The Disney Afternoon
|Launched||September 10, 1990|
|Closed||August 29, 1997 (as The Disney Afternoon)|
August 1999 (as Disney-Kellogg Alliance)
|Country of origin||US|
|Owner||Buena Vista Television|
|Formerly known as||The Disney Afternoon|
|Sister network||Disney's One Saturday Morning & Disney's One Too|
|Running time||TDA: 2 hrs|
DKA: 1.5 hrs.
The Disney Afternoon (later known internally as the Disney-Kellogg Alliance when unbranded) was a created-for-syndication two-hour animated television block programming produced by Walt Disney Television Animation and distributed through its syndication affiliate Buena Vista Television. Each show from the block has aired reruns on Disney Channel and Toon Disney. Disney Channel reaired four shows (Darkwing Duck, TaleSpin, DuckTales, and Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers) on "Block Party," a two-hour block that aired on weekdays in the late afternoon/early evening.
The Disney Afternoon's block had four half-hour segments, each of which contained an animated series. As each season ended, the lineup would shift - the remaining three would move up a time slot and a new show would be added to the end. The Disney Afternoon itself featured unique animated segments consisting of its opening and "wrappers" around the cartoon shows.
The Disney Afternoon originally ran from September 10, 1990, to August 29, 1997. For the 1997 and 1998 television seasons, it lost its name but was known internally as Disney-Kellogg Alliance, shortened to 90 minutes, followed by its gradual replacement by Disney's One Too for UPN in 1999. Some of the shows also aired on Saturday mornings on ABC and CBS concurrently with their original syndicated runs on The Disney Afternoon.
Goof Troop is the only show to reach the 2000s, with the 2000 direct-to-video finale An Extremely Goofy Movie. The 2010s and 2020s saw revivals of some shows such as DuckTales as a reboot and Darkwing Duck as a show within the reboot on Disney Channel (and Disney XD), a reboot on Disney+, and Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers with a live-action animation hybrid film on Disney+, released in 2022.
The Disney Afternoon goes back to Michael Eisner becoming Disney's CEO in 1984 and his push into steady animated television production, which would be based on new characters to bring in new young fans, with a newly launched TV animation department. He set up a Sunday meeting at his house days consisting of creatives. They included Tad Stones from feature animation and Jymn Magon and Gary Kriesel from the music division. Mickey and the Space Pirates was pitched by Stones, but was turned down being that Mickey Mouse is the company symbol, thus wanting to do him right. Stones also pitched a Rescuers TV series – the sequel was already under development at the time. Eisner suggested the Gummy bear as a series, given his kids liked the candy. Disney Television Animation's first two shows, The Wuzzles and Adventures of the Gummi Bears, were sold to two networks, CBS and NBC, respectively, for their Saturday morning cartoon blocks.
DuckTales, the series which would serve as the launching pad for what would become The Disney Afternoon, premiered in first-run syndication in the fall of 1987. Two years later in the fall of 1989, DuckTales was joined by Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, and both series were being offered in syndication as an hour-long program block. The Disney Afternoon kept these shows, added Gummi Bears and TaleSpin, and premiered on September 10, 1990, via Disney's syndication arm Buena Vista Television.
DuckTales had been airing on many affiliates of the then-young Fox network and its group of owned-and-operated stations, including KTTV in Los Angeles; this may have been due to the fact that the Walt Disney Company's chief operating officer at the time, Michael Eisner, and his then-Fox counterpart, Barry Diller, had worked together previously at ABC and at Paramount Pictures. However, as Chip 'n Dale was being launched, Disney was in the process of purchasing Los Angeles independent station KHJ-TV from RKO General. Through Buena Vista Television, Disney opted to reclaim the Los Angeles broadcast rights for DuckTales and moved it from KTTV to be paired with Chip 'n Dale on its newly-purchased station, which was renamed KCAL-TV in December 1989. Furious at the breach of contract, Diller pulled DuckTales from all of Fox's other owned-and-operated stations in the fall of 1989. Diller also encouraged the network's affiliates to do the same, though most did not initially. This caused the retaliatory formation of Fox Kids. (Ironically, most of the assets of Fox Kids would be bought by Disney in 2001 via their acquisition of Fox Family Worldwide.)
