Disney Afternoon

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The Disney Afternoon was a two-hour block of various animated television series developed by Disney Television Animation. It was syndicated from September 10th, 1990 to August 29th, 1997. Alongside Gargoyles, it featured a variety of shows that featured characters from both classic Disney cartoons and Disney Feature Animation films.


The initial season of the Disney Afternoon comprised of TaleSpin, a new series that was supported by a library of three other established shows that had previously aired on other networks. From 1989, Greg Weisman was one executive involved in the development of many of the shows that aired in this block. He eventually became Director of Series Development for Disney Television Animation in 1993, before choosing to focus solely on Gargoyles in 1994. [1]

The Disney Afternoon would open with its own theme and episode credits from the four syndicated shows would be bundled together and displayed only at the end of the two-hour block. According to Weisman, Michael Reaves objected to this practice and Disney Televion Animation President Gary Krisel agreed to make an exception for Gargoyles in its first season, since it aired a half hour before the block ended. Unfortunately, this practice did not continue into the second season. [2]

Season 3:00 PM 3:30 PM 4:00 PM 4:30 PM
1990-1991 Adventures of the Gummi Bears DuckTales Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers TaleSpin
1991-1992 DuckTales Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers TaleSpin Darkwing Duck
1992-1993 Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers TaleSpin Darkwing Duck Goof Troop
1993-1994 TaleSpin Darkwing Duck Goof Troop Bonkers
1994-1995 Darkwing Duck Goof Troop The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show (Monday in 1995)


Gargoyles (Friday)
1995-1996 Goof Troop Bonkers Aladdin Gargoyles

The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa (Friday)

1996-1997 Darkwing Duck Aladdin Gargoyles The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa (Monday)
Quack Pack
Mighty Ducks (Friday)

Given the time in the afternoon that the Disney Afternnon would air in syndication, it was often subject to preemption with local networks reporting breaking news from the O.J. Simpson trial throughout 1995. Frequently missing episodes proved to be detrimental to the overall ratings for Gargoyles. [3][4][5]

While the Disney Afternoon would air for several seasons, contracts with individual television networks expired by the end of the 1996-1997 season, and competing networks like FOX, the WB, and UPN took up the surviving network space. A truncated version of the Disney Afternoon would continue to be syndicated for two more seasons, debuting 101 Dalmatians in 1997 and Hercules in 1998. [6]

In the early days of the internet, an email list dedicated to the Disney Afternoon was an effective way for those working on the then-current slate of shows to gauge audience feedback and reaction. It was this email list that provided Weisman the insight into both Brooklyn's popularity with the fans and the frustration shared by those fans regarding the Previously on Gargoyles recaps. [7][8]


The two-hour block was popular enough to merit the release of a soundtrack of its first season of shows. [9]

When Disney bought ABC, a (non-canonical) third season of Gargoyles dubbed The Goliath Chronicles would help anchor a Saturday animation block on ABC that eventually became known as Disney's One Saturday Morning. [10][11]

Gargoyles would be the first of any Disney Afternoon series to be released on DVD in 2004. Other series to see partial or complete releases on DVD include Adventures of the Gummi Bears, DuckTales, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, and Goof Troop.

The library of Disney Afternoon shows ultimately migrated to the premium cable station Toon Disney in December 1997. Gargoyles would air on the station (later known as DisneyXD) until February 2014. Most series from the Disney Afternoon would eventually become available for streaming on Disney+ in November 2019, including shows previously never released on DVD like Bonkers. To date, Aladdin and The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show remain the only Disney Afternoon shows missing on Disney+.

Gargoyles, along with Aladdin and the rest of the Disney Afternoon had their own Marvel Comics series. Though the series was non-canon, Weisman would have taken over as writer, had the book not been canceled, with a story that would be used later. Despite being non-canon the comic featured Beth Maza's first full appearance (Between a picture cameo in "Deadly Force" and her onscreen appearance in "The Cage") in "Always Darkest Before Dawn" and Petros Xanatos debuting in the comic during "The Pack Attacks" before "Vows" aired.

The Disney Afternoon also had many comic stories distributed in the magazine Disney Adventures. Though the Gargoyles stories were non-canon, "A Study in Stone" albeit set long before "Upgrade", mentioned Brooklyn being Second in Command. "Stone Cold" served as inspiration for "The Price".[12]

From 2006-2009, SLG published a canonical third season of Gargoyles comics, which was later continued by Dynamite Entertainment in 2022. In 2010, Boom Studios published Darkwing Duck, DuckTales, and Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers comics. Dynamite would also revive the Darkwing Duck comic book in 2023.

In recent years, a reboot series for DuckTales (2017) and film for Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers (2022) have been developed for the Disney Channel and Disney+, respectively.

See Also