The Thirteenth Year

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Thirteenth Year (Disney Channel Original Movie)

“The Thirteenth Year” is a Disney Channel Original Movie that was released in 1999. The film stars Chez Starbuck as Cody Griffin, a teenage boy who discovers that he is not an ordinary human but a merman.

The story begins when Cody, a seemingly average 13-year-old boy, starts experiencing unusual changes in his body on his thirteenth birthday. He discovers that he can breathe underwater and has developed the ability to swim incredibly fast. As he investigates the truth behind these changes, he learns from his adoptive parents that he was found as a baby floating in the sea and was adopted into their family.

With the help of his best friend, Jess Wheatley (played by Justin Jon Ross), and a marine biology teacher named Ms. Korkle (played by Stephanie Chao), Cody discovers that he is a merman with unique powers. As he comes to terms with his newfound identity, he learns about the underwater world and the responsibilities that come with being a merman.

However, being a merman also comes with challenges and dangers, especially when a powerful and envious mermaid named Sam (played by Courtney Draper) seeks to expose his secret to the world. Cody must navigate the complexities of teenage life while keeping his true identity hidden and protecting those he cares about.

“The Thirteenth Year” is a heartwarming coming-of-age film that explores themes of self-discovery, identity, and friendship. It combines elements of fantasy, adventure, and comedy, making it an enjoyable watch for audiences of all ages. The movie showcases the power of acceptance and embracing one’s uniqueness, making it a favorite among Disney Channel fans and a classic in the genre of family-friendly fantasy films.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released:
  • Type of Movie: Live Action
  • Movie Platform: Disney Channel Original Movie
  • IMDB Link


  • Chez Starbuck: Cody Griffin
  • Justin Jon Ross: Jess Wheatley
  • Courtnee Draper: Samantha
  • Brent Briscoe: John “Big John” Wheatley
  • Tim Redwine: Sean Marshall
  • Dave Coulier: Whit Griffin
  • Lisa Stahl Sullivan: Sharon Griffin
  • Brian Haley: Coach
  • Stephanie Chantel Durelli: Mermaid
  • Karen Maruyama: Mrs. Nelson
  • Regan Burns: Joe
  • Joel McKinnon Miller: Hal


  • Director: Duwayne Dunham
  • Producer: Thom Colwell

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and