Princess Protection Program is legendary. It’s an actual Disney Princess movie! Okay, not exactly. It’s not an animated film, and it doesn’t feature the canon of Disney Princesses. But having a Disney Channel princess is significant. Demi Lovato plays Princess Rosalinda, and Selena Gomez stars alongside her as Carter Mason. The movie was filmed on location in Puerto Rico; it was directed by Allison Liddi-Brown and written by Annie DeYoung and David Morgasen.
I was finishing my freshman year of high school when Princess Protection Program premiered. Like many teens across the world, I was a fan of Demi and Selena as both actors and musicians. And who didn’t love their friendship? Their childhood Barney connection led to their parallel lives as Disney Channel stars. Selena’s Wizards of Waverly Place run began in 2007, after a combination of successful guest roles and series pilots that didn’t work out. Demi Lovato was seen on the interstitial “As the Bell Rings,” also beginning in 2007. One year after Demi’s big break in Camp Rock (2008), their series Sonny with a Chance premiered. And finally, Princess Protection Program debuted that summer. While I won’t get into the falling out between Selena and Demi, it’s important to mention their friendship, as this DCOM will always be proof of their bond. I love that they got to sing a duet, which was used in a cute dress-up montage. You can check out the song here. It’s adorable, and quite a moment in time — literally called “One in the Same.” Demi sang and co-wrote another song separately (Jonas Brothers also have writing credits!), which is called “Two Worlds Collide.”
As for the movie, it’s also a friendship vehicle. Princess Rosalinda must flee her country, Costa Luna, when she is endangered by an invasion just a month before her coronation. We see “Major Mason” in military garb talking with the princess’s mother about protecting the young woman. After the invasion, Rosalinda goes to Louisiana with Major Mason and becomes “Rosie.” She bunks with Mason’s daughter, Carter, and the girls do not get along at first. Obviously, they become besties and save each other’s lives. It’s pretty cute watching Rosie adjust to regular high school, where she still can’t shake her royal charm. Yeah, there’s a lot more that happens in this movie, including appearances from Nicholas Braun and Kevin G. Schmidt, one of the siblings from Cheaper by the Dozen (2003). But I’m honestly here for the BFFL ride. Check this movie out on Disney+ to relive the Demi and Selena golden hour!