When I heard Nickelodeon was bringing back all of my favorite '90s shows with The Splat programming block, I was ecstatic. I now live in a world where I can watch Rugrats, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and The Angry Beavers on a consistent basis again. What I'm saying is Christmas is going to have a hard time topping The Splat this year. The only thing that could make this news better is if The Disney Channel announced its own Splat.
Nickelodeon gets the lion's share of the nostalgia, but Disney's '90s and early '00s shows and movies were amazing. In some cases, they were even better than what Nick was offering up. There was a time when Disney gave viewers not only comedies, but half-hour dramas like So Weird and In a Heartbeat. Not only that, Disney churned out classic TV movie after classic TV movie — everyone should be given the chance to watch The Tower of Terror again.
Disney was full of just as many formative TV experiences as Nick was, and as a TV fan I think it sucks that so many of its shows are gathering dust somewhere when they could be entertaining nostalgic twentysomethings and a new generation. A classic Disney channel or block needs to happen. Need more convincing? Follow me down the rabbit hole of Disney nostalgia.
1. Lizzie McGuire Should Always Be On TV
There is no generation out there that would not benefit from the wisdom of Lizzie McGuire. Disney has made the show available online, but I want to sit down and turn on my TV after a day at work to watch Lizzie, Gordo, and Miranda hilariously deal with middle school life. There is just no way '90s and early '00s kids wouldn't turn up for Hilary Duff coolness with a side of animated interludes.
2. Classic Disney TV Movies Need A Home
Nick never even tried to compete with Disney in the original movie arena. Halloweentown, The Quints, and Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century are just a few of the Disney TV movies that need to be put back into rotation. Honestly, there are so many original Disney movies featuring so many future stars that Disney could probably create a separate channel just to show its feature-length offerings.
3. It Has Been Way Too Long Since You Heard The Theme Songs For Disney's Animated Shows
Disney's animated shows had the most addictive theme songs ever written. Duck Tales, Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, and Darkwing Duck are just some of the classic animated shows with theme songs you had to sing along to. Theme songs used to be an art form, and they can only be preserved if every generation knows all the words to the Gummi Bears song.
4. Disney's Dramas Are Even Better Than You Remember
Sadly, Disney has given up on making dramas, and it is a shame because they were really good at making dramatic shows for tweens. So Weird was the best of the bunch by far, and it still has a cult following today, but In a Heartbeat, The Famous Jett Jackson, and Flash Forward were excellent shows as well. While all of the shows were comedic at times, they felt far more balanced than the the light comedies Disney offers now.
5. Disney Needs To Show Its Classic Shorts Again
The Disney Channel used to show its classic shorts from the '40s and '50s in blocks or between episodes of other programs and it was amazing. The old-school cartoons are hilarious, beautifully animated, and such a delight to watch. Disney Jr. occasionally breaks out the classics, but it would be nice to have a destination to watch the old gems featuring Donald, Mickey, and friends.
6. Disney's Acquired Programming Could Make Some Killer Blocks
The Disney Channel has always padded out its lineup with acquired programs, and it has some epic shows in its library. Everything from Sister Sister to The Babysitter's Club and Avonlea aired on Disney. Grouping those shows into blocks could double down on the nostalgia factor.
7. Disney Kids Deserve Love, Too
Nickelodeon was always seen as the edgier channel and a lot of parents saw Disney as a better alternative to the more overtly adult cartoons like Ren & Stimpy and Rocko's Modern Life. Right now, Disney kids aren't feeling the nostalgia love, and that's a shame. The shows on Disney may not have been as edgy, but they taught kids everything they needed to know about growing up.
Come on, Disney, give the world a Disney Classic channel if only so everyone can be reminded that Shia LaBeouf was once an adorable little kid.
Images: Disney Channel; Giphy (6)