Toon Disney

Toon Disney was a international pay television channel which was owned by the Disney Channels Worldwide, a subsidiary of Disney–ABC Television Group. A spin-off of the Disney Channel, the channel mostly aired children's animated series and some live action programming. Its format had similarities to those of Discovery Kids, Cartoon Network, and Nicktoons. The channel's target audience was children ages 2–12,[1] and children ages 7–14 during its nighttime block called Jetix. The US version of Toon Disney shut down on February 13, 2009, after nearly 11 years, and was succeeded by Disney XD, which has carried some programs previously seen on Toon Disney. The final channel bearing the Toon Disney moniker was in Italy, and was discontinued in 2011.[2]

Toon Disney
Toon Disney's final logo, starting from September 2005 - February 2009
LaunchedApril 18, 1998 (1998-04-18)
ClosedMarch 2006 (2006-03) (UK)
February 13, 2009 (2009-02-13) (US)
2011 (2011) (Italy)
Owned byDisney Channels Worldwide
Picture format720p (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
SloganBuilt From The Best Toons (1998-2004)
CountryUnited States
HeadquartersBurbank, California, US
Replaced byDisney XD (US)
Disney Cinemagic (Europe)
Sister channel(s)Disney Channel
Playhouse Disney
Timeshift serviceToon Disney +1 (Europe)


Toon Disney was launched at noon Eastern Time on April 18, 1998, in honor of Disney Channel's 15th anniversary by Disney/ABC Networks on digital tiers of DirecTV, Marcus Cable and EchoStar. The first show aired on the network was The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1940) and other Mickey Mouse shorts. At 7 PM that day, its nighttime block, "The Magical World of Toons", was launched. In the next five months, Toon Disney furthered its programming to cable subscribers such as Americast. At its launch, the channel shared half of its assigned series with the Disney Channel.[3] The channel had no advertising until its viewership reached a set number.[1] On January 31, 1999, the first annual Pumbaa Bowl was broadcast.[4]

By September 2000, the channel was expected to reach 20 million subscribers, and thus, would start showing advertising. Ad sales would be handled by Disney Kids Network.[5] In the Fall of 2000, Disney launched its first overseas Toon Disney channel in the United Kingdom.[6]

In June 2001, Toon Disney US launched its "Most Animated Kid Search". The Santa Claus Brothers had its world premiere on the channel in December.[4] In September 2002, eight new shows joined the line-up as part of Toon Disney's fall schedule.[4][7]. In commemoration of the network's fifth anniversary in April 2003, the channel held a "Toon Disney's Magical Adventure Sweepstakes" in which three winners along with 3 family members each won a trip to Disneyland Resort to see Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular.[4]

On February 14, 2004, the Jetix programming block began on Toon Disney and ABC Family as a part of the Jetix programming alliance of ABC Networks Group, Fox Kids Europe and Fox Kids Latin America.[8][9] The block consisted of the entire acquired Fox Kids/Saban Entertainment action library as the result of a bulk buy-out by The Walt Disney Company in summer 2001, as well as some original programming. Some shows, like The Legend of Tarzan, aired under both the Toon Disney and Jetix monikers. The UK channel switched over to Disney Cinemagic in March 2006.[10]

In 2004, 4 new markets added a Toon Disney channel with three in Europe with Germany also adding a time shift channel.[2] In December, Walt Disney Television International India launched a Toon Disney channel with three language audio tracks (English, Tamil and Telugu)[11] at the same time as it debuted along with Disney Channel on Star TV.[12] In 2005, a Toon Disney channel was launched for the Nordic countries, as well as[2] another one for Japan.[13] A Hindi-language audio track was introduced on Toon Disney in India on September 1, 2005.[14]

The Toon Disney/Big Movie Show premiere of The Polar Express on December 22, 2006 was the channel's highest prime time rating with 1.35 million viewers. On January 27, 2007, Toon Disney launched its weekend afternoon programming block called "The Great Toon Weekend."[15]

In February 2009, Toon Disney US switched over to the Disney XD format and name.[16] Some shows that were formerly on Toon Disney US began airing on Disney XD US. Except for Toon Disney Arab, Toon Disney and Jetix were succeeded by September 2009 with Disney XD or the Disney Channel.[17]