As the years went on, new shows would be added at the end of the block, with the oldest shows being dropped from the lineup. The 1991–92 season, for instance, saw Gummi Bears' removal, and Darkwing Duck being added to the end. After DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale, and TaleSpin were removed from the block, they continued to rerun in syndication until 1995.
By the fifth season in 1994, the block had undergone a makeover, with the primary branding being the block's initials, TDA. At this point, the original idea of shows being added and removed yearly was dropped, as both new and old shows were now stripped all week, or only aired on certain days. The original four shows were gone from the line up by the 1995–1996 season. The lineup at this point included Aladdin and Quack Pack stripped, while one daily slot was split between The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show and Gargoyles, book-ending three days a week of Bonkers.
The Disney Channel developed a similar programming block called "Block Party", which premiered on October 2, 1995 (airing concurrently with TDA's sixth season) and was similarly scheduled and stripped with the early Disney Afternoon series of Darkwing Duck, TaleSpin, DuckTales, and Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers.
By August 1996, owing to decreasing business in the syndicated children's television market due to new competitors such as the cable networks Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, and the new networks The WB and UPN with having children's blocks of their own, Buena Vista agreed with the Leo Burnett agency to market and distribute a revamped version of the block for the 1997–98 and 1998–99 television seasons. Buena Vista established a partnership with Leo Burnett and Kellogg's—who had been a major sponsor of The Disney Afternoon, to purchase an amount of dedicated advertising inventory. The new block did not carry any blanket branding, but was referred to internally as the "Disney-Kellogg Alliance."
With the September 1, 1997 season started, the block dropped The Disney Afternoon name, a half-hour from the stripped block and the Gargoyles series. Moving to the Disney Channel were Disney's Aladdin and The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa. 101 Dalmatians, which was shared with ABC's Disney's One Saturday Morning (which broadcast their own set of episodes), premiered on the block. Mighty Ducks and Quack Pack reruns shared the second slot in a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays through Fridays, split respectively. DuckTales repeats filled the third half-hour slot, with flexibility for the local station to air it at other times.
In 1998, Disney reached a deal to program a new children's block for UPN, Disney's One Too, as a replacement for that network's internal UPN Kids block. The syndicated block ran until the debut of One Too on September 6, 1999.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2014)
Some of The Disney Afternoon's shows also aired on international versions of Disney Channel (including Disney Channel Southeast Asia), Toon Disney (later Disney XD), Disney Junior (including Disney Junior in Asia) and Disney Cinemagic, and on several local channels in various countries. In Europe, blocks similar to The Disney Afternoon were produced, mostly with names which translate in English as "Walt Disney Presents" (not related to the anthology series). Furthermore, shows that never aired on the American version of The Disney Afternoon (such as The Little Mermaid and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) did air on foreign versions of the block.
In Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the city's then-independent TV station ITV (now Global Edmonton) produced its own version of The Disney Afternoon over roughly the same period as the American block, but only once per week in a two-hour block on Saturday afternoons, though using the same cartoon lineup as the American weekday block. Apart from the animated introduction, the block did not use any Disney-produced wrapper segments, but instead used locally produced live-action segments between programs with host Mike Sobel. ITV (and thus the Sobel-hosted version of the block) was at that time also available on cable and satellite in various mid-sized and smaller markets across Canada, as far away as St. John's.
The opening title sequence featuring the characters being sketched onto and jumping out of the page was re-purposed and re-edited for the international Disney Club blocks. These aired many of the same shows, but with live-action links. For example, the British version aired on Sunday mornings on ITV.
Note: N/A indicates that the show followed syndication and did not premiere episodes on a specific network.
|Series||Block run||Original Network(s)|
|Adventures of the Gummi Bears||1990–91||NBC; ABC; N/A|
|Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers||1990–93||The Disney Channel|
|The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show||1995||N/A|
|The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa||1995–97||N/A & CBS; Toon Disney|
|Mighty Ducks||1996–97||ABC & N/A[a]|
- Aired under the Disney-Kellogg's Alliance
Characters from the shows first appeared in Disney Parks with the debut of Mickey's Birthdayland in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World. In 1990, the characters got a daily show, "Mickey’s Magical TV World", which lasted until 1996.
The popularity of The Disney Afternoon led to a temporary attraction at Disneyland in Fantasyland called "Disney Afternoon Avenue." Disney Afternoon Avenue was a feature of Disneyland from March 15 to November 10, 1991. Two attractions were also made over to match series from the block.
