Post by mrhoopoe on Apr 19, 2017 12:35:45 GMT
Some time ago I announced an upcoming list of the worst Disney Channel shows. I figured that in order to share my thorough thoughts on this network, we can look back at all of the progress that the network has made up to this day.
I am going to be honest-- Disney Channel never seemed to be good ever since it became a cable network. Its launch in 1983 as a movie network was fine and actually worth the investment. While the original series at the time were mostly anthology or educational programs, the appearance of the network as a whole encouraged Disney animated series to be made for television. I applaud them for this move and like what came from it (even if some of the products were not of acceptable quality). This would lead to the well-regarded block Disney Afternoon. In the late-1980's, Disney Channel made more diverse programming like The All-New Mickey Mouse Club; Teen Win, Lose, or Draw; Good Morning, Miss Bliss; and Adventures in Wonderland. Whether you liked them or not, you had to admit that all of these programs had unique significances each of their own. Also, there was a myriad of original movies that premiered each year (about seven on average). These details will transgress into the cable years.
The cable years came to be when Disney Channel noted how well their competition (mainly Nickelodeon) was performing in comparison. Disney Channel made the understandable choice of transitioning to being a cable network. While this was a worthy move from a business perspective (as is everything that they would do in future years), it also resulted in a quality shift. The styling of the programming on Disney Channel and beyond (think One Saturday Morning) changed. The Disney Channel Magazine disappeared, and people complained about a loss in quality in Disney Adventures magazine. Actually, considering that it was 1997, it was a major change for the Walt Disney Company as a whole since they closed opportunities for films falling under the label Walt Disney Classics. In the next few posts, I will summarise what each year was like in terms of shows and movies and describe my specific problems with the network.
Before anyone criticises me for anything, I should explain as well as I can why I have problems with the network. Put simply, whereas the Walt Disney Company is meant to be timeless, Disney Channel seems to be following trends of the era. Technically, this idea has been introduced to the company as far back as the 1980's (in terms of their films and television) with Oliver & Co. and transgressed into the 1990's with Goof Troop. However, is it really worth the consideration when you recall the values that Walt Disney held true to the company? I am not saying to digress completely, but the way that they seemed to transgress evolved into a much bigger contrasting result than expected, as we will see. It is not just relevancy, though; at this point, more and more people were encouraging Disney to add more edge to their products now that the 1990's had come and there needed to be a sort of show that matched the revolutionary cartoons of the time like The Ren & Stimpy Show. Now, edgy content expands to many different fields of content, but the only type of edgy content that seems to suit Disney well, even today, is horror. A short from the 1930's proved this to be effective, but it was so scary that Disney never really considered doing anything again of the sort until The Black Cauldron. Not to mention that movie was a failure (though it was for other reasons that you probably know and acknowledge, whether you like the film or not). Disney then tried again at edgy material for four consecutive years in the mid-1990's with only one successive product-- Gargoyles. It provided stellar animation and an unusual sense of dark, melodramatic themes. The other shows? The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show tried to introduce Ren & Stimpy to Disney with poor results (though creator Bill Kopp admits to enjoying working on that show even after all these years). Quack Pack, the Ducktales spinoff, tried to merge hip and cool themes with edgy content using classic Disney characters to diminishing returns. Nightmare Ned, based off the video game of the same name, wanted to have horror elements infused with a hybrid of animations but never really could communicate the edgy material that well and was cancelled for going over-budget. I mention the idea of edgy material because Disney Channel will try its own take on it and have more success with the live-action shows than most of the cartoons (key word: most).
This should be fun. Besides, I love this company while acknowledging all of their questionable decisions (like free domain). Oh, and listen, one more thing: I will do my best to not let anything nostalgic get in the way of my work here, unlike all of the other critics.