  • The Big Movie Show is an afternoon block of movies started in November 2004.[18]
  • Jetix was a block using programming from the Saban/Marvel library held by ABC Family Worldwide and additional original programming launched on February 14, 2004 with the block having 12 hours of weekly prime time programming to start.[8][9][19] By the time of Toon Disney's dissolution in February 2009, Jetix had taken up more than half of the network's programming schedule, airing for 12 hours on weekdays and 19 hours on weekends.
  • The Magical World of Toons was Toon Disney's prime time block upon the launch of the channel. During the week, shorts and series showcasing Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Timon & Pumbaa, Hercules, Aladdin, Doug and Pepper Ann. The block's weekend consisted of animated features, mostly of those created for the home video market, like The Return of Jafar and The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars, as well as some theatrical releases including A Goofy Movie, Alice in Wonderland and The Brave Little Toaster. (1998–2001)[3][20]
  • Princess Power Hour was a block featuring Disney Princesses Jasmine and Ariel in showcasing episodes of Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. (2000–?[20])
  • Chillin' With The Villains ran on Sundays with a mini-marathon featuring a villain. (2000–?[20])
  • The Great Toon Weekend (GTW) was its weekend afternoon programming block for Saturday and Sunday starting at noon of seven hours of programming a day beginning on January 27, 2007. The Great Toon Weekend started off with a two-hour movie under the banner of "Big Movie Show" followed by five hours of back-to-back episodes of the following shows: Aladdin, Timon & Pumbaa, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, The Emperor's New School and Lilo & Stitch.[15]
  • Hangin' with the Heroes began in January 2002 was a weekend block consisting of two hours of Aladdin, Hercules and Gargoyles.[4]

International versions

MarketTypeLaunch dateReplaced byReplaced by date
United StateschannelApril 18, 1998[3]Disney XDFebruary 13, 2009[16]
JapanchannelDecember 2005[13]Disney XDAugust 2009[21]
United Kingdom and IrelandchannelSeptember 29, 2000[6]Disney CinemagicMarch 2006[10]
IndiachannelDecember 17, 2004[22][23]Disney XDNovember 14, 2009[23]
Vietnamblock on HTV7February 2007[24]
FrancechannelNovember 2, 2002Disney Cinemagic2007[2]
GermanychannelNovember 2004[25]October 14, 2011[2]
+1 timeshift service2004Disney Cinemagic +12010[26]
Italy+1 timeshift service2009discontinued2011[2]
Scandinaviachannel2005Disney XD2009[2]
SpainchannelDisney CinemagicJune 30th, 2008[2]
Arab Worldchannel[17]

See also


  1. Kirchdoerffer, Ed (April 1, 1998). "A Salute to Disney Channel: Drawing up Toon Disney". Kid Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  2. "Channel listing: Toon Disney". MAVISE. European Audiovisual Observatory.
  3. "Toon Disney Launch". Animation World Magazine. May 1998. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  4. "Toon Disney Timeline 1998-2003". Toon Disney. Archived from the original on December 10, 2003.
  5. Hettrick, Scott (February 25, 2000). "Stay Toon-ed For Ads On Disney Spinoff Channel". All Business. The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 21, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2014.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  6. Chapman, Iain (April 29, 2000). "Toon Disney". Digital Spy. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
  7. "Toon Disney Premieres Eight New Series In Fall 2002". Animation World Network. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  8. Welsh, James (January 9, 2004). "Fox Kids to be rebranded as Jetix". Digital Spy. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  9. Ball, Ryan (February 13, 2004). "Toon Disney Launches Jetix, Live Card Game". Animation Magazine. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
  10. "ITV enters full U.K. kids mkt". Video Age International. March 1, 2006. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  11. "After Tamil & Telegu, Toon Disney goes Hindi from 1 September". Indian Television. August 22, 2005. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  12. Bajoria, Jayshree (December 17, 2004). "Disney launches India TV channels". BBC. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  13. "Toon Disney and Jetix head for Japan". C21Media. August 31, 2005. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  14. "Toon Disney to be launched in Hindi from September 1". August 23, 2005. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  15. Ball, Ryan (January 12, 2007). "Toon Disney has 'Great Toon Weekend'". Animation Magazine. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  16. Chmielewski, Dawn C. (August 7, 2008). "Enough with the girls, tween boys get their own brand of Disney love". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 31, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  17. "Benjamin's buttons. Disneys global boss hit the right keys". Video Age International. October 1, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  18. Lewis, Christian (November 12, 2006). "Toon Disney Spruces Up Big Movie Show". Muti-Channel. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  19. Umstead, R. Thomas (March 19, 2004). "Disney Nets Bolster 'Jetix' Block". Multichannel News. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  20. ABC Cable Network Group (July 10, 2001). "Disney's Pepper Ann Takes Her Quest for Coolness to Toon Disney Beginning September 2001; All-Toon Channel Debuts New Schedule Sept. 3". Business Wire. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  21. Schilling, Mark (June 7, 2009). "Disney XD to launch in Japan". Variety. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  22. "Walt Disney channels to be distributed by STAR". Economic Times. November 25, 2004. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  23. "Jetix rebrands to Disney XD in India". November 12, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  24. "Disney's BVITV-AP brings 'Toon Disney' block to Vietnam". February 1, 2007. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  25. "Ready, willing 'n' cable". Variety. October 24, 2004. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  26. "TV Channel: Disney XD +1 (Germany)". MAVISE. European Audiovisual Observatory. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
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