1.30.2008

Networks In The United States – Part 2

The Disney Channel – Launched April 18, 1983
Based in Burbank, California; early on they used to air some live action kids programming along with various half hour compilations of old Disney shorts. Again, like most networks from this period do early on – they aired several foreign animated shows and movies including Asterix (this was English dubbed at some point?), the original stop motion Paddington Bear series, and The Raccoons.

By the mid 80’s however, the network started to produce their own brand of television animation starting with the short-lived series The Wuzzles in 1985. Disney became a king of Saturday morning cartoons in its own right, as not only did their productions air on their network, but also aired on major networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, and even Fox. DuckTales, Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, Goof Troop, etc, are now considered contemporary classics. They had many programming blocks over the years, the most notable being The Disney Afternoon which began in 1990 to house all their television animation. Its name was shortened to TDA in 1994, and by 1997 started getting phased out and replaced by Disney’s One Saturday Morning block solely on the ABC network. This block had a short-lived spin-off starting in 1999 called Disney’s One Too that aired on weekends and weekdays. Both blocks were eventually phased out in the fall of 2002, as Disney’s One Saturday Morning simply became ABC Kids. In April 1998 the network spun-off a sister channel called Toon Disney; meant to air older Disney cartoons and other shows from The Disney Afternoon, which saw many older cartoons jump ship off The Disney Channel and onto this network. However starting in 2004 with the addition of the Jetix block on Toon Disney, most of the older programs vanished (Canadian counterpart Family Channel followed suit as well), although currently some older shows have made their way back on the network.

The Disney Channel/Toon Disney networks have expanded all over the world, but Canada remains one of the few places where it hasn’t – most likely because Family Channel has aired most of their programming. Has Disney Channel jumped the shark with its viewing audience and current programming? Absolutely – their pre-teen lineup of shows has taken over the network, the focus doesn’t even seem to be on animation anymore. They may have ruled Saturday mornings in the 80’s and 90’s, but these days their cartoons are garbage compared to the quality offerings they used to put out. Youtube has lots of Disney related stuff so check that out as well.

1 comment:

justin said...

Let me just say that you bring all the memories of the 80’s and 90’s cartoons back to life. I liked being a member of your Sonic the Hedgehog Way Past Cool msn group.

On your current blog to which I am posting this very comment you say your 21. I am also 21 years old; I live in the United States in Texas. I grew up in the mid 80’s sad to say that I don’t remember much of the 80’s I was 4 when the 90’s started. My birthday is on Christmas Day (December 25)

I can’t remember when we first got cable, but one day we did. My all time favorite cartoon character then was Sonic the Hedgehog. I think the one of the reasons I liked him is because I am handicapped.

I remember from back then on certain episodes where I was, if you can believe it? I recorded every episode on VHS. Which later one my brother recorded over them, I was mad but o well. I had several tapes of all the episodes of the ABC series that came on Saturday mornings

I remember also setting my VCR in the morning before school to record “The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.” Also I remember sitting just feet away from my grandma’s TV watching it too.

The 90’s for me was a simple time, where I was a kid not having to worry about what was wrong with the world.

When I started college in 2005 it came to me like a bolt of lightning I could stop thinking about Sonic the Hedgehog, I went on E-Bay to see if that DVD’s of the series. I found one bought it which later I found it was mostly likely boot-leg copy. I have since bought legit copies of all the Sonic the Hedgehog series. (Sonic the Hedgehog (ABC)) Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, & and Sonic the Underground) for a total of 132 episodes.

I bought Sonic the Hedgehog from CD Universe after hearing it was being re-released from Shout Factory. (Google that)

The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog I purchased from E-Bay from UK, it was re-released in the UK.

Sonic the Underground I also purchased from the UK.


I also searched the internet one day and found all the episodes on a website that you could download, but it was hosted by a guy which used his DSL connection so it was slow. (www.xnicole.com) you have to create an account to be able to download.

I have Direct TV here in the US and this one channel Toon Disney, still airs Aladdin, Goof Troop, Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers and Talespin, during the weekdays.

It’s cool that when you push “info” on the remote it shows the year of which the show you’re watching was made, and its cool to see 1989, 1990’s up there.

I wish they made a new Disney Channel called “Old Disney” showing all the other great cartoon’s from the 90’s I used to watch, Inspector Gadget for one, Alvin and the Chipmunks, there is just so many to name.