The Disney Afternoon

The Disney Afternoon
The Disney Afternoon
The Disney Afternoon gang
Genre Animation
Created by Disney Television Animation
Country of origin United States
Executive producer(s) Various
Running time 120 minutes
Original channel Broadcast syndication
Original run September 10, 1990 (1990-09-10) – September 1999 (1999-09)

The Disney Afternoon was a created-for-syndication two-hour television programming block which aired from September 10, 1990, until Fall 1999. At that time, it was taken out of syndication, and a new Disney weekday afternoon block was started on UPN. The Disney Afternoon was produced by The Walt Disney Company. After its cancellation, the shows in the block were rerun both on Disney Channel (during the late 90s and early to mid-2000s) and on Toon Disney (all of them between the channel's launch in 1998 and 2004, with some still on the air).

Some of the block's shows continue to air on international versions of Disney Channel and Toon Disney, and on several local channels in various countries. Also, several of the block's shows are available on DVD in the United States.

The Disney Afternoon's two-hour block was broken up into four half-hour segments, each of which contained a cartoon series. As each season ended, the first cartoon shown in the lineup would typically be dropped, and a new one added to the end. The Disney Afternoon itself featured unique animated segments consisting of its own opening and "wrappers" around the cartoon shows shown.

This block did not air in every market across the United States, but for those markets that did not air the block in full, individual shows featured on The Disney Afternoon could be packaged by themselves. In Europe, similar series were produced, mostly translated into "Walt Disney Presents" (not related to the anthology series)


History of the block and programs that aired

Some of the early cartoon series in The Disney Afternoon came from already in-circulation cartoons, such as Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears (created years earlier). DuckTales premiered in 1987 as Disney was focused on incorporating animated series into its portfolio in the era of cartoons; it was the only cartoon series until accompanied in 1989 by Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. Both had been a one hour long cartoon block in 1989-1990, until both were incorporated into The Disney Afternoon the following year.

Both DuckTales and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers were syndicated and packaged at first through its original television affiliates, most of which evolved from independents to Fox affiliates with successful children's lineups. However, due to disputes between Disney and Fox later on, both shows were pulled from many Fox affiliates by Disney and landed on other stations in the same markets that were still independents by the time The Disney Afternoon came to play. Other Fox affiliates simply passed it down to their independent competitors by choice due to shorter timeframes for local programming, mainly with the debut of Disney Afternoon's main competitor Fox Kids and more stations premering local morning news programs.

Some of the later additions were inspired by shorter cartoons in the short lived series Raw Toonage, which appeared on the CBS network in fall, 1992—for example, Marsupilami; also He's Bonkers!, which has characters that also appear in Bonkers.

Beginning with the 1994 season, Marvel Comics began publishing a comic book series based on the programs featured on the block, as part of their line of comics based on modern Disney properties (the classic properties were licensed to Gladstone Publishing). The series mainly consisted of stories based on Darkwing Duck, with occasional stories featuring Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and TaleSpin. It ended at 10 issues, but stories based on the block's shows continued in Marvel's Disney Comic Hits! and in the children's magazine Disney Adventures.

In 1997, the block stopped using the "Disney Afternoon" name and was reduced to 90 minutes. It was finally taken off the air on September 1999, when the Disney's One Too block started on UPN.


The popularity of the Disney Afternoon led to a temporary attraction at Disneyland called Disney Afternoon Avenue.[1] Disney Afternoon Avenue was a feature of Disneyland in 1991, two years before Mickey's Toontown (a name linked to the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit) opened in January 1993.

Approximate lineup by seasons

In many markets, the lineup was arranged so that the oldest show in the block aired first, and the newest show got the final slot for prime viewing. The oldest show was then removed from the rotation at the beginning of the new fall season. Other markets may have varied. (References from the first section all come from the Fall Preview issues of TV Guide of their respective years, Chicagoland edition.)

Season 3:00 PM 3:30 PM 4:00 PM 4:30 PM
One (1990-1991) Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears DuckTales Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers TaleSpin
Two (1991-1992) DuckTales Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers TaleSpin Darkwing Duck
Three (1992-1993) Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers TaleSpin Darkwing Duck Goof Troop
Four (1993-1994) TaleSpin Darkwing Duck Goof Troop Bonkers (TV series)
Five (1994-95) Darkwing Duck Goof Troop Bonkers (TV series) Aladdin (TV series)

Saturday Mornings

Some of these cartoons, when originally airing on Disney Afternoon, also had Saturday morning episodes that were being broadcast for ABC and CBS. When the Saturday morning run ended for the first 4 of these shows, the episodes would be part of the Disney Afternoon package. These are:

  • Darkwing Duck 1991-1993, ABC (seasons 2 and 3)
  • Goof Troop 1992-1993, ABC (season 2)
  • Aladdin 1994-1996, CBS (seasons 2 and 3)
  • The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa 1995-1997, CBS (seasons 2 and 4, as the Disney Afternoon showed seasons 1 and 3)
  • The Mighty Ducks 1996-1997, ABC (both showed the first episode of the series)
  • Quack Pack 1996, syndicated
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series 1997, ABC (The show was first syndicated on The Disney Afternoon, but had twelve episodes aired exclusive to ABC. The rest of the syndicated episodes aired in 1998 on ABC after The Disney Afternoon was cancelled.)

Gargoyles does not fall into this category because only the third season episodes subtitled The Goliath Chronicles aired during the 1996-1997 season on ABC, while The Disney Afternoon was only showing reruns of the first 2 seasons. Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears continued running on Saturday mornings during the 1990-1991 season on ABC, but ABC was only showing reruns while the Disney Afternoon showed new episodes and repeats of the first 5 seasons, resulting in Disney's 65 episode order.

Video games

Many of the Disney Afternoon shows were made into video games.

Main Title/Alternate Title(s) Developer Publisher Regions Released Release Date Max. # of Players Consoles
DuckTales Capcom Disney Interactive JP, NA, EU 1989
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers Capcom Disney Interactive JP, NA, EU 1990
DuckTales: The Quest for Gold Incredible Technologies, Sierra On-Line Walt Disney Computer Software NA 1990
Amiga, Apple II, Commodore 64, DOS, Windows, Mac OS 8
Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers: The Adventure in Nimnul's Castle Hi Tech Expressions Walt Disney Computer Software NA 1990
TaleSpin Capcom, Sega Disney Interactive NA 1991
Darkwing Duck Capcom Disney Interactive NA, EU 1992
DuckTales 2 Capcom Disney Interactive JA, NA, EU 1993
Goof Troop Capcom Disney Interactive JA, NA, EU 1993
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 Capcom Disney Interactive JA, NA, EU 1993
Bonkers Capcom Disney Interactive JA, NA, EU 1994
Gargoyles Buena Vista Interactive Disney Interactive NA 1995

DVD releases, comics

On November 8, 2005, some of the Disney Afternoon's programming were released on seasonal DVD sets, including Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, DuckTales, and Gargoyles. In 2006, DVD sales were not good enough, and further releases have been cancelled. However, it is unknown if any of the programming will be available on iTunes, the Playstation Network, or other online stores.

Beginning in 2010, comics publisher Boom! Studios began publishing a Darkwing Duck miniseries under their KABOOM line along with other licensed Disney titles based around Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, and others. Sales were so successful, that the series transitioned into an ongoing series and Boom! purchased more licenses from Disney based on the old Disney Afternoon block.

Current series


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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