Many of The Disney Afternoon shows were made into video games.
|Main title/alternate title||Developer||Publisher||Regions released||Release date||Players||Console(s)|
|DuckTales||Capcom||JP, NA, EU||September 14, 1989||1||NES, GB|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers||JP, NA, EU||June 8, 1990||2||NES|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers||Tiger Electronics||NA||1990||1||Handheld electronic game|
|DuckTales: The Quest for Gold||Incredible Technologies, Sierra On-Line||Walt Disney Computer Software||December 31, 1990||Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64, DOS, Windows, Mac OS 8|
|DuckTales||Tiger Electronics||1990||Handheld electronic game|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: The Adventures in Nimnul's Castle||Hi Tech Expressions||Walt Disney Computer Software||March 1, 1990||PC|
|TaleSpin||Tiger Electronics||1990||Handheld electronic game|
|TaleSpin||Capcom||NA, EU||December 1991||NES, GB|
|Darkwing Duck||Capcom||June 1992||NES, GB|
|Darkwing Duck||Turbo Technologies Inc.||NA||1992||TG16|
|Darkwing Duck||Tiger Electronics||1992||Handheld electronic game|
|DuckTales 2||Capcom||JP, NA, EU||April 23, 1993||NES, GB|
|Goof Troop||July 11, 1993||2||SNES|
|Goof Troop||Tiger Electronics||NA||1993||1||Handheld electronic game|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2||Capcom||JP, NA, EU||1993||2||NES|
|Bonkers||December 15, 1994||1||SNES|
|Bonkers||Sega||NA, EU||October 1, 1994||GEN|
|Bonkers: Wax Up!||BR||February 4, 1995||GG, SMS|
|Gargoyles||Buena Vista Interactive||Disney Interactive||NA||May 15, 1995||GEN|
|Gargoyles||Tiger Electronics||1995||Handheld electronic game|
|Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam||Walt Disney Company||1998||Arcade|
|Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers||Dinamic Pixels||2010||Mobile Phone|
|DuckTales: Scrooge's Loot||Disney Mobile||Disney Interactive||July 26, 2013||iOS, Android|
|DuckTales: Remastered||Capcom, WayForward Technologies||Capcom, Disney Interactive Studios||JP, NA, EU||August 13, 2013||Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android|
|The Disney Afternoon Collection||Capcom, Digital Eclipse Software||Capcom||NA, EU||April 18, 2017||2||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows|
- "Block Party: Four Disney Animated Series." The Disney Channel Magazine, Vol. 13, no. 5, October/November 1995: p. 36.
- Zakarin, Jordan (November 1, 2018). "Life is like a hurricane: An oral history of the Disney Afternoon". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
- Bentley, Rick (November 19, 2014). "Disney TV Animation Is 30 Years Old, and It's Going Strong". Valley News. The Fresno Bee. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- FRIENDLY, DAVID T. (July 28, 1985). "Team Disney--Flying High in Burbank". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
- Metevia, Thomas (April 8, 2019). "How well do you remember 'The Disney Afternoon'?". WKMG. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
- James B. Stewart (2005). Disney War. New York City, New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 94–95. ISBN 0-6848-0993-1.
- Michael Cieply (February 22, 1990). "Disney, Fox Clash Over Children's TV Programming". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
- "Life is Like a Hurricane: A Brief History of the Disney Afternoon". Oh My Disney. Disney. April 24, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
- "Disney Takes Kellogg Clout To Stations". Ad Age. June 6, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- Hontz, Jenny (January 20, 1998). "Disney kids to play UPN". Variety. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
- "Tooning in the Fall Season". Animation World Magazine. 2 (6). September 1997. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
- Hontz, Jenny (January 21, 1998). "Disney kids to play UPN". Variety. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
- "It's Show Time! The Fall TV Preview". Animation World Magazine. 4 (6): 4. September 1999. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
- Chris Pursell (July 19, 1999). "Mouse brands UPN kidvid". Variety. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
- "Personalities: Mike Sobel". GlobalTVEdmonton.com. Shaw Media. May 26, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
- "7 'The Disney Afternoon' cartoons today's kids are missing". ABC13 Houston. October 4, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
- Strodder, Chris (2008). The Disneyland Encyclopedia. pp. 130, 137. Retrieved November 13, 2015 – via Chronology of Disneyland Theme Park 1990-1999.
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