Raven Symone turns 28 today. Which I think we can all agree is just so Raven. She would turn 28 today. How’s she celebrating her big day? Probably with friends, like a normal well-adjusted adult. That’s right! I called her a normal well-adjusted adult. Or NWAA, as we say in the biz. (Or will say, if everything goes according to plan in 2014.) She managed to successfully go from being the star of a popular Disney Channel TV show to being an adult without any scandals. Not even a nude pic “leak” to prove to us that she’s an adult. That’s right, we still view her as adult despite the fact that she didn’t shove it down our throats. Sometimes life is crazy like that.
So in honor of her success, I wanted to run through a few more Disney stars who went in one end of the kid star machine and came out totally normal at the other end. Because it turns out that it is possible to star on a hit show on the Disney Channel and turn into a scandal-free functioning adult. Yes, that’s right. You can google ALL these people at work and not be scared of the results.
1. Ryan Gosling: cast of The Mickey Mouse Club for 2 seasons
Considering the fact that Ryan Gosling started his career at the tender age of 12 on The Mickey Mouse Club and that his parents gave Momma Timberlake temporary custody of him so he could be on the show, it’s amazing that he turned out okay. Finnneee, you win. He’s more than okay. He’s Ryan Gosling. Need I say more?
2. Christy Carlson Romano: star of Even Stevens for 3 seasons
As the Ren Stevens of my own family, I always felt a connection to Christy Carlson Romano. Which is why I’m so thrilled that she’s doing so well. She not only managed to escape the Disney Channel with her life intact (something that can’t be said for her brother, Louis Stevens), but she’s also still working in the industry. Sure she might not be starring in allllll the big movies, but she’s working and making money and generally not making a fool of herself.
3. Hilary Duff: star of The Lizzie McGuire Show for 2 seasons, plus a movie
While a few years ago I would’ve filed her love triangle with Lindsay Lohan and Aaron Carter under “Scandalous,” I’m now no longer sure if it qualifies. What’s a middle school squabble compared to the “Wrecking Ball” music video? Also we owe her some major kudos for bringing one of the most adorable children ever into the world. Seriously guys, I would eat her son Luca with a spoon. He’s that precious.
4. Dylan and Cole Sprouse: stars of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody for 3 seasons, The Suite Life on Deck for 3 seasons and a movie.
These boys had not one, but two hit Disney shows and movie…and they left all that to go to NYU. Yes, you read that right. They left all their fame behind them to get a bunch of boring college degrees. While that’s exciting enough in its own right, Cole Sprouse went on to become a phenomenal internet troll and Dylan Sprouse went on to work in a restaurant like a normal. They’re like the Olsen Twins, minus that whole thing where they stopped smiling forever.
5. Alyson Michalka: star of Phil of the Future for 2 seasons, plus 2 movies
Not only did Alyson Michalka star on a hit Disney Channel TV show, but she also starred in TWO unrelated Disney Channel movies. Which according to Karma.com is asking for it. But despite that, she’s completely a-okay now. Like many of her predecessors, she’s staying busy in the industry doing some low profile projects. Yo go (normal) girl!