in a new era of the “Brat Pack,” or in this case the “Mouse Pack.”
Here then is a list of the most prominent members of the “Mouse Pack.” All actors 25 and under, whose past or present involvement with the Disney Channel have helped launch their lucrative careers.
Shia LaBeouf (24)
Brat Pack Counterpart: Robert Downey Jr.
Long before starting in blockbuster movies such as Transformers and Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Shia was cutting his acting teeth in the Disney series Even Stevens. A gifted young actor capable of carrying a movie, LaBeouf’s next starting role will be in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Shia’s talents and brushes with the law make him this generation’s Robert Downey Jr.
Selena Gomez (18)
Brat Pack Counterpart: Molly Ringwald
Only 18 but with a hit Disney television series (Wizards of Waverley Place), a certified Gold record (Kiss & Tell), and a clothing line under her belt, Selena Gomez’s star is on the rise. A natural performer with a flair for humor and Bohemian fashion, Gomez is the Mouse Pack’s equivalent of Molly Ringwald. Any remake of Hughes’ Sixteen Candles or Pretty in Pink should begin and end with Gomez.
Zac Efron (23)
Brat Pack Counterpart: Rob Lowe
Blessed with the same blue-eyed good looks that made Rob Lowe a star in the 80’s, Zac Efron catapulted his way into stardom behind Disney’s highly successful High School Musical movies. Equally at home acting in either a comedy or drama, Efron has been adding a few more starring roles to his growing list of credits. Some of the movies Zac has started in recently include 17 Again (2009) and Charlie St. Cloud (2010).
Demi Lovato (18)
Brat Pack Counterpart: Ally Sheedy
The star of the Disney series Sonny with a Chance, and Disney movies like Camp Rock and the Princess Protection Program, Lovato, like her friend Selena Gomez, is also a singer whose second album went platinum. Blessed with a quirky sense of humor, Demi could easily be the Mouse Pack’s version of Ally Sheedy.
Joe Jonas (21)
Brat Pack Counterpart: Andrew McCarthy
A current staple of the Disney Channel courtesy of the Camp Rock movies and the Jonas Brothers TV series, Joe Jonas’ immense popularity with the opposite sex would probably makes him the counterpart to the Brat Pack’s Andrew McCarthy. In other words, in a remake of Pretty in Pink, he could easily carry off the role of McCarthy’s Blane McDonough, much to the delight of teen girls everywhere.
Ashley Tisdale (25)
Brat Pack Counterpart: Demi Moore
Tisdale, whose association with the Disney Channel has stretched five years, is known for her roles in the High School Musical trilogy, the Disney series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and the cartoon series Phineas and Ferb. Soon to be starring in the CW series Hellcats, Ashley, who had surgery to correct a deviated septum, could easily be her generation’s Jennifer Grey. However, blessed with the type of sex appeal that landed her on Maxim’s Top 100 list in 2008, it is more likely that Tisdale will end up the Mouse Pack’s Demi Moore.
Miley Cyrus (17)
Brat Pack Counterpart: Judd Nelson/Charlie Sheen
A star based on the popularity of her hit Disney Show, Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus penchant for surrounding herself with controversy (think cover of Vanity Fair) probably places her on the path to be the Mouse Pack’s version of either Judd Nelson or Charlie Sheen. One thing remains certain, for better or worse, we will be hearing about Miley for some time to come.
Monica Rizzo (2007-12-03). “Ashley Tisdale Gets Nose Job”. People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20163982,00.html.
Pulver, Andrew; Steven Paul Davies (2000-12-15). “The year of the brat”. The Guardian. http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,,411528,00.html.
Lurie, Karen (2002). “Brat Pack”. St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture (Gale Group). http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g1epc/is_bio/ai_2419200128.
Chuck Barney (February 7, 2008). Selena Gomez could be next Disney ‘it’ girl. Oakland Tribune
Shia LaBeouf arrested at Chicago Walgreens,http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/21626907
Demi Lovato – Demi Lovato Best Friends With Ex.,
Miley Cyrus Embarrassed By ‘Vanity Fair’ Photos,http://cbs2.com/entertainment/miley.cyrus.vanity.2.710559.html